Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads: Which Is Better?

GL Content Team Mar 02, 2021

As specialists in digital marketing, hundreds of customers have asked us this question: “Which is better for my business, Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads?” Almost every time, we have the same answer! 

Both are great and, depending on your company, your audience, and your goals. But yes, one can be better than the other. 

The Big Debate on Google Ads vs Facebook Ads

We recognize that small companies also have a restricted marketing budget and it can be incredibly difficult to determine where to put their dollars. If you don’t fully appreciate the difference between Google Ads vs Facebook Ads, it can be even more challenging. 

Which is why we are taking it upon ourselves to settle this debate once and for all and add some clarity to the situation. Additionally, we want to help fellow business owners determine, in the end, which one gets the best return on their investment in marketing.

Let’s start by looking at some of the primary differences between the two, before jumping straight to the part where we tell you which one gets you a better ROI in the epic fight of Google Ads vs Facebook Ads.

What are Google Ads?

The advances in technology over the years have given us more options, both as advertisers and even customers, than we could possibly have expected in our lives. As a consequence, how we search, send, and obtain information has changed. How to search for and buy items today has also changed drastically.

Google is one such internet firm that has not only welcomed change but helped foster it. Google was created in 1998 and is a search engine that almost 70% of internet users use to search for anything and anything under the sun. More than 40,000 search queries are processed every second by Google currently, more than 3 billion every day and a little more than a trillion per year.

And this steady growth has been seen since the beginning of 2000. Imagine how this has and will continue to affect the marketing world. 

Formerly known as Google AdWords, Google Ads has become one of the largest and most successful PPC advertising channels in the world. This means that advertisers on this website only pay when their ad is clicked on by a customer. Other search engines use similar techniques on their own platforms. Yet, Google is so widely used by users and marketers that the term paid search is most often related to Google Advertising.

Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads

A fast Google search for “house cleaners near me” is seen in the image above. Note how all of the listings are labelled in the top right corner of the screen with a green “Ad” label to the left of the listing or “Supported” label. Not only did Google show me the most appropriate advertisements for my search query, but they also showed me relevant results based on my location.

What are Facebook Ads?

If Google Advertising is popularly referred to as pay-as-you-go search, then Facebook Ads will most certainly be given the title of paid social search. Changing customer habits and trends have undeniably given rise to social media giants that let consumers interact with their friends, express complaints about their lives, and engage with themes and businesses they like. 

In the previous post, we clarified why owners of companies need to include Facebook ads in their marketing strategies. We illustrate how Facebook has today become a social force with 2.27 billion active monthly users (and counting). 

The most tangible advantage of Facebook over Google is that it understands our social conduct.

We may not be completely aware of this, but we subconsciously share more information about ourselves on Facebook than we want to do. 

Yeah, Facebook is gathering a lot of data. Even more than you even know. The pages you like, the subjects you participate in, your friends, your date of birth, your current place, your holiday in 2018, and so on. Imagine what value such a data bank would have generated for advertisers looking to target individual users. And these feelings, our attitudes and what we want have a significant effect on our buying decisions.

Introducing Facebook Ads!

For this reason alone, Facebook Advertising remains popular with many small business owners as they provide the opportunity to recognize your target customer and only advertise to people who are actually likely to buy your product or service. 

Another example of this is the Facebook Google Quest. You may have seen some Facebook advertisements for goods or services you’ve already studied. Then, you might find yourself wondering, “How does Facebook know what I’ve been looking for on Google? “Facebook itself does not know this detail, but if a company is affiliated with or linked to Facebook, that data can be used to view their ads on your Facebook feed. 

This level of precision is something that not many advertising channels can do, at least not in as much detail.

What Exactly is the ROI for Google Ads vs Facebook Ads? How Do We Determine It?

There was a time when conventional outlets, such as print advertising, were going-to-market tactics for business owners. Relying on mass communications in local newspapers, and then hoping that somebody would see their ad and visit them to make a purchase. Not knowing for sure how successful their new advertising campaign was. 

We’ve come a long way from that time. Today, business owners and marketers have sophisticated digital resources at their disposal. Newer advertising technologies allow them to advertise their companies in various ad formats while targeting particular customers. 

It gets even better… 

Computer science and data analytics have made it possible to track these promotions and count the conversions down to the very hour they occur. It’s awesome how advertising networks tag every visit to your website that happens via advertisements. Furthermore, the tag accompanies them even when they make a transaction or bounce off. This level of detail ensures that there is more data than ever before to help you maximize the success of your campaign. 

Our Recommendation

If the decision is focused on the return on the actual investment dollars invested, Google Ads has always proven to be the undisputed king. The fact that we’ve all managed to make more transactions while using less ad spending helps to highlight the efficacy of Google Advertising in terms of ROI. 

If you’re a new company and need to make a difficult decision based on making more revenue right now, Google’s lead campaign will give you a stronger return on investment, based on sales performance. 

While Google Ads typically require a larger advertising budget, they also require experience. Google aims to deliver the best to its customer, so you’ve got to deliver the same. The quality of your ad and website content, rather than your ad budget, is a big Google ranking factor. To make sure you are the triple threat that you want to be, we strongly recommend partnering with an agency that has advertising experts in your field. 

So that’s the gist of it. If you’re a new business with a decent budget and a clear target, Google Ads could be the best choice for you. Especially when you’re looking for a simple response in the war between Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

The Flip Side to Our Recommendation

Without a question, Facebook Ads should be at the core of the marketing campaign of the business owner. Especially when it comes to his / her paid social strategy. Not only does it give you a deeper insight into the social behavior of your audience, but it also helps you to create a social community around your company. 

One that we all know is the most significant factor in business growth – word of mouth. No other advertisement channel has greater influence when it comes to building communities and fan interactions around businesses like Facebook. 

Facebook Advertising ‘return on investment is much broader than something that can be calculated by a dollar sum alone. We all know the tremendous potential of the channel and how great a crowd puller it can be. This makes them a powerful advertising platform. 

As we have said, every company is different. 

With a range of items and exclusive customer profiles.

This means what could work for one business owner, maybe not another. This is definitely true when you judge your return on investment in advertising. 

The Final Decision 

Sure, in this particular debate, we had a definite winner. But the wider question between paid search and paid social search is obviously one that needs a lot of research for several different variables. We also recognize that the solution is not always as straightforward as the one we have addressed today. Option depends on a number of factors, such as your business goals, your form of business or your consumer base. They all have an equal role to play in the success of the campaign and the success of the ROI. 

The choice might not always be apparent. However, we also recommend that business owners look beyond ROI. Consider evaluating promotions based on the overall benefit they add to your business. Even in the case of Google Advertising vs Facebook Ads. Value may be anything from creating brand recognition to meeting potential buyers, to getting more leads, conversions, and transactions. 

We’re going to tie it up and leave you with the following thought: 

Google Advertising will help you find potential customers right away. This gives you an immediate return on your marketing investment in the process. Though Facebook Advertising is helping new customers discover and explore you. And this way, in the long run, give you a better ROI.