Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash

Google Adwords vs. Facebook Ads? Which one is better for my business? Which one is cheaper? Which will help my business? Advertise on Google or Facebook? Believe it or not, these are few million dollar questions being asked by business owners. Let’s investigate the two marketing platforms, identify their strengths and weaknesses to end the confusion.

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads

When we talk about online advertising or digital marketing tools for businesses, two industry giants come to our mind: Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.

The real question is if one tool is better than the other? Even though both GoogleAdWords and Facebook Ads seems to be equally lucrative for online marketing but which one should you use?

While there is no doubt if both tools are used in synch and careful planning, the results can be mind-blowing. But it’s not always a choice due to tight marketing budgets. Let’s explore the nitty-gritty of the Google AdWords and Facebook Ads to find out which could be beneficial for your business.

What is Google AdWords?

First thing first, Google AdWords is a paid search. Paid search works by triggering ads based on the chosen keywords. You pay only when people click your ad and visit the website.

Google is considered a gorilla in the online marketing business. With over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide, Google is considered to be a king of the search engines.

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash


Through Google’s ad platform called Google AdWords, advertisers create text ads that appear on the search engine results pages(SERPs). There are many types of ads such as banners, video, sponsored emails, etc.

With GoogleAdwords, you choose specific keywords that you want to target for an ad. When a search engine user searches for those words in the search engine box, your ad may appear on the search engine results page(SERPs). Of course, this is an oversimplification of the entire search process. It’s not quite as simple as that!

The best thing about Google AdWords is that the traffic via Pay Per Click(PPC) knows that they are clicking on an ad than just simply browsing for information. They click on ad or advertisement because they believe this is something they need and want to buy, whether that be a product or services. It is to be understood that you don’t necessarily need thousands of visitors via browsing, rather than specific targeted traffic via Google AdWords.

How do Google Ads work?

Google Adwords has several options when it comes to creating ads, but the most popular ones are:

1.Text ads are what we’re probably used to seeing. These show up at the top and bottom of search results page(SERPs) when a search query is made. Scroll down and have another look at the pest control example below ( it’s a basic Google Adwords text ad).

2. Image ads are used to showcase your products & services on other websites that are partners with Google:

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash


3. Call-only ads are exactly what they sound like. They don’t send people to your website. They drive phone calls to your business when people click on them. If you prefer to talk to customers on the phone:

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash


4. Video ads are the most engaging ad types Google Adwords has to offer. It allow you to show videos related to your business on YouTube and other websites that partner with Google:

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash


5. Shopping ads allow you to show an ad featuring your product to people shopping online for that product or related products if you are targetting for those specific keywords:

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash

What is Facebook Ads?

Did you know that 96% of social media marketers consider Facebook the most effective social media advertising platform?

Facebook Ads have recently proven to be instrumental in driving awareness, leads, and sales for medium and large-sized businesses.

The Facebook Ads are also affordable for smaller sized businesses and gives an unbeatable reach with a user base of over billion people. The advertisers can target specific audiences on the basis of demographics and interests. It continues to become a haven for marketers.

Facebook can also be considered to be the one to think ahead of the competition. It continues to innovate its ad platform. Its new features such as messenger ads, mid-roll video ads, stories and live video add more to its platform kitty. Facebook has even shown a keen interest in Virtual Reality (VR), which was first made evident with the company’s 2014 acquisition of Oculus – a pioneer of VR technology. Virtual Reality could be the next big thing in online advertising.

How do Facebook Ads work?

Facebook has made its ad platform relatively simple. First, you need to set up a Facebook Business account. Creating Facebook ads is actually a pretty simple and straightforward process – and so is the account setup.

There are different types of ads that you can choose to run on Facebook:

1.Mobile News Feed Ads


Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash

2. Desktop News Feed on page


Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash

3. Right Column Ads. They are quite popular with the audiences


Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash

4. Instagram integrated to your facebook page. You can run ads on Instagram through your Facebook Business account


Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash

5. Audience Network. Adverts on the audience network are shown in third-party mobile apps and mobile websites

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash

Major differences between the Google AdWords & Facebook Ads

There are major differences between the Google AdWords & Facebook Ads that you need to consider before spending money on any of them. These differences may help you pick a clear winner in this battle between the two digital giants(Google AdWords Vs. Facebook Ads).

1.Intent of the Viewer

The intent of the viewers could be a major factor in choosing the ad platform. Let’s see how the intent could be different on the two platforms:

Google AdWords-HIGH INTENT

If we think from the standpoint of a searcher- a searcher either come for information or purchase of a product/service on a search engine. And with Google Adwords, we are able to show ads based on what searchers type into the Google search box.

For example, let’s say if somebody went on google to search for “pest control Delhi”. It is certain that the businesses who offer such a service pay to show up when people search for things like pest control delhi :

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash

This particular search can be considered as a high-intent search. 

If we think about where this person is in the buyer’s journey or their search for a solution to their problem, they’re pretty close to making a decision i.e. a purchase.

They’re likely looking for contact information, pricing, or how to start the pest control process. For a business owner that runs a pest control business in Delhi, that’s a pretty darn’ good lead.

A recent study by Wordstream even found that for high intent searches like the example above, paid ads to get 65% of all clicks. That’s a significant amount, and it’s the main reason Google Adwords is great for direct-response type businesses (think doctors, lawyers, dentists, etc.)

That’s the beauty of the high intent nature of Google Adwords.


Let’s face it, most of us go on facebook for nothing but scrolling through our newsfeed. We aren’t necessarily looking for a solution to a problem.

Apart from asking your parents or friends for recommendations, when was the last time you went on Facebook to search for pest control services? My guess – NADA.

Truth be told,

People don’t use Facebook to find service providers

They use Facebook to stalk their friends, ex’s, look at cute pictures, or check out the latest viral cat video (overrated) flooding the web.

But that doesn’t mean Facebook Ads aren’t effective…

With a bit of quality content and just the right amount of creativity, you can catch someone’s attention and get them to take action.

Urmm, if you are a fashion boutique or a local restaurant… Your target customers might respond better to pictures of your latest creation, along with a good old small discount to lure them enough to stop by.

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash

2. Options to TARGET the audiences

The first thing to understand is that the Google Adwords is a keyword-based targeting service and Facebook ads is a demographic, interest, and behavior-based targeting service.


In Google Adwords, we bid on keywords related to the particular business (much like in the pest control Delhi example above) and expect it to show up when someone searches for the keywords we’ve chosen.

It definitely takes a bit of a research and hard work to select the keywords and create buyer personas. The game with Adwords is to discover what your potential customers are searching for on search engines in relation to your products or services and bid on those keywords.

The vital questions here to ask is, what problems do you help solve? What products do you sell?Which services do you provide?

That’s keyword-based targeting on Adwords for you in its simplest form. With Adwords, you can also target location and languages:

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash


You can also target specific devices, networks, and even mobile carriers:

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash


And audience targetting:

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash

Therefore, Google Adwords targeting is favorable for businesses that serve customers looking for a solution to their immediate needs (think lawyers, dentists, professional services providers, etc.).

Google Adwords is also considered to be great for eCommerce stores because you can bid on keywords related to specific product categories, models or brand names that people are searching for to buy.


We can safely say that the Facebook’s demographic, interest and behavior targeting is very different from Adwords’ keyword-based targeting.

For starters, you can choose to show ads to your chosen demographics i.e. people based on location, age, and gender:

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash

Let’s not forget the power of Facebook’s crazy amount of data collection from each and every one of us kinda like those reality TV shows, you can choose to target people based on their likings, things they’re particularly interested in.

For example, you can see an eCommerce company trying to reach an audience that likes brands and products similar to his own:

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash

Get nutty specific and target people on a whole bunch of behavior-based criteria such as:

buying behavior

travel plans

residential profiles

online activities

job designations, etc.

To give you an idea just how micro you can get, here is an example of the targeting settings for a customer campaign or a buyer persona:

  • Location: India
  • Age: 25-45
  • Gender: Male
  • Household income: greater than $10,000
  • Living within 10-mile radius from a specific zip code

By creating such personas we can market for all kinds of companies to attract new prospects.

So, if you know a lot about your buyer personas then Facebook Ad targeting options are quite favorable because you can leverage Facebook’s data to reach them.

Therefore, Facebook’s targeting capabilities are innumerable.

3. PRICE difference to run Ads

Price is, unfortunately, always the main concern for business owners when it comes to advertising online.

Let’s try to get an idea of what a click will cost you based on your industry:

A study conducted by Hubspot found that the average cost per click across all industries on Google Adwords is $2.32 for search ads and $0.58 for display ads (data from 2016):

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash


With Facebook ads, a study by AdEspresso shows the average cost per click to be $0.27:

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads | DigiBash


As a rule of thumb, advertising on Adwords is usually more expensive than advertising on Facebook.

Also an important point—

Traffic from Adwords tends to convert at a higher rate because of the higher level of intent with keyword-based targeting (Adwords) versus demographic, interest and behavior-based targeting (Facebook)

So even if traffic from Adwords is usually more expensive, it doesn’t mean Facebook is automatically the better option due to cheaper click costs.

Still puzzling, eh?

You must be wondering, can I ever know which advertising network is better for growing my business?

The only way to know which advertising network is better for growing your business is to spend money on both and monitor your cost per acquisitionthe amount of money spent on average to acquire a new customer. After all, it’s all about the Return on Investment(ROI).

We hope this had given you a  good understanding of both advertising platforms. Choose wisely between the platforms.






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