Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads: Battle Of The Ad Titans

Google AdWords and Facebook ads dominate the online advertising space.

If you want to reach customers, then Google’s search network or Facebook’s news feeds are the places to be.

Facebook currently has two billion monthly active users, making it a hotbed for user activity. 

AdWords reaches billions of people each and every day.

Both of these networks excel when it comes to delivering results.

So, when it comes to Facebook ads vs Google AdWords, which platform is better?

Which one is right for your business? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out.

Here’s how to make the right choice for your business.

What Is Google AdWords?

Before we go on, what is Google AdWords?

Google is the world’s largest search engine. Bing and those other ones are a distant second, third, and fourth.

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According to Business Insider, there are now 2.3 million Google searches per minute.

Google AdWords is a great place to advertise if you’re looking to tap into that enormous search traffic.

On Google AdWords, there are a few common ways to advertise and get your brand in front of new users:

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These are some of the most common types of advertising on Google AdWords.

There are other options, of course. But these will generally be your go-to ad formats with AdWords.

Now that you have a handle on the basics of advertising, let me explain who this platform is going to work for:

Almost everyone.

I know – that was super anti-climactic.

According to Google, advertisers on their platform make $2 for every $1 spent.

That means that doubling your investment on their platform is commonplace.

If you sell products online (e-commerce), you can easily take advantage of Google shopping ads.

If you are a locally-based company looking to get more sales, you can create location-based campaigns on the search network or even on Google Maps.

Looking to land more clients for your law firm or SEO agency? Search network ads based on specific keywords are among the highest converting, anywhere.

Google AdWords excels when it comes to driving traffic with the intent to convert.

For example, when someone searches for a keyword like “plumber near me,” they’re most likely going to call the first few plumbers they find.

You know from simply reading that keyword that they are looking to solve problems fast.

And that’s the main difference from Facebook ads.

Facebook Ads: A Quick Recap  

Why do people use Facebook? 

Are they looking to search a keyword and solve a problem? Do they need a plumber? Obviously not.

Facebook is a social network. Which means most (sane) people aren’t going there to find plumbers. Or sign up for services. Or buy products.

The intent to purchase isn’t as high as AdWords.

But that doesn’t mean it’s waste of ad spend, either.

Facebook has more than two billion monthly active users. You can find almost any target or niche market on the platform.

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And with such a diverse and large user base, you have a great shot at finding success.

Facebook ads often come in the form of news feed style ads that integrate directly into your Facebook feed:

You can currently advertise on mobile, desktop, Instagram, and even through Facebook Messenger.

On Facebook, you can cater to a variety of different goals for your advertising:

Want to drive brand awareness and likes on your business page? You can easily do that.

Need to get more leads? They’ve got powerful lead generation ads.

Want more traffic to your blog posts or engagement on your site? Check.

Need to drive more sales and store visits? Check.

The options are just as diverse, if not more diverse than what Google AdWords has to offer.

But remember: the intent is different.

Facebook also excels when it comes to targeting audiences for your advertisements.

They have “Custom Audiences” that allow you to target users by diverse demographics including job title, seniority, income level, and even things like hobbies or favorite TV shows.

You can get extremely specific with custom audience targeting.

Now, let me address the burning question that you still have lingering in the back of your mind:

Is Facebook advertising right for my business?

Here’s the answer:

More than likely, yes it is.

Here’s why.

Just about everyone and anyone you know are on Facebook. Meaning B2B and B2C companies and their employees are all using it.

Anyone from your local diner to a major tech company is going to be on Facebook.

On top of that, the minimum ad spend is $1 per day, and they have the lowest cost per 1,000 impressions in advertising history.

In fact, it averages around $0.25 per 1,000 impressions.

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That means that spending only a dollar each day on the platform can get you in front of 4,000 new people that might have otherwise not heard of your business.

You could spend as little as $30 monthly and still get thousands upon thousands of impressions for your business.

Additionally, you can complement your Facebook campaigns with other social media strategies, such as using organic outreach on social to create a custom audience using automated engagement tools like Socedo.

For example, you can set up a targeted list, create an automated engagement flow that sends prospects to a landing page and use any collected emails to create a highly-targeted custom audience.

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So… should you?

Should you invest money in Facebook ads to take advantage of lower costs and excellent demographic targeting?

Or should you funnel your cash into Google AdWords to take advantage of strong search intent that leads to higher conversions?

Or… should you do both?

Google AdWords vs Facebook Ads: Do You Have To Choose?

So. Google AdWords vs Facebook Ads. Two very different advertising platforms, with different benefits.

Google AdWords and Facebook ads are both exceptional places to advertise your business.

They’re relatively cheap (depending on your industry). And each has billions of users with diverse audience targeting options.

So what’s the deal?

Is one better than the other?

Obviously, the answer is highly dependent on your unique scenario. However…

What is your end goal?

What are you looking to get out of this?

If your answer is sales, leads, consultations, or anything of that nature — both platforms will be perfect for that.

If your answer was brand awareness or social following, Facebook is the place to be.

If you want to sell products or just about any other category, both platforms can do the trick.

If you need to make a decision right this second, click here and go to our handy infographic that compares both platforms.

Or keep on reading and discover a few ways to maximize your results on both platforms today.

How To Use Google AdWords

Start with the Search Network.

The search network on Google AdWords is the most popular place to advertise to see results quickly.

With display ads, you need great images or video-based content, whereas the search network only requires written ads.

On top of that, the average click-through rate for display ads across all formats & placements in the USA is only 0.08%.

So, the search network is the best place to start.

To get started on the search network, you need to locate keywords for your business. Learn about the Google keyword tool, and then head over to the keyword planner to get started.

First, enter your product or service, your typical landing page, and the product category.

This will allow AdWords to instantly give you some ideas of keywords to target without you having to come up with them yourself.

If your business is locally based, you can select locations to target.

Next, hit “Get ideas” to pull up tons of suggestions:

Let me break down some of the data to give you a better idea of what you’ll be analyzing:

The competition metric is simply a basic look at how many advertisers are trying to compete for this keyword.

The higher the competition, the more businesses are bidding on it.

Suggest bid is how much typical advertisers are paying for each click.

With these numbers, you can begin to get an idea of how much your campaigns will cost and which keywords are going to be right for your business.

How To Advertise On Facebook — Fast

As you read before, Facebook advertising has some seriously powerful targeting options.

Except, that’s also kind of the problem. There are TONS of options for different campaigns.

So here are a few easy places to start.

One of the best ways to get started on Facebook is to use a lookalike audience.

The lookalike audience is Facebook’s way of replicating your current customers to your business to give you the best bang for your buck.

It can also take existing emails from your customers and matches those emails to Facebook profiles.

Once it does that, Facebook looks for other users with similar attributes to target.

Meaning you get a new audience of people who are exactly like your existing customers.

Plus, it only takes a minute to set up, and you can integrate it with MailChimp.

Head to Facebook and create a Business Manager Account if you don’t have one set up already. Next, locate the Audiences section.

From here, create a new lookalike audience:

Create your lookalike audience based on a customer file:

Now, you can upload a file of your customer information or import it directly from MailChimp:

Once you’ve done this, be sure to select 1% as your audience size:

1% audience sizes will generate a much lower cost as the audience is more specific and targeted.

Now hit “Create Audience,” and you’re ready to create fantastic images to get the ball rolling.

Images are responsible for anywhere between 75-90% of an ad’s performance on Facebook.

When done correctly, you literally don’t even need words.

Try using a platform like Canva to create high-quality images for Facebook Ads.

Canva has a “Facebook Ad” template that you can use to create ads in the right size for Facebook. They even have image templates to browse through and quickly spin up a few options to start with.

If you need some inspiration, head to the Ads Gallery here on AdEspresso to see what images and creative have worked for advertisers on Facebook!


When it comes to Google AdWords vs. Facebook ads, it doesn’t have to be a competition or a choice. You can use both.

Google AdWords and Facebook Ads have unique benefits for almost any type of business.

Each of them has diverse targeting options and great ad placements that can help you bring in new customers.

If your goal is to only generate brand awareness and more social media traffic, Facebook is the place to be.

If you want to get more leads, sales, or conversions, then both platforms will do the trick.

Or better yet, use them together so that each can rely on its own strength.

Build awareness and nurture leads with Facebook. Then, close the deal on AdWords when people start searching for solutions.

It’s not an either/or question. It’s both at the same time.

Here you are, the decision is up to you now. And to make things easier for you, we created this infographic that summarizes what the two platforms have to offer.

You can use it as a reference anytime you feel like Prince Hamlet of social media advertising!