Google Ads or Facebook Ads: What’s Better for Your Business?
Chad Kodary
Feb 27th, 2021 at 11:00 AM

Google Ads or Facebook Ads: What’s Better for Your Business?

An important question that many business owners ask is which platform should I put my budget into — Facebook or Google?

If you have a local business such as a roofing company, people will need it only if their roof is damaged. However, if a roof is damaged, a client will not go to Instagram or Facebook to find a roofing contractor. They’d go to Google and look for a roof repair service near them. 

In this scenario, your company will be better off running ads on Google. On the flip side, on Facebook, products based on impulse buying are more effective. In this article, we will discuss the strengths and features of both these ad platforms.

Google Ads VS. Facebook Ads

You might have seen both Google Ads and Facebook Ads, but they work differently. Both platforms operate on a pay-per-click basis where you have to place the bid to show your ads in their ad spaces. The mobile advertising revenue on Facebook makes up approximately 90% + of their total advertising revenue; so, you shouldn’t shy away from mobile targeting.

Paid Search VS. Paid Social

You can’t say which is better out of these two as their ad mechanism is quite different.

The right question to ask should be:

  1. Which one better fits my budget?
  2. Which one is more suitable for the product type that I’m offering?
  3. Which stage of the buyer’s journey I’m planning the ad campaign for?

Let’s have a look at it with respect to your situation.

Paid Search vs. Paid Social

Customer Acquisition Cost and Advertising Budget

Success in digital advertising depends on how good you are with numbers. The failure to estimate how much you can afford to pay to win a customer may result in wasting money and directionless campaigns.

While doing the math, don’t focus on a lead or conversion individually, as it might not work well. Pumping money into retargeting and using the leftover funds for the final stages in the funnel will help you get the best returns possible.

Google Keyword Planner can help you predict likely costs. Some of the industries and niches are extremely expensive and have a high cost per click that might influence your ad budget.

The cost per action in the technology industry is the highest. If you have an ad budget of $100 per day and your average cost per click is $20, you can afford just 5-6 clicks a day. Insurance is one of the most expensive keywords on Google, with a cost per click of $54.9.

Average Cost Per Action (CPA)Source:

It would help if you had thousands of impressions to know what ads and keywords yield the best results.

If you have a shoestring budget and are struggling with costly clicks, you can still use Google Ads. However, it would help if you changed your expectations from both the channels as Facebook can be a more feasible and effective alternative with laser-sharp targeting capabilities.

One more effective way to use Google Ads is to show ads to only your website visitors.

Set Your Objective

Once you have determined your budget and identified your competition, you should consider what your expectations are from your campaigns.

Campaign Selection in Google Ads Account

If you are not that much focused on closing sales, Facebook ads can boost your brand awareness and demand generation. It will also be an affordable option comparatively.

If you already have some degree of brand awareness and want to capture demand and generate sales, Google Ads would be a better alternative because they are intent-based.

Google search is entirely intent-based, and in this scenario, you can target more users coming with a higher intent to purchase.

As an informed marketer, you will evaluate your options to choose your ad platform. It is a well-known fact that Facebook Ads offer less cost-per-conversion. Quality is also crucial in this game and you will have to accept the cost for a qualified lead that is easy to convert. Google Ads has a high cost per conversion.

Keep measuring your results and tweaking your campaigns to achieve your ultimate objectives.

Stage in Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey stage is an essential factor that decides which advertising channel to use for the best results. Since both the platforms have different features, they can be a great fit at other times in the buyer’s journey.

Since people use Google search with a high level of buying intent, Google Ads is the best channel to leverage to capture users for conversion.

Since people use Facebook more casually, you can use it to generate initial awareness and initiate conversations with people, especially when they have a current or a new need for your product or service.

Both these channels can be used judiciously and selectively as part of your digital marketing strategy.

Product Maturity and Search Volume

If you have launched a startup or a new product or service, it may not have any search volume. In that scenario, Google Ads will not help you bring traffic and achieve other goals.

With the exploding E-commerce industry, the term “dropshipping” did not even exist a few years ago, and no one searched for it. With many E-commerce companies disrupting the industry, it became a popular search term.

It wasn’t a pain-point user look for, but people started using it as a search term when it became a popular business.

Sometimes, the product you are selling is not related to a keyword directly, but some pain points can be positioned. The keywords related to those pain points can generate volumes of traffic compared to the technical name given to the product.

For all such products that offer an innovative solution to a problem but people don’t search for, Facebook Ads is a great place to start an awareness campaign. We can’t target the audiences based on user intent on Facebook, but we can do so by targeting them based on their demographics and interest.

Demographics Sensitive Products or Services

If your product or service is related to a specific life event, Facebook is the right platform for you. Facebook can also target people based on life-changing events, and we can leverage that as marketers.

Even Google allows demographic targeting, but it won’t help you much if people do not search for it. However, the targeting mechanism of Facebook enables you to target people based on specific life situations.

For example, Facebook allows detailed targeting with life events such as new parents, newlyweds, and newly engaged people with further segmentation based on the time elapsed after this life event.

Brand Recognition

Startups are less successful in search compared to a well-established company, even after working hard on building brand awareness. A competitor with more brand recognition compared to yours may win this game. They might get a higher click-through rate (CTR). You can leverage Facebook Ads to increase your brand reputation and recognition before you decide to move to Google Ads to capitalize on an intent-based search. 

The Conclusion

There is no one-size-fits-all solution that you can use when choosing from Google Ads and Facebook Ads. However, you can take the following steps to win this game.

  1. Determine how much you can pay for a conversion.
  2. Choose Google as your advertising partner if your industry operates in a search-heavy environment.
  3. Perform keyword research to check the CPC ranges you are targeting in Google Ads.
  4. Evaluate your estimated budget in different scenarios. 
  5. Continue testing until you find the right mix.
Trusted by thousands of businesses worldwide