Google Ads Vs Facebook Ads – Which Is Better?

facebook ads google ads Apr 19, 2024
Google Ads Vs Facebook Ads – Which One Is Better?


Which online advertising platform is the best investment, Google Ads or Facebook Ads?

This is a question we get asked every week.

Our answer: both platforms working together.

Neither Facebook Ads nor Google Ads are better, but both do differ.

Let’s take a closer look at how each of the platforms work covering off:

  1. What Google Ads and Facebook Ads
  2. What kind of ads each platform has (where they appear)
  3. Advantages of each platform
  4. The cost to run ads on each platform
  5. Top tips to use both Google Ads and Facebook Ads together (full sales funnel approach)

That way you determine the best platform to start running ads in your business.





Google Ads is an online advertising platform that lets you advertise your products or services across Google’s online properties including its search engine, YouTube, and partner network websites.

To have your ads appear on Google, you pay a fee. The process to determine this fee is known as bidding. This is the maximum a business will pay for someone to click on their ads. This is also known as the cost-per-click (CPC).

The main Search Ads appear at the top of Google Search Results Pages (SERPs) marked with the word ‘Ad’ to indicate that the content is paid and not organic (free). To appear at the top of the search results organically, you need to implement Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).



There are five types of Google Ads, let’s delve into each one in more detail.

The type of ads you choose to run on Google will depend on your audience (and where they are in the sales funnel), your goals and offer.

You can reach consumers ready to buy or book via keyword-based searches or shopping campaigns.

Video ads are a great way to target users who may never have heard of your brand whilst display ads provide a powerful way to retarget your audience.


Google Search Ads

Google Search and Shopping Ads appear when a user makes a search using a keyword in the Google search engine. Both text results appear along with featured product images in the search results.

Google Search Ads help you connect with potential customers at the exact moment they’re actively searching for related products or services. The consumer may or may not be aware of your brand but will have a relatively high purchase intent given they are using keywords to search.

Using Search campaigns, you can target users by selecting keywords to go after, as well as targeting users based on location and leveraging Google Maps.



Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping Ads showcase products in the search results displaying an image, price, and store name. They appear when a user makes a search for specific products in Google using keywords.

The beauty of shopping ads is the range of products it will display so users can compare options and pricing in an easy to see visual format within the search results itself.

Using Shopping campaigns, you can target users by selecting keywords as well as targeting users based on location and leveraging Google Maps.



Google Display Ads

Another way to reach potential customers through image-based campaigns is on Google’s Display Network.

Google Display Network (GDN) are visual ads that appear on websites, apps and other digital platforms that have partnered with Google to host their ads via a program called Adsense. Adsense allows the owners of these websites to showcase relevant ads to their visitors.

The network is a collection of more than two million websites where your ads could be shown including Google’s very own platforms like YouTube and Gmail.

Here is an example of a Display Ad on the site. Bridgerton have taken over with a competition the are running, using the header and side bars to showcase their offer.



Partner websites can choose to show Google Ads in various places across their webpages. There are some standard placements including along the top of the website (banner), sidebar and footer.

These ads are displayed based on keyword selection, interests, demographics, the type of content they’re viewing as well as retargeting (showing ads to users based on their past browsing behaviour). For example, the new lipstick you were searching yesterday appears on another site you visit today. Google Display Ads help keep you top of mind for the searcher.

Display Ads may also appear more contextual, meaning if you are reading an article about make-up routines you might see an ad for lipstick on the news website or on YouTube as the two are related.



Google Video Ads

Google’s video advertisements are ads that appear on YouTube. These ads can be played by Google before a user’s video, in the middle of the video or after it has finished.

Video ads can be displayed based on a specific viewers interest, demographics, or the type of the content they’re watching.

A lipstick brand here may target people watching beauty tutorials.

If you have a new product or niche, video ads are great for building brand awareness.


Google App Ads

Google App Ads help you get your mobile app in front of the right people, so they download it, engage more with the app or pre-register for potential new apps coming out.

With Google App Ads, you provide the text and images, and Google takes care of creating ads for its various formats. These ads may appear in search engines, Google Play Store, YouTube, and the Google Display Network.



Google Ads appear across several locations:

  • Google Search Network
  • Google Display Network
  • Google Play
  • Google Maps
  • YouTube



You can target audiences on Google Ads via:

  • Keywords
  • Audience demographics
  • Audience location
  • Content topics
  • Ad placements
  • Plus more.



If you are looking to find users that will convert e.g., buy or book, Google Ads work best. Given users are generally searching based on keywords, they’ll know exactly what they want and just need to find the right business that sells the product or service.

Comparatively, Facebook Ads are better for top-of-funnel campaigns where you’re selling something completely new or niche and you need to make an audience aware of it.




Immediate Visibility Regardless of Competition

Using Google Ads, your brand can get shown in the top positions in the search results the moment a user makes a search.

Google Ads gives you the ability to compete with top brands for relevant queries regardless of your budget.


Range of Ad Type Options

On Google Ads, there is a range of ad formats to suit various goals. From text (search) to images (display) or videos (YouTube), there is an ad format that will help you convey the exact message you need and appear where you want it to. You have multiple ways to try and sell more from the top of the funnel, right through to the bottom.



Using Google Ads, you can precisely target your dream audience using keywords, interests, geographical areas, and demographics.

The way Google determines a user’s interest is on their search history, websites visited, and the apps they use.

Given Google is a leading advertiser with billions of search queries each year (and a lot of data at their fingertips), there is plenty of opportunity for you to reach your dream audience.


Full funnel approach

Google allows you to target users at all stages of the sales funnel: those that may not know about you via video ads, those who are searching for a product or service like yours (middle-of-funnel), to those who may have visited your website or purchased off you before (remarketing middle to bottom-of-funnel).

Remarketing is done via display ads. Google displays your ads on other sites your audience visits, keeping your brand top of mind so they come back and buy or book.



Google Ads allows you to easily measure the results of campaigns you run on its platform. You can track various metrics to help you improve your campaigns performance and drive more conversions.



Google Ads typically tend to be more expensive that Facebook Ads. The cost-per-click can vary from a few dollars to $100+. Some industries like trades, lawyers and brokers tend to be more expensive given the level of competition.

Google is generally more expensive than Facebook to run ads because users can search using keywords. This makes the intent of the user to buy or book much higher because they know what they want and are actively out searching for it. The consumer just needs to be connected with the right business who sells it. Comparatively, Facebook relies primarily on demographic, interests, and behavioural targeting.

Google can also be expensive for brands with a low average order value or where the product is relatively new or niche. Limited keywords to target drive costs higher.

If your product or service is new, Facebook Ads will most likely be the better option to make users aware of your product or service.





Facebook Ads is an online advertising platform that lets you advertise products or services across Meta’s online properties including Facebook Instagram, Messenger, and partner network apps.

To have your ads appear on Facebook, you pay a fee. The pricing is based on an auction system where ads compete for impressions based on bid and performance. When you run an ad, you only get charged for the number of clicks or the number of impressions your ad received.

Ads are paid social media posts that appear with the word ‘Sponsored’ to indicate that the content is paid and not organic (free).



There are numerous types of Facebook Ads. Let’s delve into each one in more detail.

The type of ads you choose to run on Facebook will depend on your audience, goals and offer.

You can reach consumers ready to buy or book through Leads or Sales Ads whilst video and engagement ads are a way to target users who may never have heard of your brand.


Image Ads

Image Ads are a single photo, ad copy, headline, and a call-to-action.

Use image ads to promote your products, services, or programs. For example, click ‘Shop Now’ to shop our range of lipsticks.

You can create a new image ad using the Ads Manager or create one from an existing post on your Facebook Business page.


Video Ads

Video Ads are a video to promote what you offer and also include copy, a headline, and a call-to-action.

You can create a new video ad using the Ads Manager to upload a video or create ad from an existing video on your Facebook Business page.

Video Ads can quickly capture a user’s attention and keep them engaged if done right. They can also help you connect with your target audience emotionally making them perfect for sharing a message in an easy-to-understand way e.g., product demonstration via UGC content, how-to content, or behind-the-scenes footage.

Video length can range from a second to 240 minutes. This will also be determined by the placement of the advertisement too e.g. Facebook Ads Story Ads can only run for 15 seconds.



Carousel Ads

Carousel Ads allow you to share up to 10 images or videos at any one time. You audience can swipe through each of the cards. Each card with the image or video has its own headline, description, and call-to-action button.

Carousel Ads can be used to showcase your products or services, as well as the features and benefits of what you offer. For example, you could showcase a variety of products in a range or one product but demonstrate its different features.



Collection Ads

A Collection Ad is a cover image or video followed by three product images beneath in a grid format. When someone taps on a Collection Ad, it will open to an Instant Experience. An Instant Experience is a full screen landing page of products that help drive engagement and purchase intent.

Collection Ads are for ecommerce brands who have a catalogue set up.


Instant Experience Ads

Messenger Instant Experience Ads are a full-screen experience that open after someone taps your ad on a mobile device. These types of ads are perfect for visually highlighting your brand, products, or services. Instant Experience Ads easily capture a user’s attention and help tell a story about your brand.


Slideshow Ads

Slideshow Ads are a sequence of three to 10 images looped or one video. Much like a carousel, use slideshow ads to showcase your products or services or tell a story. As a video, they are much simpler to create than producing a video.


Story Ads

Story Ads are paid ads that appear in the Stories section on Facebook or Instagram. They are vertical, full-screen photos or videos that appear at the top of the apps, rather than in the newsfeed.

Story Ads are highly engaging and interactive. Be sure to use a clear and compelling narrative to keep the attention of your viewers. Also, include a call-to-action to your website or landing page to ensure continued engagement with your brand.



Lead Ads

Lead Ads provide a way to collect information about viewers so that the advertiser can further the relationship. Leads can either grow your client base or build your email list. Lead Ads generally have a call to action like 'Sign up' or 'Register'.


Messenger Ads

Messenger Ads appear in the chat part of Facebook’s Messenger App. When the user clicks on this ad, a detailed viewed of the ad will automatically open in Messenger. These types of advertisements are great for starting conversations and driving people to your online store. Be sure to include images, ad copy and a call-to-action in your Messenger Ad to help drive interaction.


Poll Ads

An ad type that is less known but extremely useful are Poll Ads. Polls Ads allow you to survey your target audience.

Ask your audience a question and give them the ability to select from two options. These polls help you gain insight from your audience on a certain topic such as your latest product or idea for a service. This information will help shape your future offers and marketing.



Facebook Ads can appear on several platforms including:

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Messenger
  • Audience Network



Facebook Ads can appear in the following placements: 

  • News Feed
  • Stories
  • Marketplace
  • Suggested Video
  • Right Column
  • Instant Articles
  • Search Results
  • Plus More



You can target audiences on Facebook Ads via:

  • Location
  • Interests
  • Behaviour
  • Demographics
  • Online and Offline Activity
  • Broad/Open Targeting (No parameters at all)



  • Awareness
  • Traffic
  • Engagement
  • Leads
  • App Promotion
  • Sales




Facebook (and Instagram Ads) work well for the entire sales funnel from gaining brand exposure and building you social media following right through to converting leads and sales.

As a business, we generally use Leads and Sales Ads 90% of the time.

A few other ways (campaign objectives) you can use Facebook Ads for include:

  • Building your brand awareness
  • Getting engagement on your Facebook or Instagram posts
  • Growing your website traffic
  • Generating more video views
  • Promoting your mobile app




Targeting and Reach

The biggest drawcard of Facebook Ads is the billions of active users across both Facebook and Instagram. Every month, users are sharing a huge amount of data with Meta about themselves including their demographics, what they’re interested in, their behaviours etc. This means you can very specifically target people using ads across the Meta platforms and find your dream audience.

Both Meta and Google have similar audiences’ sizes, both around the three billion user mark. YouTube aside, the advantage of Facebook and Instagram is that you can build an audience on these platforms, meaning users can follow or like your pages. You can then not only retarget these people in the future with ads, but you can also reach and sell to them organically which makes them very valuable in terms of future conversions.


Visual Platform

Facebook (and Instagram Ads) are extremely visual. This means you can easily target your audience using the right visuals to capture their attention, keep them engaged and encourage them to click through to your website. Select from a wide array of options like image, video, slideshows, or carousels.

We find that brands that rely on heavy visuals tend to perform better on Meta as well like apparel, beauty, or food businesses.


Full Funnel Approach (Various Campaign Objectives)

Facebook allows you to target users at all stages of the sales funnel: those that may not know about you via video ads, right through to those who may buy your products or book your service through Leads and Sales Ads. There is a campaign objective for whatever you want to achieve.



If you have a product, service, or program that you know your audience want, Meta through Facebook and Instagram Ads, creates an affordable way to scale your business.



Facebook Ads allows you to easily measure the results of campaigns you run on its platform. You can track various metrics to help you optimise your ads, improve your campaigns performance and drive more conversions.



Running ads on Facebook is generally cheaper than running Ads on Google. The purchase intent is lower across Facebook and Instagram. Users on these platforms are being interrupted mid-scroll by advertisements as opposed to actively searching using keywords on Google.

If you have a lower average order value, Facebook tends to be the better option to start as Google Ads are more expensive. It always pays to test both platforms though if you have the budget. Don’t think of it as a waste if you do as you are learning something. If one platform performs better than you could just run a retargeting campaign on the other to target users across where they visit online.

The ad costs on Facebook are driven by an auction where supply and demand determine the cost. The cost to run ads will vary depending on your business goal and the campaign objective you choose. Brand Awareness Ads (top-of-funnel) are much cheaper to run than campaigns looking to drive leads or sales.

The quality of leads on Facebook is generally lower than from Google Ads and you’ll need to do a lot more vetting but they’ll end up being much cheaper.

Facebook Ads Manager as a whole is a lot easier to use than the Google Ads Manager, making it easier for DIYers. Google Ads tried to address this issue by introducing the Performance Max campaigns where you can set up one campaign that you can push out everywhere to see success (across Search, YouTube, Display, Gmail and Maps). This campaign has helped newcomers, but overall Facebook Ads Manager is still more user friendly. In saying that, Google Ads customer and/or advertiser support is much better.



If you have the budget, it is often worthwhile running both Google Ads and Facebook Ads at the same time.

A sales funnel or buyer journey has four main stages.

The goal is to get users to progress from one stage to the next until they eventually convert: book or buy. Then you want them to continue doing business with you to increase their lifetime value. It's easier to get an existing customer to spend again with you, then acquire a new customer.

Facebook Ads and Google Ads have different strengths which means you can target the entire buyer journey by using both platforms.


Discovery Stage

The goal of this stage is to introduce your brand to new potential customers and make them aware of you.

You can use Google Ads and Facebook Ads the following ways:

Facebook Ads

  • Run Facebook Ads using open, interest or lookalike targeting so your ads reach audiences who don’t yet know you.

Google Ads

  • Run YouTube video ads to build brand awareness on Google. YouTube Ads provide a great way to introduce new people to your brand. 

You want users to take action from these ads like clicking through to your website or completing a form so that you can retarget them at the next stage of the funnel.


Consideration Stage

At the consideration stage, users are researching different options to see whether your product, service or program is something they want.

At this stage, you might want to do the following:

Facebook Ads

  • Trial new ads for users in your target audience who may not have engaged the last time around. Run a variety of ads with different creative and messaging to see what your audience responds to most.
  • Use Facebook Ads to retarget any users who interacted with your social media profiles, clicked on your links, or taken any other action on your site like subscribing to an email list. Here you can use User-Generated Content Ads or Testimonials to build trust.

Google Ads

  • Google Search and Shopping Ads will work well here. Google Search will show your brand when somebody searches you or something you sell, or if a user makes a search such as a comparison between a competitor and yourself.
  • Use Google Display Network Ads to retarget users that searched for what you offer.


Conversion Stage

At the conversion stage, your potential customer will likely buy or book with you.

Facebook Ads

  • Use Facebooks Leads or Sales Ads here to retarget warm audiences. Use free shipping, discount codes, giveaways, and irresistible offers to get users across the line.

Google Ads

  • Here you want to retarget users across Google’s Display Network. Display Ads also work well here to remind users that you exist when they may be searching for something else. You don’t want them to see your competitors’ ads instead. 
  • You can also use branded Google Search Ads so that if someone searchers your brand or website, you show up first. Often competitors target your brand name, so they appear first if someone searchers you.


Engagement and Retention

Once a user becomes a customer, you want their journey to continue with you so that their lifetime value increases.

Continue to advertise recent purchases if it’s something a user will need to re-stock or book again, as well as new products or other related products through cross-selling.

As you can see Facebook Ads and Google Ads are two completely separate beasts. When used together, they provide a strong full funnel approach that will help you convert more and more customers.



Whether you operate business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C), you can use both advertising platforms to build brand awareness, online engagement, website visits, lead generation, online sales or app installs, plus so much more.

The platform you choose will depend on what you sell, who you're targeting, and your business goals and may require some trial and error.

There is no hard and fast rule about which platform to choose. Remember: the platforms work even better together if you have the time to invest or the budget.



Want to find out if your business is ready for Facebook Ads before you spent a cent? Download our free checklist, curated for you to quickly determine if your brand is ready to invest in Facebook Ads.



Google Ads expert Kaity Griffin is opening the doors to her Profitable Pillars program shortly but only to her waitlist. Learn more about the program and join the waitlist here.

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