Google Adwords vs. Facebook Ads

Bill Baraona, Founder/Videographer
27th May 2018

The two titans of online advertising, Google Adwords and Facebook Ads, stand tall for a reason: they are very powerful platforms. Other companies try to compete, but they are incremental compared to these platforms due to the reach and targeting options brought forth by these behemoths. When used the right way they can become an effective revenue stream to help bring your business to the next level. With both having their advantages and disadvantages, which platform should you use?

Before we dive into each platform, know this: Google and Facebook compete, but aren’t necessarily competitors. By this, I mean that they compete for you to purchase ads from one over the other, however, each platform has totally different uses. You can use Facebook ads for one aspect of your marketing strategy and Google for another. With that in mind, let’s go over both Google Adwords and Facebook Ads!

Google Adwords:

Google Adwords has two ad options: its search ad option and its display ad option. Simply put, when using Adwords search advertising you are targeting people who are already searching for what you sell. Your job is to show up in the right spots at the right time with the right message to make these people buy from you and not your competitor. These are the ads you see at the top and bottom of Google search result pages with the green “Ad” box.

google adword search green box

Google Adword ads show up as a search result with a green ad box.

You show up by targeting specific search phrases. For example, if you sell watches you want to show up when people are searching for types of watches as well as when they’re searching for other watch brands. This is very effective because instead of trying to pass your competitors in the organic search rankings, you can show up at the very top of Google for a few cents! I like to use Google Adwords for its search ads because you can use them to intercept already garnered interest for what you are selling by showing up when people are searching for your products or services.

Other than search ads, you can use display ads. Display ads are the ads that you see as banner images on other websites (this is not in the Google results). Display ads are great for retargeting. Retargeting is sending ads to people who have visited your site but didn’t convert.

This is highly effective because you can use retargeting ads to re-create interest in your brand after you potentially lost the sale using a different medium than the original ad. Display ads can also be used to create interest in your brand by having your ads show up on websites relating to your niche; this can drive highly qualified traffic to your website.


Facebook ad example  -Facebook

Facebook Ads:

Facebook Ads have a few advertising options: you can show up in user’s news feeds, in the right-hand column on the desktop version of Facebook, in articles using its partner network, or in Instagram user feeds. I would recommend showing up in the newsfeed of Facebook and Instagram, but it’s always a good idea to test the waters of the right-hand column and the partner network to see if your ads perform well there.

Facebook ads are hyper-targeted meaning that you can target people down to their annual income level. Ads on Facebook are used to generate interest in your brand. You can also use their retargeting ads, which I recommend. Beyond being hyper-targeted, you can appear in the newsfeeds of Facebook users which creates a seamless ad experience so your ads don’t seem too spammy or saley (although the ads do say “Sponsored” so users are aware).

Wrapping it up

Google Adwords are awesome because they display for people who already have an interest in what you’re selling. Facebook Adwords are great because you can create an interest in what you are selling to create more love for your brand. A mutual benefit of these ad platforms is that the ads are easily scalable, so once you find ads that perform well, raise your budget so you can spend more to make more. A tip to keep in mind for Google and for Facebook is that you need to constantly test ads as well as demographics/keywords. Play around with multiple audiences and set up multiple ads per audience; when doing this, use a budget of a couple of dollars per ad. If the ads aren’t performing well, end them. If ads are successful, scale them up by increasing your budget.

When deciding which platform to use, you need to determine what your goal is for your ads, not necessarily which platform is better. If you’re not using at least one of these platforms, I highly recommend you get started with one. It’s time to bring some well-deserved awareness to your brand so go venture into the world of online ads and become an advertising rockstar today!

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