Both Google Ads and Facebook Ads offer excellent results for business owners who want to increase their online presence, but these two platforms operate in very different ways. Making the right choice when it comes to creating an ad campaign can be difficult, so read on to find out about the key differences between them to decide which one to use to promote products and services.

Paid Search vs. Paid Social

A successful Google Ads campaign will increase visibility by ensuring the company’s products or services show up on the first page of related search results. Other platforms, like Bing, also have paid search programs, but Google is indisputably the most popular search platform, so most business owners find that it provides a better return on investments. Paid searches focus on targeting keywords using text-based ads. Google allows business owners to bid on keywords and then pay for the ads on a pay-per-click basis.

With Facebook Ads, users are paying for increased social exposure. Instead of bidding on keywords, business owners define their target audiences based on demographic information and user behaviours. In other words, while Google Ads help business owners find customers, Facebook Ads help customers find products and services.

Audience Size

Both Google and Facebook are incredibly popular websites. Facebook reports 1.45 billion daily active users, and Google reports 3.50 billion searches per day. Both platforms offer business owners who can afford to invest in online advertising excellent platforms for reaching new customers or making their products and services easier to find.

Audience Targeting

The primary way that business owners target potential customers using Google Ads is by bidding on relevant keywords. However, they can also target audiences based on location, limited demographic information, device use, and whether they have visited the website in the past.

Facebook offers more selective targeting. As with Google, business owners who want to take out Facebook Ads can target audiences based on location, device use, and demographics, but they can be much more selective about who sees the ads. Business owners can also define audiences based on users’ specific interests and liked pages, online purchase behaviour, lookalike audiences, and other online activities.

Where the Ads Show Up

Google Ads are a little more versatile than Facebook Ads when it comes to where they can be placed. The most obvious place for Google Ads is at the top of the search results, but they can also be placed in Google Play, Google Maps, or Google Display Network. Since Google also owns Youtube, this popular online video platform offers yet another great location for ad placement.

Facebook Ads also show up in different places. The most obvious of them is the Facebook News Feed. However, business owners can also place ads on Facebook Messenger and Facebook’s affiliate company Instagram, or they can use the platform’s Audience Network.

What They’re Best For

It should be clear by now that both Google Ads and Facebook Ads can be very useful. Google Ads are better for generating immediate leads and targeting audiences with high buying intent. Facebook Ads are best for building brand awareness and growing audiences.

The Bottom Line

Most successful companies advertise on both Google and Facebook. Business owners who aren’t sure how to invest their marketing budgets should consult an expert for advice before embarking on a new online advertising campaign.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].