Social Media Advertising

Facebook or Google ads? Which is best for your business?

There’s no hiding the fact that both Google Ads and Facebook Ads are the giants of the tech world and, when it comes to advertising online, they can’t be beaten for audience insight, reach, or results. But how do you know which one is best for your business?

In this blog, I’ll explain the difference between Facebook ads and Google ads, so that you can decide where to invest your hard-earned cash.

How Facebook Ads Work

Each time you scroll through your Facebook feed, comment on a photo, watch a video, join a group, read an article or like a post, Facebook is collecting data on your activity.

It’s also gathering info on you from around the web. This is done via something called a Facebook pixel – a piece of code website owners put on their websites for free.

Ever noticed how you suddenly see an ad for a new sofa, straight after you’d been looking at furniture sites? That’s why.

This is called profile targeting.

By collecting all this data about the things you like, Facebook can create a comprehensive picture of your interests and online activity and show it to advertisers. ‘Looking for people to buy your sofa? Who are also regular ad clickers? Here, try this person.’

When an advertiser decides to run Facebook and Instagram Ads, they can select specific targeting of both potential customers Interests and online behaviours to maximise their sales or leads.

As well as targeting that cold audience, who have never heard of your business before, you can also start to re-target your warm leads – whether that Is via your website pixel, your existing database, or your social media community.

How Google Ads Work

Google ads work differently. They target a customer’s immediate intent – their behaviour in that moment.

This is called behaviour targeting.

When you search for something on Google, you are often expressing a desire to buy a product there and then.

For example, if you type ‘blue sideboard’ into Google, there’s no doubting what you’re after. As a result, the first thing you will see are ads for blue sideboards. Similarly, for lead gen businesses, if you are looking for “drain cleaning company” you want to get someone booked In.

While it’s possible to layer some profile targeting on top of Google’s behavioural targeting – say, excluding people by age or gender – the user still has to express an intent in the first place.

Google Ads also has a lot to do with your Industry and the area you are wanting to target, If you are a local company targeting your local area, your cost-per-click may not be so high, If you are a product based business that wants to target Nationally, or even, Internationally – Its worth researching what you’re average Industry cost-per-click may be before you commit to running a campaign.

According to hubspot, the top 3 most expensive Industries (as of May, 2020) Is:

  • Legal
  • Medical
  • Marketing & Advertising

The Pros & Cons


Users are ready to buy

Fresh audiences are being created every day

Can re-target warm audiences

Can’t ‘backdate’ and target people who searched last month

Audiences might be smaller – you have to wait for new people to search


Can target broader audiences 

Can target people who are a good fit for your brand

Can re-target warm audiences

An interest does not mean someone is ready to buy

✖️ Changes to how Facebook will soon be able to collect data may limit targeting opportunities

Is Google Ads or Facebook Ads Better For Your Business?

The truth is, both Facebook and Google provide super-targeted advertising opportunities for small businesses.

Overall, It Is worth noting that while Google Ads may work for one company, Facebook Ads may work better for another and I would have a think about who your audience are, what your product and/or service Is and whether people need to be “In the market” to buy or whether It could easily be a spontaneous purchase or enquiry.

After 12 years of working with both Facebook Ads and Google Ads, I have had the opportunity to work with pretty much all industries on their social media marketing, so I already have a good understanding of what I know what works well on Facebook Ads, and what works well on Google Ads.

But, of course, there’s no need to remain loyal to one or the other.

Either can work brilliantly on their own or they can complement each other when used at the same time.

The best advice? Try both and see which works best for you.

If you’d like to find out more about using Facebook & Instagram Ads or Google Ads for your business, contact me here and I’ll be in touch to arrange a chat.