Google Ads vs Facebook Ads: Which will generate a better ROI?

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facebook ads vs google ads

As digital marketing experts, we’ve been asked this question by dozens of clients. “So Google Ads vs Facebook Ads, which is better for my business? And almost every time we have a similar response – it depends! Both are great, and yes one can be better than the other depending on your business, your audience, and your goals.
Although advertising on Facebook can be thought of as similar to AdWords, in that advertisers using both platforms are essentially promoting their business via the Internet, this is where the similarities end. Unlike paid search, which helps businesses find new customers via keywords, paid social helps users find businesses based on the things they’re interested in and the ways in which they behave online.

Google AdWords is the world’s largest and most popular per pay click advertising platform. AdWords is so widely used, it has become synonymous with the term “paid search.” The two terms are used interchangeably. Facebook ads are the worlds largest and most popular paid social advertising platform. Simply put,
AdWords helps you find new customers, while Facebook helps new customers find you.

Why you should advertise online in the first place

  • Builds brand awareness
  • Helps increase the spread of information
  • Affects buyer behavior
  • Provides reminders to curious buyers
  • Uses repetition to improve sales
  • Provides multiple purchase pathways

And those are just the beginning.

The strengths and advantages of google ads

Google Ads is an online advertising platform developed by Google, where advertisers pay to display brief advertisements, service offerings, product listings, video content and generate mobile application installs within the Google ad network to web users.
Formerly known as Google AdWords, Google Ads has become one of the world’s largest and most popular PPC platforms.

Meaning advertisers on this platform only pay when a user clicks on their ad. Other search engines use similar techniques for their advertising platforms as well. But Google is so commonly used by consumers and advertisers alike the term paid search is most famously associated with Google Ad As the world’s most popular and widely used search engine, Google is considered the de facto leader in online advertising. Fielding more than 3.5 billion search queries every single day, Google offers advertisers access to an unprecedented and unequaled potential audience of users who are actively looking for goods and services.

google ads vs facebook ads
search engine

Google’s advertising offerings are split across two primary networks – the Search network, and the Display network. The Search network encompasses the entirety of Google as a search engine, and advertisers can bid on millions of keywords and phrases to target prospective customers. The Google Display Network, which offers advertisers more visual ads such as banners, spans approximately 98% of the World Wide Web, making it a great choice for advertisers who want to accomplish marketing goals that aren’t necessarily as conversion-driven as those of PPC ads, such as raising brand awareness.

google ads

Although PPC ads in AdWords remain text-based, advertisers can take advantage of an incredible number of features to make their ads more compelling and enticing to prospective customers. Ad extensions, sitelinks, social proofing such as user reviews, location targeting, Shopping ads, and a host of other features are available to advertisers, offering an unparalleled level of customization and control to advertisers.

Google has even introduced ad formats tailored to the unique needs of specific types of businesses, such as vehicle manufacturers and hotels, which go far beyond the typical text-based ad experience and incorporate rich visual elements such as high-resolution images and interactive map data.

Image result for google search and display ads
Image result for google search and display ads
google ads vs facebook ads

No matter what you sell or to whom, the chances are good that there’s an ad format or feature that will make your goods or services more appealing to your target market. Google is continually implementing new ad formats and features, further empowering advertisers to reach new audiences and drive new business.

Simply put, Google Ads excels when it comes to driving traffic with the intent to convert. For example, when someone searches for a keyword or phrase like “digital marketing firms in Lagos,” they’re most likely going to call the first few digital marketers they find. You know from simply reading that keyword that they are looking to solve problems fast.

The strengths and advantages of Facebook ads

If Google Ads are popularly referred to as paid search, then Facebook Ads most definitely have been given the title of paid social. Changing consumer behaviors and patterns have undeniably given rise to social media giants that let consumers connect with their friends, voice concerns about their experiences, and engage with topics and businesses they like. Why do people use Facebook? Are they looking to search a keyword and solve a problem? Obviously not.

Facebook is a social network. Which means most people aren’t going there to find plumbers. Or sign up for services. Or buy products. The intent to purchase isn’t as high as Google Ads but that doesn’t mean it’s a waste of ad spend, either. Facebook has more than two markets on the platform.
From an advertiser’s point of view, the Google Ad platform lets them create campaigns that will only appear when users search a keyword that they want to advertise for. For an even more targeted approach, local businesses can target people searching for their keywords in a specific geographic region. 

Google Ads and Facebook ads are both exceptional places to advertise your business.
They’re relatively cheap (depending on your industry). And each has billions of users with diverse audience targeting options. Is one better than the other? The answer is highly dependent on your unique scenario. However, What is your end goal? If your answer is sales, leads, consultations, or anything of that nature — both platforms will be perfect for that. However, if your answer was brand awareness or social following, Facebook is the place to be. If you want to sell products or just about any other category, both platforms can do the trick.

Harnessing the power of both paid search and paid social is a remarkably effective advertising strategy. However, it necessitates a dual advertising strategy that aligns with the strengths of each respective platform. Although marketing messaging can – and arguably should – remain consistent across both Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, it’s vital to understand how best to use each platform for maximum ROI and greater business growth.

Just as Google is constantly experimenting with the formatting of its text-based PPC ads, Facebook constantly evaluates how it can offer advertisers a superior marketing platform and users a satisfying, rewarding online experience. In the past, Facebook mandated that ads on its platform featured text that occupied no more than 20% of the total advertising area, a restriction it has since relaxed. However, despite this considerable change to its advertising governance, Facebook remains an inherently visual platform – a major selling point to many advertisers.

Strategies to Use Facebook and Google Ads Together

google ads vs facebook ads
google ads vs facebook ads

Paid search is one of the best ways to reach new audiences and re-engage with older leads. Google Ads and Facebook Ads have unique benefits for almost any type of business. Each of them has diverse targeting options and great ad placements that can help you bring in new customers. If your goal is to only generate brand awareness and more social media traffic, Facebook is the place to be.

  • If you want to get more leads, sales, or conversions, then both platforms will do the trick. Or better still, use them together so that each can rely on its own strength.
  • Find creative ways to mix both ads to build them into a paid search dream team.
  • Build awareness and nurture leads with Facebook. Then, close the deal on Google Ads when people start searching for solutions.

It’s not an either/or question. It’s both at the same time. so basically,

Build Your Brand With Facebook, Close with Google

As we’ve seen so far, Facebook ads are a phenomenal way to build brand awareness and put your product in front of new audiences. A campaign that’s targeted correctly will help you warm up a cold audience, and eventually, those users are going to start searching for your brand on Google. In fact, studies have shown that Facebook Ads lead to a significant uptick in branded Google searches almost immediately after a user sees your ad:

Target Your Facebook Audience With Google Ads Data

If you’re using Facebook Ads, you’ve probably set up Pixels to help you track user behavior and collect more data. But that’s not the only way to broaden your horizons when it comes to user data. There are quite a few useful Google Ads data points that you can bring over to improve targeting on your Facebook ads:

  • Gender
  • Household income
  • Time of engagement
  • Retargeting audiences

Each of the above points (and many more) can help you fine-tune your ads and put your brand on a potential customer’s radar. With better targeting, you’ll get more out of your ad budget in the long run.

Find Similar Audiences on Facebook to Boost Both Platforms

And if you’re curious, you can indeed implement the reverse idea and use Facebook data to help hone in on your Google audience. Here’s what to look for in the opposite direction then.


Google ads vs Facebook ads is clearly one that requires a lot of testing with many different variables. We also understand that the answer is not always as simple as the one we discussed today. The choice depends on various factors like your business objectives, your business type or your customer audience. All have an equal role to play in the success of a campaign and the ROI achieved. The choice may not always be clear. But we frequently recommend business owners to look beyond ROI and consider judging campaigns based on the total value they bring to your business – even in the case of Google Ads vs Facebook Ads. Value can be anything from building brand awareness to reaching potential customers or getting more leads, conversions, and purchases.

We want to wrap it up and leave you with the following thought:

Google Ads will help you find new customers right away and in the process, give you an instant ROI. While Facebook Ads will help new customers find and explore you. And this way gives you a better ROI in the long run.

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saefhenry osas

About saefhenry osas

Saefhenry Osas is a digital marketing expert. When she's not too busy coming up with content ideas and promoting brands, you can find her at the movies, by the beach, a good restaurant or spending time with loved one's Yea!

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