Deciding between Google and FB ads

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With the proliferation of internet and its subsequent advancement, there has been a tectonic shift in the consumers’ consumption patterns.

Media consumption as well as purchase behaviour has altered to include the internet as one of the primary means of consumption. This trend has been further aided by faster and affordable internet telephony and cheaper smart phones.

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As customers move from the offline medium to the online medium for work, entertainment and other utilitarian tasks, marketers find it necessary to include online advertising in their brand’s marketing mix. Google Ads and Facebook ads are popular online advertising services where advertisers pay to display their product listings, services, video content etc to potential customers.

Deciding Between the Two Platforms

Understanding how to leverage the two online advertising services has become a staple part of any brand’s online advertising strategy. Since long, the two companies have stood in a long-term rivalry making it appear that the two platforms stand on the opposite ends.

This has lead to businesses often evaluating which platform is right for their needs. However, businesses can actually leverage the strengths of both the platforms to achieve high visibility, more leads and an increase in sales. However, to decide which platform is apt for which marketing need, one needs to know the major differences between the two platforms –

Google Ads Model vs Facebook Model

Google Ads is a PPC (Pay-per-click) advertising platform, better known as a paid search platform. The user enters a keyword into the Google search engine and is presented with relevant results. Text based ads are displayed to users and when the user clicks those ads, the advertiser gets charged. As the right keyword can help advertisers garner maximum visibility, there is bidding for the keywords by advertisers who want them for their display ads.

An example of Google Ads

Facebook ads are on the other hand, a ‘paid social’ platform or advertising on a social network. Facebook is a highly active platform with the highest number of monthly active users on a social platform. Paid social does not work on keywords unlike paid search. It targets users with advertising on the basis of their interests and their online behaviour.

The Key Factors to Consider While Choosing a Platform

The benefits and challenges of both the platforms should be compared to conclude which one is more relevant to a business’ marketing needs.


Google offers an unprecedented reach with 3.5 billion search queries every day. FB has more than 2 billion of the world’s population as its user base. Both platforms hence offer a wide reach to advertisers looking to tap into online traffic.


Google’s Search network allows marketers to reach out to users who are actively looking for their product or a related product. It provides accurate targeting to advertisers who have the attention of a user already in the ‘intent to purchase’ stage.

Google’s Display network spans 98% of the world wide web and is a great tool for brand awareness through ad placement. Also, Google is working on its proprietary artificial intelligence and machine learning technology RankBrain for more accurate search results. More accurate results automatically mean higher conversions for the advertisers.

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Facebook in comparison does not provide the platform where customers necessarily come with an ‘intent to purchase’.

Flexibility to Target Customers

Unlike Google, Facebook’s diverse base can cater to a variety of advertiser goals. It allows far more precision in terms of user behaviour, demographics and preferences. Marketers can go as far targeting users according to their life events such as a bridal store offering its services when a user announces her engagement.

An example of Facebook Segmentation


Cost Benefit Analysis

For Google Ads, the fact that some keywords cost more than others especially in the insurance industry, might make it costly for some brands. According to Google, advertisers on their platform make $2 for every $1 spent. That means doubling the investment for an advertiser. However, at $0.25 per 1000 impressions, Facebook offers the lowest cost per 1000 impressions in advertising history. For Google, this figure stands at $2.75 per 1000 impressions.

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Both services provide a wide audience base for a marketer to access. While on Facebook, advertisers can benefit from low costs and sharp segmentation, Google provides a high search intent leading to higher conversions. Each of them offers a diversity and good ad placement to bring in new customers. For a business, the right platform is the one that suits the product and campaign needs. Many times, a brand can and often does use a combination of both the platform for optimum results.

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