Google Ads vs Facebook Ads: what to choose for your business

Google Ads vs Facebook Ads, what to choose? This is probably the question you are asking yourself if you want to start advertising online to promote your business.

You are looking for new customers and want to increase sales, so you consider it appropriate to include at least one paid advertising campaign in your communication strategy.

And at this point, the decision can only fall on them. Google Ads and Facebook Ads are indeed the two giants of online advertising, two platforms capable of attracting a vast number of users to your brand and improving conversion chances like no other. 

However, even in digital marketing, advertising has a cost, and it often happens that you are forced to choose what to use for your advertising campaigns.

Is it better to invest in the world’s most used social media or on the web, particularly in the results of the most important search engine?

To help you, in this article, I will explain:

  • Google Ads vs Facebook, what to choose to grow?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of both platforms?
  • What is the best decision for your business?

Once you have decided what to choose between Google Ads and Facebook, a certification in Inbound Marketing Manager, Social Media Marketing, and Facebook Ads Course will allow you to learn how to use these tools to their fullest potential for your business.

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Before asking yourself what to choose between Google Ads and Facebook, it will probably be useful for you to understand what these two platforms are and what they are for.

They represent the two main paid advertising programs. Their task is to collect and manage all the campaigns published by advertisers, to show your ads to a specific target audience.

These ads, in the form of “advertisement” or “sponsored,” are visible in a format very similar to other organic elements on the page, so they are not disturbing to the audience.

The goal of such a marketing strategy is to attract a potential customer, who most likely does not know your brand or has never made a purchase, without interrupting them during navigation.

Why, instead of investing in traditional advertising, is it worth considering what to choose between Google Ads or Facebook Ads?

Because like other performance marketing tools:

  • They generate results, not just visibility;
  • They are easily measurable, giving you an idea of the campaign’s performance and the user’s journey toward a potential purchase;
  • They have a flexible cost, which varies based on the results obtained.

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Based on the differences between Google Ads and Facebook Ads, what should you choose?

The two online advertising platforms, despite performing the same functions, operate in two completely different fields:

  • Google Ads primarily works on the search engine, displaying the ad based on keywords related to the product or service you are selling. Therefore, the ad is shown to an audience actively seeking to fulfill a need or solve a problem.
  • Facebook Ads operates based on user interests, analyzed and segmented by an algorithm based on their actions on the social network. Thus, your ad campaign is shown to a target with characteristics related to your buyer persona.

For this reason, if you focus on what to choose between Google Ads and Facebook, you make a mistake, as the former is a tool that operates in paid search, while the latter is in the realm of social media marketing.

Two different worlds that can, however, coexist. Another substantial difference that can be inferred is how the ad reaches the potential customer:

  • On Google Ads, it’s called pull advertising, as it reaches users who are actively performing explicit search actions at that moment.
  • On Facebook Ads, it’s called push advertising, as it reaches groups of people who are currently “passive”.


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Advantages and disadvantages of Google Ads

Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords) is the most widely used pay-per-click online advertising tool. This means you pay based on the number of clicks you receive, not just for impressions.

So, if you’re pondering “Google Ads vs Facebook, which one is more beneficial“, know that through this platform, you can choose to display your ads:

  • At the top of the search engine’s organic results (SERP), in response to keywords relevant to your campaign. The decision to publish your ad among competitors is made through an auction system that evaluates not only your bid but also the quality and relevance of the content.
  • On the display network, the collection of portals owned by “Big G”. (Gmail, YouTube, etc.), and other sites or apps that have agreed to provide advertising space to the platform.

This tool is the perfect mediator for your web marketing strategy. It tracks customers who are currently searching for the product or service you sell to address a need or problem.

Ads represent the most profitable example of touchpoints, the point of contact between your business and new customers during their information-seeking journey.

It works, for example, like a shop window displaying items for sale that entice passersby to enter and potentially make a purchase. The difference here is that the user doesn’t need to reach your business, it’s the other way around.

google ads advantages

Among the other advantages of Google Ads:

  • Reach a larger audience, ensuring broader coverage;
  • Improve conversion rates and website traffic;
  • Conduct more in-depth analysis and measurements;
  • Allow control of costs per month, day, and ad.

However, it’s essential to consider the tool’s disadvantages, which include:

  • Very high cost per click, especially in competitive sectors;
  • Return on investment (ROI) depending on keyword search volume;
  • Complex to use, requiring excellent digital marketing skills to manage costs and achieve good performance;
  • An unoptimized website negatively impacts ad placement;
  • Limited creativity;
  • The target narrowed down to those with a genuine need.

Pros and cons of Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads is the tool used to publish ads on the social network of the same name and other platforms connected to it (Messenger, Instagram…).

Overall, it reaches a significant portion of the global population and almost all users who navigate social media.

Facebook represents the space where people worldwide share their interests and engage in topics that passionately interest them. There is no better environment to capture this type of data and use it for strategic marketing.

This is the task of the Paid Social platform, to display your business to users with socio-demographic characteristics and behaviors similar to your potential customer prototype.

The numerous types of ads follow the formats that appear on the homepage of the respective social platform, allowing your company to attract users by leveraging creativity.

facebook ads advantages

That being said, what are the advantages of Facebook Ads?

  • Well-targeted targeting
  • Increase in traffic to company social channels, as well as brand value
  • Lower cost per click
  • Excellent short-term ROI
  • Visually impactful advertising campaigns, therefore more captivating

So, in the choice between Google Ads or Facebook, it seems that the latter is ideal for a small or medium-sized business.

However, you also need to consider the disadvantages of the platform, namely:

  • Low interest from ad recipients;
  • Low click-through rate;
  • Fewer direct conversions;
  • Becomes expensive in the long run.

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Is it better to choose Google Ads or Facebook Ads, what to choose between the two? But are you sure you should rely on just one instead of adding both tools to your digital strategy?

As I mentioned earlier, they do not conflict with each other, as they reach different audiences, generating different performances.

Despite being the more economical decision, choosing only one risks becoming limiting for your business.

With an integrated strategy using both platforms, on the other hand, you wouldn’t miss potential customers, further increasing revenue.

However, it is not always the case that the ideal solution for you is to use both platforms in combination.

You might have too low a search volume to achieve a return on investment, or, conversely, you might be unable to build a strong social audience that contributes to word of mouth and brand awareness.

Therefore, before spending money unnecessarily, it is crucial to study the customer journey.

google ads vs facebook ads for business

What is meant by the customer journey? It is the user’s step-by-step path during navigation, a line that connects all points of contact between the potential customer and your brand.

Each person takes a different path to the eventual purchase decision, passing through one or more possible channels, even indirect ones (such as seeking the opinion of third parties).

Your first step in understanding what to choose between Google Ads or Facebook or whether it makes sense to use both lies in knowing how to reach new customers.

Only once you understand which channels contribute to attracting a larger audience and selling better, it’s time to decide which online advertising tools to focus on.

To help you in the decision-making process, here is a list of questions you need to ask yourself before making a choice.

  • What is your target audience?
  • What are the main channels from which your customers come?
  • How do they behave? Do they search for information on the web, are they active on which social platforms, do they buy online…?
  • Are the products you sell searched for online?
  • Which channels have a higher conversion rate?
  • Which ones contribute to the purchase process?

An infallible method to understand between Google Ads and Facebook what to choose is to know the difference between conscious and latent demand.

Conscious demand

In strategic marketing, conscious demand is discussed when people engage in behaviors to purchase a product or meet a request. The most common example is conducting a web search.

To intercept conscious demand, you need to analyze as many queries as possible, which usually correspond to the brand name, product, or its synonyms, as well as problems, difficulties, and fears.

If you have identified a good number of keywords with satisfactory volume, it’s advisable to launch a search engine marketing campaign.

Latent demand

Latent demand corresponds to a group of users interested even though they are not engaging in explicit behaviors aimed at purchasing or obtaining information. This is especially clear on social networks.

To capture this target, you need to focus heavily on social media marketing and launch an advertising campaign that catches the user’s eye and encourages interest in your brand.

Google Ads also becomes useful for promoting your business on YouTube and the display network.


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Conclusion and strategic advice for your business

Starting from a simple question, namely “Google Ads vs Facebook, what to choose?“, I’ve demonstrated that it’s impossible to determine in advance what the better course of action is.

The choice of one platform over the other is very subjective. Both can be used synergistically with excellent results.

However, the decision to use them together or lean towards one or the other varies based on the market, budget, and resources available to you.

For this reason, I recommend not rushing and taking the time to conduct a thorough analysis of the needs to be addressed and develop the best online advertising strategy.

Also, remember that there are not only these two platforms, although they remain among the most popular for online advertising.

Numerous other channels and tools can integrate seamlessly and offer better performance in certain aspects. The important thing is to know your customers perfectly, know where to reach them, and how to attract them.

Because, contrary to what many think, the success of your business is primarily based on the quality of your content and your ability to integrate the resources at your disposal into a successful inbound marketing plan.

Contact an expert to understand which tools to invest in to increase your company’s sales. Start on the right foot!



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