Facebook Ads vs Google AdWords: Where to spend your marketing budget?

By Amirul Mokhtar · 21st June, 2016

Facebook Ads vs Google AdWords: Where to spend your marketing budget? | EasyStore

You are considering paid advertising to drive traffic to your online store, but now you are stuck on whether you should go for Facebook ads or Google Adwords. Before we begin, let's start with a completely new mindset towards these platforms. You may think that the two platforms are competitors, but in practical sense, they are really not. Each platform has different functionality and purpose. Let's look at how each of them works.

Google AdWords

This advertising channel uses the Google search engine that we all are very familiar with. You do a search on  Google and you may notice yellow color (some may see green) next to the search results. Those are text ads and that is exactly what it will look like if you are advertising on Google.

One of the biggest differences between Google and Facebook ads is search intent. People go on Google to specifically search for something. It could be a specific product or a solution. In the example below, the searcher's intention is to find the best deals on women's boots.

Source: PPC Hero

For you as an advertiser, you need to match your ads with the search intent. So the goal for Google paid search is to show an ad that matches exactly what people are searching for.

Facebook ads

Facebook is not a search engine. People don't go on Facebook to look for a specific solution. We go on Facebook to discover what our family and friends are up to or what people are talking about. Someone might be minding their own business and looking at cute pictures of kittens and suddenly sees your ad on their news feed. They weren't searching for your product, but they were still exposed to your ad.

Facebook Ads is a great way to generate awareness for your brand or product with people who may not even know you exist. Now you have an idea of how these platforms work, so when to use which platform?

When to use Google AdWords

You should advertise on Google search if you would like to capture those that already have an idea of what they want. This will bring in more qualified leads since there is already intent. You can target based on keywords that you think people will use when they are searching for a solution to a problem that your product can solve. 

You can also advertise to those already in the next step of the sales funnel. An example is when someone is using search to do a comparison with your competitors. Use Google Ads to stand out when they are searching your competitors. 

Aside from search ads, you can also display banner ads on Google Display Network, which is a network of websites that allow for Google ads to be displayed. This is a great option if you are operating an online store.  You may have experienced before the feeling of being followed by ads. Every website you go you will see the same ads. That is how Google retargeting works. You can retarget your visitors to get them to come back to your store.

When to use Facebook Ads

As mentioned earlier, Facebook Ads is great when you want to build awareness of your brand or product. Facebook offers powerful targeting capabilities that allows you to target based on demographics, interest, and even behavior. This makes awareness campaigns more effective because you can narrow down to specific groups of people and because they are your target audience, they have a higher chance of being interested in your products. 

Building social proof is also something that you can do with Facebook Ads. People are becoming more and more social and it is a big factor that drives their purchasing decisions. You can use Facebook Ads to reach out to the right audience and engage and connect with them. People will trust your business a lot more if they see that your Facebook page has high activity and engagement. 

With Facebook Ads, you also have the option to retarget your visitors like Google display ads. Your visitors will be captured by Facebook Pixels that are placed in your storefront and when they visit their Facebook news feed, they will see your ads.


Both Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are incredibly powerful advertising platforms can be benefited by any business. Since both are completely different and have different strengths and weaknesses, it should not be compared as opposition but rather be viewed in a complementary way. If you have allocated budget for paid advertising, then you should definitely use both. 

You can use different platforms to cater for different steps in your funnel. But make sure the marketing message is consistent across the platforms. When you use both platforms, you may see that Google ads have a higher cost per click than Facebook ads, but keep in mind the rate at which they convert. Since Facebook is at a lower cost, it is great for awareness because you can reach more people without breaking the bank.