Are Facebook ads better than Google ads?

They’re the giants of the tech world and, when it comes to advertising online, they can’t be beaten for audience insight or reach plus the cost to test / use are accessible to most businesses. But 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 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.

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 sites for free.

Ever noticed how you suddenly see an ad for sofas, straight after you’ve been looking at furniture sites? That’s why.

This is called profile targeting.

By collecting all this data about the things you are looking at and engaging with, Facebook can create a comprehensive picture of your interests and show it to advertisers.

‘Looking for people to buy your Sofas? Here, try this person.’

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’re often expressing a desire to buy a product or source a service there and then.

For example, if you type ‘pink sofa’ into Google, there’s no doubting what you’re after. As a result, the first thing you’ll see are ads for pink sofas.

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

The pros and cons


Users have high purchase intent / are ready to buy

Fresh audiences are being created every day

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

Limited by market demand for your search terms


Can target multiple / broader audiences

Can target people who are a good fit for your brand

Possible to drive demand for your product / Influence people to buy who hadn’t previously considered

An interest doesn’t mean someone is ready to buy

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

Which to use?

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

The two ad platforms have a lot in common but there a few significant differences that will determine which is the best fit for your business.

As a general rule of thumb, I’d advise testing both If a) budget allows b) your product / service has enough relevant key word searches required for Google success.

If budgets or resources are limited: –

Choose Facebook Ads for

– Building awareness

– Growing your audience

– Products / services that are new or not searched for currently

– Products / services that need to take a potential customer through a purchase journey (funnel) before they will purchase

Choose Google Ads for

– Products / services where there is constant search demand

– Immediate sales and leads

– Products / services with high buying intent during the search

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 are new to pay-per-click advertising, it can be confusing and intimidating to get started. Both platforms pitch themselves as self-serve and easy-to-use, but they what they actually do is make it really easy to spend with them, the returns offered from both platforms come from knowing what you are doing, it takes significant time and energy to truly become an expert on either platform.

If you’d like to find out more about how I can help you navigate the pay-per-click adverting world contact me on and I’ll be in touch to arrange a call.