Unraveling the Marketing Dilemma: Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads


Advertising on Facebook and Google is an essential component of modern digital marketing. In the dynamic landscape of Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads, understanding their unique strengths is key to crafting a successful online advertising strategy.

Facebook’s platform allows for highly targeted advertising. Advertisers can employ a variety of visually engaging formats, encouraging interaction and fostering brand engagement. On the other hand, Google Ads operates on a pay-per-click model, focusing on keyword targeting. Advertisers can utilize ad extensions and tap into the expansive Google Display Network for broader reach.

Leveraging Facebook and Google for advertising offers a synergistic approach that can enhance a marketing strategy. This guide aims to empower businesses with a thorough comparison of advertising on both Facebook and Google. By delving into the distinctive strengths of each platform, we will provide valuable insights to assist businesses in making informed decisions tailored to their specific goals, target audiences, and marketing objectives.

Understanding Facebook Ads and Google Ads

Facebook Ads and Google Ads represent two pillars of modern digital advertising, each offering unique avenues to connect with audiences and achieve marketing goals. Before we dive into the two platforms, let’s go over the capabilities of Facebook and Google.

Someone holding a phone that says "welcome to Google ads."

Google Ads

Google Ads primarily consists of two networks: the Search Network and Display network. The Search Network displays ads on Google search results, and the Display Network showcases ads on various websites, apps, and videos. Advertisers can target specific keywords, utilize ad extensions for additional information, and employ various ad formats to reach their audience effectively.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads is part of the broader Facebook for Business platform. Facebook Ads allow advertisers to create and target ads to specific demographics, interests, and behaviors of its users. Facebook’s advertising platform emphasizes social engagement, enabling users to like, comment, and share ads.

A cellphone displaying an example of Facebook Ads.

Push Marketing vs. Pull Marketing

In the realm of marketing, the strategies of push marketing and pull marketing represent distinct approaches to engaging consumers. Let’s dive deeper into these strategies and their relation to Google and Facebook Ads.

Pull Marketing

This strategy is often consumer-centric and revolves around attracting and drawing in potential customers seeking information or solutions. To begin, pull marketing relies on the following: 

  • • Buyer intent (search intent)
  • • Capturing demand

To focus on these factors, pull marketing places a lot of emphasis on inbound and content marketing. This allows businesses to position themselves as valuable resources for consumers seeking specific products or information. Finally, it relies on intent-based searches that enable you to position your brand in front of users who are actively searching for your brand’s products.

Push Marketing

Alternatively, push marketing involves promotional efforts to “push” products onto consumers, whether they are actively looking for them or not. Common push marketing tactics include advertising through various channels, sales promotions, and direct sales outreach. Push marketing is often associated with creating brand visibility and generating immediate sales.

Google Ads (Pull Marketing)

Google Ads serves as a powerful tool for pull marketing by aligning with user intent and employing a keyword-targeted approach. Advertisers bid on keywords relevant to their products or services, ensuring that their ads appear when users actively search for related terms. This method capitalizes on the user’s existing interest, making it more likely that they will click on the ad.

Facebook Ads (Push Marketing)

Facebook embodies push marketing as advertisers actively push their messages to a diverse audience through targeted ad placement. Unlike pull marketing, where ads are triggered by user-initiated searches, Facebook’s approach interrupts users as they scroll through their feeds. This presents ads to a potentially broader audience, especially those not actively seeking specific products or services.

A screenshot of the Google Ads manager.

Pros and Cons of Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads comes with its own set of advantages and challenges. Let’s explore the pros and cons of this marketing platform. Some of the pros include:

  • • Vast user base
  • • Precise targeting
  • • Brand awareness and engagement
  • • Flexible budgeting options
  • • Mobile optimization
  • • Comprehensive analytics

However, navigating the realm of Facebook Ads can have its difficulty. Disadvantages can include:

  • • Ad fatigue
  • • Constantly evolving algorithms
  • • Intense competition
  • • Privacy concerns
  • • Cost fluctuations
  • • Steep learning curve

Pros and Cons of Google Ads

As with any advertising platform, understanding the nuanced advantages and drawbacks of Google Ads is essential for crafting effective campaigns and maximizing returns on investment. The advantages of Google Ads include:

  • • Global reach
  • • Immediate visibility
  • • Ad extensions
  • • Remarketing capabilities
  • • Measurable ROI (return on investment)
  • • A/B Testing
A screenshot of a Google Ads Budget Report.

The drawbacks of Google Ads:

  • • Complex for beginners
  • • Limited organic reach
  • • Time-consuming management
  • • Limited visual appeal
  • • Dependence on keywords
  • • Expensive to implement top-of-funnel (TOF) strategies

Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads Cost Comparison

When considering digital advertising strategies, businesses often weigh the costs associated with Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Both platforms have distinct approaches to pricing models, budgeting strategies, and potential return on investment (ROI).

Pricing Models

  • Google Ads: Operates on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, where advertisers are charged each time a user clicks on their ad. The cost per click varies based on factors like keyword competitiveness and bid amounts.
  • Facebook Ads: Utilizes a combination of bidding models, including CPC (cost per click), CPM (cost per thousand impressions), and CPA (cost per action). Advertisers can choose the model that aligns with their campaign goals, offering flexibility in pricing.

Budgeting Strategies

  • Google Ads: Operates on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, where advertisers are charged each time a user clicks on their ad. The cost per click varies based on factors like keyword competitiveness and bid amounts.
  • Facebook Ads: Utilizes a combination of bidding models, including CPC (cost per click), CPM (cost per thousand impressions), and CPA (cost per action). Advertisers can choose the model that aligns with their campaign goals, offering flexibility in pricing.

Potential Return on Investment (ROI)

  • Google Ads: The ROI from Google Ads is influenced by the competitiveness of keywords, ad relevance, and landing page quality. Advertisers can track conversions and adjust strategies based on performance data.
  • Facebook Ads: Success on Facebook Ads is tied to audience targeting, ad creatives, and engagement metrics. The platform provides detailed analytics to measure ROI, considering factors such as clicks, impressions, and conversions.

Financial Aspect of the Decision

  • Google Ads: Often suitable for businesses seeking direct response and immediate conversions. Advertisers need to manage costs effectively, given the competitiveness of certain keywords.
  • Facebook Ads: Effective for brand building, engagement, and reaching a wider audience. Advertisers can benefit from the relatively lower cost per click, making it cost-effective for creating brand awareness and driving social interaction.

Key Factors for Decision-Making

The choice between Google Ads and Facebook Ads is pivotal, necessitating consideration of various factors to align with marketing objectives. Here’s a comparative analysis of key factors:

Audience Targeting

  • Google Ads: Relies on search intent and demographics.
  • Facebook Ads: Excels in detailed audience targeting based on demographics, interests, and behaviors.

Ad Formats

  • Google Ads: Diverse formats, including text, display, shopping, and video ads.
  • Facebook Ads: Supports visually engaging formats like images, videos, carousels, and slideshows.
Images of all of the different types of Facebook ads.

Budget Management

  • Google Ads: Daily or campaign budgets, careful pay-per-click budget management.
  • Facebook Ads: Flexible daily or lifetime budgets, strategic allocation with ad scheduling.

Intent vs. Discovery

  • Google Ads: Captures users with high search intent.
  • Facebook Ads: Targets users based on interests, fostering brand discovery.

Performance Tracking

  • Google Ads: Comprehensive analytics, insights into keywords, and conversions.
  • Facebook Ads: Detailed metrics on engagement, clicks, impressions, and conversions.

Types of Product or Service

  • Google Ads: Suited for immediate needs and high search intent.
  • Facebook Ads: Effective for brand building, engagement, and products with emotional appeal.

Case Studies: Sucess Stories and Data

To best understand Facebook and Google Ads, it’s helpful to see the two platforms in action. Let’s take a look at some examples where businesses used Facebook or Google Ads to boost conversions and expand brand awareness.

Itzy Ritzy

Renowned for their chic designs and commitment to quality, Itzy Ritzy offers a diverse range of essentials, from stylish diaper bags to on-the-go feeding solutions. Itzy Ritzy had established itself as an industry leader and had seen success with on-shelf placements of its products.

However, the company was having trouble scaling its online customer acquisition strategies without increasing CPAs. This led to a diminished return that required immediate attention.

Because of this, Itzy Ritzy engaged Adspace to engineer a cohesive cross-channel digital marketing strategy to drive website traffic, increase online sales, and scale online revenue.

An Itzy Ritzy ad displaying stuffed animals.

Once Adspace audited the brand, we developed a push” strategy on Facebook and Instagram allowing us to generate a large amount of demand with new users while also retargeting users to capture said demand and drive revenue through the platform. 

Next, we developed and implemented an in-depth Google ads strategy intended to place ads in front of high-intent audiences searching for relevant products and brands. Once the Google and Facebook ads were in place, we developed in-depth reporting dashboards and automation to provide the most accurate data points that cover metrics from every campaign on every channel in real time. After these strategic moves, Itzy Ritzy saw the following increases: 

  • • 107% increase in website traffic
  • • 93% decrease in customer acquisition cost
  • • 293% increase in ROAS (return on ad spend)
  • • 132% increase in online revenue

Ana Luisa

Ana Luisa is a contemporary jewelry brand that offers a wide range of stylish and ethically produced jewelry. They effectively built their brand and developed a Shopify site with great content and a high conversion rate but still needed to drive new traffic to the website. To increase website traffic, conversions, and customer retention Ana Luisa reached out to Adspace to develop a full-funnel digital marketing strategy.

Firstly, we developed a new customer acquisition strategy on Google and YouTube through Search, Display, Retargeting, and Shopping campaign types. The second step aimed to increase ROAS through another customer acquisition strategy on Facebook and Instagram. 

A Facebook ad for Ana Luisa jewelry.

Finally, we developed and implemented a full email marketing strategy to retarget audiences to increase ROAS and customer lifetime value (CLV). Once these strategies were implemented on several platforms, including Google and Facebook, Ana Luisa saw the following positive results:

  • • 220% increase in website traffic
  • • 75% decrease in customer acquisition cost
  • • 311% increase in ROAS
  • • 350% increase in customer lifetime value

Beekman 1802

Beekman 1802 is a lifestyle brand renowned for its artisanal and farm-to-skin approach, producing a range of skincare, home, and gourmet products. They also sell goods made by their artisan neighbors through the website and storefront. After finding success on social media, TV shopping shows, and in-store retail, the Beekman team got more serious about e-commerce by using Google Ads.

From Beekman 1802’s founding to its marketing funnel, Google has always been involved. Through Google Ads, Beekman’s potential customers were led to the website from branded search results, product-driven results, searches specifically around our goat milk, and specifically goat milk search queries. 

Beekman 1802 continues to be a loyal Google Ads user and has grown their business exponentially since its inception in 2008. The brand has experienced a 280% increase in ROAS on Google Smart Shopping Campaigns since 2019. Beekman 1802 also earned one million dollars in revenue in the last quarter of 2021, which is a 50% increase over the year before.

The Beekman 1802 logo that says "there is beauty in kindness."

Frequently Asked Questions

Which platform is more suitable for brand awareness?

Facebook Ads excels in building brand awareness by allowing advertisers to target specific demographics, interests, and behaviors, reaching a broader audience and fostering engagement.

Which platform is better for immediate conversions?

Google Ads is often considered more effective for immediate conversions as it captures users actively searching for specific products or services, indicating a higher level of intent.

How do businesses determine the success of their campaigns on each platform?

At the end of the day, success metrics vary. Google Ads success is often measured by conversion rates and keyword performance. Meanwhile, Facebook Ads success is assessed through engagement metrics, clicks, and impressions.

A facebook ads metric dashboard.

How do ad formats differ between Facebook and Google Ads?

Google Ads offers formats like text, display, shopping, and video ads. Facebook provides visually engaging formats such as images, videos, carousels, and slideshows.

As Google Ads looks toward the future, increased automation and the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) are poised to redefine the landscape. Smart bidding, personalized ad experiences, and advanced audience targeting will likely be at the forefront. Expect a greater emphasis on local advertising, with Google Ads focusing on enhanced location-based features. Visual search capabilities and augmented reality (AR) are anticipated to shape new ad formats, providing users with innovative ways to interact with content and products.

In the realm of Facebook Ads, the future holds a continued integration of AR into ad formats, enriching user engagement and shopping experiences. The platform is likely to expand e-commerce features, streamlining the purchasing process within Facebook. Interactive video content and a heightened focus on privacy are key trends, along with the potential integration of Messenger and WhatsApp, offering advertisers additional channels for direct communication. The rise of influencer marketing and the ongoing evolution of data security will contribute to the dynamic landscape of Facebook Ads in the coming years.


In the perpetual debate between the two platforms, businesses are confronted with distinct yet complementary platforms. Google Ads proves invaluable for capturing users actively searching for products, emphasizing search intent and immediate conversions. On the other hand, Facebook excels in building brand awareness, engaging diverse audiences, and fostering social interactions.

The choice between the two hinges on strategic alignment with business goals, the nature of the product or service, and the desired stage of the customer journey. At Adspace, we can provide a harmonious integration of both platforms that taps into the strengths of each for a well-rounded and impactful online presence.

Someone exploring Google ads.

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