What’s the Difference Between Google Ads and Facebook Ads?

Mary Donné
3 min readMay 5, 2022


Facebook ads and Google ads are both great for businesses wanting to advertise online. But which one is the best?

Facebook ads tend to be more effective for promoting products or services to a specific target audience. This is because Facebook offers super detailed targeting options.

Google ads are better for reach and general awareness. Google is the largest search engine in the world so your ads will gain a lot of exposure.

Both platforms are effective and in fact complement each other when you run ads on both but, if you only want to advertise on ONE, here’re some other things to consider:

What is Your Overall Goal?

Is it brand awareness, more leads, more sales, or something else?

Google ads are great for reaching users who have a high purchase intent. For instance, if I’m typing, ‘beef flavoured dog food’ in the search bar, this probably means I’m seriously thinking about buying some.

Facebook ads, on the other hand, are normally better for brand and product awareness — i.e. reaching those customers at the top of your funnel, who don’t know about you or your product yet.

ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)

Which gives you the most bang for your buck?

Google ads let you choose the best keywords for your ad. This means that instead of wasting money on low value words, like “dog food” or “food for dogs,” we can focus our budget on more specific phrases such as our above mentioned, “beef flavoured food for large dogs” and capture the buyers who are actively searching for this.

With Facebook ads, we could spend the same budget, and reach potential customers outside of our target audience. This may then lead to better engagement with our ad.

Your Customer’s Journey

The beauty of Facebook is that it’s not just a place for people to chat and share interests, but also an exploration ground. That means you can find new customers on the platform even though they weren’t actually on there to buy things. If they like your ad, they will engage with it, share, and comment giving you a whole new ‘warm’ audience via the social proof they’ve provided.

By contrast, it’s estimated that Google receives over 5 billion searches every single day! Now while a very high number of these will be potential customers looking to buy your product, you have to compete with a zillion other advertisers to get your ad in front of them.

Why I like Facebook Best

Year after year, the paid channel offering the highest ROAS is Facebook. Here’s why:

The UK Pet Industry is Worth £3b a Year. That’s a lot of Google Searches!

It’s the biggest — simple as that. Your Facebook ads have a potential audience bigger than the combined populations of China, the USA, and Brazil!

Facebook offers much more detailed, granular targeting and retargeting. There isn’t another platform that allows you to only target ‘females born in 1988 interested in Cockerpoo dogs and Ed Sheeran’.

You can create a ‘lookalike audiences’ from your existing customer base (yes, it’s harder now since the iOS update but it’s still possible).

In Q1 of 2020, the average CTR for a Facebook ad was 1.11% — compared to 0.47% for a Google ads in that same time period (source: Smart Insights).

But, having said all of that …

Google ads interface is much simpler than Facebook’s so if you are new to PPC advertising, then Google may be the best starting point.

In summary, neither is ‘better’ than the other. Both platforms have unique features that can be useful depending on your objectives. It depends entirely on your goals, budget, target audience, and personal preference.

Which do you like best?



Mary Donné

Media Buyer | House Stark 🐺 | Slytherin 🐍 | ENTJ | Gen X 🎸