Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Which is Right for Your Business?

In the bustling digital landscape, where businesses vie for online prominence, the choice between Google Ads and Facebook Ads plays a pivotal role in determining a company’s advertising success. Atomic Leap as Bristol PPC agency is well aware of this, as they guide businesses through the intricate world of pay-per-click advertising. But the burning question remains: which platform should your business prioritize?

However, here’s the catch: businesses must choose their stage wisely. The decision between Google Ads and Facebook Ads holds the key to effective digital advertising. Each platform boasts unique capabilities, making it essential for businesses to align their choice with their specific goals and objectives. As we delve deeper into the world of online advertising, we’ll navigate the intricacies of these giants to help businesses make the right call for their success.

Facebook Ads vs Google Ads

Facebook ads
Google ads
Average Cost per Click (CPC)
97 cents
1-2 $
Average Click-through Rate (CTR)
Average Cost per 1,000 Impressions, or CPM
$11.69 Facebook*
$10.41 Instagram*
Average Cost per Lead (CPL)
$10.94 Facebook*
$12.78 Instagram*
Average Click-through Rate (CTR)
Average Conversion Rate
User Intent
Passive: Audience may not be actively looking or ready to buy
Active: Audience is actively searching and ready to buy
Targeting Basis
Interests, demographics
Keywords, search intent
Ad Types
Image, Video, Slideshow, Carousel, Collection, and Instant Experience
Organic results, Call-only, Shopping Ads, Service Ads, and Remarketing Display Ads

Differences in Campaign Features

Facebook Ads and Google Ads are two prominent advertising platforms with distinct features and capabilities. Here are some key differences in their campaign features.

Facebook ads
Google ads
Advertising Goals
Facebook offers a wide range of ad objectives, including brand awareness, engagement, website traffic, lead generation, and e-commerce sales.
Google is primarily focused on search and display advertising, with goals like driving website traffic, increasing sales, and generating leads.
Ad Networks
Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Audience Network
Google search, display, shopping, remarketing, and local service ads
Audience Intent
Active, users with high purchase intent
Ad Targeting
Keywors for search campaigns and audience targeting for display campaigns
Audience Targeting by Location
Audience Targeting by Behaviors, Interests, or Demographics
Ads With Images
All Ads
Shopping and remarketing
Video Ads
Ad Scheduling
Negative Keywords (to Exclude)
Automatic Budget Optimization
Remarketing Ads

When to Use Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads can be a powerful addition to your digital marketing strategy in various scenarios. Here are some situations when you should consider using Facebook Ads:

  1. Building Brand Awareness: If your primary goal is to introduce your brand to a new audience or reinforce your brand’s presence among your target demographic, Facebook Ads can help by reaching a wide user base.
  2. Promoting Content: Facebook Ads are an excellent choice when you want to promote blog posts, articles, videos, or other content to a specific audience. This can help increase website traffic, engagement, and brand authority.
  3. Lead Generation: If you’re looking to collect leads for your business, such as email sign-ups or inquiries, Facebook Ads offer lead generation campaigns that allow users to submit their information directly through the ad.
  4. Product Sales: E-commerce businesses can benefit from Facebook Ads when looking to boost product sales. You can create dynamic ads that showcase your products to users who have shown interest in them.
  5. Event Promotion: Whether it’s a webinar, product launch, or in-person event, Facebook Ads are effective in promoting and driving attendance to your events.
  6. App Installs and Engagement: For mobile app developers, Facebook Ads can be used to promote app installs and engagement. You can target users who are more likely to download and interact with your app.
  7. Remarketing: Facebook Ads are valuable for retargeting users who have previously visited your website or engaged with your app. You can remind them of your products or services, encouraging them to return and make a purchase.
  8. Local Business Promotion: If you have a physical store or offer services in specific locations, Facebook Ads can help you reach a local audience. You can even set up ads to drive foot traffic to your store.
  9. Seasonal Campaigns: During holidays or special occasions, Facebook Ads can help you run targeted campaigns to capitalize on seasonal trends and boost sales.
  10. Testing and Learning: Facebook Ads provide a cost-effective way to test different ad types, audiences, and strategies. You can gather valuable insights to refine your marketing approach.

In summary, Facebook Ads are versatile and can be used in a range of scenarios to achieve various marketing objectives. It’s essential to align your choice to your specific goals and target audience for the best results.

When to Use Google Ads

Google Ads is a versatile advertising platform that can be highly effective in various situations. Here are some scenarios in which you should consider using Google Ads:

  1. Search Intent: Use Google Ads when you want to target users actively searching for specific products, services, or information. Google is the go-to platform for capturing users with high purchase intent.
  2. Keyword Targeting: Google Ads is ideal for keyword-based targeting. When you have a list of keywords relevant to your business, using Google Ads allows you to bid on those keywords and appear in relevant search results.
  3. Quick Results: If you need immediate results, Google Ads can provide fast visibility. Your ads can be up and running within a short period, making it suitable for promotions, sales, or urgent marketing needs.
  4. E-commerce Sales: For online retailers, Google Ads can be an excellent choice for driving e-commerce sales. You can create shopping ads that showcase your products, prices, and availability.
  5. Local Business Promotion: If you have a physical store or offer services locally, Google Ads can help you target users in your area. It’s especially valuable for attracting foot traffic and driving local sales.
  6. Remarketing: Google Ads offers powerful remarketing capabilities. You can show targeted ads to users who have visited your website, encouraging them to return and complete a desired action.
  7. Competitive Advantage: If your competitors are using Google Ads, not using it could put you at a disadvantage. It’s crucial to maintain a presence where your competitors are advertising.
  8. Seasonal Campaigns: Google Ads is effective for running seasonal campaigns. Whether it’s for holidays, special events, or limited-time promotions, you can reach users at the right moment.
  9. Lead Generation: Google Ads offers lead generation campaigns that allow users to submit their information directly through the ad. It’s suitable for businesses looking to collect leads and inquiries.
  10. Specific Audience Targeting: You can refine your audience targeting using various options, including demographics, interests, and more. This precision is valuable for reaching your ideal customers.
  11. Data-Driven Marketing: Google Ads provides extensive data and analytics, enabling data-driven decision-making and continuous optimization.
  12. Testing and Learning: Google Ads is an excellent platform for testing different ad types, ad copy, keywords, and bidding strategies. It allows you to gather insights and refine your campaigns over time.

In conclusion, Google Ads is a valuable tool for businesses looking to drive immediate, high-intent traffic, whether you’re focused on sales, lead generation, or local promotions. The key is to align your Google Ads strategy with your specific goals and target audience for optimal results.

Which is better: Google Ads or Facebook Ads?

In summary, the choice between Facebook Ads and Google Ads depends on your specific advertising goals, target audience, and the nature of your products or services. Some businesses benefit from using both platforms to cover different stages of the customer journey and reach a broader audience.

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Wayland Coles


Wayland Coles is MD and Founder performance marketing agency Atomic Leap, where he helps businesses of all sizes capitalize on the power of PPC marketing.

LinkedIn: Wayland Cole