Google Ads vs. Facebooks Ads – Which is Best For Small Business?

Google vs Facebook ads

Just starting a business can be tough, but if you’ve managed to transform your passion into a career, you’re probably here because you know the livelihood of your business hangs in the balance of marketing it. Without revenue, your business is just a hobby. 


If you own your own business, have a website or both, you’re probably wondering if paid traffic is the way to go but question whether Facebook or Google ads is right for you? You might even be contemplating getting on both. Being the two best and biggest digital marketing channels, it can be a challenge to understand how they function, which one is fit for you and your business or if you should get on board with both?

For starters, it’s important to know a thing or two about your business and your goals in order to leverage these platforms effectively. 

That said, the initial questions I’ll ask before or during a client consult to better understand their marketing objectives and get a clear idea as to what platform suits them goes something like…

Do you know…

Where your audience engages with you or likely to?

How much money are you willing to spend to bring in customers? What is the dollar amount?

How much time can you spend generating organic traffic? 

Find Your Why

Start by defining your objectives for your marketing needs. What are your priorities as a small business? Are you ready to dive into the marketing stage of your business or are you still in the creation process?

As a small business owner, you need exposure so strategies like social media, organic search or even content marketing are necessary but effort and results take time apart from paid marketing. 

We’re all aware time and money come at a cost. So even if you’re working with a small budget, you can reap incredible benefits like increased traffic, sales and brand recognition ten fold while targeting your ideal audience.

The advantage of paying for your marketing is that the results are more immediate and with a wide reach. However, you can strike the perfect balance combining both paid and organic strategies as a small business owner. Organic methods help you engage with your audience and build an authentic connection. Embracing both tactics compliment each other yet the impact and exposure you can generate with paid marketing is direct, measurable and scalable.

If you understand your objective, goals and budget, then you are at a significant and competing advantage.

Paid Search vs. Paid Social

Going back to what we previously discussed, asking yourself where your audience is likely to engage with you is where this comes into play. The single major difference to keep in mind between Facebook and Google is user intent. If you understand your users intention for being on the platform, you will know why they saw your ad, when they did and how to market your business and align with them at the right time.

Let’s break it down a little…

Paid search (Google) refers to sponsored advertisements showing up in various places in the search results or when someone specifically searches for or makes an inquiry about your product or service.

Paid social (Facebook) refers to sponsored advertisements that show up in various newsfeeds while users are engaging in either social media platforms Facebook or Instagram.

Both advertising platforms are pay-per-click and auction based. You place a bid for the amount you want to pay for that ad and every time someone clicks on your ad you are charged a certain amount of money.

The way to look at it is either users are searching for something specific or simply involved in social engagement. 

For Google Ads, you appear in the search engine results on a page (SERP), however with a more broad range of advertising options. There is no minimum bid required. 

In contrast with Facebook, your advertisement reaches your audience visually by targeting them based on demographics like location and psychographics such as interests and behaviour. A minimum bid of $5 is necessary.

The beauty of these two marketing behemoths is that they are in no competition with each other and could serve as a complimentary solution to your marketing strategy.

What is Google Ads?

“Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.”

Internet Live Stats

You can see now why we wouldn’t take the word ‘behemoth’ lightly.

Google is intent based. If someone is searching for a specific problem, then your ad is the solution. Even a display advert could be targeted to appear visually around the net that directly relate to your users search. Ads reach your target audience and more likely to convert. Good for generating sales.

With Google you are the I can tell you, take you, show you, and hopefully sell you, answer to those moments in their search journey.

A brief overview. Google now encompasses advertising on:

  • YouTube
  • Google Display Network
  • Google Maps
  • Google Play
  • Gmail
  • Millions of prominent websites

Objective – Immediate sales of service or product, brand awareness

Reach – 180 billion searches per month, potential reach of 90% of all internet users

Targeting – Extensive variations of targeting

Advertising Platform – Optimize for mobile devices

Features – Countless ways to optimize for ROI

Key Differences

  • Keyword-centric – can be competitive which can drive costs up
  • Targeted around a users search – best if you know your audience
  • Only platform you can target users in ‘buying mode’
  • Ability to show on top of the search results
  • Show up the moment someone is searching for a solution
  • Ability to be shown outside of Google search results and create a campaign for Search and Display
  • Ads are triggered by search terms and is not familiar with the audience you select
  • Ads in the Display Network are shown on pages with relevant content

What is Facebook Ads

Ads are generated more through engagement of the network and you pay to get in front of potential customers generally interested in the topics you select.

Facebook has 2.27 billion users as of 2018

Facebook now encompasses advertising on:

  • Facebook News Feed
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Instagram
  • Audience Network

Objective – Brand awareness and lead generation

Reach – 1 trillion pageviews per month

Targeting – Broader audience but more precise. Can narrow down and analyze a small group of people based on their activity. Ex. people who liked your page

Advertising Platform – Optimize for mobile and desktop

Features – Effective remarketing strategies

Key Differences

  • More visual
  • Excellent for building awareness and brand recognition
  • Reach people when they’re not thinking about you
  • You target people and their interests specifically and only those that you target will be shown your ads

Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads – The Debate

Put simply, there is none. With Facebook you are targeting who users are rather Google being what users search.

Both very solid reliable strategies and excellent for generating new business or leads but paid marketing is not for everyone. However, if done correctly it can amplify your sales and double down on your effort, spending half the time. If done poorly, can cost you more than you were willing to spend.

Which will work best for your small business?

Because they are different but similar in nature, they can work together powerfully giving you the largest reach imaginable. But a broad reach can be harmful to your business and budget. You want to understand how to target properly with both networks and the cost models associated with paid marketing, which are crucial to your success and ROI. 

Choosing one is usually the best way to start. There are multiple ways that Google can help you understand your audience, whereas Facebook can truly get people talking about your business. The choice is up to you.

Want to kick it up a notch and get started with paid advertising right away? I’m giving away a FREE Facebook Ads Cheat Sheet to help you get started on your own…the right way! Click the link below to get yours now!


1 Comment

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