Facebook vs. Google Ads
ntil recently, many advertisers viewed Google AdWords and Facebook Ads in an adversarial way. The two companies’ long-standing rivalry, often dramatized by technology media outlets, was taken as irrefutable evidence that the two platforms were in direct competition with one another, and that it was necessary for businesses of all sizes to make a difficult decision about which platform was right for their needs; a false dichotomy that remains confusing and misleading to those new to online advertising.
Although the two platforms are often positioned as competitors, nothing could be further from the truth in a practical sense. Many businesses are leveraging the strengths of advertising on Google and Facebook Ads in concert to achieve maximum visibility, increase leads and sales, and find new customers, adopting different strategies that align with the functionality of each platform and seeing remarkable return on their advertising spend.
In this guide, we’ll examine what sets Google AdWords and Facebook Ads apart, how the two ad platforms work, and why you should consider using both as part of your wider digital marketing strategy.
Both Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are incredibly powerful advertising platforms that cater to virtually every type of business.
What Are The Differences Between Google AdWords and Facebook Ads?
Before we look at the various strengths and features of Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, it’s crucial to understand the primary difference between the two ad platforms.
Google AdWords: Paid Search
Google AdWords is the world’s largest and most popular PPC advertising platform. AdWords is so widely used, it has become synonymous with the term “paid search.” The two terms are used interchangeably, even though other platforms such as Bing Ads work in a similar way.
Paid search focuses on the targeting of keywords and the use of text-based advertisements. Advertisers using AdWords bid on keywords – specific words and phrases included in search queries entered by Google users – in the hopes that their ads will be displayed alongside search results for these queries. Each time a user clicks on an ad, the advertiser is charged a certain amount of money, hence the name “pay-per-click advertising.” PPC bidding and bid optimization is a complex topic, and beyond the scope of this guide, but essentially, users are paying for the potential to find new customers based on the keywords and search terms they enter into Google.
Facebook Ads: Paid Social
Facebook Ads is a prime example of what is known as “paid social,” or the practice of advertising on social networks. With the highest number of monthly active users (or MAUs) of any social network in the world, Facebook has become a highly competitive and potentially lucrative element of many business’ digital advertising strategies.
Although advertising on Facebook can be thought of as similar to AdWords, in that advertisers using both platforms are essentially promoting their business via the Internet, this is where the similarities end. Unlike paid search, which helps businesses find new customers via keywords, paid social helps users find businesses based on the things they’re interested in and the ways in which they behave online.
When it comes to the primary difference between Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, you can think of it this way: AdWords helps you find new customers, while Facebook helps new customers find you.
Now that we’ve covered the elementary difference between Google AdWords and Facebook Ads (or paid search and paid social), let’s examine the strengths of each platform and how these online marketing tools can be leveraged effectively.