5 differences between Facebook and Google Ads

June 19, 2023
Facebook Ads and Google Ads are popular advertising platforms that offers businesses various ways to reach their target audience. While they share similarities in audience and promoting products or services, there are differences between the two. IU Marketing explores five of these differences in more detail.

1. Audience Targeting: Facebook Ads: Facebook has a vast user base and provides highly detailed targeting options based on user demographics, interests, behaviors, and connections. Advertisers can create custom and lookalike audiences to reach people similar to their existing customer base. Facebook also allows retargeting, showing ads to people who have interacted with your business. Google Ads: Ads Google ads primarily focus on keyword-based targeting, allowing advertisers to display ads based on users’ search queries. This intent-based targeting means that ads are shown to users actively searching for relevant keywords or browsing websites related to their search terms. Google Ads also offers demographic targeting options, different from the Facebook’s ad services.

2. Ad Formats: Facebook Ads: Facebook marketing offers a variety of ad formats, including image ads, video ads, carousel ads, collection ads, and more. These formats allow businesses to showcase their products or services and engage users with visually appealing content. Facebook also provides options for lead generation and event promotion ads.

Google Ads: Google Ads primarily offers text-based ads on search engine results pages (SERPs) and partner websites. These text ads consist of headlines, descriptions, and display URLs. Google also provides display ads, which include image or video formats and can be displayed across a wide range of websites and apps in the Google Display Network.

3. Intent vs. Discovery: Facebook Ads: Facebook is a platform where users primarily connect with friends, families, and consume content. Therefore, Facebook Ads are more suited for reaching users during leisure time and creating brand awareness or consideration. Advertisers can target users based on their interests and behaviors, allowing for effective audience discovery.

Google Ads: Google is a search engine where users actively search for information, products, or services. Google search ads enable businesses to capture users’ intent when looking for something specific. Advertisers can bid on relevant keywords to display their ads on SERPs, making Google Ads highly effective for capturing users with high purchase intent.

4. Ad Placement: Facebook Ads: Facebook’s ad placements are primarily within the Facebook platform, including the News Feed, right-hand column, and Instagram. Advertisers can choose specific or opt for automatic placements. Facebook also offers Audience Network, allowing ads to be displayed on third-party websites and apps. However, ad performance may vary across different placements.

Google Ads: Google Advertising provides a wide range of ad placements, including search engine results pages (SERPs), Google Display Network (GDN), YouTube, and Google Maps. With Google Ads, advertisers can choose specific placements or use automated targeting to reach users across various Google properties and partner websites.

5. Cost Structure: Facebook Ads: Facebook Ads generally have a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) pricing structure. Advertisers can set a daily or lifetime budget, and the cost varies based on audience targeting, competition, and ad quality. Facebook Ads tend to be more affordable compared to Google Ads.

Google Ads: Google Ads operate on a cost-per-click (CPC) auction-based model, where advertisers bid on keywords and pay when someone clicks on their ads. The quality of the ad and landing page and the keywords competition influence the cost per click. Google Ads campaigns can be more expensive than Facebook Ads, especially for highly competitive keywords.

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