Facebook Ads Vs Google AdWords


If you’re looking to reach customers, the two biggest online advertisers are Google AdWords and Facebook. Period. Facebook currently has 1.37 billion daily active users on average (as of September 2017) and 2.07 billion monthly users (as of September 2017) (Link). Google has 2.3 Million searches per second and 100 Billion searches per month (link) worldwide.

We are going to break down the differences between the two very popular online resources and see which one (or both) is best for your business.

Social Media Users (Fig 1)

Facebook 2070000000 Billion
YouTube 1500000000 Billion
Messenger 1300000000 Billion
Whatsapp 1300000000 Billion
Wechat 800000000 Billion
Instagram 600000000 Billion
Twitter 400000000 Billion
Snapchat 300000000 Billion

Figure 1 shows a graph of the most popular social media sources today (Messenger is part of Facebook).  As you can see, Facebook combined with Messenger is a much larger audience than any of the other social media platforms with over 2 billion active users monthly and over 1.37 billion people on messenger monthly.

Let's break down Google AdWords and Facebook Ads:



  1. 2.07 Billion monthly active users
  2. 1 Trillion page views a month
  3. Potential reach of 43.8% of all internet users

Google Adwords

  1. Google AdWords can reach each of over 2.6 Billion Google searches every month
  2. Potential reach of 90% of all internet users

Targeting Options


  1. Location – Target consumers where they live based on country, state/province, city. phone number, zip code
  2. Behaviors – Target based on previous actions, such as likes and devices used to access the platform
  3. Demographics – Target based on age, gender, relationship, education and more
  4. Interests – Target based on interests, hobbies, and pages liked on facebook
  5. Similarities – Target to future prospects based on similarities to current fans, customers, and website visitors
  6. Website Custom Audiences – Target to bounced traffic from your website or landing pages

Google AdWords

  1. Location – Target by country, region or city where your customers are located when they search for you
  2. Keywords – Target by relevant keywords prospects use in their search
  3. Demographics – Target by age, gender, and parental status
  4. Negative Keywords – Exclude keywords to sharpen your audience targeting
  5. language – Target by language preferences
  6. Device – Target ads to show on prospect’s computer, mobile, or tablets

Mobile Advertising


  1. Optimize ads for iOS and Android
  2. 7% of Facebook ad revenue comes from mobile

Google Adwords

  1. Choose to budget for mobile and for tablets
  2. Optimize text ads for wrap-enabled phones
  3. Optimize text ads for iOS and Android devices
  4. 8% of Google ad revenue comes from mobile



  1. Average CPC – Under $1, retail industry averages $0.45 CPC
  2. Cost per thousand impressions (CPM) – $.80 – $1.00 per 1,000
  3. Click through rate – The average CTR for Facebook is 0.90% across all industries
  4. Conversion rate – 9.21% across all industries
  5. Average cost per conversion – $0.34 (food and beverage industry) – $1.57 (telecommunications industry)

Google AdWords

  1. Average cost per click (CPC) – the average cost per click in AdWords across all industries is $2.32 for search and $0.58 for display
  2. Cost per thousand impressions (CPM) – $3.60
  3. Click through rate (CTR) – 2%
  4. Conversion rate – 2.35%
  5. Average cost per conversion – Varies. AdWords CPA bidding allows you to set your average cost per year

It’s important to understand a couple of things about each platform and what type of brand or business you have to determine which (or both) platforms is right for you.

Why do people use Facebook? Are they looking to search for a keyword and solve a problem? Do they need an electrician? Most likely not. Facebook is a social network. Which means most (normal) people aren’t going there to search for electricians or to sign up for services or buy products. There isn’t an intent to purchase a good or service or intentionally look for what you have to offer.

With Google AdWords on the other hand, people are intentionally searching for particular keywords (be it a good, service or something completely different). There is an actual intent to find that good or service that you are offering. Google says that for every $1 a business spends on AdWords, they receive $8 in profit through Google Search and AdWords (link).

Google also has:

  1. Video – Video-based ads let you show ads on streaming sites like YouTube and across the Google Display Network as well.
  2. AdWords Retargeting – Google allows for sophisticated retargeting so that you can remarket to that lost customer and win a sale.

Therefore, we conservatively estimate that for every $1 a business spends on AdWords, they receive $8 in profit through Google Search and AdWords



So which one should you be using? These are two very different advertising platforms, each with their own unique benefits. Both Google AdWords and Facebook are excellent ways to advertise your business.

They’re both relatively cheap (depending on your industry). And each has billions of users with very diverse audience targeting options.

So, is one better than the other?

Well, this completely depends on your goal. What are you looking to get out of your ads? If your looking for sales, leads, consultations or anything similar to these then both platforms will work well for you.

If your goal is brand awareness or gathering a social following, then obviously Facebook is the better choice.

On the whole, Facebook is going to be the less expensive advertising option, but you won’t get the same kind of laser targeted advertising that you would with Google AdWords.

Google AdWords is going to be the more laser-focused advertising of the two and could cost double the amount of Facebook but the return on investment could be much higher depending on your industry and your companies situation.

Most businesses and brands will use some combination of both platforms, but how you use them is truly dependent on what exactly you are looking for from your online marketing.

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