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The Basics of Google AdWords VS. Facebook Ads

Here’s a quick overview to help business owners and stakeholders understand the basics of Facebook Ads and Google AdWords. Both Facebook and Google have great attributes for reaching most consumers. Instead of asking “Which Should I Be Using”, consider “How do I leverage the strengths Facebook Ads and Google AdWords to grow my business.” 

Google Adwords = Paid Search |  Facebook Ads = Paid Social

Adwords main strength is Search Intent. If a customer needs their car repaired today in McKinney, Texas, and isn’t aware of ‘Solutions Automotive’ they’re likely to Google “auto repair in McKinney” – The intent is high and they’re ready to make a purchase decision. 

Facebook’s main strength is Powerful Targeting. Facebook allows brands and businesses to reach customers who don’t know they exist via sponsored posts and ads that create awareness and interest about products or services to large audiences affordably. So, when a customer is ready for car repair, they’re already aware of  ‘Solutions Automotive’ and likely give them a try. 

Another way to understand their differences: 

  • Facebook – ‘Regularly reminds user about auto repair, spurs action, directs user to a specific auto repair shop 
  • AdWords – User action has occurred and directs user to list of many auto repair shops

However, proving the most effective platform for advertisers requires running campaigns on both for a specified length and comparing CPC (cost per click) and CPA (cost per acquisition). 

  • CPC is significantly lower on Facebook VS Google. FB is consistently less than $1 per click, but not on AdWords
  • CPA is generally lower on Adwords, and could be less than half the cost of Facebook

Defining the budget, timeline and top objective of the campaign are the keys to choosing the best platform. Estimating a Facebook spend is much more accurate than an AdWords spend.


  • Initial ad costs lower, huge audience access at a low price, numerous pricing options
  • Campaigns can be less structured, delivered in multiple formats, A/B performance testing w/ different ads
  • Targets specific demographics, keywords not listed w/ competitors 


  • Reaches people using Google, sales immediacy w/ good ads, landing pages, product/service, response
  • Users have ‘clear intent’ of what they’re looking for, targets based on location 
  • Numerous options to optimize campaign