Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: What’s the Right Tool for Growing Your Business?

Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: What’s the Right Tool for Growing Your Business?

“Should I spend my online marketing budget on Google Ads or on Facebook Ads?”

That’s the million dollar question business owners want the answer to.

Honestly speaking, there is no one certain answer. And worse still, you will hear a lot of conflicting answers. For example, “Google Ads is so expensive. We should only advertise on Facebook.”, “Facebook ads are just for branding purpose. Google Ads is more effective in generating sales.”

But we can have a comparison of both tools and see the strengths and weaknesses of each.


Round 1: Reach and Where to Appear

Google Ads:

According to Google Internal Data, July 2015, 100B searches are conducted on Google each month. Google Display Network is a collection of over 2 million websites and apps, reaching over 90% of Internet users across the globe.

Some of the places where you can show your Ads ads include:

  • Google search results pages
  • the Google Search Partner Network
  • on websites your customers visit (remarketing on the Google Display Network)
  • mobile apps
  • YouTube
  • and more

Google Ads search ads location

example of Google Ads location


Facebook Ads:

2B monthly active users

Newsfeed and right-hand column are the most popular placements:

Facebook Ads location

The Instagram placement is becoming more and more popular with brands that need to show off their products:

Instagram Ads placement


Round 2: Targeting options

Google Ads is strong in keyword targeting and also offers audience targeting.

Basically, it consists of two main ad types: search ads and display ads.

Search ads are based on keyword targeting. These ads are in text form and will be triggered by the term people typed into Google search engine. For example, when a person typed “online marketing agency” on Google search engine, he/she will see ads related to “online marketing agency”. The power of Google search ads is the ability to capture searcher’s intent by the query they typed. It means your business can show up when people are actively looking for your product or service and are ready to take the next step.

example of Google Search Ads


Google display ads are visual ads being shown on Google Display Network (GDN). Google will display your ads to certain websites or certain types of people, based on your targeting options. There are 5 main targeting options: keyword targeting, placement targeting, interest targeting, topic targeting, demographic targeting.


Examples of display ads:

Airlines ads being shown on travel-related website.

example of Google Display Network banner


Display ads being shown in and alongside Youtube video as an overlay

overlay Google Display Ads in YouTube


Facebook ads focus only on audience targeting. Facebook allows you to target its users in 4 ways: by demography, geography, interest and behavior.

Audience targeting of Facebook ads, compared to Google display ads, is able to go more granular as in a more detailed and personal level of what a user likes, what milestone a user recently achieved, what is the purchasing behaviour of a user.

To give you an idea just how granular you can get, here’s are targeting settings if you are selling baby products.


Location: Malaysia

Demographics: 20 – 45, new parents (0-12 months)

Interests: baby products, baby sitting

Behaviors: engaged shoppers, purchased something on Facebook in the past 30 days


This level of targeting enables you to reach the most relevant users.



Round 3: Price

Price would always be the main concern for business owners on whether to advertise on Facebook or Google.


Google Ads:

Use cost per click charging method where advertisers are being charged only when an user clicks on one of their ads.

How much a click can cost is very much depends on how competitive is the market bidding for that keyword. Based on our own data of Exabytes Digital, on the search network, the average cost per click is between RM2 – RM5. But it can be more than RM15 for certain industries with high competition like finance and insurance, IT services, property and etc. The average CPC on the Display Network is under RM0.40.


Facebook ads:

Based on different campaign objective, Facebook applies different charging methods which include cost per 1000 impressions, cost per click, and cost per 10-second video view.

Depends on your campaign objective, on average, you can achieve cost per result (eg. post engagement, video view, lead) for as low as RM0.01 and up to RM10.



So. Google Ads vs Facebook Ads. Two very different advertising platforms, with different benefits.

When it comes to reach and where to appear, it all depends on where your customers is. If people always look for solution on Google and it is something you have to offer, use Google ads. If people aren’t looking for your business with urge, but they normally hang around Facebook and Instagram, Facebook ads is a right choice.

Both platforms offer exceptional targeting methods. Google ads are particularly suitable for businesses that serve people with immediate or near-immediate needs like dentists, lawyers and any other professional service providers. On the other hand, if you understand your ideal customers for what they are interested in, how they behave, you can leverage Facebook’s data to reach them with Facebook Ads. If you have larger budget, you can go for both because they can complement each other and you will be able to communicate with your customers in two unique ways.

Although Google ads seem to be cost more than Facebook ads, it doesn’t necessarily mean Facebook is a better option. Instead, we should measure the effectiveness of online advertising based on your campaign goal. For example, if you would like to spend a certain amount to get a new customer, look at your cost per acquisition, see whether the result is favourable. We can’t have a certain answer on this unless we spend money on both and compare the results.

In conclusion, on top of everything, first understand your business: your business goal and the objectives of your online campaign. Then you will be able to choose between Google Ads and Facebook ads for growing your business.


Need help to maximize the impact of your Google Ads and Facebook Ads campaigns? Book a free consultation with our digital marketing experts here: discuss how we can grow your business online

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