They’re the giants of the tech world and, when it comes to advertising online, they can’t be beaten for audience insight or reach. But when considering Facebooks ads vs Google ads, which is best for your service-based business?

In this blog, I’ll explain the difference between Facebook ads and Google ads so that you can decide where to invest your cash.


How Facebook ads work

Each time you scroll through your Facebook feed, comment on a photo, watch a video, join a group, read an article or like a post, Facebook is collecting data. It’s also gathering info on you from around the web. This is done via something called a Facebook pixel – a piece of code website owners put on their sites for free.

Ever noticed how you suddenly see an ad for city breaks, straight after you’ve been looking at travel sites? That’s why.

This is called profile targeting.

By collecting all this data about the things you like, Facebook can create a comprehensive picture of your interests and show it to advertisers. ‘Looking for people who want to go abroad? Here, try this person.’


How Google ads work

Google ads work differently. They target a customer’s immediate intent – their behaviour in that moment. This is called behavioral targeting.

When you search for something on Google you’re often expressing a desire to buy a product there and then.

For example, if you type ‘Barcelona city break’ into Google, there’s no doubt what you’re after. As a result, the first thing you’ll see are ads for city break packages.

Facebook ads vs. Google ads - Google example

While it’s possible to layer some profile targeting on top of Google’s behavioural targeting – say, excluding people by age or gender – the user still has to express intent in the first place.


The pros and cons


✔️ Users are ready to buy

✔️ Fresh audiences are being created every day

✖️ Can’t ‘backdate’ and target people who searched last month

✖️ Audiences might be smaller – you have to wait for new people to search


✔️ Can target broader audiences

✔️ Can target people who are a good fit for your brand

✖️ An interest doesn’t mean someone is ready to buy

✖️ Changes to how Facebook are able to collect data may limit targeting opportunities


Facebooks ads vs Google ads… which to use?

The truth is, both Facebook and Google provide super-targeted advertising opportunities for service-based businesses.

For a housing client of mine, we have seen the benefit of consistent Facebook advertising in being able to target a particular demographic via their interests. This has resulted in them being able to both fill their properties and grow a pipeline of interested people for when a property becomes available. Crucially, they could achieve this with relatively low costs per click (CPC).

Meanwhile, a data security consultant considered Google ads but we felt that in this highly competitive space the CPC would be too high (we will use LinkedIn instead). But for an e-comm treadmill provider, Google ads could be a great choice. People who need the product are searching with intent, and as a niche service, the competition isn’t too high.

Generally, for service-based business owners, I find that Meta (Facebook & Insta ads) or LinkedIn ads are a good place to start. They give you lots of options around which objectives are right for the audience you’re targeting, along with multiple audience and ad format options. For this reason, you can build campaigns that are totally suited to the various stages of your funnel and objectives.

But, of course, there’s no need to remain loyal to one or the other. The important thing is to consider what you’re trying to achieve, and which will perform better within the budget you have. Either can work brilliantly on their own or they can complement each other when used at the same time.

The best advice? Try both and see which works best for you.

Need help getting to grips with Paid Ads? I can help. I offer done-for-you services so you can get on with running your business. Contact me today and let’s set up a chat.


Get marketing tips and advice straight to your inbox

For more hints, tips and social media hacks sign up to BITESIZE my email newsletter.

Get simple and actionable tips, how-to’s and insight that you can implement in your business. Reduce overwhelm and take control of your marketing.

Or if you’d like a chat to see how I could help your marketing, Contact me today so that we can figure out exactly what you need.


You might also like

5 Things You Need for Paid Social Success