Do you ever wonder which online advertising channel is more beneficial than the other? AdWords or Facebook

Small business owners often possess limited marketing budgets and need to focus their efforts on areas that will maximise return on investment. Social media advertising is an effective digital marketing platform that improves the number of impressions, clicks and conversions.

The scope and reach of digital advertising is significant as Facebook has approximately 1.5 billion active users per month while 3.5 billion search enquiries are conducted every day on Google.

Targeting Systems

Facebook Advertisements have a targeting option that allows businesses to target potential markets by interests, demography and geography.

This paid social media feature assists users to find businesses by targeting consumers early in the buying decision process and captures individuals in a subtle way.

adwords vs facebook

Source: Facebook

A large section of the market however can be irrelevant as they are not actively searching for information and there may be skepticism towards advertisements due to the number of Facebook Ads they are consistently exposed to.

Reaching consumers too early in the buying cycle has the potential to reduce a business’s conversion rate and results in a loss of potential consumers.

Unlike Google AdWords, Facebook gives you opportunities to reach out to your ideal clients directly by using their targeting options. 

AdWords provides you an opportunity to present your Ads immediately in front of prospects who’re seeking for your services/products.

For a successful AdWords campaign, your targeting must be considered as it plays a large part in determining who sees your ad. The Search and Display Network on Google AdWords each has different targeting features.

Google Search Network’s targeting options:

  • Keyword: choose specific words so that when a person makes a search on Google or Google’s partner sites your ad appears
  • Location and language: choose where your customers are located- country, region or city and your language preferences of the people you are targeting
  • Device: decide what devices you want your ads to appear on
  • Audience: display your ads to those who have previously visited your site

Google Display Network’s targeting options:

  • Keyword: choose words that relate to your product or service to specifically target apps, websites and videos on the Display Network
  • Topic: choose topics so you can reach a large range of customers at once
  • Location and language: geographic and language preferences of your ad to target customers
  • Placement: select websites where your customers visit so your ad can appear on these sites
  • Device: specify what type of device you want your ad to appear on. Decide whether you want to appear on laptops and mobile devices or iPhones and Android devices
  • Audience: show your ads to specific groups of people


Brand Building

Facebook Ads provide organisations with the option of utilising both images and videos to appeal to consumers. There needs to be an appealing content strategy behind Facebook advertisements in order to individuals to interact with the posts. An appealing strategy allows for word-of-mouth advertising and social influence as users can see that their friends have liked the post, causing trust barriers to be broken down quicker than advertising alone. It allows small businesses to build an interactive relationship with their customers.

adwords vs facebook

Source: HubSpot Facebook

On the other hand, Google AdWords allows businesses to place texts ads on search engines by targeting specific keywords in an attempt to be displayed with search results.

AdWords has an immense audience as consumers reached are actively searching for solutions to their problems and there is a greater probability a sale is made as advertisements target interested consumers.

Campaigns and Complexities

Google AdWords provides timely insights into your campaign to assist in decision making, whether it be the number of times an individual has clicked on an organisations website, the platform that was used to access the website or how long the visitor spent on the website.

Campaigns can be analysed to measure effectiveness, helping owners identify the strengths, weakness, opportunities or threats to better support the organisation and improve the AdWords campaign in the future.

adwords vs facebook


If Google AdWords is being utilised, small business owners need to understand how to write engaging ad copy that is attractive to their target audience and screen off non-buyers. This paid search tool can be difficult to manage due to the setup time and limited space within the ad.

If a firm is unfamiliar with AdWords and does not have experience in running an AdWords campaign, it can be complex to select appropriate keywords in order to receive a response. The potential benefits of Google AdWords will not be reaped.

If a firm’s website is not search engine optimised, the business will attain a higher CPC due to the low quality score. AdWords is not an appropriate tool if a website is poorly designed or a website is not significantly related to the campaign’s key words.

Which one works best?

Facebook advertisements are an appropriate tool if your business is looking to build brand awareness and target consumers actively engage with social media platforms. AdWords has a higher conversion rate and is suitable to target consumers who are seeking for a solution to their problem.

Having an integrated marketing strategy by utilising both Facebook Ads and Google AdWords will have a greater impact as they will work simultaneously to cover the entire consumer buying decision process.

Choosing an appropriate strategy is dependent on your business’s needs and how much time and effort you’re willing to implement into your marketing efforts.


Depending on your priority: improving brand awareness or increasing the number of leads and enquiries, you’ll be able to better decide which channel is more suitable.

If you still can’t decide which platform is more suitable. Facebook is all about targeting consumers early in the buying decision process while Google AdWords targets specific keywords addressing those actively searching on Google’s search engine.

Which one are you using? and what’s working for your business?

Need help manage your Facebook Ads or Google AdWords campaigns? Get in touch with us here.