Google AdWords vs Facebook Ads

What’s the difference between Google AdWords and Facebook Ads? Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are the two biggest online advertising platforms – and you might have heard that one is better.

The truth is, they each have benefits and serve different purposes. Setting advertising goals will help you decide whether to advertise on Google AdWords or Facebook ads, or both!

Google AdWords and Facebook Ads

Display Types

Google paid search ads are the best for generating leads, since Google is the first place for answers for most people. Besides paid search, Google AdWords can also show ads in other places. Google AdWords display options are:

  • Paid search ad
  • Image ad on display networks (other websites)
  • Video ad
  • Shopping ad
  • App-related ad

When you create an ad on Facebook, your ad can be displayed on Facebook and Instagram to their users. Facebook offers different formats to show an ad:

  • Image ad
  • Video ad
  • Carousel ad, Collection ad, Slideshow ad: group of images and/or videos
  • Canvas ad: optimized mobile experience for Carousel / Collection / Slideshow ads

Both Google AdWords and Facebook ads offer a range of image and video formats. 


There’s 36 million people in Canada (2018).

20 million Canadians use Facebook, which is 56% of the population. 70% of the Canadian population uses Google as their search engine. Plus, there’s additional non-Google users that see AdWords ads on other sites.

Google AdWords reaches more Canadians than Facebook ads.


For both platforms, you can customize your target audience.

Google has basic information about you, such as gender, age group, location, the devices you use, and even your general interests based on your behaviour while you are using Google products.

Because Facebook is a social platform, it knows even more about you than Google, including information about your job history, your stage in life, and even what might be on your mind.

Facebook provides more audience customization options than Google so you can more accurately target your audience.

Lead Generation

Google’s biggest benefit is the paid search ads, which can connect you directly with those searching for a solution that you offer. Because of this, Google AdWords has a very high click through rate (CTR):

  • Google AdWords CTR: 8.33% (Source: AdStage)
  • Facebook CTR: 2.39% (Source: AdStage)

Google AdWords will bring you sales in much quicker than Facebook ads. 


Google AdWords

  • CPM: $78.47 (Source: AdStage)
  • CPC: $0.97

Facebook Ads

  • CPM: $12.45 (Source: AdStage)
  • CPC: $0.54

Since Google AdWords have a higher CTR, its effective cost per thousand impressions (CPM) becomes a lot more expensive than Facebook.

If you’re looking for the least expensive way to reach a large number of people, Facebook is a much cheaper option compared to Google.

The Verdict

If you’re deciding between Google AdWords or Facebook Ads, your answer will be different depending on your goals. Facebook ads is very cost effective for brand awareness, whereas Google AdWords is better for immediate sales.

Businesses should promote brand awareness as a long term goal and generate leads as a short-term goal. This means an overall online advertising strategy should involve a combination of both Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.