Top 5 Reasons Why Facebook Ads Are Better Than Google Adwords

Online advertising is becoming more and more popular in modern marketing. Two of the biggest companies that provide online advertising are Google with Adwords and Facebook with their own advertising system. But which one is the better one?

Facebook Ads VS Google Adwords

I have used both and I have to say that the Google Adwords is just dreadful! It’s very unpleasant to work with and almost impossible to master. You might think differently but based on my personal experience the Facebook advertising system beats Google Adwords hands down. Let me explain.

Top 5 Reasons Why The Facebook Advertising System Is Better Than Google Adwords

There are actually several more reasons why you should use Facebook Ads instead of Adwords but here are the main ones:

1. Facebook Ads Have Better Targeting

Unlike in Google Adwords, where you can use just about any keyword (which can really get you into trouble) Facebook Advertising system allows you to use only the words which are in their database. This ensures that there is real potential behind the keywords that you can choose.

Facebook keywords are based on interests, activities, books, TV-shows, movies, job titles the 800+ million Facebook users have listed in their profiles. This ensures that your ads will always have a highly interested audience for the keywords your are using.

Oyama Karate San FransiscoFor example, if you own a Karate Studio in San Fransisco (like Oyama Karate here) and you want to advertise your lessons to 22-39 old men who like karate and live in San Fransisco, or within a 50 mile radius you can do that using Facebook Advertising. Try doing that on Adwords!

Google Adwords doesn’t know that much about their users or their preferences, therefore they can’t target them accurately. Facebook, on the other hand knows everything about their users! You must have heard about the privacy issues related to this. Yes, that’s right, the big brother knows…

2. Facebook Advertising Account Is Easier To Set-Up And Manage

Oh, boy, this is a no-brainer! Have you ever tried to set-up a Google Adwords account? If you have, then you’d know how difficult and awful the process is. The Adwords ad management requires a huge effort in order to use it properly. Facebook Advertising system is faster to set up and it is much more user friendly.

3. You Can Use Images On Facebook Ads

You might have heard the saying ‘A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words’. As words are in short supply on online ads this is one of the most powerful features of Facebook Ads. The ability to use images in your ads on Facebook is a huge advantage over Google Adwords. Have a look at this example here and you’ll know exactly what I mean:

Using images on Facebook Ads

Guess which one is a Facebook Ad?

4. Cost Per Click Is Much Cheaper

Over the past few years Google Adwords has become exceedingly expensive. Even the medium popularity keywords are sometimes terribly expensive. For instance “email marketing” on Adwords costs $2.63 per click whereas on Facebook the average bid is only $0.78. That’s almost 70% less! Generally you can get good results using Facebook Ads at about a quarter of the cost of Google Adwords.

Facebook Ads are much more cost effective. This is great especially for small businesses trying to do online marketing without a big budget.

5. More Freedom Setting Up Your Ads

Setting up an advertising campaign on Facebook is much less frustrating than Google Adwords. As mentioned earlier you benefit from using images in your ads, but you also have more space for your ad description.

Adwords allows you to use only 75 characters, whereas you can use a whopping 135 on Facebook! Facebook Ads also allow you to use more restricted words than Adwords in terms of possible copyright issues. You can even use the exclamation mark in your Facebook Ads. (!)

Well, there you have it folks! I’m sure there are people who still think Adwords is better than Facebook Ads, so please feel free to leave a reply below. If you have been using either of these systems let me know about your experiences.

Promo Warning: If you are interested in learning more about Facebook Advertising read the Facebook Advertising Guide.

[image: Stuart Miles]

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About Kris Olin

Kris Olin is a web designer specialised in SEO, social media marketing, Facebook advertising and Internet promotion strategies. Kris has a masters degree in marketing, MSc (Econ.) and he has written the Facebook Advertising Guide. Follow Kris on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and .

View all posts by Kris Olin

32 Responses to “Top 5 Reasons Why Facebook Ads Are Better Than Google Adwords”

  1. Mike Says:

    Hi Kris, your list of reasons are interesting but I must question some of them. Firstly, your point about Fb providing more targeted marketing is true for “push” marketing. However, the privacy issues that you referred to only exist with Fb. Secondly, your point regarding images. Google ads would link an interested party to the relevant webpage where images presumably, would abound.

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      Hello Mike, and thank you for your good comment!

      You are absolutely right that the high targetable Facebook Ads are regarded as push marketing. It would be even better if they could be combined with ‘pull’ as in search results. Google ads obviously rely on good landing pages (with or without images depending how well they are designed). 

      The effect of the ad itself does increase if it can already hold a descriptive image. Mind you, I have seen some appalling FB ads that definitely did not benefit of the image choice! Such as this one here:

      Reply

      • Minh Says:

        The huge benefit of not having any images in Google Adwords is credibility itself – if your looking for information or content in your search, you want to get words. Here, even though everyone knows how to tell an ad from the actual search result, people would not be reluctant to click on an ad because it resembles actual content. Images are just such a common element of ads and not necessarily advantageous.

        Reply

        • KrisOlin Says:

          Dear Minh,

          I actually see images differently when it comes to advertising, online or offline. Pictures are the single most important attention getting element in any advertisement. 

          Alongside the headline they pretty much make or break the success of the ad. If your image is great it gets lots of attention and subsequently clicks. Even if it’s a bad image it still gets more attention than if it’s missing altogether. 

          Reply

          • TrustedSara Says:

            It very much depends on your business…if you are speaking to everyone then i believe ADwords is better …if you are speaking to a select audience then FB is better…..also Google is a directory..people serch for things because they have a NEED….they are buying or thinking about buying a product/ service …..FB users are not going to FB to buy or with any other need than social engagement.

          • KrisOlin Says:

            You have a point there, Sara! Facebook is better in highly targeted ad campaigns, whereas Adwords can be used on a larger scope. This, however can lead into trouble if you make it too wide. 

  2. Romanz Says:

    Search with Google have conversion rate from my experience, as Mike said users from Google search have a clear intent when they search for the keyword and the results are better compared to just someone spending time on their social network. Also if you know what are you doing AdWords’ interface is way better than Facebook’s – ever tried loading big campaign into Facebook?

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Romanz

      The best feature of Adwords is obviously that they are connected to searches which is translated to people’s wishes to find information, services or products. Facebook, however has this one already sorted out when they deliver ads to an already interested audience. 

      One great feature on Facebook Ads is that you can’t use just any keyword that you want. It has to have substance in the FB userbase in order to be targeted. On Adwords, on the other hand you can use just about any word that you can think of; and this can lead you into trouble if you don’t know how to adequate perform keyword research.

      Google has been doing some upgrades to its Adwords interface, so it is getting a bit better, but it still is a daunting place to visit, especially if you are just starting your online advertising venture.

      Reply

  3. Natalie Says:

    I agree with all the above. Having said that even if I did not, I would still use FB over Google because Google is lately beginning to become a pain in the arse. Simply things like hiding keywords on organic searches but displaying them on paid ads.

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      I hear you, Natalie! 

      I think Google is digging their own grave for Adwords if it doesn’t shape up soon. Things like ‘Google Slap’ and other unproductive features, like you mentioned are not helping.

      Reply

  4. Geoff Hoddinott Says:

    Good points on both sides.  At the end of the day it will be type of product, type of potential consumer, and the ways in which they respond that will determine which one you will go with.  I will say however, as an avid Facebook user and extremely frequent Google searcher, that only occasionally do I look at the right hand side of either page… I am interested in what happening and being shown on the left hand side.  Additionally, in Australia as with most other places, not only do around 85% of the eyeballs stay left, but, in the case of Google, around 90% of users think natural language search results are the more credible and trsuted.  And yet, 85% of ‘search budgets’ are spent on the right hand side of the page.  Why?  simply because it can be up and running in days rather than the months it can take to actually ‘earn’ the space on the left of the page.  So my experience is; that if you want to sell something quickly, use the right of the page – either Fb or Google depending on who you are and how your consumers actually consume online media and social platforms.  On the other hand, especially in B2B environments, earn your place on the left with natural langusage (organic) search.

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      Thanks for your fine comment Geoff,

      I share your view on the effectiveness of the right hand side when you want to make an impact fast. If planned correctly you can get immediate results both on Facebook and Google.

      Funny thing, Google is actually braking this rule by presenting three ads also on the left hand side. At least here in Australia and the US. People will learn that quickly though and jump over them as, like you mentioned they are not as credible as the organic results. 

      Reply

  5. Andy Nathan Says:

    Completely agree with you that Google is way too expensive!

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      It wasn’t like that 3-4 years ago, Andy. But now it has gone just ridiculous for some keywords. I have heard horror stories of keywords that cost $8-10 dollars per click. That’s just silly!

      Reply

  6. Lois Creamer Says:

    Thanks so much for this great post! I agree, Adwords is complicated for mere mortals. Haven’t considered Fb advertising but will look into it after reading your post!

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      Thanks for your kind feedback, Lois!

      Here’s a good place start with your Facebook advertising endeavours: http://www.facebook.com/advertising/

      Let me know how you go with it.

      Reply

  7. facebook marketing Says:

    Thanks for sharing. I never thought about adwords to be compared on facebook ads. Good ideas. Keep it up!

    Reply

  8. Virtual Assistant Ph Says:

    Hands down with Facebook advertising campaigns. The advantages are far better than google adwords. In today’s era, social media has a big factor in building business and expanding your network. Facebook is a way of building good relationship with targeted audience & clients.

    Reply

  9. Mysha J Says:

    Great Post ! But i believe that everything comes down to the type of business you are running. Each platform appeals to different enterprises and are used in entirely different ways. Choosing the right platform is important!
    Best,

    ★Mysha J ★
    ★ Writer ★ Speaker ★ Media and Marketing Diva ★

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      I couldn’t agree with your more, Mysha! Choosing the right platform is essential to your advertising campaign success. As several are other things such as right target audience, ad headlines & imagery, landing pages etc.Thanks for your comment!

      Reply

    • Camins Says:

      Industry specifics are precisely what I had in mind as I was half way through the article. AdWords can be coupled with a Google+ page and be more valuable to a company.

      Reply

      • KrisOlin Says:

        Google+ is is a dark horse which might do a lot of good to the Google product family. Or, it might just fade away under Twitter, PInterest and FB. That feature, by the way is copied from Facebook :)

        Reply

  10. zhinita Says:

    hard to decide which service to choose from. After reading your article, many points that I agreed with. Thanks for usefully content

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      Zhinita, I think the best way to find out is to run identical test campaigns (2-3 days) on both platforms. The results should show you to the better alternative.

      Reply

  11. Billseo82-seo Says:

    This is half the truth i’m afraid. There is no comparison between active search adds in google with passive adds of Facebook. Also, the info on many fb accounts doesn’t have much or acurate information in order to use it on ad targeting. I’m sorry but this is the truth that i had to learn the hard way :)

    Reply

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Bill SEO is right bud. There really is no comparison. 

    Reply

  13. BharatTutors Says:

    In my view there is no comparison between Google’s Adwords and Facebook ads. The first one is a real online ad service while the other is good to market your product. I used Google adwords and Facebook both for my site. Google Adwords is 10 times better than FB ads.

    Reply

  14. Vimal Dwivedi Says:

    Facebook Ads may have cheaper value than Google AdWords but google adwords are the most trusted way for any web site….

    Reply

  15. Andy Nathan Says:

    Only 5 reasons why FB ads are better than Google? I would have thought there be a lot more than that. My biggest beef with Google is that there relevancy scores are completely skewed. Sometimes I have words that were actually used in the title and the url declared low quality by Google. That is just bogus.

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      I’ve got the same problem with AdWords, Andy. It’s just too complicated structure. These kind of illogical things do not help either. Ads on Facebook are so much more straight forward. No wonder they made over 3 billion last year on those ads!

      Thanks for your comment, mate! 

      Reply

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