Startups Ireland

Google AdWords or Facebook Ads: Which is best for a startup?


Google AdWords or Facebook Ads: Which is best for a startup?

The best approach to drive traffic to your landing page instantly is to use ads. An ad campaign will cost you money since it needs testing and tweaking.

When you think of running an ad campaign for your business, the ad networks that come to the mind are Google AdWords and Facebook. These are the two leading PPC ad networks.

Google AdWords takes 33% global digital ad revenue while Facebook only takes 5%. Both, Facebook and Google AdWords, have over four million advertisers.

If you are a startup owner who is planning to run an ad campaign, it is challenging to choose the right ad network. The following guide will show you which ad network is more suitable for your startup.

Major features of Facebook ads

  1. Multiple types of ads

Facebook offers different types of ads to choose from such as post like ads, page like ads, lead ads, app download ads, website clicks, post engagement, and many others.

There is something for everyone at Facebook ads.

And the best part – they keep adding new ad types.

When Facebook ads was launched, there were limited ad types but since then, they have added several different types of ads for the advertisers. It is something that advertisers love.

The ad types are linked to the objective of the campaign. For instance, if you are interested in sending traffic to your landing page, you must choose Website Clicks ads while if you are interested in increasing page likes, go for a Page Likes campaign.

As a startup, you have a lot of variety in terms of ad types.

  1. Better targeting

Facebook is a social network with massive reach. Users save all types of data on Facebook such as employment, location, places they visit, marital status, education, schools attended, interests, likes, dislikes, and much more. The list can go on and on.

This is what makes it an awesome ad network that allows granular targeting. You can target anyone in any part of the world with Facebook ads.

You can target audience based on their interests, pages they have liked, devices they use, demographics, schools attended, places visited, and more. The ability to select the most appropriate target audience for your audience is what makes Facebook better than all the other ad networks.

  1. Best for visual ads

While most of the ad networks are text-based, Facebook is a visual platform. Since it is a social network where people share videos, images, and other forms of visual posts, therefore, it is highly unlikely that someone will run text-only ads there.

You cannot have text-only ads on Facebook.

It is best known for visual ads.

Visuals convert better than text. Images persuade people to act. Image are appealing. Above all, it is easier to convey the message in the form of an image compared to text.

Major features of Google AdWords

  1. Biggest ad network

Google AdWords is the world’s leading ad network with massive global reach. The global net ad revenue in 2015 was well over $51.81 billion.

It has truly no competitor when it comes to PPC because Google is the most used search engine. It has 75% market share on desktop and 78% on mobile. Since it is the most used search engine, therefore, anything you put in the search results as ad will get all the exposure.

On the other hand, the display ad network is powered by Google’s publisher network, Google AdSense. Millions of websites and blogs use Google AdSense as their primary source of earning and this is where your ads are served.

Both the search and the display ads are equally effective – and together make Google AdWords the leading ad network in the town.

  1. Large audience

Google handles more than 40K search queries every single second. This means it serves over 1.2 trillion searches a year and the number is increasing exponentially.

This massive audience provides advertisers with the opportunity to serve ads to all types of audience based on their search queries, interests, websites they visit, etc. Google maintains audience data primarily through its search engine and this is what helps advertisers in targeting the most appropriate audience for their ads.

  1. Variety of ads

Just like Facebook, Google too offers a lot of different types of ads such as search, display, review ads, geolocation, shopping ads, and more. Google AdWords has different extensions for its advertisers that power your ads.

These ad extensions enhance your ads in several different ways. For instance, there is an ad extension that allows you to add a call button on ads on mobile so that your potential customers can call you from their phones. One problem with AdWords is the complexity, which leads companies to hire an AdWords Manager to run the advertising for them

Which is best for your startup?


It depends on your campaign objectives, your budget, product, and several other factors.

These two ad networks are completely different.

Facebook is a social network and is more suited to visual ads that appeal to a wider audience. It is best for promoting entertainment offers. This is because people are not in a buying mode when they are on Facebook.

They are there to socialize, not to buy something.

Someone who is chatting with a friend on Facebook will not be interested in your brand unless it is appealing.

On the other hand, Google AdWords is best for promoting pretty much anything. Someone who has typed where to buy iPhone 7 is interested in buying an iPhone. A relevant ad can do the trick.

You can, however, only use text ads with search ads. If your product is innovative or something that cannot be explained in words, you must use Facebook or Google’s display network. Unique and innovative products do well with Facebook ads.

You see there is no rule of thumb here.

You must evaluate both the ad networks and then see what your ad campaign’s objectives are. Everything must be considered before finalizing the ad network.

You must do a lot of testing. You might have to switch from Facebook ads to AdWords after several campaigns on Facebook for a few months.

The rule of the game is to test, analyze, and tweak.

You will eventually land on the ad network that’s best for your brand and product.

Eimear is the Marketing Manager at Power Meters, one of ten sites she is responsible for. Over the last year she has experimented with all advertising mediums and found Adwords the most suitable for their business.

Scroll to Top