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Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: What’s Working? [INFOGRAPHIC] - Driving Traffic

Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: What’s Working? [INFOGRAPHIC]

By on May 22, 2012

With inbound marketing getting all the attention these days, it’s almost as if marketers have forgotten all about one of the world’s oldest professions (no, not that one).

I’m talking about the second oldest profession: Advertising (which may or may not have a lot of overlap with the world’s oldest profession).

So when it comes to advertising online, the two best choices right now are Google, Facebook, with retargeting networks like Retargeter coming in as a combined third.

You’re probably wondering why you should consider buying clicks, when you can drive so much traffic for free these days. Two reasons: The first is obvious, media buys get you in front of new prospects that you couldn’t connect with using only inbound strategies. The second is that advertising typically appeals to a more motivated type of buyer, for some reason.

Think about it, if you’ve ever clicked a Google display ad or a Facebook ad, you probably weren’t browsing. You were a serious buyer, looking to make a purchase, or maybe to get a few more details before you make a decision.

That’s the big difference between outbound and inbound marketing. Inbound is all about building a relationship and making sure that, when a prospect is ready, you’re the one they go to. In a best case scenario, inbound strategies are the suspension bridge that delivers visitors into Leadville.

When someone clicks a Google display ad, they’ve self-selected themselves as a qualified, warm prospect. In other words, they’re ready to convert, at least on an opt-in form.

So lets compare the two biggest ad giants: Facebook and Google.

Most of the biggest differences between the two networks stems from context. Let’s be honest, you don’t log on to Facebook to buy, or even shop for stuff. If that’s what you use Facebook for… you’re doing it wrong.

Google on the other hand, is a pretty good place to search for products and services, which is why a Google ad gets roughly 10X the click-throughs that a Facebook ad will get.

That’s also why CTRs aren’t a very relevant metric for comparison. Cost Per Click, however, is a darn good one. According to Business Insider, Google’s average CPC is 75 cents, while Facebook’s is around 80 cents. Relatively competitive, no?

The second most important factor to manage is, of course, conversion rates. Facebook will probably be a little lower on those… on account of context.

While I agree with this infographic that Google delivers a bigger bang for your buck, I wouldn’t pull a GM and shutdown all my Facebook ads either. Facebook gets a TRILLION page views per month. Clearly, there’s a lot of value there; it’s just on the lead gen side of the equation.


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  1. Scott

    December 14, 2012 at 1:06 am

    I haven’t really done PPC ads yet. so i am not sure if what you are talking about is good or bad… but some of the ideas you are using seem biased for google… I’ve clicked on many facebook ads, don’t even look at the ad column in google. Yes, I know the first two in left column are ads too, but skip them too.

  2. Crawford and O'Brien

    December 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Great article. I agree. Google Adwords is the best because it has better targeting and conversions. People are searching for something and you’re there to sell it to them. Facebook can be good too though as you mentioned.

  3. Larry Kim

    June 5, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Hi Guys, thanks for posting this article! I am the author of the study. I was just wondering if you could add a link back to the original study? http://www.wordstream.com/articles/facebook-vs-google-display-network – thanks again for the mention.

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