Google Vs Facebook – Which ads are best?

Are you looking to get the best return on your advertising spend?

Of course you are. Everyone is.

In digital marketing there are two goliaths gunning for your advertising budget.  

Facebook and Google.

So, what’s the difference? And which is best for you?

Putting aside all the subtle differences between the two, it boils down to one big one.

Google = Permission marketing

Facebook = Interruption marketing

What does this mean?

Permission marketing – Google

There is a little bit of debate on whether Google ads fall into the category of permission marketing, but personally, I think they do.

With permission marketing, the customer is initiating the process. The customer is giving you permission to show your advert.

In the case of being a decorating business the process is as follows:

  • The customer has a problem (they want some decorating done)
  • They search for a solution on Google.
  • Your advert comes up as an option.

They only see your advert if they search for it and click on it.

They WANT to see your advert.

Interruption marketing – Facebook

Interruption marketing is the old fashioned way of doing things. Interruption marketing is forcing your adverts on to people.

You are simply showing your advert to loads of people and hoping some of them have the problem you can solve.

TV adverts, billboards and of course, Facebook ads, are examples of interruption marketing.

You are interrupting what someone is doing to show them your advert.

So, which is best for you?

Personally, I think you should do a bit of both, as there are pros and cons on both sides.


Permission marketing (Google) will often give you better qualified leads.

Because anyone contacting you has explicitly shown an interest in what you are offering.

They have typed into Google something along the lines of ‘painters and decorators near me’

Because they have done this, you know they are interested in what you offer.

The downside however, is that highly qualified leads come at a cost. The price of putting your adverts at the top of the relevant search terms can be very high, as you are bidding against other people.

It becomes a battle of who is willing to pay the most for each click.

Interruption marketing will help you get your adverts in front of far more people, however, because these people didn’t ask to see your advert, most of them won’t be interested.

The benefit is that it tends to be much cheaper than permission marketing.

Perhaps most importantly though, a large chunk of your potential customers aren’t actually aware they have a problem that requires your services.

And with clever interruption marketing you can appeal to these people.

For example, if you created an advert showing how you can repair and repaint old timber window frames or spray uPVC ones, you could catch a lot of customers who didn’t even realise that sort of thing could/should be done.

You’ve made them aware of the problem and given them the solution all in one.

Google ads simply cannot get this type of customer.

To put some numbers on it, typically only 3% of your potential market are actively looking for your services.

This means Google ads only work for 3% of your target market. People who are aware of the problem and know the solution they need to solve it.

It is worth pointing out that 3% is the most qualified section and the most ready to spend money. So it is a very powerful 3%!

The other 97% of your market is at a different stage of the buying process, they fall into one of the 3 following categories:

  • Unaware of the problem (60%)
  • Aware of the problem but not doing anything about it (40%)
  • Aware of the problem and considering ways to solve it (17%)

With good interruption marketing you can attract all of these people. Opening up another 97% of your potential market.

Final verdict:

Try a healthy mix of both Google and Facebook ads.

Use Google to capture people who are actively looking for painting and decorating services like yours and use Facebook to grow awareness of all the problems you can solve.

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