« Back to Glossary Index
Reading Time: 5 minutes -

The Pros & Cons of Facebook Remarketing vs Google Remarketing (Retargeting)

The pros & cons of facebook remarketing vs google remarketing (retargeting)

Remarketing is a targeted advertising method that is designed to pull customers back to a site.

Remarketing is a powerful and highly effective way to attract previous visitors back to your website to buy again, complete a sale or to find out the latest information after content has been refreshed. Achieved via simple tracking codes that follow a user’s online behaviour, both Google and Facebook offer ways for digital marketers to capitalise on ad targeting.

Here, we give you a full rundown on the pros and cons of both Facebook and Google’s remarketing services.

What is Remarketing or Retargeting?

Also known as ‘retargeting’, the term remarketing is the practice of using targeted Pay-Per-Click digital ads to visitors who have already visited a website. This is achieved via the use of cookies (or JavaScript tags – known as a ‘pixel’) which are stored in the user’s browser history.

It’s a powerful way to promote products and services to an audience who has expressly shown a specific interest in a particular website.

This method of marketing is particularly useful with eCommerce sites where the JavaScript tag can recover abandoned shopping baskets and prompt customers as to relevant products that they may have viewed or purchased before.

What is remarketing facebook remarketing

Targeted advertising is nothing new but remarketing is very specific to users who visit or abandon a visit to a site without finishing their transaction.

Facebook Remarketing

Firstly, let’s get some important stats down straight off the bat…

Facebook has as estimated 2.38 billion active monthly users and, of these, approximately 74% check in on the platform on a daily basis (51% use the site ‘several times a day’). Of the estimated 2 hours and 22 minutes daily average time spent on social media, Facebook accounts for 43 minutes of this (30.3%).

There is no doubting the domination that Facebook has on our daily lives nor the amount of time that the average person spends within the realm of this influence.

With statistics like these, it is hard to argue that Facebook remarketing doesn’t hold significant opportunities when it comes to targeting a potential audience. The fact is, it does.

Facebook remarketing, like Google remarketing, relies on the practice of directing targeted advertising to past visitors of your website through their platform. Let’s say a potential customer browsed some products on your eCommerce store but didn’t buy anything. With Facebook’s tracking pixel, you can direct a specific set of ads that is seen on their home page and can be designed specifically to cater to that individual and their previous actions on your website.

So, if they added a product to their basket but never completed the transaction, you could offer them a coupon for free postage and packaging whereas a customer who merely browsed your site but never added anything could receive a 15% off voucher. What about those customers who used to regularly visit your website but haven’t been back in a while? All of these behaviours can be isolated and used to fully customise a campaign that is highly targeted.

Facebook remarketing

Facebook remarketing has plenty to offer marketers but does have limits.

Pros of Using Facebook

The benefits of Facebook remarketing are pretty obvious but, for the avoidance of any doubt:

  • Facebook has a huge user base that spends 30% of their digitally social time on their site.
  • Ads using their remarketing service are place in prime position on your target audience’s home page.
  • Facebook remarketing isn’t affected by ad-blockers.
  • Ads are highly targeted and allow you to customise your promotions and campaigns to match user behaviour as well as by demographic.

Cons of Using Facebook

The downsides of Facebook remarketing are similar to those associated with Google and other companies that offer this kind of tracking service; they are not a silver bullet. Quite simply, you need to understand your customer’s behaviour and be able to translate this into an actionable campaign strategy to improve conversion rates.

Marketers who do not understand this can throw a lot of money at Facebook remarketing but fail to capitalise on the potential benefits.

Of course, this in itself could be considered a downside and harnessing the power of remarketing using Facebook doesn’t come cheap.

Lastly, and one of the big downsides of using Facebook instead of another platform to deploy a remarketing campaign, is the demographic userbase. Facebook may well be globally popular across a range of ages but statistics show that young adults (aged 18-24) are turning to alternative platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram for their social media fix.

Google Remarketing

By contrast with Facebook, Google is used by around 1.17 billion people each day which equates to around 100 billion searches per month! They are the world’s largest search engine and, here in the UK, account for around 90% of the market share. As well as providing the go-to search engine, Google also owns YouTube (the second largest social media platform behind Facebook) as well as operating hugely popular services like Gmail, Google Maps, Google Play and myriad other apps; all of which offer potential display space for targeted remarketing ads.

In terms of online reach, the company offers access like nobody else.

Google’s remarketing services are similar in technology to that of Facebook’s and use the same method of ‘pixels’ to obtain tracking information about a user’s online behaviour.

Powered by Google Ads, marketers can opt for a range of targeted services from standard to dynamic to those that are designed specifically for use with YouTube channels.

Google remarketing

Google has a greater, and more diverse, reach than Facebook but comes at a price.

Pros of Using Google

One of the main benefits of Google remarketing over Facebook remarketing is the diversity of the former’s reach. Google Ads are displayed not just across their own platforms (of which there is incredible access to audience figures), but also through millions of websites that make money by offering display ads powered by Google.

Both companies offer highly targeted campaign options which can be fully customised to suit your business goals but Google also offers complete integration with its powerful Analytics suite.

As with any kind of remarketing, paid advertising is no replacement for organic inbound marketing and the current generation of internet user is pretty savvy about the difference. However, Google has been adapting the way it displays ads through its Search facility and their PPC ads are becoming harder to distinguish from natural results.

Cons of Using Google

Similarly to Facebook, PPC advertising with Google can get pretty expensive, particularly when using competitive keywords.

One of the biggest downsides of Google remarketing may also be seen as one of its positives, namely the amount of features on offer. For some businesses, these may be quite useful but for most advertisers, these add-ons can be quite confusing and add another layer of complexity to the pricing.

Lastly, and this applies to all remarketing, this method of customer acquisition is no replacement for an effective inbound marketing strategy. Instead, remarketing should be considered a supplementary method for customer conversion.

Opace and Digital Marketing

Opace is a digital marketing agency that specialises in social media management, digital content creation and delivering intelligent SEO solutions to help customers achieve their business goals.

To find out why 100% of our clients provide us with positive feedback, contact us today to discuss your ambitions for remarketing.


Image credits: Mohamed_Hassan/Pixabay, Tookapic/Pexels, JoeTheGoatFarmer/Flickr and Google Ads.

« Back to Glossary Index

Latest Posts