The Battle of The Titans: Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads Which channel is best for my roofing company?
The two channels that dominate online advertising are AdWords and Facebook Ads. These two channels make up 63% of the digital ad market.
Google’s advertising revenue was an incredible 35 billion in 2017 while Facebook’s advertising revenue, which includes Instagram, was $17.37 billion in 2017.
In the roofing space, these are the two most common ways that companies advertise their services online.
In an ideal scenario, a roofing company should have both channels generating leads and customers.
But if you only had to choose one which one would you choose?
This answer depends on what your objectives are. For the rest of the post, I’ll go over the pros and cons of each channel and let you decide which one would work best for your business.
First, let’s go over some statistics:
- As of 2016 there are at least 3 billion searches per day on Google
- Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords.
- The average CPC (Cost Per Click) in the roofing space is $7
- There are at least 550 roofing companies spending at least $1000/month on AdWords (Spyfu)
- There are 2.17 billion Facebook monthly users
- The average American spends 45 minutes a day on Facebook
- The average Facebook Ad, per thousand impressions, is $5.99.
- There are 4 million Advertisers on Facebook
- The average CPC (Cost Per Click) for the home improvement space is $2.93
Let’s go over the tale of the tape for each.
Google AdWords: Paid Search
Google AdWords is about paid search. It focuses on keywords and the use of text-based advertisements.
In a nutshell, you are paying Google to show your ad based on what people are searching for on Google’s search engine.
In roofing, you can calculate with accurate results how many leads you can generate in your area performing keyword research and learning how many people are actively searching for roofing services in your target area.
Large cities with high populations will generate a higher volume of leads vs. a smaller city with a lower population.
If you live in a target area of over 100,000 people than that should be enough to generate enough leads to make an impact on your business.
Facebook Ads: Paid Social
Facebook Ads is about advertising your product/services on Facebook’s platform. In essence, you are targeting people that use Facebook based on their behavior and interests.
Facebook is like a party.
It’s a social gathering with your friends and family.
It’s a place where people hang out, watch videos, and read the news.
At a party do you think people are looking to buy things?
Probably not – Google is different.
Google is like the mall.
When people go to a mall they can be looking for things to buy or may be ready to buy.
The traffic on Google will be people in the middle or at the top of the buying cycle. While on Facebook, you can get people from bottom to the top of the buying cycle.
If you understand these two differences, you’ll have a much better grasp on how to use these two channels for your business.
AdWords Pros vs. Facebook Ads
The biggest advantage that AdWords has over Facebook Ads is the behavior of the traffic.
AdWords allows you to target people at the top of the buying cycle. If you set up your campaign correctly you can start seeing leads come in within 24 hours.
Most of the leads you will see on AdWords will be inbound phone calls.
According to Forbes, inbound phone calls have a 1000% chance of converting vs any other type of web lead.
Think about it.
A person is calling your business because they usually have an urgent problem or question.
AdWords also has a B2B advantage over Facebook. You can easily target B2B keywords in the commercial roofing space that will generate B2B commercial inbound leads.
Commercial roofing leads are extremely undervalued on AdWords. We have generated million dollar opportunities on AdWords by targeting commercial keywords.
Another huge advantage that AdWords has over Facebook is that for at least 50% of the people that click on your ad will not even realize that they are clicking on an Advert.
This is because those 50% think they are clicking on an organic search result without realizing that they are clicking on an Ad.
This will give you instant credibility because you create the perception of competence by being one of the first results they see when they search.
It’s almost like cheating.
AdWords Cons vs. Facebook Ads
There are numerous disadvantages.
AdWords encourages users to use AdWords Express which is worthless.
You can quickly lose thousands of dollars in a few days if you don’t pay attention to your campaign. AdWords allows you to spend a lot more money at a faster rate than Facebook.
The interface for AdWords is more difficult to learn. Facebook’s friendly interface allows anyone to create ads.
AdWords has many hundreds of features that can get confusing for the novice.
Facebook Advantages vs. AdWords
The biggest advantage with Facebook is that is a lot less expensive. The average cost per click is about ¼ the cost of AdWords in the home improvement space.
Another advantage it has that Facebook’s targeting allows for unprecedented granularity.
This means you can target people based on their net worth, the car they drive, their home’s value and many other things.
It’s a marketer’s wet dream.
They have been mining our data since 2004 and as a business owner, you can use this to your advantage.
Targeting Hail Damage on Facebook
The one big advantage that Facebook has on Google is that you can target storm-damaged neighborhoods with ads.
You can do the same with AdWords too, but with AdWords, you are relying on search results. Sometimes these people are not really searching for roofing services.
Facebook allows you to bypass this and target those specific neighborhoods that might not be looking for roofing services but will consider them if you present a compelling offer with your ad.
You can use software like HailTrace or others to target those specific neighborhoods. This will make your ads super relevant to the events in their town.
This will give you the first mover advantage. By targeting these neighborhoods it allows your company to be the first in people’s minds.
If you combine Facebook Ads with canvassing you’ll make sure you will reach everyone in those specific neighborhoods.
Awareness & Branding
Most roofing companies ignore their branding. Branding is about telling your story in a way that separates your business from your competition.
Branding can make selling easier.
One of the best ways to build your brand is by using Facebook and Instagram ads. You can share before/after images of your work, video testimonials, and case studies.
All these things are a great way to build awareness of your company and to provide proof of your expertise.
Compared to Google’s AdWords text-based ads Facebook Ads allow you to use images and videos to capture the attention of your audience.
Video marketing is becoming #1 way to market your product/services.
Video Ads on Facebook are what TV commercials were for small businesses in the past.
Retargeting on Facebook & AdWords
Both of these channels allow you to Retarget your prospects. You can target people based on their behavior with Facebook Ads or Display Ads on AdWords.
I would give the edge to Facebook Retargeting platform because you can create an instant connection with your ad.
Facebook Retargeting Ads have a higher CTR (Clickthrough rate-this means more people click on them)
Which One Should I Use?
It depends on what your objectives are.
Most roofing companies want to generate more customers from their marketing. If this is your objective than both of these channels will work.
If you are in a non-storm environment and want to start generating inbound phone calls fast then I would recommend starting with AdWords.
AdWords usually has a quicker ROI than Facebook, even though AdWords is more expensive.
If you want to build a social media following than Facebook Ads will help with that too. If you want to create a larger online presence AdWords will also help with that.
If you only want to target commercial roofing prospects than I would recommend AdWords.
However, if you have your commercial property database then you can use this with Facebook Ads to maximize your results.
If you are in a competitive city like Dallas or Denver and don’t have a big budget then you should try Facebook Ads instead.
If you are a storm chaser and want to specifically target neighborhoods that have been hit by a storm I would recommend Facebook Ads.
There are multiple case studies of roofing companies having success with AdWords and Facebook advertising.
If you’ve tried any of these channels before and you did not get results it’s because you did not execute.
In an ideal situation, you should have both channels generating leads and customers for your business.