4 Ways to Make Facebook & Google Ads Work Better Together

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In many cases, marketers and brands treat their advertising channels as separate forces and measure them one against another, to see which brings them the best results. In most cases, it’s Google vs. Facebook. But actually, there’s a better way to look at it.

Google AdWords vs Facebook Ads

Instead of thinking about it as Google versus Facebook, try to think in terms of Google PLUS Facebook.

Each of these major marketing channels has its own advantages and disadvantages, but when treated as one super-mega-major marketing force, they become even more powerful than as separated channels, and can definitely get you superior marketing results (especially if your competitors stick to the “vs” approach).

The secret is, to fully use the power of each of these channels, and let each channel help the other.

Here are a few ways to get started.

1. Provoke brand searches with Facebook, close the deal with Google

A well-targeted campaign on Facebook will not only get you excellent results by reaching and converting a cold audience, it can also increase the number of people searching for your brand name on Google. When this happens, you get a golden opportunity to “close the deal” when they are trying to inquire about your brand and learn some more, after seeing your ad on Facebook.

You will be surprised by the number of people who will go directly to Google and search for your brand name after seeing an ad on Facebook, instead of directly clicking it.

cross networks ads branding

WordStream found that advertising on Facebook led to a 34% increase in brand searches on Google.

There’s actually a very simple explanation for this. Many of the people that see your Facebook ads may have some interest in the offer, but they want to know more about your company and what you sell. Therefore, instead of clicking the ad, they will leave Facebook and search for your brand name to get the information they want.

All you have to do is use your brand name as a keyword in your search campaigns, and match the messaging to your current Facebook ads. Doing so will lead your cold audience on Facebook to find exactly what they were looking for on Google. It strengthens your marketing message and shows reliability.

I guess that by now you might be asking yourself, “Why should I use my brand name as a keyword when my website is already ranked first on Google for it?” Well, the answer to that is very simple. Targeting your brand name as a keyword allows you to better test your messaging in terms of CTR and conversions, and match it to what you’re saying about yourself in your Facebook ads.

Here’s an example from a live test, doing exactly what’s described above. This is a Facebook ad targeting a completely cold audience, containing people who are most likely never heard of this brand.

facebook ads plus google ads

And here’s a matching ad on Google, with matching messaging, just waiting for those Facebook users to come in.

using google ads to support facebook campaigns

So to summarize, easily reach a broad, cold audience on Facebook, and close the deal in Google when they’re searching for your brand name.

2. Target your Facebook ad headlines as keywords

This one is actually pretty simple, and takes what we explained about using your brand name as a keyword to the next level.

As mentioned above, a successful ad campaign on Facebook can easily reach many prospects and generate a lot of brand searches on Google, but when done right, it’s not only the brand name people will be searching for, it’s also your ad headlines.

A catchy headline can be more memorable than a brand name and generate more direct searches.

While it may sound surprising it actually makes a lot of sense. A good headline like “Turn invoices into cash,” as seen in the image below, can be much more memorable than the actual brand name, and make the people who saw it search for it when they’re looking for more information.

facebook ad catchy headline

This ad by Fundbox really made people actually go on Google and search for the terms:

  • “turn invoices into cash”

  • “turn invoices into cash company”

  • “invoice to cash”

And many more related search terms.

The title is so catchy, and right to the point, it provoked many searches and led to a lot of easy conversions. All Fundbox did here was directly “answer” the search term and show great reliability to the users who were just looking for some more information about that interesting ad they saw on Facebook.

3. Retarget your searching users with what they were searching for

So in sections 1 and 2, we did a kind of retargeting on Google, to the cold audience from Facebook. It was done regardless of whether the ad was clicked on or not. By using actual retargeting, we can take the connection between Facebook and Google even further, and make it much more powerful.

If you are managing campaigns on Facebook and Google, you are probably already aware of the importance of retargeting (If not, you should get aware to it ASAP). But actually, there’s much more to retargeting than just displaying the same ads to all your past visitors, and one of the best ways to use retargeting is cross-platform.

Cross-platform retargeting means to retarget the users who got to your site from Google on Facebook, and the other way around. But, there’s a clever way to do it even more efficiently.

You can use Facebook to retarget the people who got to your website from a search ad, with exactly what they were searching for.

This one may sound a bit tricky, but it’s actually quite simple. Here’s a great example of this tactic in action:

For example, the ad below was displayed to people who were searching for “eBay templates” on Google.

facebook retargeting using google data

It’s actually very easy to do (assuming you are using unique landing pages, and don’t send everyone to your homepage). To make sure you’re displaying the right “answer” ad to the right people, you will need to segment your custom audiences on Facebook. Simply go to the audience tab, and create a custom audience that matches exactly the right landing page which the ad on Google leads to. So, here’s how it works in our example:

custom audience facebook retargeting

All I did was segment my audience by people who reached the site through the source “AdWords”, to the landing page about templates.

And there you go. You can now use Facebook retargeting to reach the people who clicked on your search ads, with exactly what they were searching for.

4. Find more people similar to your searching users

The power of lookalikes targeting on Facebook is absolutely insane, and I won’t go on and on about it in this post, because that’s a bigger subject. So, if you are not familiar with it, I suggest you get right to it.

If you are familiar and using lookalike audiences in your Facebook campaigns, here’s a nice trick you can use: Create lookalikes audiences based on what your site visitors were searching for.

Facebook Ad Tips Lookalikes Audiences

You probably know the best practice about lookalikes, which is to use your top users or customers as a seed and base your lookalike audiences on that. Well, that’s definitely true, but there’s more you can do.

In many cases, you will probably find yourself struggling with creating a high-quality seed since you need a high number of very homogenous audience members. In other cases, you’ll see good results with your top lookalikes, but wish to expand further (which is mostly the case, especially for advertisers with big budgets).

So what to do? Create a lookalike audience based on your site visitors from search campaigns. By doing so, you’ll be able to reach more people who are similar to the people who were searching for what you are offering.

You may be wondering, why target people that are similar to my searching users, but maybe did not convert? Easy: Just because you did not convert the people who clicked your ads on Google, doesn’t mean you will not convert their lookalikes.

But be careful with it. Some of the people in this lookalike audience might also be a part of your regular lookalikes audience, so you need to make sure you will not target them twice in two different ad sets.

Make sure to exclude your lookalikes based on customers from your search-based lookalike audiences.

Final words

Looking at the bigger picture and changing my approach from “Google vs. Facebook” to “Google plus Facebook” has definitely improved my overall results. From my experience, it helps you see the bigger picture and strategize better.

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