CPG: Driving Paid Search Ads to .Com or Facebook?

Posted by Nonie Carson, Associate Account Manager

There’s now one billion Facebook users on the planet. And if this unbelievably vast marketplace wasn’t ubiquitous enough—it is now. Companies pursuing the global power of Facebook are now requesting that search marketers drive branded traffic to Facebook pages instead of their native brand sites. It’s a good thought, but also a paid search challenge. Bottom line—this emerging trend could be creating more problems for Consumer Packaged Goods search marketing than good.

The relationship between CPG and paid search is no stranger to the experienced search marketer. We have seen CPG traffic driving to brand sites increase sales, brand awareness, brand loyalty, and much more. But as we pushed branded traffic to Facebook, there was a sudden increase in CPCs by up to 79% in some cases! 

So what the heck is going on with these high spikes in CPCs? Here are three reasons for this jump: (1) for brand, native URLs are more relevant than the facebook.com URL, thus ads driving to Facebook have lower quality scores, (2) only 1 ad with a facebook.com URL can show per query, so you’re competing against everyone for 1 position (as opposed to all positions) for generic terms and (3) for generic terms, you’re often competing against “deep pocket” brand advertisers with huge Facebook presences.


But, all hope is not lost. There is a time and a place to drive to Facebook. Check it out:

When to Drive to Brand Sites?

  • When you want to keep CPCs in check
  • When your goal is to drive the most clicks for your budget 
  • When using a “Where to Buy” sitelink that drives searchers to a store locator page 
  • When integrating coupons/offers with your paid search ads

When to Drive to Facebook?

  • When your goal is social interactions
  • When running a big Facebook contest 
  • If a special offer lives on Facebook (although, consider integrating the special offer with native-site paid search ads instead) 
  • If you’re a small business without a native site 
  • To achieve page domination (by double-serving from your native site & Facebook)

And if you’ve stayed tuned this long—here’s a treat from our experts. Tips from the pros to avoid high CPCs while driving to Facebook:

  1. Using a “Facebook Page” social sitelink within your native-site paid search ads
  2. Moving Facebook special offers to a native-site sitelink or ad extension 
  3. Adding Facebook calls-to-action to your native-site landing pages consistently

Hope this helps!

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