Google Ads Or Facebook Ads for Dropshipping: Tips and Opportunities

One of the greatest challenges that any dropshipping business will face is getting the attention of potential customers. Dropshipping is a crowded marketplace with multiple parties all vying for valuable clicks from consumers. So how do you spread the word about your store? How do you snatch that attention so you can get visitors? Well, there are two primary advertising platforms at your disposal. But which one is better: Google Ads or Facebook Ads for dropshipping? Each has their respective pros and cons and their successful implementation will depend on your particular needs.

It’s useful to remember that as of 2018, there are 3.9 billion internet users in the world! Of these, nearly 300 million are located in the United States. That is a lot of potential customers. Don’t forget that the primary way for your dropshipping business to succeed is to connect with these potential customers. As a result, choosing Google ads or Facebook ads for dropshipping will help you make the most of your digital advertising budget and boost your return on investment (ROI).

Why Is Advertising So Important for Dropshipping?

Well, keep in mind that this is a highly competitive business model due to its low risk and relative ease. That means that there are a lot of online retailers trying to get customers’ attention by driving traffic to their online stores. So how do you get this traffic? By targeting internet users in the most effective and efficient way possible: search engines (Google ads) or social media (Facebook). Remember, it’s all about connecting with customers; that is the most important part of dropshipping. Using Google ads or Facebook ads for dropshipping allows online retailers to do just that.

This means that your primary objectives should be:

  1. Maximizing the amount of traffic to your dropshipping store.
  2. Increasing the audience base of your online business.
  3. Expanding consumers’ brand awareness so that they are familiar with your e-commerce store.
  4. Ranking higher in search results (for Google ads).
  5. Getting more likes and shares (for Facebook ads).

All of these are extremely important. Consider for a moment that you own a brick-and-mortar store in your city. Would you want to build it on a side street with no access? Of course not! You want it to be centrally located where potential customers can easily find it. Would you not put any kind of signage or name on the storefront? No way! You want it to be clearly marked so that people know what it’s called and know that it’s a business.

The same goes for your dropshipping store – people need to know that you’re out there and that you’re ready for business. This is how you get customers in this competitive marketplace and drive your profits.

Using Google Adwords

Keyword research is crucial for Google Adwords

The Google advertising platform is a powerful tool for dropshipping; most people start their internet use on a search engine. This platform can be referred to as Google Adwords or Google Ads. For the purposes of this post, we’re going to go with the latter as that has become the more popular term in recent years.

Let’s take a moment to look over these figures:

  1. Google handles over 40,000 search queries per second. That translates to more than 3.5 billion searches a day or 1.2 trillion searches annually.
  2. The average cost per click (CPC) for Google Ads, across all industries, is $3.09.
  3. Google Ads has a potential reach of over 90% of all users.
  4. About 46.8% of Google Ads revenue comes from mobile.

Obviously Google is an absolute giant; it is the most popular search engine and the most visited website globally. This means that it is an excellent tool for digital advertising. But it does require some preliminary research before you can create an effective ad campaign. Because Google Ads is more expensive than Facebook Ads (the CPC is substantially higher), it is best to hone in on your target audience and advertising strategy before you start paying for pay per click (PPC) ads.

Google Ads and Reaching Your Target Audience

Use Google adwords to create campaigns

As an advertising platform, Google Ads really shines when it comes to reaching your target audience. You can use any of the following parameters to do so:

  1. Location – When potential customers search for your products or services, you can target them by city, state, or country. Remember, Google Maps is a part of the Google suite, so it allows for highly specific geographic targeting.
  2. Demographics – You can target potential customers by gender, age, or even parental status.
  3. Language – Use various language preferences to reach your target audience.
  4. Keywords – See the tools below to help you identify the right keywords that match user search intent.
  5. Negative keywords – You can also flip this paradigm and exclude certain keywords to hone in on your target audience.
  6. Type of device – Remember that nearly half of all ad revenue for Google comes from mobile devices; you can use this to your advantage.

Depending on your needs and dropshipping business, you may want to focus on certain parameters. However, it’s crucial that you do a significant amount of keyword research; this is truly the cornerstone and shining jewel of Google Ads. If you use the right tools, then you can make your keyword targeting highly specific and granular.

What Are Some Tools for Google Ads?

Use Shopify apps for Google Shopping

Search intent is extremely important, so Google is all about the search results. Developing a highly targeted ad campaign will ensure that this search intent is met and that the consumer finds your e-commerce store.

  1. Shopify apps for Google shopping – This is where you can find various apps that can sync the products in your e-commerce store with the Google Merchant Center. Additionally, it is exceptionally easy to list your various products on Product Listing Ads and Google Shopping with just a few easy clicks.
  2. Google AdWords – This is the primary tool you can use to create Google Ads. It also includes a number of extremely powerful features like Keyword Planner, Adwords Editor, and others.
  3. Google Analytics – This is a powerful tool that you can use with your advertising campaign to determine which ads have the best return on investment (ROI).
  4. Clever Ecommerce – This Shopify app efficiently and effectively streamlines your entire retail process by optimizing your ad campaign and simplifying your Google advertising. Not only can you launch your various products onto Google ads with just a few clicks, but you can also develop remarketing campaigns to best reach your target audience.
  5. SEMrush – This tool will allow you to effectively analyze a wide scope of pre-click data in your pay per click (PPC) ad campaigns. It can also help determine your cost per click (CPC) as well as find the right keywords to target, the most popular ads in your e-commerce store’s niche, and your competitors’ search and display ads. This is all crucial in identifying and analyzing your target audience.

These various tools allow you to determine what users are searching for and how best to match their search intent.

Using Facebook Ads

So we’ve talked about Google Ads and its specific benefits, so let’s take a moment to look at a report by Zephoria, a digital marketing research firm, about Facebook:

  1. As of June 2019, it has about 2.41 billion monthly active users and 1.59 billion daily active users worldwide.
  2. It has over 1 trillion page views per month.
  3. The average cost per click (CPC) for Facebook ads is $1.86 and the average cost per mille (cost per thousand or CPM) is $11.20.
  4. Approximately 21.7% of revenue for Facebook Ads comes from mobile.

If we read between the lines of these various figures, we can see that Facebook Ads does not quite have the same reach as Google Ads. However, where it really shines is in its ability to provide more information to consumers. In other words, Facebook Ads is tremendous at generating brand awareness and informing potential customers about more innovative products.

Additionally, much like Google Ads, you have a variety of options in effectively reaching your target audience.

You Can Target People by Location

Facebook ads let's you target users by location

You know that old saying in real estate: “Location, location, location.” Well, the same can be said regarding an e-commerce store. One of the primary benefits of using Facebook ads is the ability to fine-tune how and where you reach your target audience. This is because Facebook can use profile data, mobile signals, or IP addresses to determine the location of its users. That means that you can enter a physical address in the search box and then set target parameters for everyone in the area.

Facebook Ads also allow you to display your ad to:

  1. Every person at this location at the moment.
  2. Everyone who resides at this particular location.
  3. Any users who were recently at the location.
  4. Every person who is traveling around that location.

This tool is so granular that you can even set coordinates and then specify a target radius (plus or minus 5 miles, for example). This level of specificity in connecting with your target audience is precisely where Facebook ads really shine.

You Can Target Customers Based On Behavior

Use Facebook ads to target users based on behavior

Facebook Ads is excellent at providing an extremely detailed analysis of user behavior. There are a number of categories and subcategories that can be used to analyze your target audience and determine what they like, what devices they generally use, and what payment methods they prefer. This effectively means that Facebook Ads provides a highly customizable advertising platform where you can target various smaller custom audiences rather than one large one. When deciding which to use, Google Ads or Facebook Ads for dropshipping, it’s important that you decide whether to cast a wider net or be more specific in who you are targeting.

Take Your Target Audience and Divide It Into Separate Groups

You will need to determine how large your target audience will be. For example, a dropshipping business usually keeps its operations more localized in order to keep profit margins wider by decreasing shipping costs. However, if you decide to try your hand at selling globally, then be cognizant of the specific challenges that come with this larger set of potential customers.

Either way, it’s always preferable to create separate Facebook ad campaigns for each geographic region. You can choose to cast a wider net (Asia) or be sharper in your targeting (the Middle East); ultimately, you are trying to keep your marketing costs down by closely monitoring your ROI. Give your ad campaigns 2 to 3 weeks and then analyze which regions generate the most sales. You can then break these down further into countries, counties, or even cities. Doing so will ensure that you are maximizing every digital advertising dollar.

How To Make Your PPC Ad Rank Well and Get Clicks

There are some basics that apply to both Google Ads and Facebook Ads for dropshipping. Some online retailers are finding that the best strategy is to use both advertising platforms. As a result, let’s see what every ad needs in order to rank well and get clicks:

  1. Keywords that are relevant and match search intent.
  2. A headline that is compelling.
  3. A display URL that is relevant.
  4. A call to action (or CTA).

Numbers 1) through 3) all rely heavily on your keyword research. Remember the Google tools listed above and take the time to properly identify the best keyword. With this knowledge in hand, you then make sure that your headline and display URL have these keywords and are properly optimized.

However, it is also important that you include a CTA. There are 7 basic types:

  1. Shop Now
  2. Contact Us
  3. Sign Up
  4. Get Started
  5. Watch Video
  6. Book Now
  7. Use App

Your dropshipping business will need to focus heavily on the “Shop Now” button. Additionally, there is a consensus in the digital marketing industry that the CTA is the single most important part of your PPC ad. This is the defining factor that will get a potential customer to give you that valuable click. As a result, always be sure to include action words – you’re trying to get users to take action, so you need your ad to reflect that. It is also crucial that your CTA be clear, concise, and in a positive tone.

Should You Choose Google Ads or Facebook Ads for Dropshipping?

Now that we’ve covered some of the basics for each advertising platform, let’s examine how they match up with one another. Remember, your particular needs as an online retailer and your e-commerce store will greatly influence which one you decide to go with. So, without further delay, let’s dive right in!

Facebook Ads Outperforms Google Ads If:

Use Facebook ads to create digital marketing campaigns

  1. The products you are selling have a unique value and require a specific target audience.
  2. Your primary purpose is to create recognition and generate brand awareness. In other words, if you are introducing brand new products, then Facebook Ads is preferable.
  3. Your digital advertising budget is limited; the average CPC of Facebook Ads ($1.86) is considerably lower than Google Ads ($3.09).
  4. You are looking to create ads that have more information with which to engage the user. Many advertisers find that Facebook ads are inherently visual and more creative than Google ads. In other words, you have a wider canvas that you can paint on.
  5. You are advertising to consumers and not business organizations. In marketing terms, this is known as business-to-consumer (B2C).

Google Ads Is The Way To Go If:

In some cases Google Ads is preferable to Facebook ads

  1. Your particular product or service meets a specific user need or solves a problem. This includes any problems that may be time-sensitive and which need to be immediately addressed.
  2. There is pre-existing demand for your service or product and there is significant search volume with high buying intent. Generally, this is why Google Ads has a higher conversion rate than Facebook Ads; remember that many consumers use Google to find products they already know that they want.
  3. The search intent of the user is more clear as they will be searching for the product or service themselves. Consequently, if the search results accurately represent search intent, then the conversion rate will be higher with Google Ads.
  4. Your target audience is a business or organization. As opposed to B2C, this is known as business-to-business (B2B).

If you are trying to decide whether to go with Google Ads or Facebook Ads for dropshipping, you should know that there is no clear winner. The advertising platform that best suits your dropshipping business will depend entirely on your needs and entrepreneurial goals. To put it in the simplest terms, Google Ads has the wider reach whereas Facebook Ads has greater accuracy in targeting.

That means that you should choose Google Ads for immediate sales and search results with high buying intent while Facebook Ads is great for increasing brand awareness, growing your potential audience, and newer products that require more description. If you want to really boil it down to the essence, you could also say that Google helps new customers find you whereas Facebook helps you find new customers. The most effective strategy, however, is to use both and have them complement one another. Doing so will allow you to get the best of both worlds and create a comprehensive digital marketing campaign.

Marcin Ossowski is a writer based in Los Angeles, California. At GreenDropShip, he writes about e-commerce, lending his expertise to online retailers and entrepreneurs on how to best drive sales and market their online stores. In his downtime, Marcin spends a lot of time outdoors and is actively pursuing his passion for writing fiction, creative nonfiction, and satire.