last Updated 8 May 2024

Google Ads vs Facebook Ads – The Battle of the Ad Titans

I'm often asked whether Google Ads is a better choice for mortgage brokers and IFAs than Facebook Ads. And the simple answer is yes.

But don’t just take my word for it. This article delves into the heart of this debate, offering a comprehensive analysis tailored for financial services professionals.

To help us out, we’ll explore why Facebook Ads might not always hit the mark in generating high-quality mortgage leads and consider an interesting case study to prove the point.

Why Facebook Ads are generally the wrong choice for Mortgage Brokers and IFAs

Facebook Ads, with their vast user base and sophisticated targeting options, might seem like an attractive choice for mortgage brokers and IFAs at first glance. The platform excels in creating brand awareness and engaging users with visually compelling content.

However, the nature of Facebook as a social network often means that ads are displayed to users who are not actively seeking mortgage or financial advice, leading to a lower intent to act immediately on such services.

Financial Adviser Email Marketing - Google Ads vs Facebook Ads - The Battle of the Ad Titans

The lower cost per lead on Facebook might be enticing, but the leads are often of lower quality for the financial sector. Facebook users are typically in a casual browsing mode, not necessarily in the mindset of making significant financial decisions. This discrepancy results in a lower conversion rate for leads generated from Facebook Ads, making it a less effective platform for mortgage brokers looking for ready-to-act clients.

Moreover, the volume approach required to convert Facebook leads into business demands significant time and resources. This effort to nurture leads can detract from focusing on more qualified prospects and delivering personalised advice, which is the cornerstone of their value proposition.

Why Google Ad campaigns perform so much better for financial services professionals

Google Ads, by contrast, offers a platform where Ads are shown to users actively searching for specific services, including mortgage advice and financial planning. This search intent is a critical factor that makes Google Ads more effective for financial services professionals.

When users type in search queries related to mortgages or financial advice, they are already in the mindset of seeking solutions, making them far more likely to engage with the ad content and take action.

The conversion rates from Google advertising campaigns reflect this higher intent, with leads nearly doubling those from Facebook Ads in some cases. Although the cost per lead on Google Ads is higher, the return on investment is significantly more substantial due to these leads' quality and readiness to act. The leads generated from Google are not just numbers; they are potential clients who have a higher likelihood of proceeding with an application or consultation.

Furthermore, the average commission per case derived from Google Ads leads tends to be higher, indicating not just a quantity but a quality advantage. This quality over quantity approach aligns better with the business model of mortgage brokers and IFAs, who benefit more from fewer, high-quality leads that result in substantial business rather than a high volume of low-intent leads.

Pro Tip:

By default, a Google Ads campaign will show your ads to people who are searching on Google, but it will also show your ads on Google’s Display Network. That means that most people who start advertising on Google end up wasting huge amounts of their budget on the low-quality traffic that comes from this Display Network. Simply opt out of the Display Network by unchecking one box, ensuring your Ads only appear in search results.

Financial Adviser Email Marketing - Google Ads vs Facebook Ads - The Battle of the Ad Titans

Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads case study

One of my done-for-you clients has been running ads on both Google and Facebook for the past six months to generate life insurance leads.

The average cost per lead from Facebook Ads is £10, while the average cost per lead from their Google Ads campaign is £50.

And it’s this price difference that often leads mortgage brokers and financial advisers to assume that Facebook Ads are a better bet than Google Ads.

But here's the interesting bit...

The conversion rate that my client is getting on the Facebook Ads is 6% - i.e., out of every 100 leads generated, 6 of them turn into business.

However, the conversion rate of Google Ads leads is nearly double that at 11%.

This is because the leads that come via Google search Ads are from people who are actively searching for life insurance. So, they are easier to contact and more motivated to proceed with an application than the people who simply stumbled across an ad on Facebook.

But there’s another way in which the quality of leads from Google is better than the quality of the leads from Facebook.

My client has worked out that the average commission per case from Facebook leads is only £750, whereas the average commission on a case that comes from a Google Ads lead is £1,300!

So, to get 100 leads from Facebook costs them £1,000. From that, they will typically make 6 sales based on that 6% conversion rate and earn 6 x £750 = £4,500.

On the other hand, to get 100 leads from Google Ads will cost £5,000. But with an 11% conversion rate, my client will get 11 sales from that investment and earn a total commission of 11 x £1,300 = £14,300.

That means Google Ads generates a profit of £9,300 for every 100 leads generated, compared to only £3,500 profit for every 100 leads generated through Facebook Ads.

Obviously, this is just one example, but it's consistent with what I've seen time and again - Facebook Ads get you volume, but you have to work hard to convert the leads, whereas Google Ads cost you more upfront but deliver a greater profit and in a shorter time frame.

Financial Adviser Email Marketing - Google Ads vs Facebook Ads - The Battle of the Ad Titans

The exact steps for building a Google Ads campaign that will generate high-quality mortgage leads

Step 1: Define Your Campaign Objectives

Start by clearly defining what you want to achieve with your Google Ads campaign. Is it to get inquiries through phone calls, form submissions, or perhaps direct online applications? Setting specific, measurable goals is important for tailoring your campaign’s structure and content.

Step 2: Conduct Keyword Research

Identify the search terms your potential clients are using. Focus on high-intent keywords related to mortgage advice, mortgage rates, and mortgage services. Utilise tools like Google Keyword Planner to find keywords with substantial search volumes and reasonable competition levels. Incorporate both broad and long-tail keywords to capture a wide range of search intents.

Step 3: Structure Your Campaign

Organise your campaign into ad groups based on specific themes, such as "First-Time Homebuyer Mortgages," "Refinancing Options," or "Mortgage Rates." This structure allows for more targeted ad copy and landing pages, improving the relevance for your audience and increasing your Quality Score, which can lower your cost per click (CPC).

Step 4: Craft Compelling Ad Copy

Write ad copy that speaks directly to the user's intent, showcasing the benefits of your service and including a clear call-to-action (CTA). Highlight what sets your mortgage services apart, such as personalised advice, competitive rates, or a streamlined application process. Use emotional triggers and urgency where appropriate, without overpromising.

Step 5: Optimise Landing Pages

Ensure that clicking your ad takes users to a landing page that matches the promise of the ad. The landing page should be optimised for conversions, featuring a strong headline, persuasive content, and an easy-to-complete lead form. Fast loading times and mobile optimisation are also critical.

Step 6: Use Ad Extensions

Take advantage of ad extensions to provide additional information and improve your ad's visibility. Use site link extensions to link to other relevant pages, call extensions to encourage phone inquiries, and location extensions if you serve clients in specific geographical areas.

Step 7: Set Targeting and Bidding Options

Choose targeting options that align with your ideal client profile, including geographical areas, times of day, and devices. Start with manual CPC bidding to control costs, with the option to switch to automated bidding strategies as you gather data on which ads perform best.

Step 8: Monitor and Optimise

Regularly review your campaign’s performance. Adjust keywords, ad copy, and bidding strategies based on what's working and what's not. A/B testing different elements of your ads and landing pages can reveal insights to continually improve your campaign's effectiveness.

Step 9: Remarketing

Implement remarketing campaigns to re-engage users who have interacted with your website but haven’t converted. Tailored ads reminding them of your services can increase conversion rates among users who are already familiar with your brand.

If this all seems overwhelming to you, or if you’ve tried these steps before and have less than desirable results, I’ve designed a digital course and template pack to help. Whether you're new to Google Ads or looking to optimise your current campaigns, "The Mortgage Machine" offers actionable insights, step-by-step strategies, and real-world examples to help you outperform your competition.

Conclusion

In the comparison between Google Ads and Facebook Ads for mortgage brokers and IFAs, it's clear that Google Ads leads the race, particularly for those focused on quality over quantity in lead generation.

While Facebook Ads might be appealing for their lower costs and broad reach, they often fail to deliver the high-intent leads crucial for the mortgage sector. Google Ads, conversely, excels in connecting mortgage professionals with individuals actively seeking their services, thus ensuring a higher conversion rate and a more substantial ROI.

This analysis underscores the importance of mortgage brokers carefully weighing the long-term value and ROI of their advertising investments. Choosing the right platform is not just about immediate cost savings but investing in leads that convert and drive profitable growth.

Further Reading: What Can Chairs Teach Us About Generating Mortgage Leads?

About the author 

David Miles

As a digital marketing consultant, author and trainer, I specialise in helping businesses in the financial services sector use the internet to get more enquiries and increase profits.

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