Dennis Yu

Why Google Ads cost more than Facebook

In 2010 I served a 2-year mission for my church.

My job as a missionary was to find people and convert them, through baptism.

There were two ways this was accomplished.

  1.     Member referrals: People would tell their friends who were already members they were interested in learning more about their church.
  2.    Tracking: We’d knock door-to-door and try and find people who were interested in learning.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you which method was more effective in terms of driving conversions

In marketing, I often hear people comparing search to social and I always think of this experience as my mission.

In terms of conversions, search, of course, is most effective (they’re already interested in buying).
But you really can’t compare the two on this basis.

There is a fundamental difference between search and social.

Search requires direct intent– someone has to type in a keyword to trigger an auction on the SERPs.
So only advertisers who have bid on that keyword, via whatever match type, would be bidding in this auction.

Because the keyword is so direct and clear to understand for intent, direct marketers can bid what that intent is worth to them. They know what a call or conversion is worth at the bottom of the funnel.

Social, however, is driven by WHO the user is, not by immediate intent that was initiated by that user right then.
So advertisers choose broad categories– mostly static demographics and things like lookalikes for targets.

While custom audiences are a proxy for search-like intent, they are small relative to the giant audiences, so custom audience spend is small.
Thus, the CPMs on small audiences tend to be a lot higher for many reasons.

The auction hasn’t had a chance to learn and optimize, so they pre-judge you as guilty, there could be more competition (influencer audiences), and so forth.

Another way to look at it– In social we have a lot more overlapping audiences.

There are perhaps a million+ advertisers bidding on 18+ US– the default option here in the United States.
You don’t see this type of auction issue with search– to have the entire keyword universe in an ad group if even it were possible.

So in social, we primarily have a large number of advertisers bidding on large audiences, creating a lot of bidders in each auction, all getting a similar CPM.
In search, we have many, many small auctions– allowing searches for “mesothelioma” to be over $500 per click.

There is also the concept of position, too.
Google basically has 10 spots per page, while Facebook has an unlimited page.
There is no page 2 on Facebook– think about what that means.

So just because CPMs are cheaper on Facebook doesn’t mean you should allocate traffic there.
The same is true for CPC– a campaign with a higher CPC might also yield a better conversion rate.

Consider counterbalancing metrics, so we know the trade-offs inherent with every single metric except the one– profit.

While there are many factors that affect CPM on any network, all else equal, a lower CPM is usually better.
It means that we are getting higher engagement (which is usually good), but might be getting lower quality.

Counterbalancing metrics, which is one of 12 aspects of #MAA, usually have metric pairings of quantity vs quality.

So whether you’re looking at the particular metrics of one campaign, or search and social together, make sure to always look at the complete picture to avoid missing the forest for the trees.

Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads. He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations. You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel. You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.
I'm a member of Blitzmetrics Academy and a friend of Dennis to boot. Not only is Dennis highly intelligent and full of great and creative ideas, he's also incredibly generous with both his knowledge and his time. Success couldn't come to a better guy. Thank you for all that you do for the world, Dennis! 🙏

Michael Pacheco


Thanks 🙏 for being shining light in this industry. Love what your building for works overseas too network for jobs so innovative. Dennis helped me navigate having bad experiences with marketing agencies and doing dollar a day marketing which has helped my personal brand tremendously. Highly recommend.

Eric Skeldon

Founder at Kingdom Broker

Working with Dennis has been a delightful experience. After meeting him in 2015 I got to collaborate with him on countless occasions. His understanding for state-of-the-art marketing, his implementation, and his leadership put him into the top 0.01% of marketers and mentors.

Jan Koch

Ihr kompetenter Partner für innovative KI-Strategien.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dennis for my podcast in 2021 and since then we have maintained a friendship that grows with each interaction. I have seen Dennis' devotion to his friends and clients firsthand, and our conversations often result in us talking about how we can provide more value to the people around us. He is someone whom I can ask questions on a technical level, and look to on a personal level. If you have any hesitancy about hiring him, get over yourself and do it!

Isaac Mashman

Help scaling personal brands.

Geez, where do I start recommending Dennis? First, he is an absolutely brilliant marketer who understands where marketing is today and where it's going tomorrow. He also has an incredible passion for the International Worker community. The lessons he has taught me from his almost 20 years of experience hiring International Workers have been immense. Most importantly though. Dennis Yu is someone who wants the absolute best for you and is willing to tell you the truth. Dennis sat with me at a point in my business where I was floundering but did not want to admit it. He asked some very straight forward questions to get me to admit my issues, highlighted the issues, and then helped me create a roadmap to success.

Atiba de Souza

International Keynote Speaker | Video Content Superman | Superconnector |

Dennis, which I had the pleasure of working with is one of the most giving, honest and tell you as it is person I ever know. The knowledge this man has is remarkable and he just gives it out freely. He is not pretentious and always entertain anyone big or small in the industry always willing to help. If you ever get a golden opportunity to work with him or mentored by him say YES!. You will notr regret Dennis, which I had the pleasure of working with is one of the most giving, honest and tell you as it is person I ever know. The knowledge this man has is remarkable and he just gives it out freely. He is not pretentious and always entertain anyone big or small in the industry always willing to help. If you ever get a golden opportunity to work with him or mentored by him say YES!. You will not regret

Nixon Lee

The PR Whisperer

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