Google Ads ROAS vs CPA: Which Metric Should You Choose?

Should You Optimize Google Ads Based on ROAS or CPA?

Have you ever encountered the terms Google Ads ROAS and CPA when measuring the success of your digital marketing campaigns? If not, know that you’re not alone! These metrics are vital to understanding how successful your business’ online marketing efforts are performing.

ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) refers to the revenue generated from ads compared to what you spend. CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) measures customer acquisition costs and calculates how much it costs you to acquire a new customer.

In this article, we’ll clarify the distinction between ROAS and CPA, so you can decide which metric works best for your business. We’ll also cover the pros and cons of optimizing for ROAS or CPA so you can make an informed decision regarding where to allocate your advertising budget.

By the end of this article, you should have a better grasp on these metrics and how to use them for data-driven decisions about your business’ digital marketing initiatives. Let’s get started!


What is the difference between ROAS and CPA?

ROAS and CPA are two widely-used metrics in digital marketing. While both measures are critical for monitoring your advertising campaigns’ progress, they provide different insight.

ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) measures how much revenue you make from ads versus the amount spent. It provides a measure of your return for every dollar invested in marketing.

Cost per acquisition (CPA) measures the expense of acquiring a new customer through your marketing efforts. It divides the total cost of those campaigns by how many new customers you acquired during that period.

In other words, ROAS measures revenue generated from your ads while CPA indicates the cost of acquiring a new customer. Depending on your business objectives and marketing strategy, one metric may be more crucial than the other for you.

Understanding the distinction between ROAS and CPA is critical if you want to maximize the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns, as well as make data-driven business decisions. By examining these metrics, you can identify areas in need of improvement within your advertising strategy and make necessary modifications for optimal return on investment (ROI).


Which metric is best for your business?

Now that you understand the distinctions between ROAS and CPA, you may be wondering which one is best suited for your business. That depends on your marketing objectives as well as the size and structure of your operation.

If your primary objective is to maximize revenue, ROAS might be the ideal metric for you. By focusing on increasing ad revenue through ads, you can boost your return on investment and expand your business.

Conversely, if your priority is acquiring new customers at the lowest possible cost, CPA might be your best bet. By reducing your cost per acquisition, you can expand your customer base without overspending on advertising.

Ultimately, the ideal metric for your business depends on individual circumstances and objectives. You may even discover that combining both metrics provides an accurate representation of advertising performance.

By analyzing your data and testing out various strategies, you can identify which metric is most crucial for your business and focus on that one. So don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you!


Pros and cons of optimizing for ROAS

Optimizing for Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) can have many advantages for your business, but there are also potential drawbacks to consider. Here are some of the pros and cons of optimizing for ROAS:


  • Maximize Revenue: ROAS optimization can help you generate more revenue from your advertising campaigns, enabling you to expand your business and boost profits.
  • Recognize High-Performing Ads: By tracking return on ad spend (ROAS), you can identify which ads are performing the most effectively and allocate more budget towards those campaigns.
  • Better Budget Control: ROAS optimization gives you more control over your spending, eliminating wasteful purchases and getting the most value for your money.


  • May Not Prioritize Customer Acquisition: ROAS optimization prioritizes revenue generation, which may not always align with the goal of acquiring new customers at the lowest possible cost.
  • Accurate Tracking Needed: In order to optimize for ROAS, it’s essential to accurately track revenue generated from your ads – which may prove challenging for businesses with complex sales funnels or multiple marketing channels.
  • Can be Competitive: Competing for ad space with other businesses can drive up the cost of advertising, making it harder to sustain high ROAS values.

In conclusion, optimizing for ROAS can be a powerful tool to expand your business and maximize revenue; however, it is essential to weigh the potential drawbacks and determine if it fits with your overall business strategy.


Pros and cons of optimizing for CPA

One popular method for digital marketing is optimizing for CPA (cost per acquisition), which has its own advantages and drawbacks. Here are some of the pros and cons associated with optimizing for CPA:


  • Lower customer acquisition costs: By optimizing for CPA (cost per acquisition), you can acquire new customers at a cheaper price point, boosting profits and expanding your business over time.
  • Targeting customer acquisition: CPA optimization is designed with the purpose of acquiring new customers, making it ideal for businesses looking to grow their customer base.
  • Aids in identifying areas for improvement: By analyzing your CPA data, you can pinpoint which aspects of your marketing strategy require refinement and adjust campaigns accordingly.


  • May Not Prioritize Revenue: Focusing on lowering CPA may not always align with maximizing revenue, which could hinder your progress as a business owner.
  • Can be less competitive: While CPA optimization may lead to lower costs, it could also yield fewer ad impressions or less competitive placements, limiting your reach.
  • Accurate Tracking Required: Accurately tracking customer acquisition costs can be challenging for businesses with complex sales funnels or multiple marketing channels, just as optimizing ROAS can.

Optimizing for CPA can expedite the acquisition of new customers and enhance your marketing strategy in the long run. But it’s essential to assess if it aligns with your business goals and consider any potential downsides that could arise from doing so.


Tools and resources for measuring and optimizing ROAS and CPA

Measuring and optimizing ROAS and CPA can be challenging, but there are numerous tools and resources to help you monitor and enhance your advertising performance. Here are some options worth considering:

  • Google Ads: Google Ads provides a suite of tools to monitor and optimize your ad performance, such as ROAS and CPA bidding strategies.
  • Facebook Ads Manager: Facebook Ads Manager also provides comprehensive tracking and optimization features like cost control and conversion tracking.
  • Analytics Platforms: Analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics allow you to monitor website traffic, user behavior, and the revenue generated from ads.
  • Third-Party Tools: For tracking and optimizing ad performance, there are many third-party solutions available such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, and SpyFu.
  • Consultation Services: Not sure where to begin with digital marketing? Consider consulting with a digital marketing agency or specialist who can create an tailored strategy tailored to your business needs.

By using these tools and resources, you can gain more insight into how your advertising is performing and make decisions based on data to get the most out of your campaigns.

In conclusion, understanding the distinctions between ROAS and CPA is essential for any business looking to enhance its advertising performance. Both metrics have their advantages and drawbacks, so ultimately you must decide which to optimize based on your company objectives and overall marketing strategy.

Navigating the digital marketing world can be complicated, so it’s essential to partner with someone reliable who can help maximize your return on investment (ROI). That is where Powered by Outreach comes into play – providing comprehensive, easy-to-use solutions designed specifically for you.

At OutReach, a white label marketing solutions provider, our team of experts ensure that advertising campaigns achieve maximum return on investment and cost per acquisition (CPA). We use advanced tools and strategies to monitor and enhance your advertising performance, with a goal of helping you grow your business through successful outcomes.

No matter if you’re just getting started with digital advertising or want to take your campaigns to the next level, Powered by Outreach can assist. Get in touch today to discover more about how we can assist in reaching your advertising objectives.