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Archive for the ‘Facebook Ad Tips’ Category

Education Case Study about CTR

Friday, February 1st, 2013

 

There has been a ton of hype in the EDU space in the news, with companies and start-ups funded left and right and literally millions of dollars pouring into the space. As this happens, the changes in the EDU space are paralleling those in the online marketing space, and it’s instructive to look at the similarities and how you can take advantage of them.


In this post we’ll show you what BoostCTR is doing in the educations space and why Click-Through Rates (CTR) are becoming a determining factor (if not THE determining factor) in engagement and search rankings within the EDU space.


Today we’ll be talking about TareasPlus, a spanish-language educational platform created to help teach people math.


As background, I’ve previously written a post showing how I took this stie from 2K unique visitors a day to over 50K uniques a day with Facebook ads.


And while those are impressive results no matter how you slice them, they’re even more noteworthy when you learrn that we only spent $500 per month to get that much traffic!


How?


High CTR! Because of our high click through rates and cleverly written ads our ad budget performed far beyond it’s relatively meager size. Which is the point: CTR is quickly becoming THE essential success metric in this space. Not only because CTR is determinant in driving traffic, but because CTR weighs so heavily in determining relevance for search rankings, ad placement, quality scores, etc.


Of course, to get the results we achieved with Tareaplus we had to go beyond the basics to setup an amazing remarketing campaign for all those people coming to the site.  Once you get them to the site, you’ve still got to convert them to customers. So we’re now targeting all those unique visitors by remarketing our edu banners to them daily.


But before we go too far into that, let’s get back to the point of the article: the importance of CTR in campaign success…


How important is CTR in edu links on popular sites like Facebook?


So a couple of weeks ago I created a file to track the tareasplus site’s ranking on certain Key Word Search (KWS) terms, in relation to their Facebook ad’s CTR. As you might guess, different pages on the site ranked differently for differing KWS terms.


For example:


Now here’s where it gets interesting. If you take a look at the tracking sheet below, you’ll see that out outlined the results for “Factorization” (aka “casos de factorizacion”). And what you should notice is that the search results for that page improved dramatically from December to January, almost in exact parallel to the improvement in ad CTR.


As the CTR more than doubled from 2% to 5%, the page rankings climbed from 8.8 to 6.1! Take a look:


 

And this is the same general pattern I’ve been seeing for any page that we’ve promoted through Facebook ads: in about two weeks it moves up the ladder for advertised keywords, typically big and important keywords, too, like “ecuaciones diferenciales” “quimica general” and so on.


Now, the interesting part is that these are the same keywords that we’ve been working on dominating for months. And yet we only really started seeing movement AFTER we heavily advertised and promoted those pages through Facebook PPC ads.


How Heavily DOES Google Weight Social?


So the question I had was: Has Google really began weighing social factors that heavily for it’s page rankings?


Also, why is it taking 2+ weeks for these links to show up at the top of the search results?


So I did a little bit more digging and here’s what I found


When I have a 2%+ click through rate on my Facebook links it rankes around 4x better than when I have below a 2% click through rate. And this effect holds regardless of what other, seemingly common and important SEO factors would indicate — some of those affected pages don’t even have a lot of content… heck, one of the links doesn’t even have anything but a video on the page and yet it still ranks extremely high for the keywords that we’re going after.


So this is HUGE, right? So much so that I did a little bit more digging…


When there is a page with just a video, boosting its Facebook ads CTR to +5% will cause it to rank 2 entire positions higher in Google when you search for the keywords in the link.


It’s insane how such an easily achieved boost in Social CTR so dramatically improves everything else.


So I’m not just reporting my findings, I’m also asking you: have any of you experienced this? I would love to know if this is just a fluke or something that’s actually happening across the board. So please let us know in the comments.


As for us, we’ve seen these results across the board on our last 50+ posts. It takes around 2 weeks but after that all of the linked pages begin ranking higher and higher in Google. So I’m asking: are you guys seeing the same thing?


P.S. Before answering, please make sure that the pages your commenting on are getting at least a 2%+ CTR on Facebook, to ensure your results are comparable to ours. That’s the minimum really, too. Our actual average for promoted pages is 3.5%+ CTR.


 



Tweaks from the Boosters

Friday, December 14th, 2012

 

When it comes to PPC contests, I love tweaks. You surely don’t ONLY want to run tweaks — you gotta test major changes in persuasive approach too — but there’s a ton you can learn from tweaking. Take this recent contest:




Just a few simple changes — not more than 3 tweaks total — and the CTR jumps by 40%. So what can we learn from those tweaks? Well, let’s look at ‘em:


  • “Dog Slow” vs. “Slow”
  • “OsX” vs “MacOS”
  • “Super Quick” vs. “Quick”


And here’s what I pull out from that: two of the three changes are simply additions of adjectives and adverbs to the same base clause; dog added to slow, and super added to quick. No new information is being given here, just added color and emotion.


For example, “slow” could be a factual judgement, as if you ran a performance test and noticed the OS was running slow compared to it’s typical benchmark. But “Dog Slow” isn’t a dispassionate judgement. Dog slow is an expression of frustration and a description of a subjective experience — meaning that dog slow actually describes what the prospective customer is experiencing.


And that means that the searcher probably assumes that the software is better suited to handling very slow computers than competitors; that the offered service better matches the searcher’s needs.


Same thing with “Super Quick” vs. “Quick” — super quick is a subjective experience and offers greater promise without over-stretching it.


And that leaves “OsX” vs. “MacOS.” And, in my opinion, OS X is how most mac users talk about their operating system, or at least how they talk about it when they’re not mentioning the BIg Cat that the system is named after, like Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, etc. But few Apple fanboys talk about MacOS. It’s either OS X or “Mountain Lion.” So even though the formatting is a bit messed up in “OsX,” it still comes off as more authentically “on-brand” / tribal than MacOS, which is usually how outsiders and PC-folk talk about Apple’s operating system for Macs.


In other words, all of the changes were small emotional tweaks. Why? First because this is where tweaks tend to excel, in finding words with just the right connotations to boost performance. Second, because if you’re selling a service to remove a frustration, then your offer had better be as emotional as your prospects — had better, in fact, speak directly to those emotions. And sometimes, the difference between speaking at and speaking to is as small as a one-letter tweak.


 



Do Your Facebook Ads Fall Prey to These Common Mistakes?

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

 

Compared to Search or Display Advertising, Facebook Ads are relatively new. There also a different animal than either of those online advertising standbies, which means that a lot of advertisers tend to fall into the same common pitfalls when creating Facebook pay-per-click ads. Avoid them and you’ll be well ahead of the game. Here are the

 

Top 3 Facebook Mistakes to Avoid

 

1. Generic Campaigns: Facebook users read what interests them, and unflinchingly ignore anything that doesn’t. So if you expect them to read your Facebook ad, you’d better make it interesting. And that means simply copying your search campaigns over to Facebook and adding a photo will all-but guarantee failure. — as will any generic, boring ad, such as this one:

 

To avoid this, create your Facebook Ads with the assumption that your ad will be ingored without some kind of compelling engagement strategy. Many high-performing ads have turned to contests, interesting polls, sponsored stories, sweepstakes, giveaways, and good-old un-ignorable headlines and imagery. generic ad with a photo. But whatever techniques and strategies you use, make sure they result in an interesting, fun and utterly non-generic ad.

 

2. Creepy Images: When it comes to grabbing attention, creepy images definitely get the job done, and that’s good. Unfortunately, that creepy feeling created by the image usually rubs off onto your brand, and that’s far from good. This dog daycare ad is a great example of that. The image looks an ink-stamp of Cujo — dark and threateningly haunted. After seeing that image, do you want your dog anywhere near that daycare?

 

Before launching your ad, test your images by asking other people in your office how they would respond to the ad. In this case, another good resource to find opinions about this ad image would be any friends with dog owners.

 

3. Not-so-catchy Headlines: Unlike display ads, you don’t get to bold your text or call to action. Facebook only bolds your headline, making it the most important text that will attract your audience’s attention. For this particular cleaning ad, the headline says nothing about cleaning and has no real relation to the product.

For ad headlines on Facebook, make sure that they’re catchy and that they can stand alone without the ad copy. Consumers’ attention will mainly be focused on the bolded headline, so if they miss the rest of the ad, the headline should convey what you’re trying to advertise.

 

For insights on ad copy and image ads in your industry, try using the MixRank search engine for display ads. This will give you some ideas on what kind of ads you might want to run on Facebook. Register for a free account here. Good luck!

 

About MixRank

 

MixRank is a spy tool for contextual and display ads. With MixRank you can see exactly where your competitors are buying traffic and which ad copy is performing best for them across over 95,000 Google AdSense sites. You can use MixRank to watch your competitors spend money testing different ads and traffic sources, see which ones worked best, and use that data to build your own campaign.

 

 



3 Dos & Don’ts to Spring Clean Your Facebook Ads

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

 

[originally posted on SearchEngineWatch]


Spring cleaning is on everyone’s mind these days, so if you’re gonna go all Martha Stewart on your basement, give your Facebook ads a little attention too!

im-not-your-average-maid-ad

 

Speaking of cleaning, this Facebook ad is perfectly timed but less than perfectly designed. Here are three things you shouldn’t do with your Facebook ads:

 

  1. Don’t Underutilize Images & Space The picture doesn’t make use of the full image size and really isn’t interesting to the target audience (most probably women). Yes, it does “go with” the headline, but the body copy doesn’t pick up on the curiosity factor and, frankly, who cares that this girl is “not your average maid”?
  2. Don’t Make it About You The headline is totally missing the What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) factor. It’s wonderful that she’s not average, but how does that benefit me as a user or consumer?
  3. Don’t Hide Your Real Value The body copy fails to make a compelling offer. Even worse, it commits the ultimate marketing faux pas (in my opinion) by offering you a“FREE Quote”, as if it’s a favor. I know a lot of us are guilty of doing this. Free webinars or whitepapers aren’t really free, are they? You’re offering valuable information in exchange for a person’s contact info and a chance to communicate with them. So the real value is not that your content is free, it’s the fact that it’s unique, educational and beneficial to your target audience. See the difference?
  4. (more…)

 



Ads in the Wild: Ford Gets it Right

Monday, April 9th, 2012

 

[originally posted on PPCHero]

 

When you jump on Twitter, you’re basically looking to be distracted. Sure, you’re also hoping to distract someone else with your own broadcasted thoughts, quotes, and hyperlinked articles, but you’re basically open to what’s out there, waiting for you in the tweet-streams of those you follow.

 

But when you log onto Facebook, you’ve already decided what you wish to be distracted by — you want to spend some time catching up on the happenings of your Facebook friends.

 

This is an entirely different mindset and it’s one of the main reasons why Facebook Advertising is such a challenging art: people don’t want to be taken away from the Facebook experience they are already having, so enticing them to click away requires all the attention grabbing, curiosity inspiring, and make-’em-an-offer-they-can’t-refuse artistry the ad writer can muster. (more…)