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Archive for the ‘SEO’ 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.