Archive for the ‘click throughs’ tag
Investors demand more revenue from Facebook, and Sheryl’s got just the APIs to give it to them. Over the last two days, three major ads tech partners have revamped their products with recently released Facebook APIs that allow brands to track and optimize for on-site conversions including app installs, buy home page ads and logout page takeovers, and target ads specifically to mobile.
The new capabilities in tools from Buddy Media, Nanigans, and BLiNQ Media (who just updated today) will attract ad dollars from app developers, huge brands, and local businesses. That means more revenue for these Ads API providers and more revenue for Facebook, which it needs to rescue its share price, down 11.7% today.
On July 12th Facebook revamped its Ads API to handle premium ads sales, including home page and logout page placements which appeal to the world’s top brands and those like movie studios that need to reach a wide audience quickly.
And a bit further back on April 18th it boosted the Ads API with the ability to optimize and track ads to attain the most on-site conversions – everything from shares and comments to Page Likes to brick-and-mortar checkins. That means instead of seeking impressions or click throughs, advertisers can pay for what they’re actually trying to achieve.
However, little ad spend from these products factored into Facebook’s first earnings report yesterday where it just barely hit projections. That’s because the big tools built on the Ads API hadn’t been updated to take advantage of the new features. That changed this week.
Buddy Media bought Ads API provider Brighter Option in February, but it wasn’t up to date with these three new capabilities until yesterday when it launched a major update to its ads tool.
Nanigans was quick to jump on the mobile ad targeting and conversions API, and this Wednesday integrated premium ad buying. The company has quietly grown to power 12,000 Facebook ad impressions per second and serve A-list clients like Fab and American Express. I think there’s a good chance they’ll get acquired by some old-world enterprise marketing giant.
And today BLiNQ Media revealed to me that its launching version 2.0 of its BLiNQ Ad Manager, which supports mobile and premium ad buying. It has taken much less funding than other companies in the space, so it could be an easy acquisition for a social marketing company such as Wildfire that currently partners to offer Ads API access, or lacks ad buying power entirely.
There’s some proof that Facebook’s new ads types including mobile are performing well, including reports like ours featuring data from multiple ads API companies that showed a 13X for mobile ads over web ads. And the social network can rely on these providers to try convincing advertisers.
But it will need more than one-off examples like Sheryl Sandberg citing on Facebook’s earnings call that Electronic Arts got a 4X return in sales on its Facebook ad spend. It needs irrefutable evidence that social ads work before Wall Street will budge and give its ugly share price some love.
Facebook’s head of advertising Greg Badros will be on stage at our Facebook Ecosystem CrunchUp on August 3rd, so buy your tickets to soak up strategy on making social ads work for you.
When you’re reading an article on a site that has implemented the Recommendations Bar, a small pop up will appear at the bottom, showing you recommended articles based on your friends’ activity.
Similar to the current Like button, if you like an article using the Recommendations Bar, the story is published on your timeline and appears in your friends’ news feed.
Facebook says that in early tests, sites saw 3x their normal click through rate on stories recommended by the bar rather than the Recommendations Box. Sites can integrate the feature with a few lines of code or as part of the Facebook for WordPress plug-in.
For readers, this (hopefully) means more relevant, interesting stories to read, curated by your friends’ sharing and liking. I can just picture reading on ESPN and being recommended a piece about the Giants winning on a walk off home run (lol, kidding–the Giants never score runs!) because my friends are sharing it. However, as with every social feature, annoying situations will arise. Picture reading an article on Yahoo and you get recommended a dating happiness article because your ex and three others read it. Ouch.
The best thing for users is that it isn’t a pesky social reader–this doesn’t share an article just because you read it. You have to like it in the Bar for it to be shared, so your guilty reading pleasures are safe.
For Facebook, it deepens sites’ reliance on their plug-ins and expands users’ reliance on Facebook even when they aren’t on the site. It could signal the start of Facebook expanding its content sharing and aggregating. Imagine if a recommendations bar popped up after you finished reading an Economist piece, but you were so exhausted by how much smarter the Economist writers are than you that you didn’t want to read it right there; Facebook could let you bookmark it and come back to it, either on Facebook or on the Economist site.
Content producers are huge winners here. This is a gold mine for them. Social sharing drives page views and this will undoubtedly increase the quality of Facebook shares, especially over the old Recommendations Box.
If you’ve embraced online marketing, your hopes for your marketing efforts are probably straightforward: tangible evidence that the money and time you’ve spent are producing a significant return on investment. Figuring out how to realize those results in the world of online marketing, though, is anything but simple.
Too often, businesses become so focused on growing revenues, building lists, and increasing click-throughs that they forget to develop the personalities of their brands. They become, in a word, boring. Without a palpable life force behind their marketing materials, they’re unable to engage users, and all the indicators of marketing success plunge off a cliff.
So how can you keep your marketing materials from becoming the online equivalent of the guy who won’t stop talking about the dream he had last night?
Start by taking these steps to banish the boring from your marketing content and keep your brand alive:
Develop a strategic distribution plan
Want your list to open more of the emails you send? Then prove that your emails are worth opening. Do this by contacting them only when you actually have something to say — and only when what you have to say matters to the people you’re contacting.
Think of it this way: You don’t write an email to your entire personal address book when you want to pass on a great article or image — you send it to the contacts for whom it’s most relevant. Treat relationships with your marketing list the same way and make contact only when you can offer them real value.
Master your unique voice
If your blog posts or landing pages read like instruction manuals, there’s a good chance your readers aren’t engaged. But in the era of social online marketing, engagement is key to building loyalty and expanding your presence. When people like something, they share it with their network.
Your brand’s unique voice should not only reflect the personality of your business, but it should also speak to your intended market.
Include a strong call to action
Even if you’ve banished boringness and built a devoted following, you can’t expect your list to read your mind. In order to sell, you must call your readers to buy. That’s not to say that you need a flashing red button that screams, “BUY THIS NOW,” but you do need to indicate clearly to your readers what action they should take.
Vary content lengths
It’s easy to stick to a formula for writing blog posts or emails, but your readers will likely tune out if they see a pattern repeated over and over. Write content of varying lengths. Include sentence fragments in some of your copy. Use questions to spice things up.
From one marketing piece to the next, only your voice should remain unchanged. Think again to your personal emails — you don’t write messages of uniform length every time you communicate with your friends, and you shouldn’t stick to a single formula when you communicate with your list.
Save longer messages for first-time announcements, and rely on shorter missives for second or third offers, reminders, and updates.
Meet their social needs
Once you’ve captured your audience’s attention, keep it by demonstrating how your product or service solves a problem or meets an unmet need. Apple does a great job of this. Instead of listing the amazing features its latest gadget includes, Apple commercials show how much better life is when you can purchase a song on your computer, create a playlist on your iPod, share it with your Facebook friends, and listen to it on your phone — without plugging anything in or leaving your couch.
These ads sell a lifestyle — and people camp out overnight to buy it.
Just say no to boring copy
Above all, be different. Be yourself. Tell a story. Keep your reader interested. Move your audience to take action. When you do, you’ll find that your online marketing efforts yield much more lucrative results.
Michelle Salater is the CEO of Sumèr LLC.
On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.
“Silhouette of friends jumping“ image via Shutterstock.
Are Facebook’s Marketplace ads a waste of cash?
That was one the many questions asked last month when General Motors beat a high-profile retreat from the Facebook ad platform.
But according to a report from marketing research firm eMarketer, General Motors had it all wrong: Facebook’s Marketplace ads do work, and plenty of advertisers can prove it.
Facebook’s numbers support the claim: Revenue from Marketplace ads accounted for $1.89 billion last year, topping the $1.26 billion from Premium ads. There may be concerns about their efficacy, but a lot of advertisers are still investing in them.
In spite of this, Facebook’s Marketplace ads get no respect, said eMarketer analyst Debra Williamson.
“We laugh at them because they don’t apply to us, or they’re poorly designed. They’re the ads we love to hate,” she said.
Click-through rates on Facebook Marketplace ads are abysmally bad, hitting as low as .034 percent by one estimate. Rates for Google ads, in comparison, come in at a little over two percent.
But focusing too much on click-throughs is a mistake, Williamson said. “The bigger deal is what happens after the click,” she said. That’s a strength of Facebook, which offers a variety of ways for advertising technology companies to track engagement.
In a similar vein, Williamson said that highly effective advertisers look beyond fan numbers. “You want to attract the right kind of fans,” she said. These are the kind of fans that not only click, but share and engage.
This notion flies in the face of previous assumptions, which held that the more Facebook fans a brand had, the better off it would be. But advertisers are quickly realizing that a blind pursuit of Facebook fans isn’t an end-all solution.
“A lot of advertisers are scratching their heads on what to do with all of these Facebook fans,” she said. “So they’re pulling back.”
Another effective strategy might sound a bit brash, but it works: Just launch. In her interviews with companies, Williamson found that oftentimes the most effective strategy is to just let the advertising technology do the work. “You give up a bit of control, but the results often pay off,” she said.
Speed is a key component prized by effective Facebook advertisers. Marketplace advertisements report results within 10 to 15 minutes, allowing advertisers to very quickly turn around and tweak their campaigns. This is a component that is sure to be come more prominent as Facebook launches its real-time bidding platform, Facebook Exchange.
Facebook isn’t off the hook, either. Williamson says that the company needs to better combine its premium and marketplace ad programs to make it easer for advertisers to track and manage both simultaneously.
Filed under: social
Also called as banner advertising, display advertising is one of the key aspects of online marketing. It is an online ads consisting of text, graphics images or logos that are embedded into a Web page. There are three commonly used display sizes in banner advertising: Leaderboard, skyscraper, and boombox. Other than that, a display ad can be presented on various form such as rich, static or expandable formats. But before you choose the type of display ad that you’ll use for your site, there are things that you have to consider.
The size and type of your creative will depend on the complexity of your message. You should also take your creative’s file size into consideration. That’s because most networks have maximum file size requirement. In case your creative’s file size exceeds, they will ask you to resize it or they may just reject it entirely. On the flip size, a creative with large file size will take too long load, which could affect your performance result negatively.
There are specific ad networks and publishers that allow your ads to appear on various sites. They negotiate for real estate on various Web pages in their network, and then they will occupy that space with the creative provided by their clients. Moreover, ad networks will allow you to target your banner based on demographics, location and vertical, making sure that your message will rich qualified traffic. What’s good about this is that your creative can appear on various websites using a single ad buy.
When choosing an ad network for your campaign you also have to consider the price. Negotiate your creative’s price based on three metrics: Cost per thousand impression, cost per click, or cost per acquisition. It is also important that you understand the concept behind these metrics. Furthermore, make sure that your ad network enables you to analyze click throughs and view throughs, as well as behavioral targeting performance.
One of online marketing’s biggest advantage is its ability to track and record results. When using the power of display advertising, make sure that your ad network platform provides you with ample campaign reporting. If you’re using multiple ad networks at once, make sure that you have display ad-serving tool. This tool will help you address cross-tracking and conversion issues accordingly.
Display advertising is not just creating a message and then asking a website to post your banner. It has a lot of things to consider and requires you to learn a lot of relevant things. Moreover, you should also think about whether this campaign will be applicable and cost-effective for your brand or not.
For many Facebook marketers we are having to learn how to create good Facebook ads by creating a few bad Facebook ads first.
But there are plenty of best practices and lessons to take note of to help improve that learning curve a bit.
Make sure your business is not falling victim to these very common Facebook ad mistakes.
1. Targeting Non-Fans
It turns out when you target Facebook ads to fans, you get 700% more click throughs, according the data king Webtrends. Additional data from TGB Digital shows that ads targeted at fans increases actual conversions (not just click) by as much as 400%.
Yes, you need to build an audience first, and yes, increasing your fan engagement helps support any future conversion efforts. But ultimately, when you want to convert with Facebook ads, targeting fans is the way to go. The data does not lie.
When we think through this process, it makes complete sense. The more relevant an ad is to you specifically, the more likely you are to notice and act on it.
And we know most Facebook fans are existing customers or potential customers of a business. Ads targeted at existing customers and Facebook users already familiar with a business will clearly see a higher success rate.
Here’s an example — I keep getting this Mastercard ad that is basically an attempt for Mastercard to get email addresses for their card owners.
The campaign is smart. But there is one big problem.
I don’t own a Mastercard. I never have. And since I don’t own a Mastercard, I am also not one of their Facebook fans. This ad is specifically for card holders.
Mastercard (370,000 fans) needs to invest in finding their fans on Facebook and then convert them. If we look at their competitors, Visa (850,000 fans), and American Express (2.4 million fans), both have invested more in building a Facebook audience.
2. The Superbowl Ad Syndrome
With a superbowl ad, companies spend a large budget on one or two ads targeted at, well, basically everyone. They reach 90 million Americans with one campaign.
On Facebook, the smaller and more relevant the audience for an ad, the better it performs. For instance, take a look at this ad from Aspen Heights, what I believe is a real estate company:
They already have a relevance issue with “Aspen” in the name. This ad was targeted toward me, but I live in NYC. Aspen makes me think of Colorado and skiing. Maybe there is nothing they can do about this as it appears they are filling positions across the country, but still, strike one.
The ad is actually for job openings they have. Besides the fact that I am the founder and CEO and clearly not looking for a job (strike two), when I click through on this ad, I don’t see anything about NY (strike three). A little job title targeting and custom landing page work could have helped here, but ultimately the relevance is missing.
Also, the ad copy references that they are hiring in Austin. Again, I am in NYC (strike four). I suppose they might be looking to relocate people or maybe there is a job posting that is in NYC that I cannot see.
But here’s the deal. You have a split second to get my attention with a Facebook ad. If it isn’t clear that this ad is relevant to me in any way, I’ll immediately turn my attention elsewhere.
Therefore, communicating relevance in the ad is extremely important. And the way to do that is create several version of your ads that are targeted at unique audiences.
Instead of creating one ad or one sponsored story to promote everywhere, a la the Superbowl commercial strategy, work on creating many ads targeted at small audiences.
3. Not Testing Images
Images are the first thing that Facebook users will see. Making an assumption that you know what image will get your Facebook ad clicked on the most is a bad idea. There are some great best practices when it comes to Facebook ad images, but if we do not test our assumptions, we are missing an opportunity.
Always split test your Facebook ads, especially your images.
Webtrends has a great set of slides when they present on Facebook ads. They ask the audience to guess which Facebook ad image performed the best out of a group of 12 images. Here is the slide:
We see the smiles, the faces, pictures of women, etc. And most of us have heard those things make good ad images. It turns out, for this specific example, the ad that outperformed everything else by far, was the odd festive image of decorations.
Who knows why. The point is, when you have the ability to put a dozen or two images out there to TEST and see which image performs better, do it. You save money in the long run and create an ad that will get noticed more and create more clicks.
When we surveyed Facebook advertisers earlier this year, we found that most advertisers are not following advertising best practices. They were not split-testing ads, they were running ads for longer than they should, and they were missing out on some key targeting opportunities.
Take a closer look at your Facebook ad campaigns and see if these tips can help your results moving forward.
Want to learn more about Facebook advertising? Check out Advanced Facebook Ads 2012, featuring speakers like Jay Baer, Chris Penn, Justin Kistner, Marty Weintraub, Vitrue, Buddy Media, Wildfire and more.
About the Jason Keath: Jason Keath is CEO of Social Fresh, the social media training company. They’re hosting Advanced Facebook Ads, a virtual event and the first Facebook Advertising Conference. It includes 22 live sessions, 10 case studies, 7 bonus sessions and all the content is online.
Google is constantly tweaking their algorithm — just look at the history of Google’s 2011 algorithm updates chronicled on this very blog to get a little snapshot. In fact, they announced 40 algorithm updates in February 2012 alone, followed by another 50 in March. And while Google freely talks about their overarching goals with these updates being to weed out lower-quality websites that don’t satisfy searchers with quality content, there is still some secrecy behind exactly how Google evaluates a website and ultimately determines which sites to show for which search queries.
That said, there are a number of tools out there — some free, some paid — that help you to look at your own site the way that Google sees it. These tools are critical to your organic search strategy because they allow you to focus on the elements of your site that Google deems important. In this post, we’ll walk through 6 such tools that all help you analyze your site like a marketer … and a Google bot!
1) Webmaster Tools
Perhaps the best way to understand the way Google sees your site is to ask Google. Google’s Webmaster Tools is novice-friendly with robust resources explaining the fundamentals of Google search. Plus, it’s free and works for mobile sites! For example, the Google Friendly Site is a great starting point for anyone needing a primer on how Google views pages. It succinctly explains a few of the basic parameters involved in Google’s search algorithms. Take a look:
With this tool, you’re able to see exactly which keywords Google is seeing when it crawls your website — the list you see above is just a snapshot. If you’re not seeing the keywords you anticipated, you know to start creating more quality content around the keywords you’re targeting. You can also see how many search queries and click-throughs each of the keywords is receiving. If you’re not seeing the rankings and CTR you were hoping for, this tool provides excellent tips to help you improve — just don’t expect them to reveal all their secrets.
Another great feature of Google Webmaster Tools is its breakdown of errors in its Diagnostics section. You can monitor your site for malware and crawl errors, both essential for conquering the SERPs. Malware can get your site blocked, and crawl errors will stop search spiders in their tracks, literally making parts of your website invisible to the search engines. This easy to read list allows publishers to see which links are not working as they should, giving them the opportunity to address the problem. This site, for example, has only one web crawler error found by Google:
Furthermore, Google’s Fetch as Google tool, allows you to see a particular URL as Google sees it, which is critical when troubleshooting for poor SEO performance. The information returned can help you modify the page in question for better optimization, and can even help you isolate problematic code when you believe your site’s been hacked.
2) Screaming Frog SEO Spider
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a search marketer’s best friend. Designed specifically for the SEO-minded, this program crawls the websites you specify examining the URLs for common SEO issues in an attempt to make site optimization easier. This program simplifies and expedites an otherwise time consuming process — especially for larger websites — which would otherwise take hours or days to manually evaluate.
The Java program is fairly intuitive with easy to navigate tabs. Additionally, you can export any or all of the data into Excel for further analysis. So say you’re using Optify, SEOmoz, or RavenSEO to monitor your links or rankings for specific keywords — you could simply create a .csv file from your spreadsheet, make a few adjustments for the proper formatting, and upload it to those tools. You’ve just taken a few minutes to compile massive amounts of data that may otherwise have taken hours, or even days!
In the screenshot above, for example, you can see a handful of images that are missing alt text, which means that these images aren’t going to be recognized by Google. That means they’re serving no purpose other than adding aesthetic quality to the page. Adding appropriate ALT tags to each image not only enables visitors to understand what an image is meant to display in the event of a loading issue, but Google can now “see” the image. You can also filter images to see large files (over 100KB) and those with alt tags over 100 characters, which are not recognized as easily by Google.
Screaming Frog can also easily analyze titles throughout your site. The screenshot above shows three headlines which are longer than the suggested length for SEO purposes. If a website is filled with lengthy titles, it is more likely to be ignored by Google and other search engines. This quick snapshot gives a publisher or SEO manager a quick reference as to where changes can easily be made to help optimize the page.
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider LITE version is available free, but with some limitations — you can only scan 500 URLs per website, and you don’t have full access to configuration options and source code features.
3) Check My Links Broken Link Checker
A link building campaign with a broken link is a huge bummer. Check My Links Broken Link Checker can help ensure the accuracy of links — whether external or internal — of a webpage, giving a publisher or editor the opportunity to make corrections before the page is live.
Think about a site like Wikipedia, for example — they must have tons of links! Actually, through a combination of internal and external links, a single Wikipedia post on Kiefer Sutherland has 599 links. Within moments, Check My Links scanned all of the links, finding just five that were broken.
The site highlights all the good links in green, and those which are broken in red, making it easy to spot the ones that don’t work or are no longer active. Check My Links also takes it one step further with a quick keystroke so you can see the broken URL, making it easier to recognize the error. Being able to see the erroneous URL makes it easier to replace it with an active link.
Check My Links Broken Link Checker is not only a great tool to ensure the accuracy of your page, but it’s also free, so even the most budget-conscious startups can take advantage of this tool.
4) SEOmoz PRO Tools
SEOmoz PRO Tools is designed for small and large businesses alike and can help publishers better understand their Google rankings. Be forewarned that it can take up to 7 days to get the full report, though, so this isn’t good for the SEO in a pinch.
With SEOmoz, you can see where each page ranks as well as see how Google crawls your site. The full web crawl report takes a look at a variety of components that are essential in Google search, including the URL, title, and meta descriptions. It also looks at a list of common SEO errors. The Excel report helps you quickly recognize where errors or missing elements are stumping Google.
The crawl diagnostics added to the dashboard help you to visualize exactly which errors are critical. It also tracks all changes that are made, helping you keep track of what needs to be done to help Google find your site. The critical areas can then be broken down into smaller, targeted areas. Each of these warnings can easily be fixed to help Google find the URLs.
Additionally, you’re able to link up to three competitors in order to see how they compare in their optimization efforts. The side by side comparison gives great insight into your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your competitors’. It’s like snagging a rival team’s playbook, giving you inside information on where opportunities lie!
SEOmoz PRO Tools offers a free 30-day trial, but subscription fees are $99 a month afterwards. SEOmoz also provides its subscribers with a vast array of resources including access to webinars, videos, and guides.
5) HubSpot’s Page Grader
A paid tool that comes with a HubSpot marketing software subscription, the Pages tool helps you, well, measure how effective the pages on your website are. The tool both evaluates the SEO performance of each page on your website, and provides actionable advice to improve underperforming pages. On this page, for example, we would know that our meta description needs to be fixed so the correct information is being pulled into the SERPs, but the rest of our meta data is a-okay.
Along with evaluating on-page optimization, the Pages tool tells helps you track inbound links and keywords — you can see not only what keywords each individual page is ranking for in Google, but also what other external or internal pages link to that page. This helps paint a more robust picture of how well your off-page SEO is faring, and how your link campaigns contribute to an individual page’s ranking in the SERPs.
The Pages tool even goes one step further, letting you drill down into each individual link on a page so you can learn which ones are helping your SEO and overall marketing strategy the most. For example, this tool not only gives you an overall link grade, but even tells you which links are sending traffic your way — because inbound links are important for both SEO and lead generation!
6) HubSpot’s Marketing Grader
If you’re wondering if your website and social media efforts are making the grade, HubSpot’s Marketing Grader is an excellent free tool. As its name implies, this tool gives your website and up to two of your competitors a grade based upon how Google views the site. It allows you to differentiate between B2B and B2C, and take a look at your social media activity, as well. It’s a pretty cool tool that also offers tips on how to improve your score — and thus, your website and marketing.
In addition to looking at how you are using analytics to measure your marketing success, Marketing Grader gives you a grade based upon 2 key areas of the sales funnel:
The Top of the Funnel (TOFU): The top of the sales funnel examines the efforts made to bring visitors to the website. It looks at content creation, optimization, and promotion skills.
The Middle of the Funnel (MOFU): The middle of the sales funnel takes a look at how well your conversion tactics are working. It looks at landing pages, conversion forms, email marketing, and social media.
You can see here that these two competing websites are nearly identical, except in one very important aspect: One is failing to bring visitors to its site. Neither is overly adept at converting visitors, and both are doing a fair job at measuring their success (or lack thereof).
One of the best features of Grader is its top tips to help increase scores. It’s like getting a math tutor to help with your calculus homework. Not only does it provide you with easy (sometimes no-brainer) ways to increase traffic, but it also offers credible evidence as to why it’s important to do so.
With Google’s increasing focus on building keywords into robust, quality content, it’s important to understand where how your page content is performing. As you can see based on the results Marketing Grader returns, this website needs to ramp up its content to improve SEO. Likewise, it needs to be savvier when it comes to adding alt tags to images to help Google recognize what the image is about.
Another epic fail can be seen below, as this website doesn’t include unique page descriptions. Although Google doesn’t recognize page descriptions as part of its search algorithms, they are important in helping drive traffic. The content placed in the page descriptions is what Google uses to populate the brief summaries you see under URLs on SERPs. If you don’t provide page descriptions, it defaults to the first few sentences of the page content — which can be either good or bad depending on your page design. Google reads HTML code from the top down, so if you’re using a column-based layout, for instance, content appearing in a sidebar may come before the main content area, leaving you with a random list of words as your page description in the SERPs. Yikes.
Marketing Grader uses its own algorithm to rank sites, and this one only got 3 out of 10 — an indication that it needs to work much harder to get Google to recognize it, drive traffic, and ultimately increase conversions. Luckily, this tool not only identifies your site’s problems, but gives you tips on how to improve it. HubSpot’s Marketing Grader app is also free and ridiculously easy to use, whether you’re an SEO newbie or veteran.
While you’ll never get a look behind the Google curtain to learn everything they know (or don’t know) about your site, by leveraging SEO best practices and getting the most out of tools like those listed here, you can greatly increase the chances that your website will show up in response to the right search queries.
This is a guest post written by Tom Demers. Tom is a co-founder and managing partner at Measured SEM, a search engine marketing firm specializing in pay-per click campaign management, search engine optimization services such as SEO audits, and content marketing services such as guest posting.
Image credit: randychiu
Are there any other tools (especially free ones!) out there that help you get better clarity into how Google sees your website? Share your recommendations in the comments!
Early this week, I wrote a blog post for a client about General Motors’ announcement that it was no longer going to advertise on Facebook. In gathering information for the post, I came across a story about a new business that advertised on Facebook and thought their experience could provide insight for those who may be navigating the waters of social media advertising.
One of the best “real world” examples of a company’s experience with Facebook advertising was a broadcast from NPR’s Planet Money Team entitled Pizza Delicious Bought An Ad On Facebook. How’d It Do? The company was Pizza Delicious, a newly opened New Orleans take out window that serves New York style pizza, who bought a Facebook ad to see if it could attract customers to their new restaurant opening soon.
Here are a few things they experienced:
- They hired a social media ad guru in California to help them to do this properly.
- They designed an ad targeting “friends of people who ‘liked’ Pizza Delicious.” Facebook analytics showed that this was 224,000 people.
- They then narrowed the scope and focus of their demographic to a New York connection = Nicks fans. This cut the reach to 15,000.
- No one clicked on the ad, and because Facebook gets paid by the number of clicks, it shut it off.
- They changed course by dropping the Nicks fans and changing the target to “pizza in New Orleans” adding words such as mozzarella, espresso and ice cream. The result: 20 times the Facebook fans in 2 days. For the ad, they paid around $1 per fan = @$240.
- These ads went viral and yielded twice as many click throughs.
- 1 person responded to their ad and contributed $10 to the new restaurant giving them a return albeit very small, on their ad investment.
Was it a success? Well, that depends on what you are measuring. Because social media advertising is still too new and untested, no one can be sure (yet) about the conversion from Facebook fans to buyers. Companies like General Motors didn’t see the value of Facebook ads believing their advertising dollars are better spent in other advertising mediums such as TV. However, other companies such as Subaru and Ben and Jerry’s tout their success claiming that social media has helped their brand and it drives more traffic to their website. This success comes from them better job of targeting customers in their ads; something that GM perhaps wasn’t willing or prepared to do.
One thing is clear, social media advertising functions differently than traditional advertising campaigns. It relies on “word of mouth” suggestions from “friends” that influences choices of how people spend their money. Facebook offers 900 million potential “influencers” to advertisers, making this an attractive proposition. However, to do it well means understanding the nature of social media. In Pizza Delicious’ case they knew they needed help and hired an online social media marketing expert who helped tailor their ads for their demographic and made targeted changes to find their best customer base.
With Facebook going public, it’s clear social media advertising is here to stay. Do you think it’s worth it? Would you buy a Facebook ad for your business? Reply to this blog or Tweet me @themares1 – I want to know!
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Another bit of consolidation in the mobile advertising space — this time with an ad-tech twist: Amobee, the mobile ad company that itself was the subject of a takeover by Singtel only two months ago, has now bought an ad startup of its own: AdJitsu, a specialist in “3D” advertising technologies that let users “touch” objects in ads and explore them.
Trevor Healy, the CEO of Amobee, says that financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed. Prior to the acquisition, AdJitsu was a wholly-owned division of another mobile advertising company, Cooliris.
AdJitsu had already built up a client base of big brands since being founded in August 2011: they include Nokia, BMW and (TechCrunch’s owner) AOL, which uses its technology in its AOL Editions app.
The acquisition announced today signifies how companies working in the area of mobile display advertising are looking for technologies that give them a differentiating edge over their competitors with services that make advertisements more engaging. This is all the more important as the medium matures and the novelty of mobile ads continues to wear off.
“Mobile advertising can be quite static and pedestrian,” admits Healy. “With something like AdJitsu, you can navigate around the product and consumers like it.” He claims that ads using 3D technology produce twice the levels of engagement and click-throughs as regular display ads.
Another reason why Amobee may have focused on AdJitsu is because of the Singtel connection.
Singtel, which bought Amobee in March for $321 million, uses the Amobee ad network across its pan-Asian footprint of 430 million users, and as Healy points out, “The Asian market loves 3D technology. It plays very well there.” But he also adds that the company has “many advertisers in North America and Europe that also want to explore using more 3D services in their ads.”
One company that doesn’t use AdJitsu’s technology, however, is Apple — although, given the company’s focus on rich media ads for iAd, this seems like it would be a good opportunity. Healy says that he has yet to talk to the iPhone/iPad giant but that he would “love to”: “I think this would be a great extension for iAd,” he noted.
We will probably see more deals like this one continuing to be announced. Specifically, there may be a lot more mobile consolidation to come in markets like Asia. Russell Buckley, formerly of AdMob (part of Google) and now an angel investor and advisor, notes that in China alone there are around 200 ad networks, with most of them set up in the past two years.
AdJitsu’s team is based in Palo Alto and will continue to remain there for the time being. Amobee has offices in Redwood City, California, as well as throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America.
Mobile photo-sharing phenom Instagram didn’t need an Android application or any help from Facebook to post remarkable gains in unique web traffic in March.
Instagram, the Facebook-purchased, photo-sharing app with little web presence to speak of, actually landed on analytics firm comScore’s March list of top 10 gaining properties by percent change in U.S. unique visitors.
The Instagram iPhone app pushed enough click-throughs to web-hosted versions of photos to net the startup the number nine spot on comScore’s list with 19 percent growth in U.S. uniques between February and March. Instagram attracted 8.2 million unique U.S. visitors in March, according to comScore’s calculations.
What’s this boil down to? Essentially, that the Instagram network effect — users post photos in the app and push them out to other social networks where folks click to view the image on the web — was alive and well before Facebook came calling.
comScore’s report reflects traffic to Instagram’s web site for March only, which means the gains in uniques don’t include the post-acquisition frenzy or even factor in the likely uptick in uniques from the Android application, released in early April. And keep in mind that these are web-only traffic figures and don’t account for mobile activity, which is Instagram’s bread and butter.
When the April numbers do roll in, the month will likely go down as a record-breaker for Instagram. For starters, we already know that the Android application and the Facebook buy helped Instagram sign-up roughly 10 million new members in 10 days.
Photo credit: bourguiboeuf/Flickr
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