We're off to a great start for 2012 with lots happening on the Web that we want to share with you in this issue and the months to come.
We invite you in January to become part of our special test on Facebook. We are testing the frequency of updates that users can see and like as part of our research for a new white paper which we will share free with all Facebook fans sometime in spring. So far some of the insights we are gleaning from our research are quite interesting, but we need more likes on our two testing pages to validate our tentative results.
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Afraid to Test AdWords Try Google AdWords Express
Some clients may be selling a service or product that may not be a wonderful match for Google AdWords. There's a great way to test if AdWords is right for you before taking the big plunge in regards to set up fees and click charges.
First, this is why AdWords may seem not be right for your business:
- Your products or services are priced higher than other competitors in your market. For example, you may only sell products bundled into a four pack and your competitors will sell singles. This makes your superior product seem more costly than the competition.
- Your service is unique but costs more to buy due to your expertise. Others who do not have your longevity in the industry may be selling what seems to the consumer the same service but at half the price.
- You are offering coupon codes to discount your products and promote them widely on the Web, but when a consumer reviews your product (which they can buy elsewhere) head to head on the Web without using the discount your product and shipping may be higher.
Second, this is how you can test AdWords for your business with minimal set up expense:
- Set up a Google Places account or claim your listing. Then use AdWords Express within the control panel to show ads in up to a 50 mile radius to test the waters with your AdWords program.
- Although this is a local test and not a national test, for just a few minutes in set up, and no keyword entry, you can try out Google AdWords to check the viability of your product or services on Google AdWords.
- When you set up a Google AdWords Express account, Google will set your cost per click, create a simple keyword list and even create your ad text.
Third, when should you consider the test successful?
- If your traffic and phone call level have improved from this limited scope test, it may be time to consider a full Google AdWords program. I recommend moving to this new level only if you have the budget to truly test a four to six month period at an ad spend of $500 to $2,000 for each 30 day period.
- If you got lots of clicks and no sales or phone calls, I would recommend that you review your position in the market to see how you can clearly differentiate yourself from low price competition, re-align selling policies and prices to be more competitive in the consumer's eyes, and evaluate if there may be alternative ways to cost efficiently promote your products and services other than Google AdWords.
If you are looking to move into a three or four month AdWords evaluation program after testing the waters, we'd be a good match for your needs. With a strong focus on sales and lead conversions, our service and honest advice will identify if AdWords is the place for you.
Be a Part of Our Test on the Best Frequency of Facebook Updates
I am in the process of creating a new white paper on posting times on Twitter and Facebook. I am testing the number of posts that fans like to see on Facebook and if more updates grows a Twitter account. I invite you to become a part of the process and get our white paper when we publish it for free.
Here's how to participate:
On this Facebook business page, we are posting five times a day. We would very much appreciate it if you would like our page and then let us know if you can see our updates in your news feed. Do they appear, are they too frequent, do you only see them in the ticker, is the timing right? We appreciate your letting us know your thoughts as this will change our service offerings and how we manage our clients for Facebook services.
Facebook McCord Web Services
On this Facebook business page, we are only posting once and maybe twice a day. Here we are testing to see if you can even see our update. Can you see our update in the news feed, is our update lost in the shuffle or noise, can you even see the update in the left sidebar under your page likes. We would very much appreciate your liking this page to help with this particular test.
For Twitter we are monitoring account growth based on new times we are posting to our account. We are evaluating if the times make a difference.
Remember, we are not trying to spam you but really want to evaluate what fans want and see on Facebook and Twitter. We will continue our test until the end of January. If you choose to participate, we will post a link to our white paper for you to get it free when it is completed.
You don't have to like both pages, just choose one based on the frequency you are interested in helping to test.
Thanks for considering joining our test and letting us know feed back on what you see. Although we test what can be seen on other Facebook accounts, to have a more sets of eyes letting us know what they can see if truly invaluable.
Special Insights Into Using Facebook Advertising
We've started to do quite a bit more Facebook advertising management for clients. Here are a few insights that I wanted to share with you about our experience so far for clients.
- Even if you choose to spend more than Facebook recommends per click, Facebook will not preferentially serve your ad program more to give you more impressions.
- Change your ad creative every week. I recommend only two ad creatives running at a time per typical business account that is spending around $1,500 per month in clicks. Even if you put more creatives in the account, you will find that Facebook simply will not serve them.
- There are limited places for ad placement on Facebook pages. Previously Facebook was only serving more than three or four ads in the sidebar. There is pent up demand and limited ad real estate. Just because you have a big spend budget does not mean that Facebook will be able to serve your ads to spend it. In fact we have found that clients whose 30 day ad spend budget is $2,000 do not even get near that spend using the Facebook pay per click ads. In this last week alone Facebook has increased the amount of real estate in the sidebar for ad space, which is good news for advertisers.
- It appears that Facebook is now tracking the CTR of ads in some accounts and will pause a creative or tag it to not show based on click through rates.
- We are seeing strong website referrals in Google Analytics from Facebook for clients that are advertising there and pointing the ad to their website.
- We have not had any clients be able to state unequivocally that Facebook is really driving strong leads or sale conversions at this point. Although we typically drive Facebook users to special landing pages and include special Facebook lead forms, we are not having clients tell us that lots of sales are being generated from the advertising on Facebook.
If you would like to try advertising on Facebook for your business, I think you will be surprised to see how low our account management fees are. Please visit our Facebook advertising management page for more information and pricing.