If you haven’t heard already, which would be impossible at this point since we blanketed the entire market with it, Visiture released its Ultimate Guide to SEO for eCommerce in 2016. We used a lot of different tools to promote our guide. One in particular was Facebook Ads.
Facebook ads are kind of a big deal. They are cheap, and they are very targeted. We can target job titles, interests, and more to make sure the right people get our awesome content that we spent (well, Ron & Ryan spent) sleepless nights putting together and designing.
If you do not promote your content, it just doesn’t exist unless someone finds it from a search engine. So we invested a lot into creating better content and promoting that content. However, one travesty cannot go overlooked and, we hope with this blog, it will help all of you good people out there to not make the same egregious mistake we made. It is called Third Party Advertising Sites on Facebook.
The Big Mistake
Once we started running our Facebook Ads, Facebook automatically added us into their “3rd Party Advertising Sites.” We didn’t notice this until two weeks later, and a lot of traffic—but zero conversions—fell into our laps.
You can see 1,572 visits, at 83 cents per click, with a 91% bounce rate (ouch) and zero conversions. This obviously isn’t very good. Was it our landing page? Was it our content or ads? Well, no, because in general the page was performing well from other advertising channels, retargeting, email, etc. …
Also, interestingly enough, half of the users were actual returning users! So we were paying for people who had already clicked on our content and then didn’t convert.
So, why are these 3rd party advertising sites performing so poorly?
- People are accidentally clicking on these ads.
This one is pretty logical. If you frequent Facebook and click on the different content articles, you will see ads popping up which, sometimes, generally ruins the experience for you.
Mensfitness.com is a good example; every time I visit it on my mobile device, it has an incredible load time, and then I get a full screen mobile advertisement which I do not care about. Usually I end up accidentally clicking on it, getting frustrated, and then leaving the site to go back to Facebook. Your numbers can generally be skewed by this.
Also, the Facebook mobile ads for third parties are “FULL SCREEN” ads, so this means it literally takes up the entire screen.
- You are paying to be a guinea pig.
These ads are still new, even though it is a couple years old for Facebook, so right now we are paying cheap CPC to be experimented on. The entire campaign we ran cost around $980 (roughly). Facebook is trying to integrate their interests and their segmenting system with these third party ads; however, we do not know how good it is. Their site claims it uses third party data, so how good is that? We have no idea. So far we have had poor performance from our one piece and, generally, as an advertiser, if you get your hand burned on the stove, you don’t do it again.
Should You Use the Third Party Sites?
You should use them if you do not care about conversions and if you want branding. There is nothing better than a ton of cheap CPM, but, if you are looking for lead generation or conversions, then you need to look elsewhere.