For the last week, I have been pretty busy creating and tweaking online ads at Google Adwords and Facebook Ads, so I thought it would be useful to provide a bit of advice from my personal experience using Facebook Ads.
For simplicity, I will assume that you want to drive visitors to a single website.
Do your research: You cannot expect Facebook Ads to do miracles for you. It will do a pretty decent job at providing impressions but the “clickability” of your ad is 100% up to you. Forget one-size-fits-all approaches, you will require to develop at least 5 ads (I am currently working with 8). You need to think about the profiles of your website visitors. For a quick video tutorial of this idea, take the quick tour of the web attitudinal web analytics firm iPerceptions from Canada. (Avinash Kaushik is on their Advisory Council, so yes, you have to listen). Is your ad audience: female? male? young? old? English speaking? Time-constrained? Etc, etc, etc. Preparation of audience profiles should be about 60% of your time dedicated to develop online ads.
Select your text and image for your ad: As you can see from the two ads below, you can have a subject line of 25 characters, text of 135 characters, and you can upload an image (there are appear no limits on the image file size because Facebook will resize it to fit the add). It is important that you have a variety of images available because you will be needing as you A/B test your ads. Notice that Facebook users can give your ad a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down to your ad! Don’t try to fully capitalize words (e.g. FREE), or use strange characters (keep to the regular alphabet, both using different languages is ok, actually I encourage it!). Remember to use proper punctuation, otherwise your ad won’t be approved.
Think of the keyword(s) of your ad: This step is critical because it will allow you to use SEO and SEM tools such as Google Trends. Let’s assume that you want to promote your great widgets at www.widgets.com. So an important keyword to consider would be “widgets”. Let’s check out what is the search volume index of “widgets” at Google Trends. Wow, this is a lot of useful information! Notice that we get a couple of relevant news that show what drove queries for this term. Company names and product names are useful because then you can go into their websites and see what are their current SEO and SEM practices. Also, you should look if the already have ads around Facebook. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel and keep an eye on the current practices of your competitors. It is also important to check out what keywords are related to your keyword, what regions (or countries or cities) provide the most queries for your keyword, and what languages are those queries made on. Another important source of information is Google Ad Planner. For a discussion on how to use Google Ad Planner, refer to this web analytics analysis of Flickr, Photobucket, Shutterlfly, Snapfish, and Slide using Google Ad Planner.
Reach the (exact) audience you want: Using the information from the previous steps, you can fill in the fields on step 3. Notice that not all keywords are available at Facebook, so its important that you look for keywords related to your own keyword(s) of choice.
Price your ad: I will skip this step for now, because it deserves a whole post of its own. If this is your first time creating Facebook ads, then I would recommend setting the price towards the lower limit and setting a total budget for 1 month. Keep track of your A/B testing and then you will have enough information to develop a more detailed pricing strategy.
That’s it for now and happy experimenting with Facebook Ads!
I know, I know, I promised that the next 5 postings would be about the 5 key factors that determine that your website appears on a search engine query, but I really, really, really have to discuss about the implementation of Google Analytics at www.srbienesraices.com.
The main reason is that this will serve as guide for real estate brokers to implement their own Google Analytics code in their websites.
SYLVIA ROJAS BIENES RAÍCES is a 100% Ecuadorean-owned company specialized in the the negotiation of real estate in the provinces of Guayas, Manabí, Los Ríos, El Oro and with representatives in Azuay. The home page is www.srbienesraices.com and is in Spanish.
Since August 2007 I have served as the webmaster of this website.
Sylvia Rojas is my mother.
Since August 2007 I have not received any form of payment for maintaining this website and I have incurred in all hosting payments.
Let’s get to work!
Check that your website works properly! For example, check for broken links. There is really no sense to track a website that is full of errors. In our case, Sylvia Rojas Bienes Raices (from now on referred as SRBR) consists of only 6 pages so it was real simple to check that the website works like it should.
Once you have make sure that your web site works (if not, then DO IT NOW!), open a Google Analytics account at www.google.com/analytics. If you have an existing Gmail account, you can use that one. If not, then you can create one. In either case, keep things simple, use an existing Gmail account (no need to have 2 Gmail accounts), or when creating a new one, use a name that you can relate your website to. In our case, I already have an existing Gmail account.
Add your Website Profile. You will need your web domain. In our case is www.srbienesraices.com/, please note that I have added the “/” at the end. I am not sure of the importance of this parameter, but I have always included it. (Note to self: look up why we need it!)
Google Analytics will provide a Java script code that will look like this:
Please note that the red underlined text will be different. This will be your own Google Analytics account number.
Copy this code.
Open index.html page (home page) using the html editor of your choice. In my case, I use Macromedia Dreamweaver 8. Switch to the code or source view. You cannot paste the Google Analytics code on design view. You must do it on code or source view. Make sure that you don’t see the code when you’re viewing your page in preview view.
Paste the code right before the </body> tag. In our case, it is the second to last line of code.
Save your page. Make sure that you save the changes!
Repeat steps 6, 7 and 8 with all the pages in your existing website.
Sign up to your FTP server of your hosting service and upload all your updated pages that now include the Google Analytics code. Note: yes, you have to replace the existing pages for the Google Analytics to start working.
Confirm that you have entered the tracking code correctly. No idea how to do it? Then try the SiteScan tool from EpikOne, available at www.sitescanga.com, you will just need your home page and an e-mail address to use this free tool. You will receive an e-mail confirming the status of your tracking code, also you will be able to download a report in CSV format (that means you can open it with Microsoft Excel). In our case, the report took 3 minutes and all URLS (6 in total).
Wait 24 hours for the code to kick in! According to Google:
Google Analytics generally updates your reports every 24 hours. This means that it could take 24 hours for data to appear in your account after you have first installed the tracking code.
The whole process took about 1 hour.
After 2 hours of installation, I have not received any data. This is ok because I am still within the 24 hours. I will check whether Google Analytics has received any data tomorrow.
Google Analytics is a Java script based code so make sure that your browser and hosting accepts Java script.