WordPress.com and WordPress.org: What’s the Difference?

WordPress.com and WordPress.org: What’s the Difference?
Here at WPMU DEV, we use the word “WordPress” a lot (for obvious reasons!). And when we do mention “WordPress” (there I go again!), I think it’s safe to say that most readers understand that we’re talking about WordPress.org, the self-hosted content management system. If you’re brand spanking new to WordPress, however, you may not […]

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Facebook Releases New Report on Beauty Industry Trends and the Evolution of Social Discovery

Facebook Releases New Report on Beauty Industry Trends and the Evolution of Social Discovery

With the popularization of selfies and visual-focused platforms like Instagram, it’s no surprise that social media has become a crucial consideration for the beauty sector. Pinterest is another good example – Pinterest has previously labelled itself ‘the largest beauty platform in the world’, with more than 38.5 million unique viewers of hair and beauty content.

If you’re working in the beauty sector, you’re likely already aware of the significant sway social media can have, and the potential benefits of tapping into such opportunities. To further underline this, Facebook have published a new report which looks at the evolving beauty discussion on Facebook and Instagram, and the ways marketers utilize such insights to best effect.

And the findings raise interesting considerations for other sectors too – here’s what they found.

Mobile Opportunity

For the new report, Facebook analyzed their own data and commissioned GfK to survey 3,648 female beauty shoppers across the UK, France, Germany and the UAE, a fairly large data pool to draw from.

Their first major finding relates to the ubiquity of smartphones, and how being always connected provides new opportunities for marketers.

“Six in ten beauty shoppers surveyed agree they could not live without their smartphone. 45% of beauty shoppers agree that their mobile device (smartphone or tablet) is quickly becoming their most important shopping tool, and the percentage is even higher for Millennials (55%).”

That’s no real surprise, people are using their mobile devices more and more, for an ever-expanding range of purposes. But Facebook’s research also showed that social media is playing an increasing role in providing inspiration, in particular, with more than three quarters of beauty shoppers admitting to being tempted by a product that they didn’t intend to buy because they saw it on social.

Facebook Releases New Report on Beauty Industry Trends and the Evolution of Social Discovery | Social Media TodayThat increased opportunity for exposure underlines the broadening role social platforms are having on the discovery process – if you’re in the beauty sector, it may soon be arguable that social is as important to discovery as traditional SEO, and should be garnering the same focus in your marketing efforts.

And while these findings are, of course, beauty specific, it is interesting to note the increasing reliance on social platforms for discovery. It’s worth noting too that Facebook now facilitates more than two billion searches on their platform every day. Pinterest sees two billion per month. Google, of course, still leads the way overall, with an estimated 5.5 billion daily queries, but it’s worth considering the implications of this increased discovery capacity in social, particularly for visual-based products.

The Psychology of Self(ies)

Another interesting consideration in the rise of selfie culture is the effect that may be having on the wider psychology of the generation.

For example, most older people I know are not overly keen on having their photos taken – it’s not something that they’ve grown up with, and generally, they have an increased tendency to see selfies as non-flattering and flawed.

But younger generations have grown up on selfies, which may actually give them a stronger sense of self-worth and understanding. If you’re looking at images of your own face all the time, you’re more likely to be accepting of how you look, including your flaws, which could actually galvanize self-esteem.

There are varying, conflicting reports on such impacts – some suggest teens feel under more pressure than ever to live up to unrealistic beauty standards portrayed on social media accounts, while others show younger users are growing more confident with their self-image because of the selfie trend. Really, it would appear to have the power to fuel both elements – but interestingly, Facebook’s data shows that mentions of words related to natural beauty grew on Facebook by 38% year on year(from Nov 2015 to Nov 2016), which may actually underline a wider, more positive, psychological trend.

Facebook Releases New Report on Beauty Industry Trends and the Evolution of Social Discovery | Social Media Today

Path to Purchase

In terms of how social influences actual buying behavior, Facebook’s data shows that despite conducting more of their research online, 68% of beauty buyers still purchase in store only. But the research process is still a critical consideration – nearly three quarters (72%) of beauty shoppers indicated that they have been influenced by digital at some point in the path to purchase.

“Millennial women (aged 18-34) are particularly keen on using Instagram for beauty inspiration. 37% of women under 34 years old say they use Instagram to be inspired by looks and beauty trends compared to 25% of women over 35 years old. Young people are also more likely to watch online beauty videos; a quarter of beauty buyers aged 18-34 watch videos to inspire them (24%) compared to 16% of those aged 35-64 years old.”

Again, many of these findings would be expected, but it’s important to note the rise of social research which accompanies in-store buying. Social platforms are working to improve their measures to directly link such behaviors – Facebook, for example, is refining its Conversion Lift metrics, which match Facebook ad delivery to actual in-store sales, via point of sale data.

As those measurements evolve, we’ll have more ways to directly correlate online and in-store actions, which is crucial to fully understanding social ROI and maximizing marketing investment.

And one final key note – Facebook’s research shows that special occasions drive beauty research and purchases.

“An upcoming holiday is the number one occasion for people to buy a beauty product, followed by Christmas, a wedding invite and a night out.” 

Facebook Releases New Report on Beauty Industry Trends and the Evolution of Social Discovery | Social Media TodayThere are some interesting insights here, and Facebook is also using the study to direct beauty brands to their dedicated ‘Mobile Makeover’ mini-site, which provides a range of resources for those in the beauty industry.

Facebook Releases New Report on Beauty Industry Trends and the Evolution of Social Discovery | Social Media TodayThe site includes a range of different ideas and tips for those looking to maximize their beauty-related campaigns, and is well worth a look.

You can check out the full “Selfies and snail slime: Analyzing beauty conversations on Facebook and Instagram” report here.

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4 Things You Need from Your Buyer Before You Can Sell to Them [Podcast]

4 Things You Need from Your Buyer Before You Can Sell to Them [Podcast]

4 Things You Need from Your Buyer Before You Can Sell to Them [Podcast] | Social Media TodayMarketers and business leaders spend a lot of time thinking about what we need to do as content writers, sales people, digital marketers, social marketers, brand leaders, data analysts and business owners to grow our business.

We focus on content and visual marketing that grabs attention. We build beautiful landing pages that convert readers, listeners and viewers to buyers. We dig in deep to data, analytics, and key performance indicators so we can measure and optimize business results and achieve the desired business outcomes.

However, we often get too inwardly focused. Too many digital marketers forget why they are doing the work in the first place. Remember, that human being you need to connect with on the other end of that tweet, post, pin or video? Yes, that’s the person you need to be thinking about.

Let’s flip this conversation around. Let’s talk about what we need from our buyer – what do you need from a potential customer or buyer before you can sell to them?

Take a listen to the 153rd episode of the Zoom Factor podcast for 4 things you must have from your buyer (or anyone for that matter) before you can sell to them.

Be sure to subscribe to the entire series on iTunesStitcher or SoundCloud.

In this 15 minute podcast you will learn: 

  • 4 things you must have from your buyer before you can sell to them
  • Why you must earn the attention of your buyer
  • Why trust is so important in online marketing and social selling
  • Why it’s important that your buyer also invest in a relationship with you and your brand

Supporting Resources:

How to Subscribe to Social Zoom Factor Podcast 

This post originally appeared on Pam Moore’s blog.

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A Simple Way to Use LinkedIn Search to Connect with Potential Clients

A Simple Way to Use LinkedIn Search to Connect with Potential Clients

Looking for more B2B sales leads online?

There are 500 million of them sitting over on LinkedIn, which continues to add two new members at a steady rate.

The secret to mastering LinkedIn for sales, however, lies in this helpful (and often ignored) feature hidden inside LinkedIn’s powerful internal search engine.

LinkedIn = B2B Prospecting Power

The best way to go B2B prospecting online right now is to use LinkedIn’s massive internal search engine – like a Google for professionals.

Because LinkedIn indexes every piece of content and word published on the site, you can search the platform using keywords and phrases (just like Google) to find what you’re looking for.

Even better, you can filter your LinkedIn Search results to display people, blog posts, status updates, company names, job openings or other professional topics based around those keywords or phrases you entered.

When you understand the power of real-time, 1-on-1 personalization using the data available at any given moment on LinkedIn, that’s when your B2B prospecting goes to a whole new level.

Feeling Minnesota

For example, it could be as simple as entering in a location (Minnesota), seeing someone bemoaning the weather there (a common occurrence) in a status update, and adding a comment to his or her post

Even better, if this person seems like a potential sales lead or a good fit for your product or service, you can reach out and connect with him or her using the “Minnesota weather” angle as a personal note in your invitation.

From that point forward, you can then begin to move your new connection (whom you’ve already broken the ice with) through your normal LinkedIn lead generation and sales cycle.

How to Search for Posts

In order to utilize this approach with LinkedIn Search, it’s important to step into the shoes of your customer and think like he or she would.

Ask yourself this question: What would my ideal client or prospect type into Google when looking for content, tips or help related to a specific topic?

Try and reverse-engineer the common topics, trends or thoughts your ideal clients have when searching for content or help online, and plug those terms into LinkedIn Search. 

Next, filter by “Posts” and see what shows up.

You can even try and search for terms like city names, state names or other markers to find people “talking” about those topics on LinkedIn (see the “Minnesota” example screenshot included in this post).

It’s important to note, the way LinkedIn filters its “post” search results depends on:

  • If any of your 1st or 2nd level connections are sharing posts or status updates that include those search terms
  • It then widens the search to anyone on LinkedIn using those search terms in an blog post or status update.

Keep in mind, the “post” search results can return both blog posts others are creating that have your keywords and quick status updates someone fires off.

Both are great opportunities to engage someone in their online living room, and use the content of their status update or blog post as context to begin a 1-on-1 conversation.

See if you can add to the discussion, ideally by answering a question or adding a dose of your own wisdom that helps demonstrate your expertise in the area.

LinkedIn & Real-Time Leads

The idea is simple – you engage others around a topic they’re talking about, and you do it in a way that isn’t sales-y, sleazy or spammy. Rather, you add to the conversation, sharing your thoughts, answering questions or asking additional questions to keep the discussion going.

Make sure you take some time today to experiment with LinkedIn Searches that you filter by posts, and be creative with your search terms and topics.

If you do, you’re likely going to find some warm leads and conversation opportunities waiting for you.

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The High Five: trending searches this week

The High Five: trending searches this week

The tragic attack in Manchester was top of mind for many searchers this week. Here’s a look at what people wanted to know, and four other trending topics from the week of May 21.

Attack in Manchester

This week, a terrorist attack in Manchester, England claimed the lives of 22 people attending an Ariana Grande concert. People turned to Google to make sense of the event, searching to find out what happened, where the bomb went off, and who was responsible. Top countries searching for “Manchester” since the attacks include Mauritius, Ireland and Uganda, while the top U.S. states are New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

BRETter prepare

Search interest in “hurricane season” spiked 160 percent when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that it predicts an “above average” Atlantic hurricane season this year. The organization expects five to nine hurricanes, which led people to search “Is NOAA ever right about the number of hurricanes?” and “How does NOAA predict hurricanes?” Here’s one thing we do know: The next hurricane will be named Bret.

Noses are red

On Thursday in the U.S., we celebrated the return of “Love Actually” Red Nose Day, which raises money and awareness to end child poverty. To honor the cause, the cast of “Love Actually” got back together for a 12-minute sequel, and stars like Ben Affleck, Ed Sheeran, Ellen DeGeneres and Emma Watson donned their red noses. Despite the backing from A-list celebs, people still turned to search for more info, like “Where can I get a Red Nose?” and “Where did Red Nose Day originate?” Fun fact: Though Rudolph used to dominate the red nose game, the biggest spike in searches for “red nose” now occur in May for Red Nose Day.


On Saturday, Pandora World of Avatar will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando (what would Walt think if we called it Pandor-lando?). You don’t have to rely on your CGI-inspired imagination anymore, this park is REAL (and it’s not built from unobtainium). Search questions ranged from the logistical: “What day does Avatar land open?” to the more curious: “How much did it cost to build Pandora World?” to the niche: “What font is used for Disney’s Avatar land?”

It was 50 years ago today

Fixing A Hole in our hearts since 1967, this weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the release of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Fans got a little help from a friend (that’s us!) when they searched for the origin of the Beatles’ name, where they’re from, and why they broke up. And who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned British pop rivalry? Search interest for “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” spiked 600 percent higher this week than when Harry Styles’ album was released earlier in the month, proving that the Beatles’ music is Only Getting Better.


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Why You Should Own Your Marketing, Not Rent It

Why You Should Own Your Marketing, Not Rent It

Why You Should Own Your Marketing, Not Rent It

Generally speaking, digital marketers are pretty skilled ball-jugglers. We constantly balance competing deadlines, extract value out of less-than-ideal budgets, and generate instant search engine visibility under pressure.

We have a few tricks up our sleeve for doing that, including online ad networks such as Google AdWords, Facebook Advertising and LinkedIn Ads.

AdWords has been at the top of its game for the past 15 years for good reason – it offers a chance to be on Page 1 of Google in 15 minutes or less, and you only pay for actual eyeballs. Great deal, right?

In fact, using display ads, paid search or paid social as a way to generate instant results for brands or organizations is increasingly popular.

Don’t believe me? Wrap your head around these figures:

  • In its Q4 2016 fiscal year results, Google’s parent company Alphabet reported a whopping 17% increase in advertising revenue compared with the same period the year before.
  • When Facebook published its fourth quarter and end of year results, it also reported an increase in revenue from advertising, up 12% year on year.
  • Statista estimates we’ll all be spending more this year – with paid advertising expenditure soaring to $92.4 billion worldwide in 2017.
  • Marketers are now branching out to new ad formats, with the IAB calculating that mobile advertising grew massively in the first six months of 2016, with a total spend increase of 89% or $15.5 billion.

Big numbers, for sure, but are we missing a trick here?

While there may be plenty of plus points to paid advertising and paid social – and it most definitely plays a role in a well-executed marketing strategy – it might be time to take back ownership of your marketing.

I think so, anyway. In this blog, I’ll explain why you should own your marketing instead of renting it.

Ad space is rented, but content is owned

Getting the balance right between paid, earned and owned media is tricky, but in the long run, content is the clear winner.

That’s because whatever type of advertising you invest in – whether it’s sponsored posts on Facebook, Instagram adverts or a paid search campaign with Google – the space your advertising occupies is only rented.

This means that when your budget runs out, your advertising disappears.

Can you afford to have that happen?

Paid advertising is undeniably great for short-term visibility or when you need a last-minute fix to support other marketing efforts, but it creates the risk of leaving no digital footprint at all.

Investing your money in content, on the other hand, means that you’ll always have marketing assets that belong purely to you.

Sure, you may have to pay a copywriter or freelance blogger to draft up the relevant copy, but it will always be yours.

In other words, there’s no prospect of the gas meter running out or the lights suddenly switching off. This advantage is known as compound returns: it’s permanent rather than temporary.

Content can deliver better returns

According to Entrepreneur, content marketing has a better rate of return than many other forms of marketing. This makes sense when you consider the fact that once you have that piece of content in hand, there are no limits to how often you can re-use it, how widely you can share it, or how much you can repurpose it.

If you were to write an ebook for example, it’s easy to magnify that initial investment in content ownership to create multiple other assets. Off the top of my head, that might be:

  1. A blog post
  2. A podcast
  3. A slideshare
  4. A series of social media posts
  5. An infographic
  6. A landing page
  7. A lead generator
  8. A YouTube video

That’s eight different ways that owning your marketing can mean getting more from it. In contrast, if you put budget towards a paid ad campaign, the only way you can extend its reach and see your ad on other sites or in other formats is to spend more. It’s never really your own, whereas that ebook (and its eight possible uses) are.

You control your own spend

Paid advertising is just like property rental in that you have to pay the market rate. Whether that’s the cost per click in AdWords or the fixed fee to have your display ads run on a site of your choice, you are told how much you need to spend. There is no guarantee that your return will outstrip your spend, but you’re powerless to determine the going rate.

When you opt to own your marketing with content, you’re in the driver’s seat. You get to determine exactly how much time and how much money you spend. This gives you more flexibility and means your marketing can work for you, rather than placing a strain on your budget.

Custom content is useful

The CRM system Salesforce – which as you might expect knows a thing or two about making sales – reckons that 90% of consumers find custom content useful. How often can you say that about an ad space you’ve rented?

The perceived usefulness of custom content opens up lots of business opportunities: benefits that you can only unlock if you’ve poured your resources into creating content assets rather than temporarily occupying an ad space.

We’re talking about creating meaningful relationships with clients, understanding their needs better, seeing more shares and likes, and having greater control of the sales funnel plus the chance to increase order values through personalization.

Content dominates the online experience

There are lots of pretty compelling statistics which show that consumers spend most of their time online looking at content. Think about it – how long have you spent immersed in a blog post? Now think about how long you’ve spent looking at a PPC ad or sponsored post. If the answer is more than 10 seconds, I’ll be surprised.

These figures are from the Content Marketing Institute.

  • 64% of people say the customer experience is more important than price in their choice of a brand. (Gartner, 2014)
  • That customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by the year 2020. (Gartner, 2014)
  • 70% of consumers say content marketing makes them feel ‘closer’ to the sponsoring company. (Roper Public Affairs, 2012)

As Airbnb found, content is also essential for building trust, which itself is the lifeblood of any successful business. Whether it’s a city guide, review or photograph, your written and visual content can tell the story of your brand in a way that ads simply can’t. Done consistently, it can provide customers with reasons to believe in you, to turn to you and to communicate with you.

So while there’s nothing wrong with paying for that temporary hit of visibility with ads, you should consider owning your marketing assets instead of renting them, to generate much greater opportunities in the longer term.

Guest Author: Sian Lenegan is a marketer and the managing director of Sixth Story, a branding and digital agency. Her focus is on helping businesses ignite growth through the power of branding.

The post Why You Should Own Your Marketing, Not Rent It appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.

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How to Vet An SEO Agency (and Prevent Failure) by @AdamHeitzman

How to Vet An SEO Agency (and Prevent Failure) by @AdamHeitzman

Finding the right SEO provider is important. It also can be a lot of hard work. This is why vetting SEO agencies is so important.

You want to make sure your SEO agency is:

  • Easy to work with.
  • Going to deliver real value to your business.
  • Consistent.
  • Knowledgeable about the industry.
  • Within your budget.

The stakes are high. In most cases, SEO can make or break your business.

Choose the right SEO agency and your business could start generating more traffic and revenue than it’s ever seen.

Choose the wrong SEO agency and it could lead you to failure. We’re talking wasted money, penalties, and countless lost opportunities (e.g., rankings, traffic, and revenues).

Although there are many honest and reputable agencies to choose from, there are still a few scam artists and dishonest agencies looking to exploit unknowing businesses.

Frustrated woman in front of computer

The SEO Agency Horror Show

As the head of an SEO agency, I’ve seen the success stories. It’s always great to see clients grow and succeed because it helps us take pride in our work and showcase what SEO can do for businesses.

But I’ve also heard some horror stories.

One frustrating aspect of being an agency is hearing stories from businesses that come to us wary and frustrated from bad experiences they’ve had with unreliable SEO agencies.

In speaking with such clients, there seems to be a common crescendo that leads them to their unfortunate breaking point, and it goes like this:

A business decides SEO is the next step in their growth plan, so they seek out and speak with an agency about services.

The agency sells them potential results of successful SEO and makes guarantees about what they can achieve for the business.

The business thinks it sounds great and takes the agency at their word. Ultimately, the business signs a contract with the SEO agency and gets locked in for an extended period of time.

Fast forward a year or two later, and some businesses find themselves drained of money with little to show for it, or in some cases, with penalties that have made their online performance worse.

An Insider’s Guide to Vetting SEO Agencies

While it’s no fault of the client, what I often take away from hearing these SEO horror stories is that there were ways in which it could have been prevented.

Businesses can protect themselves from and prevent sticky situations like this by asking the right questions on the front end.

That’s easier said than done when you’re new to SEO and unsure of what you need to be asking an agency,

But this guide will help with that.

3 Tips for Vetting SEO Agencies

The advice and questions that follow are what businesses absolutely must consider and ask while vetting SEO agencies from an actual SEO agency’s behind-the-scenes perspective.

Tip 1: Develop a List of Criteria

Having some criteria beforehand will make you think critically about your expectations, protect you from going in blindly, and keep you in charge of what you want.

Think about things like:

  • Budget.
  • Desired contract duration.
  • Whether you want a local service provider or if you’re OK with a remote agency.
  • Reporting frequency.
  • Any other potential deal breakers.

Tip 2: Talk to 3 Different SEO Agencies

It’s smart to talk to at least three SEO providers before you make a decision.

Aside from this being a generally good idea for the sake of knowing all your options, it also helps give you some leverage for possible negotiations regarding prices, services, and contract stipulations.

Tip 3: Make a List of Interview Questions

Asking the right questions before signing a contract can prevent the majority of SEO horror stories.

Have the questions ready to ask each agency you speak with, so later you can compare answers and have plenty of information to help guide your decision.

32 Questions to Ask an SEO Agency

Ask the right questions

Any honest and well-established agency will happily answer your questions and address the concerns or reservations you have about SEO.

Pay attention to how receptive they are to providing answers.

Most importantly, don’t sign a contract with an SEO agency without asking these questions first:

  • Can you guarantee that my site will have a top ranking position?
    • Start with this question, because it’s a quick way to weed out shady SEO agencies. Legitimate SEOs will never guarantee a client a top ranking position because they know there are no guarantees with SEO.
  • How do you handle penalized sites?
  • Does your agency ever deviate from Google’s best practices?
  • Has your agency ever bought links?
  • How do you build links and what kind of links do you build?
  • How many links can I expect to have built per month or over the duration of my contract?
  • How much on-page, off-page, and technical work can I expect to be done and what specific practices do you do for each?
  • Which tools do you use to achieve results and carry out SEO services?
  • Do you edit and/or optimize existing content on my site?
  • Is any of the work or content outsourced? If so, who does it?
  • How does your team handle content strategy and development?
  • What specific content pieces will be done for my site?
  • How do you plan to optimize that content?
  • Do you have any examples of work you’ve done for a similar business?
    • Successful SEOs are quick to provide case studies or examples of other businesses they’ve helped, so if you hear “that’s classified” or “we don’t share the results of other clients” in response, be wary.
  • On average, when do your clients start to see results?
  • How many active client accounts do you have?
  • How many people on your team are working on them?
    • If an agency has 500 active client accounts and only 30 people on their team, chances are they’re either stretched thin at the expense of quality or outsourcing some of the work.
  • Do you work with businesses that would be considered competitors to mine?
    • This isn’t always a bad thing, but if a direct competitor hires the same SEO company and has a bigger budget, you could be in trouble.
  • How often do you run site audits?
  • What specific metrics do you track and report on?
  • How do you handle reporting and tracking of my account?
  • How often can I expect to receive reports and updates, and how will you communicate them to me?
    • Ideal answers to these questions will include information on conversions, rankings, traffic, campaign and outreach updates, etc. Most agencies provide clients with access to reporting software so they can view a dashboard with trackable metrics.
  • How many people will have access to our website?
  • What steps do you take to ensure the security of our website?
  • Will you be making changes to the structure, web design, or coding of our website? If so, is that handled in-house or outsourced?
  • Who would be my point of contact, and how can I contact them if I have questions or concerns?
  • Can I meet the people who work on my account?
  • What will you need from my end?
  • How much time per month is needed from our end?
  • Can you itemize the pricing package by specific services and hours spent working on each?
  • What separates you from other SEO agencies?
  • Overall, what results can I expect for my website?


A lack of preparation makes you susceptible to being taken advantage of dishonest and shady SEOs. Do your research and prepare beforehand so you can easily identify the right SEO agency when you find them, and from there they’ll help you determine the best strategies to address the needs of your business.

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Everything You Need to Know About Facebook Ad Relevance Score by @@SusanEDub

Everything You Need to Know About Facebook Ad Relevance Score by @@SusanEDub

Terms like “Relevance Score” and “Quality Score” can seem vague and mysterious to people who just want to put some money in the PPC slot machine and have sales come out. Facebook introduced its Ad Relevance Score in 2015, but many advertisers still struggle to understand it, or how to fix it if it’s struggling.

If you’re one of those advertisers, read on. This is everything you need to know about Facebook Ad Relevance Score.

What Is the Facebook Ad Relevance Score?

With the explosion of Facebook Ads and the News Feeds getting ever more crowded, it made sense for the social network to create an ad quality metric. This also added a layer of complexity. Advertisers had another “thing” to figure out if ads were under-serving or costs got really high.

Your Facebook Ad Relevance Score is a rating of 1-10 after it has at least 500 impressions (yes, that’s pretty quick). The score is calculated daily based on, as Facebook says, “positive and negative feedback we expect from people seeing it, based on how the ad is performing.”

Facebook goes on to define “positive” as things like shares, likes, or other actions that help you achieve your objective. Meaning that yes, the criteria for your Relevance Score can change a bit depending on whether you’re running a campaign with an objective of video views vs. one for link clicks.

“Negative” feedback is anything like when people hide your ads. Though Facebook doesn’t explicitly say so, it’s also safe to assume that anything not meeting your objective (i.e., people not clicking, etc.) also contributes to negative feedback.

This isn’t surprising. After all, Facebook is a social network. Facebook rewards you for generating more interaction and interest — it’s their value proposition and they have to protect it (in the same way AdWords protects the quality of search results by having a Quality Score).

Does Relevance Score Really Have an Impact?

I was skeptical of Facebook’s Ad Relevance Score when it came out. A lot of AdWords advertisers didn’t consistently see more favorable CPCs as we improved Quality Score, and the word itself became another dreaded metric that can distract from overall account goals.

However, it’s pretty easy to see with Facebook that when you’re able to improve your ad relevance you also reduce your costs

I decided to specifically test this in an account that was doing well socially already.

To understand this method, it’s important to understand one nuance first.

Ad IDs & Sharing Them

When you create an ad on Facebook, it automatically generates an Ad ID.

Copying and pasting that ad into another Ad Set creates a new ID. Even thought it’s the same ad, Facebook will treat them as being different and it won’t retain the Ad ID.

Social interaction on an ad is tied to the ID level. What that ultimately means is each ad unit will keep the social interaction to just that ID — it doesn’t share it with the otherwise identical ads because the ID is different. Each ID also has its own Relevance Score:

Each Facebook ad ID has its own relevance score

You can get around this by creating an ad and then pasting its ID into the option for “Use Existing Post” when you create a new ad. This will share that ID, and all the social proof it accumulates will display on that ad for every ad set that it’s used within:

Pasting the ad ID into the "Use Existing Post" option on Facebook


Important: As with any ad, if you update the copy, link, or anything like that, it will reset all of that social proof. This carries even more weight once you share an ID because it will affect multiple ad sets with the stroke of a key.

Pushing That Relevance Score

I decided to test what happened with a focus on Relevance Score. This meant we wanted to try and house all the social proof on one ad ID in order to maximize impact. Otherwise, we’d have a bunch of disparate ads with each having their own social proof.

I took a well-performing ad that had duplicate versions with different IDs running in different ad sets. The average Relevance Score of them all was around 8. The social proof on them all was similar and their Relevance Scores were the same, so we just picked one at random.

I took that ID and pasted it into the other ad sets. This would ensure that moving forward, any new social proof and any change in Relevance Score would be concentrated in this one unit. It would amass the social proof faster because it wasn’t being distributed among disparate Ad IDs.

The shared post ID started to run, and then I did one more thing: I added a Page Post Engagement campaign (now just called “Engagement” objective type), and for the creative I used the same Ad ID. (I threw a couple hundred bucks towards it only because the population size warranted it, but the same methodology can be used with just a few bucks a day.)

Engagement objective type for paid post engagement campaigns in Facebook

This means that while that ID was running in the ad sets focused on converting to sales, it was also running in the PPE campaign, accruing social results simultaneously. Within a few days, the Relevance Score for the shared ID was hitting a 10.

Test Results

I pulled the CTR, CPC, and CPA data for the ads when they ran in different groups (called Non-PPE version) vs. when I previously ran the single ID with the extra dough put towards accruing some social proof (called the PPE version). Other than as outlined above, nothing else changed, including the targeting.

CTR results for PPE vs non-PPE ads

It appears the additional social proof gave us a leg up here.

CPC results for PPE vs non-PPE ads

Again, the additional social proof seemed to help here. (I didn’t analyze it at the time, but it would have been interesting to see if the offset in CPC saved enough money that it paid for the social proof.)

Finally, the ultimate number that matters:

CPA results for PPE vs non-PPE ads

Wow. That’s a huge difference, and definitely statistically significant with the audience size we had.

I’ve run this test in a few other accounts, and the results were similar. Sometimes the result wasn’t as marked, but it was still usually there.

Clickable, Shareable, Likable

What I liked best about running this test was that it helped take the hypothesis of Relevance Score, and proved it. It’s easy to say “create great content,” but it’s another thing when you see how it directly impacts the bottom line of what you’re selling. It’s worth the extra effort to test that video, or do something more creative than just throwing a stock image up there and hoping for the best.

Like every ad creative on Facebook, eventually it ran its course and it was time to swap out.

The beauty of this method, however, is it allows you to launch a new creative and secure a higher relevancy score faster. It helps alleviate the peaks and valleys that can be associated with launching new creatives, and get relevancy score working in your favor, faster!

Image Credits

In-post images: Screenshots by author. Taken May 2017.

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Google Algorithm Updates, Link Spam Warning & Many Search Tests

Google Algorithm Updates, Link Spam Warning & Many Search Tests

http://ift.tt/1sYxUD0 – This week in search, I go into more detail on the search algorithm and ranking changes we are noticing. I discuss how my original theory on featured snippets was wrong. I also talk about Google’s stern warning and reminder that articles for links is a bad thing. Google said there is such a thing as over optimization and it can hurt. Google said not all ads above the fold are bad. Google Assistant is available on iOS as a standalone app but why not part of the main search app? Google said again, there is no sandbox. Google said there is no limit on the domain diversity. Google has launched a personal search filter. Google tests an “on this page” feature in the snippets. Google is testing a new design for people also search for. Google AdWords is launching the new interface to all advertisers by year of the end. Google Attribution launched this week, it is pretty cool. Google AdWords is beta testing search ads landing pages with AMP. Google is testing hotel price labels on the map. Google My Business will now notify you of when customers upload photos of your local business. Google Analytics is testing a new home feature. That was this past week in search at the Search Engine Roundtable. Google Search Ranking & Algorithm Shifts Still Underway : http://ift.tt/2qfyW11 Theories On Google Algorithm Update & Changes Last Week : http://ift.tt/2qOfdqX Google Warns: Don’t Do Article Creation For Links : http://ift.tt/2rFYSaK Google: SEO Over Optimization Can Eventually Hurt Your Rankings : http://ift.tt/2qjvLGc Google: No, Not All Ads Above The Fold Are Bad : http://ift.tt/2qjtRJX Should Google Assistant Be Part Of Google’s Core iOS App : http://ift.tt/2rHQvst Google Again: There Was No Sandbox… : http://ift.tt/2rXHr2B Google: There Is Not Limit To How Many Times A URL Can Show On First Page : http://ift.tt/2rTnjOc Google Adds Personal Tab To Search Filters : http://ift.tt/2ro6jn2 Google Tests "On This Page" Buttons In Search Results Snippets : http://ift.tt/2rI6Qxe Google Tests New People Also Search For Carousel Interface : http://ift.tt/2rY4IRp Google’s New AdWords Interface To Launch To All By End Of Year : http://ift.tt/2rkEGLO Google Attribution Merging AdWords, Google Analytics & DoubleClick Search : http://ift.tt/2qVtNiH Google AdWords Beta For Search Ads With AMP Landing Pages : http://ift.tt/2qOQmVy Google Tests Clickable Hotel Prices In Map View : http://ift.tt/2qjaigN Google My Business Adds Photos Notifications : http://ift.tt/2rd1ptd Google Analytics Tests New Home Dashboard View? : http://ift.tt/2qW2McV

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7 Actionable Ways to Get Consistent Freelance Development Work

7 Actionable Ways to Get Consistent Freelance Development Work
With the tight competition in the freelance WordPress development space, you shouldn’t expect paid work to just fall in your lap. You need to go after it. But finding clients and sourcing consistent work is a challenge. Especially when you’re just starting out and you haven’t developed a network of connections you can tap into. […]

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