This week was the first week of my “Battle of the Ad Networks” (Facebook vs. Adwords). This week I stopped AdWords advertising completely, and instead only paid for Facebook advertising. Granted, my ad expenditures are very low right now – only $5/day – so the changes aren’t going to be as dramatic as they might be with a higher ad spending. But I’m interested in finding out which ad network is performing the best for me, based on my two current goals, which to recap are:
- Increase the number of Facebook followers on my site’s fan page, and
- Increase the number of subscribers to my list
Going into this, I have had the suspicion that Facebook is responsible for the majority of both fans and list signups. But the results this week, suggest that while Facebook is the main source for goal #1, AdWords may be responsible for a significant number of list signups.
Here are the basic results for these two goals:
At $5/day I am averaging around 16 signups a day (at $3/day it was around 11). These numbers seem pretty consistent, even predictable.
Aweber List Signups (double opt-in): 87. Last week = 77. Up by 10.
The number of daily sign-ups to my list dropped a bit this week, once I stopped running the AdWords ads. I found this a bit surprising, because I had thought most of my list signups were coming from Facebook users, but this suggests that this is not true – and that AdWords ads may actually be a significant source of new list signups.
Ideally I would have different tracking ID’s for Facebook signups and those who come from Adwords searches. Unfortunately, I haven’t done this (yet), and I will be looking into my options this week so that I can track sign-ups better in the future.
In sum, Facebook ads seem best for generating Facebook signups. I do get some signups from Facebook, but I may be getting just as many (or even more) from AdWords ads.
For next week, I’m only running AdWords ads (budget = $5/day), so I will see how AdWords does in terms of these two metrics as well.
However, I have also realized I need to do more research into what kind of followers and subscribers I need.
It is clear that in terms of Facebook followers, I want ENGAGED users. It isn’t the total number of followers that I’m most interested – it’s the number who are liking my posts and clicking through to my site to check out the eBooks I have listed there.
You can get a pretty good idea of how engaged your Facebook followers are by looking at the number of users “talking about” your site. However, since I’m fairly new at using Facebook, I had no idea what a good percentage would be for this number. Currently, I’m ranging between 9-10% (right now, with 1214 followers, there are 130 people “talking” about me).
I did a little research to see what I should be aiming for and I found a very good post over at DanielDecker.net, which suggests that 6% is a pretty good engagement percentage. This suggests that my site is currently doing quite well in terms of fan engagement – and I would add, that this also suggests that the Facebook Ads are attracting engaged Facebook fans.
In terms of email list subscribers, I want people who will actually open emails and click through to my site signing up. Again, it’s not about the numbers, per se, but the numbers of active list subscribers.
So what’s a good open rate and click through rate? Well, again, I do some research and it appears there is a lot of variation by industry. For example, MailChimp provides this information about different open and click through rates depending on industry (I prefer to use Aweber for building my list, but I imagine the numbers are fairly similar). In general, it looks like open rate of about 15-20% is pretty standard. Mine currently is around 35-40%, which is fairly good according to these numbers.
In terms of click rate, according to MailChimp’s numbers, click through rates tend to be around 3-4%. Currently, my click through rate is averaging around 10%. However, I’m seeing a lot of differences between the open and click through rates depending on the genre of the book as well. Romance ebooks, for example, are getting a much higher click through rate than most non-fiction books. Paying attention to these numbers will be important as I try to better target my newsletter subscribers.
I am also starting to get my first visitors from organic searches (non paid searches) on Google, Bing and Yahoo, for random longtail keywords. The site isn’t ranking for any main ebook related keywords as far as I can tell. I’m not targeting organic search engine traffic with this site right now, but I will pay attention to this over the next few months and let you all know if this changes at any point.
One thing I neglected to mention when I started the site (which someone on a forum correctly mentioned I should mention here), is that my site is built on a previously owned “aged domain”. I purchase the domain as an expired domain, and it is actually five years old (PR=0). Right now, nearly all sites I purchase when setting up a new site are aged, and I’ve even written a book outlining how I go about purchasing expired domains. Given the age of the site, I would have hoped that I would be getting more organic search engine traffic by this time, but it doesn’t seem to help. In fact, the domain name might actually have been poorly chosen since although it may be cute and catchy, it also appears to be treated as “mature” content by some search engines since it uses the term “addict” in its URL. So there’s a lesson learned!
Running only Facebook ads hasn’t impacted my overall traffic numbers to severely. My visitor numbers were skewed slightly on Monday and Tuesday, since I had a lot more refers from this blog and an internet marketing forum I participate in. However, if I eliminate those two days from my calculations, I find that my overall number of unique visitors a day is down slightly, while my number of returning visitors is up quite a bit.
This week: 101 unique visitors a day on average/42 returning visitors a day on average
Last week: 106 unique visitors a day on average/25 returning visitors a day on average
Earnings was a bit of a disappointment this week. Although I’m getting approximately the same number of affiliate clicks, there were few purchases this week. This is a number I will be following closely. It may be that at some point I will be able to predict how much a “follower” or newsletter subscriber is worth based on this information.
I had no paid author submissions this week.
This week’s Amazon earnings=$6.71. Clicks = 513; Items order=18; Items shipped=15
Last week: Amazon earnings = $7.26. Clicks = 562; Items ordered=12; Items shipped=10
Total weekly earning = $6.71 (this worst week yet, since I started this project).
One thing I am wondering about, is whether Google AdWords visitors are more likely to purchase items versus Facebook followers. It will be interesting to see what the numbers are for next week!