24 Jul 2009

The 3 types of Facebook traffic– what is best?

3 Comments facebook marketing and advertising, internet marketing training, local advertising, search engine marketing conferences

My apologies in advance for the math here– I’ll keep it to a minimum to explain the points.

Below is a Google Analytics screenshot from a funeral planning site.  Facebook traffic represents sources 4, 5, and 8.

All Traffic Sources - Google Analytics

4) apps.facebook.com: This is self-serve PPC traffic from ads that show up on apps.  Most plentiful but has a bounce rate of 90.13%— about as bad as you can get.
5) facebook.com/referral: These are from people click on our links and posts– organic traffic.  66% bounce rate, which is high, especially compared to the site overall bounce rate of 40%.
8 ) facebook.com/cpc: Facebook PPC ads that show up other than on the apps.  Bounce rate of 81%.

We’re probably paying 15 cents a click for Facebook traffic, but the 80%+ bounce rate means we’re losing 4 out of every 5 folks on the landing page.  With Google AdWords, we’re paying 50 cents a click, but bouncing only 42%– in other words, losing 2 out of every 5 visitors.


So with Google, we’re paying 3 times as much per click, but keeping twice as many folks past the landing page.  On a per kept visitor basis, Facebook is still a better deal.

For the analytics smart-alecs out there, let me respond to your points:

  • landing pages are the same: True, you’ll get different bounce rates if you send to different pages. Plus, you can’t compare a homepage bounce rate against a landing page bounce rate– they have different goals.  Well, we sent everyone to the homepage, as silly as that is– but it’s still an apples-to-apples comparison.
  • not all clicks are the same: A higher bounce rate is likely to be a lower conversion rate, even if you adjust for the bounce.  Maybe– although it is true that EPC (Earnings Per Click) is what matters at the end of the day, not cost per click or bounce rate.
  • data is not statistically significant: Okay, so the 80% and 90% bounce rates might actually vary 5-6% should we run a few thousand more clicks.  But given that we’re spending real money, there’s no need to blow a thousand dollars to find out that our estimated 80% bounce is more truly 77%– it’s still bad.

Were I Facebook, one thing I’d do is allow separate bids for application traffic versus non-application traffic.

Remember a few years ago when Google allowed advertisers to set separate content and search bids?  This is the same thing.

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written by
Dennis Yu is the CTO of BlitzMetrics. He is an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook marketing, having been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, and CBS Evening News. He is also a regular contributor for Adweek's SocialTimes column. Dennis has held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines. He studied Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University and London School of Economics. Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you. You can contact him at dennis@blitzmetrics.com, his blog, or on Facebook.
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3 Responses to “The 3 types of Facebook traffic– what is best?”

  1. Reply Dave N says:

    Dennis, I found your site after doing a Google search for “apps.facebook.com” and EPC. Looking at my partner’s EPC for apps.facebook.com traffic vs. facebook.com traffic, I found that the average apps.facebook.com click is worth 37% of a facebook.com click. I STRONGLY agree with you that Facebook should allow you to designate two different bids for application traffic vs. non-application traffic.

    • Reply Dennis Yu says:

      Hi Dave,

      Ahh– thanks for the insight. We see the app traffic worth less than 37%, but perhaps you are targeting more tightly? In particular, we see the big games (the ones with the highest pageviews and pageviews per user) being of the lowest quality.

  2. Reply HITRUST says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on DEA EPCS. Regards

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