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.
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 who click on our links and posts– organic traffic. 66% bounce rate, which is high, especially compared to the site’s 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.