Conquering the FB algorithm even when you don’t have enough conversions. Amazon caught manipulating its users by selling “Amazon’s Choice” label to vendors. Going from 29k to 64k search traffic and securing 1284 top 3 rankings.



Update to “Special Ad Category”. What to do when you don’t have enough data

If you are running ad campaigns related to housing, employment or credit, here’s an important update for you.

Then, we talk about pushing the FB algorithm towards better optimization even when you don’t have a ton of good quality data to back it up.

“Special Ad Category” field for housing, employment and credit advertisers

Do you run housing, employment or credit related campaigns? Then you’ll definitely be interested in this FB update:

By December 4 2019, advertisers running these kinds of campaigns must implement the Special Ad Category flow. Otherwise, their ads will be paused for non-compliance.

You can read more about it here.

How to tame the Facebook’s algorithm


Bøgdan Alexandru Radu shared a creative way to make the FB algo optimize in your favour, even when you don’t have a lot of data to back it up.

This isn’t just limited to membership related businesses either, and can be implemented for e-commerce.

If you run conversion campaigns, you probably know that you need at least 50 conversions per week to ensure that the algorithm is equipped to optimize your campaigns.

However, if you’re not getting enough conversions, you can turn to past buyers or members to give FB more signals.

Here’s what Bøgdan suggests: Make sure that the conversion event fires every time a member gets back inside the membership area. This will also fire the pixel, which means that existing customers will send data signals to the FB algo. So, you still have the data even if you don’t hit the conversion target.

How to use it for e-commerce? Basically, you should set up the conversion events when existing buyers return to make a new purchase, essentially increasing the conversion signals for your Pixel.

One concern we had while going through this post was: Does an external conversion carry as much weight as one that comes from an actual FB campaign?

According to Bøgdan, FB doesn’t care where the conversion comes from. They’re more interested in how large the seed audience is. So, it should work.

Well, another thing to test.


Conversion specific benchmarks


WordStream conducted a study to reveal some insights on conversion data (CR) benchmarks across various industries and ad platforms.

If you are currently invested in advertising on a particular ad platform but want to diversify your efforts, these insights could prove pretty useful.

Let dive straight into them.

CR benchmarks for Google Ads: 4.40% on the search network and 0.57% on the display network.

Compared to 2016, the average search CR has improved by 17%, while the average GDN CR has dropped by 26%.

Average cost per conversion (CPC) for Google Ads: $56.11 on the search network and $90.80 for GDN.

Verticals with a longer sales cycle are proven to have a higher CPC for obvious reasons. These include Computers & Electronics at $101.40, Law & Government at $85.29 and Business & Industrial at $77.48.

Lowest CPCs have been recorded for verticals such Arts & Entertainment at $36.65, Dining & Nightlife at $35.35 and Hobbies & Leisure at $40.38.

  • CR benchmarks for mobile ads on Google: 3.48% on the search network and 0.72% on the display network.
  • Average CPC for mobile ads on Google: $80.89 on the search network and $148.68 on the display network.
  • CR benchmarks for Facebook Ads: 9.21%.

Considering all types of conversions, the average advertiser converts clicks into meaningful actions at a rate of over 14%.

Sectors enjoying the best CR are Education with 13.58%, Employment & Job Training at 11.73% and Healthcare at 11%. No mention of e-commerce or selling courses?

Advertisers in the Technology and Travel & Hospitality have been struggling with the lowest CR at just under 4%.

  • Average CPC for Facebook Ads: $18.68.
  • Google Shopping CR benchmarks: 1.91%.
  • Google Shopping CPC benchmarks: $38.87.
  • Bing Ads CR benchmarks: 2.94%.
  • Bing Ads CPC benchmarks: $41.44.

Looking for more specific data? Check out this article.


🚀 Going from 29k to 64k search traffic and securing 1284 top 3 rankings!

Yeah, that’s what Matt Woodward did for his website after he saw a 33% drop and had his worst year ever in terms of traffic in 2018. He made a case study out of what he did to go from 29k to 64k visits.

So, whether you have a blog, a content site in any niche, if you do e-commerce, if you have a marketing agency that helps businesses get discovered, this case study will make sure you are well on your way when it comes to search traffic and rankings!

Matt goes through all the steps as he did them for his own website, including:

  • Visitor feedback. Collecting direct feedback from your users based on surveys, comments and so on.
  • Manual observations. Things that you can see when you browse your website with fresh eyes.
  • Technical spot checks. Things that Google likes or dislikes from a technical point of view about your website. Things like “Is your website ready for mobile indexing?”, your page load speed, your other performance metrics, etc. As complicated as this might sound, it’s actually a simple test with existing tools.
  • Automated tools that can solve many of the issues you discover above
  • Creating a plan of attack.
  • Doing a content audit and what to adjust to improve your SEO for that content very quickly.
  • Design changes that make users stay on your site longer.
  • Plus other very actionable tips you must apply if you want to have a stable, rock hard SEO base for your website.

Jump on over to see Matthew’s full method on video right here.

Do you prefer text? Follow along with the case study here (includes screenshots!)


Google to remove accelerated ad delivery next month

Google has announced that, starting September 19, accelerated delivery will be removed as an ad delivery option.

Standard delivery will be the only option for Search, Shopping and any other campaigns using shared budgets.

By October 1st, all campaigns using accelerated delivery will be automatically switched over to standard delivery.

PS: The accelerated delivery option will still be available for Display and Video campaigns.

Why this change?

As per Google, the way accelerated delivery works can make it an inefficient option.

Accelerated delivery can also result in increased CPCs due to increased competition early in the day, or it can end up unintentionally spending the majority of your budget in earlier time zones.

What are your other options?

Google recommends the following options:

  • Consider switching over to Maximize Conversions or Maximize Clicks bidding strategies to indicate your performance priority for such campaigns.
  • Use ad scheduling to ensure your ads are shown at specific times of the day that are important to your campaigns.
  • Use bid adjustments to increase and decrease bids during those specific hours of the day.

Whether you love it or hate it, this is clear evidence that Google believes its machine learning algorithms are now better equipped to optimize campaigns.

With this update, Google is working to optimize ad delivery based on the advertiser’s specific goals and query contextual signals, rather than the blunt option of just showing ads as often and early as possible.


6-second video ads on Twitter

Twitter has announced the roll-out of a new video ad bidding option that allows you to run ads of up to 15 seconds, with ads only charged if they’re viewed for at least 6 seconds with 50% of more of the pixels in view.

As per Twitter, it’s a “flexible option for those who care about the completed view metric, but are ready to lean into the mobile-first paradigm and develop short-form assets optimized for in-feed viewing.”

This new bidding option seems to have taken a cue from YouTube’s 6-second bumper ads, but also offer more flexibility for running longer creatives.

Advertisers with beta access to this feature experienced an increase in view rate of 22%.

This bidding format is available for Promoted Video, In-stream Video Sponsorships and In-stream Video Ads that include assets at 15-seconds or less in length.


What ‘Amazon’s Choice’ labels really mean?

Shopping on Amazon, have you ever found yourself paralyzed by indecision between two products? Ever turned to the trusty old Amazon’s Choice label to make your final decision?

Understandably, this may have felt like the right decision at that time. However, we’re sorry to inform you that it might have not been a wise choice in the end.

Why? After reading this post, you’ll see that the Amazon Choice badge doesn’t actually count for much.

It turns out that the badge isn’t reserved for those high-quality products with countless satisfied customers.

It’s the result of bids. Yes, Amazon offered vendors the ability to bid to get the Amazon Choice Label. In exchange, the vendors had to lower their prices and spend money on advertising.

A listing with the badge would get many more visitors to the product page and a 10% increase in conversions on average.

But not every business were allowed to bid for the badge.

There were some requirements, such as keeping products in stock for a 12-month duration, ensuring customer review ratings stay above four stars, and maintaining certain technical specifications for their respective subcategories.

Essentially, Amazon only wanted to give the badge to vendors that were selling high-quality products, although not necessarily the best ones.

In fact, BuzzFeed found that Amazon frequently recommended inferior and defective products, as well as products with manipulated reviews.

Amazon didn’t set up an outright pay-to-play system for its coveted Amazon’s Choice badge. However, it did set up an internal process that could be seen as manipulating the Amazon’s Choice system, tricking both customers and vendors in the process.

This program has now come under fire.

Two senators called on Jeff Bezos to explain how Amazon’s Choice products were selected for a recommendation. Specifically, they questioned whether or not sellers could pay for the badge, a move that would limit competition on the Amazon marketplace.

Well, let’s see how Jeff Bezos responds to these allegations. For now, at least we know what that Amazon Choice Label really means. Or meant…


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

How to stay motivated without watching GaryVee’s videos


Do you have an Internal Locus of Control? Or an External Locus of Control?

But first of all, what are we talking about?

Wandering around the web, we found this video named “How to stay motivated”. And it’s not the classic motivational video showing people hitting the gym hard with “Eye of the Tiger” in the background (The song starred in Rocky III).

It’s something more serious.

The concept showed is called the Locus of Control, which is the degree to which you believe you have control over your life.

You can have an External Locus of Control or an Internal Locus of Control.

In the first case, you believe that factors outside of your control dictate the path your life takes.

People with an Internal Locus of Control, on the other hand, believe they are in charge of their own lives.

Unsurprisingly, people in this second group tend to have more motivation. The feeling of having control over your own life is a key factor to staying motivated.

So, again, do you have an Internal Locus of Control, or an External Locus of Control?

If you want to have a look at the research conducted regarding the Locus of Control, real-life examples and how to go from External Locus of Control to Internal Locus of Control, head to this video.

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