When You Lead the Horse to the Water, But It Still Won't Drink
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When You Lead the Horse to the Water, But It Still Won't Drink
Kate Gingold
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When You Lead the Horse to the Water, But It Still Won't Drink

Sixteenth in a series

Since the beginning of the year, we have been experimenting with Facebook (Meta) advertising and letting you look over our shoulder. There was a bump in our road, so take a look:

If you remember, we created four versions of our ad and let all of them run for a short time as an A/B test. At the end of the trial period, there was a definite winner, so we shut off the other three and just ran the winning version.

Combing through the Facebook analytics, the numbers looked good. First off, the ad was seen by the right audience, which for us is mid-career women and men as they tend to be in management positions with the power to make website decisions.

Second, the ad enjoyed a decent reach even with a limited budget. We didn’t want our team resources to be overwhelmed, so we weren’t looking for millions of impressions. The tens of thousands of impressions our ad received seemed to be plenty for generating a few leads.

Of those thousands of impressions, our ad received quite a number of clicks. We did the research on what a reasonable click-through rate might be for our specific industry because there is a big difference between the CTR for cute shoes and the CTR for athlete’s foot medication.

Across all industries, the average click-through rate in March 2023 was 1.49%. Our ad’s click-through rate was 4.77%, which seemed like a great return for all our hard work adhering to Meta’s advertising rules and suggestions.

Following through, we also checked our Google Analytics reports for the same period. Sure enough, thousands of new visitors arrived on the SEO audit page and we learned something new about GA4. We suspect there will be many more new GA4 quirks to share since the rollout just happened last month, but here’s one specific to Facebook ads: In the Reports Snapshot in your GA4 account, traffic from paid ads will be counted as “Organic Social” until you update your UTM parameters. We won’t get into this right now, so call us if you have questions.

Everything was playing out just as we expected – and that’s when we hit the bump. While we were successful in bringing lots of horses to the water, not a single horse took a drink. That is, no one actually ran the free SEO audit report for their business.

We were surprised, naturally, but we’ve been in this business a long time and have seen this happen before. So, what do we do next? We’ll do the same things that we would advise our clients to do. If the audience is interested enough in the ad to click through, then something on the landing page is scaring them off. We just need to figure out what. Now we’ll try reworking the message, changing up the look, reviewing the offering, and testing out different approaches to see what resonates.

Sure, we’re disappointed, but it’s way too soon to give up. We’re going back to the drawing board, knowing more now than we did before, which means we are getting closer to success. Have you have experienced disappointment in your marketing efforts, too? If you have trouble finding and figuring out your analytics to learn what went wrong, give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss it with you.

Photo by Trungtuyen Cao

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Kate Gingold

Kate GingoldKate Gingold

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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Previous Article SEO, Social Media Marketing, and Content Marketing - Why Your Business Needs All Three
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2 comments on article "When You Lead the Horse to the Water, But It Still Won't Drink"

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Jerilyn Willin

Great article. Liked the way it took me step-by-step through your process. Success...success...WHAT? I think many people, myself included, stop when no one "takes". Instead, you folks said, "what s wrong with this last step?" Believe it or not, I'm not sure I ever asked that question. Thanks..


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Kate Gingold

Thanks for commenting, Jerilyn! Successful marketing is as much of an art form as a science, isn't it? Now, back to analyzing and experimenting...

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