Making Facebook Pages Great Again

If you are a voracious reader like me, who reads every influential marketeer blog, then I am not going to stop. But I will just caution you, it might not always work.

What will work for your audience is always unique. It might be counter-intuitive. Only tool to figure out is your data.

Here are some tactics that worked for us on Facebook:

Fuck optimum posting time!

Yes, that helped, avoiding the chaos of prime time. Your customers see your post in non-cluttered feed. It increases your click through rate. We were more focused on CTR, than reach, so it made more sense. But anyways, don’t go by the optimum time of 1 PM, 6 PM or whatever.

More importantly, the message is – no thumb rule can define the best posting time for your page – just experiments. This non-optimum-time strategy worked for us, but might not work for you. Let the data guide you, rather than these thumb rules.

Self-fulfilling prophesies exist

You use the word “viral” in blog title while sharing on Facebook, then people want to figure out why its viral, consequently it becomes viral.

However, your page must have authority to make people believe. You can’t just write “viral” in every facebook post , unless your are Buzzfeed or ScoopWhoop.

Buzzfeed always makes use of these sort of title – “world is going crazy over X”. While in reality, they make the world go crazy over X. Give the social proof, and they will come – works always in marketing. 

Our FB post with title “This Awesome Boiled Egg Diet Has Gone Viral” performed 5 times better in terms of reach than the same blog titled “Lose 11 KG with This Awesome Boiled Egg Diet”. However, there is no denying that you need high quality content. Clickbait without content will die sooner or later.

Trends, celebrities and controversy – the evergreen triplet

These topics are always mines of clicks. Good content around them works for both social media and organic traffic. Trump has given so many click to social media, that his entire empire can be created 10 times.

We owe huge amount of clicks to Priyanka Chopra, Alia Bhatt, Milind Soman,Virat Kohli etc. People are interested in knowing about these celebrities both through gooogle searches and social media.

Picture speaks 100 word, but text on pictures just rocks

Picture on text always increases your CTR if done smartly. We learned this art from Buzzfeed. But be careful, if you are to run FB paid campaign for these posts; they don’t generally perform well. And don’t get desperate like these guys:

Facebook posting

In India, SportsKeeda have perfected this art i.e. ‘Messi is second, check out who is first’. We have 200% more clicks in general for blogs with photograph and catchy text over it.

Why target single, when you have option of group – FB Group

If you are not using them, you are definitely missing on penniless reach and eyeballs. While in fitness, groups are extremely useful, they exist for every niche. In fitness people want community where that can share their activity and ideas.Hence, big communities with more than 100K users exist. Moreover, there are thousand of groups for every niche in fitness. Infacts, there are some city specific groups as well. These are great places to market niche, specific and targeted content. We even used bollywood groups to share the fitness stories of these celebrities. Find your niche and get huge audience for free!

Reaching out to non-active FB pages

This works. I had almost 10% conversion rate in this. Pitch to non-active pages that you want to contribute high quality content for their page. Here is my pitch:

“I see you have posted quite infrequently in last 1-month. I can help you with some high quality content. I can help you build engagement and increase audience. Let me know if that works”

Facebook post hacks

Example of one such pitch

Now I can post from 5-6 pages that have good reach. It’s again free reach.

SEO is not something new, nor cracking it some rocket science. But cracking in Indian space is still tricky. There are few companies who are good at it. There are lot of experts, lots of noise, but less substance.

I am no expert in this field but some tactics worked for my blog and some failed. However, the learning will be definitely help any blogger in India.

Indian Blog Traffic Growth

Blog Traffic Growth: Source – Google Analytics

How Indian SEO environment different from what SEO schools present?

This was major point of struggle for me. Even if you have just started SEO week ago, you would aware of big names in the field, Moz, Ahref, Neil Patel, Growth Hacker Community, SEMrush etc. Now the ideas and hacks provided by these websites are sometimes hard to implement primarily because of low budget and lack of SEO ecosystem.

For example, in India, it’s quite tough to host giveaway contest or attend seminars to build network for backlinks. Every penny you spend on paid link hurts and tough to justify.

When I speak of ecosystem, I means network of bloggger and influencer. In guest posting, providing backlinks for source is rare in India. While plagiarism and buying link is rampant.

What didn’t work for us?

  • Commenting with links on other blogs: It’s trash work. We did this for first two days only. First, most of comment section on the blogs are nofollow. Second, when they are not it’s either shitty blog or closely monitored. Don’t ever try to scale this route.
  • Forum posting: This we did for 2-3 weeks. In the first week itself, it gave us 5 DA (Domain Authority) point jump. But it quickly reached saturation. It stopped affecting our DA, and might be negatively affected afterwards, so we stopped. But it’s quick and easy way to get backlinks. For implementing just follow this, just extract competitor backlink profile using Moz or Ahref (for link analysis I prefer Ahref) to identify do-follow forum. Then just start posting. Restrict number of links from one particular forms to less than 5. Further, don’t target forum with domain authority less than 20.

Guest posting, mildly successful

We couldn’t implement what we planned it, here, but whatever we did benefit. We couldn’t extract even a single backlink. Generally, Indian website with good domain authority want USD 40-50 to post your article with backlink. This is true for even high quality article and info-graphics. Although we could garner backlinks from lower domain authority website for free through these info-graphics.

We were able to get backlnks from our netwoek. They generally don’t ask for link exchange, which is debatable from SEO perspective. We reached out to college friends who are in marketing for guest post opportunity. We also reached out to genuine website struggling with good quality content, which we provided for free. That’s a good deal.

We are still trying to crack this. Our leaning till date – write high quality content for guest. Paying USD 10-20 for good quality backlink is good deal, but we didn’t try. First, to save money. Second. it’s something, which is frowned upon by Google. Don’t go for link exchange.

What worked for us?

1. Rigorous keyword research:

This is the part we cracked. Ahref.com is awesome for this. We used Ahref, Moz, Keyword.io and Adword for this. We were able to find good volume keyword with least competition. This helped us rank without backlinks. What we used to get keyword ideas: Ideas from top question from Quora, competitor keyword analysis, Buzzsumo tool and general keyword analysis.

2. Refinement based on trade-off between effort and reward:

We operate on constrained budget, hence we can’t make every article great! We try to maintain a standard. Every article either is keyword focused or engagement builder, though we want to drive both through same article. How we optimize the effort is by refining and putting extra effort on blogs that are doing well. This saves a lot of energy.

How we optimize:

  • More focused keyword: When we first write article it’s based on keyword analysis using third part tools. Howsoever, accurate they can predict macro search trend, the traction for your blog is a guess. But, once you know that a blog is performing good, you can make use of Google Analytics and Search Console to optimize according to the audience, who are visiting. You can make the content more focused toward the keyword from which you are getting traffic.
  • Optimize the CTR: Benchmark the CTR. The try to optimist basis what other in top searches are mentioning. It’s recommend that keyword should be there in tittle and meta-description, to assure the user that article is about what the user is looking for. Here are some data points to help you benchmark:
    • On average, 71.33% of searches result in a page one organic click. Page two and three get only 5.59% of the clicks.
    • On the first page alone, the first 5 results account for 67.60% of all the clicks and the results from 6 to 10 account for only 3.73%
    • Across all industries, the average CTR for a search ad is 1.91%, and 0.35% for a display ad

Hack for number based keyword title:

After analyzing the top ranking articles in fitness we realized that for these articles – the articles with higher number in tittle generally rank higher, given the quality doesn’t differ much e.g. article titled”45 Healthy Indian Breakfast Options” will generally rank higher than “20 Healthy Indian Breakfast Option”. This is because people will generally click first one more, and stay at that article for longer time. Google will take this as signs of a better quality article.

Once I wrote  a good content reach blog on “Top 10 Delhi Running Routes” but it was ranking second, despite mine being quite exhaustive with pictures and details, while the first one was just a list of 20 routes.  After I found out, I added 14 more routes, then this “Top 24 Delhi Running Routes” was at top.

Surprisingly, a odd number e.g. 33, 41 performs better than even. This might be because, user find it more genuine. StyleCraze just nails this by coming up with large number. Although, sometime they even repeat points and have poor content. I will not recommend that.

3. Making use of correlation between social traffic and organic traffic:

Yeah! Yeah! I know there no proof, but there is correlation. Treat social traffic like any other traffic, if the traffic is engaging then you surely benefit. For the blogs, where we received decent social traffic with good stay time, we started ranking on first page within 2-days. Always work on the social and engagement part of blog. One hack that worked for us – use gifs. People generally watch gifs, increasing the stay time at blog.

There is more to come. Do comment with what worked for you! Who doesn’t love hacks 🙂

That’s How We Did It: Indian SEO Growth Case Study

Mobile App Uninstall Rate: Benchmark and Analysis

Mobile App Data Benchmarks are quite opaque. Though getting accurate data for your app category and competitor is difficult, general inference about good and bad can be based on publically available data. This also helps in figuring out the product -market fit of your product. I have gathered the information from different mobile app analytics companies and analytics team of different startups.

Andrew Chen and Quettra Study 

For an average app D1 (Active users after 7 days of install) is 29%. It almost lost 71% users. While D30 for an average app is 10%.

Now here users are lost doesn’t mean that users are suddenly going completely inactive – they might just be using the app once per week, but they are not active on that particular day. Don’t confuse this app install retention, though they are correlated. If the user is not using the app, chances are high that app will be uninstalled.

According to Ankit Jain (formerly head of search+discovery for Google Play)

“Users try out a lot of apps but decide which ones they want to ‘stop using’ within the first 3-7 days. For ‘decent’ apps, the majority of users retained for 7 days stick around much longer. The key to success is to get the users hooked during that critical first 3-7 day period”.

App Uninstall Rate Benchmark

Flurry App Uninstall Benchmarks

Flurry comes out with a great article on the breakdown of retention versus frequency for a bunch of mobile app categories.

This will serve as retention over 30 days benchmark for different categories i.e. Health and Fitness, Education, Entertainment, Finance, News etc. As per the report, Health and Fitness have the highest retention i.e. 48% in Android. Games have generally low retention. Please note that this retention over 30 days different from D30 retention. D30 is based on active user lost i.e. users not active on the 30th day. While, Flurry measures active app installs in 30 days (number provided by Google Console and iTunes).

Flurry Report Uninstall Benchmark

Flurry Report Uninstall Benchmark

Apsalar Android Benchmark

Marketers are most interested in understanding and mitigating uninstall rate problems in the first weeks of a customer engagement. But data show that after a few weeks, user behavior is mostly set for long term. That’s why 4 weeks benchmark is provided. These number seems bit biased to good quality apps, but neverthless are good benchmark

APAC region has worst mobile app unistall rate. Major reason why rates are higher in India and across APAC is less expensive phones purchases here have much smaller memories.

Apsalar Mobile App Unistall Rate Benchmark

Unistall Rate Benchmark

Localytics and Similiar Web Report

After a user installs an app, it get’s used alot in first 3 days. However, on ana average app retains only 23% of Daily Active Users within 3 days of installation. In general, app with high D3 retention rates drive high engagement in future. Average app is approximately unistalled in 8 months, and for gaming app it is about 7 months.

Users who are retained for 7 days stick around. The percentage of users who abandon an app after one use is now 23%. The percenatage of users who are retained 11 or more times, hence retained are 38%. That means a whopping 62% will use an app less than 11 times.

“For successfyl retention strategy – Build a good relationship between 3-7 days period and before 11 app opens”

Localytics and Similar Web Mobile App Uninstall Benchmark

Mobile App Uninstall Benchmark

Mobile App Unistall Rate Category Wise

User Retention Mobile App Category Wise

Retention in below Localytics report is defined as returning to the app at least 1x within 30 days.

Localytics Mobile App Unistall Rate Benchmark for Average app

“So in general, with the exception of gaming apps,anything around 20% retention rate at 90 days is average across the mobile industry, and anything north of 25% is what you should strive to reach.”

Below is statistic for top performing app. These apps are defined as top performers by having over 1 million monthly active users.

Localytics Mobile App Unistall Rate Benchmark for Top Perforiming App

There are some paid tools and partner tools which you can use to track retention in competitor website. Retention in terms of DAU or MAU upon install can be easily correlated with the uninstall rate. I find them quite useful, apart from the fact that they cost us and ask us to share data. Here are some: Survey Monkey, App Annie and Priori Data.

How to Grab Best Startup Job and Avoid Disaster?

 

Startup job is not perfect there is a Trade-off.

Non-Linear Tradeoff of Growth and Risk!

Startups jobs have a more lucrative perception in the society than they really are! Most startups have screwed up organization culture, poor performance management system and long working hours. On top of that, there is almost zero role clarity in some cases. This leaves a minuscule percentage of time for things you love. You can be building stuff, happy and have an impact while working for large companies as well.

 

Perfect startup job is like betting on horse

Taking a right bet!

Joining startup is always a bet. Risk are always high but so are the returns. But this doesn’t mean you have to be reckless. You should understand the trade-off.

 

 

Why people make mistakes while joining a startup?

A job is always a marriage between your aspiration and company’s vision even if it’s for a short term. With the downturn in the market, it has become more important to identify the right startup and beat the competition to snatch the dream offer! I have seen people making lots of mistakes while joining a startup and regretting that soon. Here, startups are not be blamed. HR policies are gradually built over time with learning and experience of the team.

Are you ready for the commitment?

You might enjoy startup but then you have to be an adrenaline junkie. What helps in startup job – a passion to build, eagerness to learn and sometimes money. Do you have that?  Joining startup for the sake of it is no fun. In fact, this can be painful. Leaving a well-paying job with sorted career path was a source of a lot of concern and second thoughts for me. You  need to sit down and spend some time to figure out what is best for you. I always refer back to former RBI Gov Raghuram Rajan quote for deliberation on this:

Satisfying work requires three things – the complexity of work, the freedom, and correlation between effort and reward.”

What checklist to follow before joining job?

If you find yourself committed  and you feel startup is the way forward, then it’s really important to find a perfect job role. Not asking questions, joining started-to-fail startups etc. are mistakes you should not make.

  •  Probe about product-market fit:  We generally don’t ask questions at the time of interview but we definitely should. Ask for proof of product-market fit, it’s the only thing that matters for start-up. If you are a marketer, your role becomes easy after product-market fit, you just need to scale, there is no leaky bucket to fix. If there is no product-market fit,  then you are taking a big risk and then you need a say in the company,  hence a good stake. Now people will give you thumb rule, if your joining before Series- A take 1-3% stake, that’s all bull-shit. Determine stake based on your role and degree of separation from the product-market fit. It’s a misconception that asking questions can be counted against you. Asking questions show your seriousness and is generally appreciated.

    Perfect Startup Job Requires Evaluation of Product/Market Fit

    Evaluate product/market fit for perfect startup job

  • Ask for a role demo: Take a shadow role in the organization before joining. Get a hang of company’s culture and real job roles (fancy word used in job description makes it difficult to assess the role). Accept the job only if the role can keep you awake 7 days continuously. This also shows your sincerity  towards career and job. Generally, founders will approve this as they also get to test you.

    How to understand job description_things to crack for perfect startup job

    Job role has lot of hidden answer

  • Build solid understanding: This will help you get founders perspective and help you decide what’s good for you. Besides, they are also good talking points. Read some good books, to name a few – Traction, Lean Startup, Lean Analytics, Four Steps to Epiphany, Buzz Marketing etc. depending on the role you’re applying for.

    Knowledge for perfect startup job

    Always key ingredients: knowledge, talent, and smart work.

These checklists will help you take the right decision. If I have missed anything, feel free to add in the comments.

Let’s Take a Break for a Moment

In life, we always get a moment when we feel we belong somewhere else.  I have always felt so. But, what I do is I take a break but continue the journey. In these breaks, I reflect. With my mostly wrong bets and some right ones let’s see if you get something interesting for your journey 🙂

PS: Though I will not focus on SEO but I trust Google is not EVIL. Do share the article you like and spread the word!