How to use Facebook page effectively for blog growth?

If you are a voracious reader like me, who reads every influential marketer 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, and might be 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.

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

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 🙂

Growth Hacks for Playstore Optimisation

As play store optimisation has become more important, the number of hacks have also increased. There is no shying away from that we all need growth, and everything even keyword optimisation and back link building are black-hat ASO to an extent.

Some of the hacks that we will discuss today are on the borderline of being blackhat technique. So apply judiciously. Let’s have a look:

#1 Search Boost Hack

In this technique, a incentivized pool of users is asked to search for a keyword and download the particular app. As the conversion on a keyword is an important parameter of raking at Appstore and Play Store, this technique provides a boost to the ranking.

This campaign results in higher CTR, greater conversion on keyword, and manipulation of trending of trending searches.

White Hat Variant:  A more natural variation of this technique will be to ask your friends, family, colleague, and power user to use a particular keyword to install the app.

#2 Fake Apps Hack

It’s quite widespread. You will find a lot of fake apps targeting brand name, trending keyword or any other competitive keywords. These apps are generally made to run advertisements or blatantly recommends using other apps. This technique is an extreme case of keyword optimisation. While AppStore or Play store will slowly downgrade these app based on other metrics such as uninstall and retention, but the work of app is done before that.

White Hat Variant: Use the trending keywords and established app name which is relevant to the content of your apps.

#3 Top Grossing App Hack

Increase the prices of your in-app purchase to an exorbitant amount, then ask incentivized pool of user to purchase. Then, the user goes for a refund right away.

Please note that Google Play has a stringent policy for refund, and it gets extremely difficult after 48 hours. In some the cases, Google even doesn’t charge the transaction fee.

This action performed on a substantial scale might will increase your ranking in top grossing chart significantly, pushing the organic downloads.

White Hat Variant: Ask friends, family and powers users to purchase your product on higher price, and try to offer the best service to justify.

#4 Paid Download, Reviews and Rating Hack

This is the most overused black hat technique. Developers buy install generated by bots or humans, leading to an increase in ranking in the organic category as velocity and number of downloads are an important factor in the ranking algorithm.

Developers also buy reviews and rating, which are again critical factors in the ranking algorithm.

White Hat Variant: Build right trigger in the app to collect a maximum number of reviews and rating. Ask friends, family, and power to use particular words or phrases while posting their reviews.

#5 Reviews Scrapping and Posting

In this technique, software scrapes the review from many apps and then tweaks the reviews using algorithm and formulas. These reviews are then posted for the app in question. This gives a more genuine look to the reviews. Check an ASO agency who talk about this black hat technique.

How to perform wide range testing for ASO?

Despite the progress made by Google and Apple for testing, the testing features are still limited. As every visual element on play store and app store page is critical, it’s important to test a lot.

You can try App Store Proxy Technique, wherein you can create a fake landing page similar to Playstore and Appstore. You can then run all the test here by driving traffic from Facebook or other cheap sources. Learning from split testing here can be used for App Store and Play Store. Check out the company that successfully used this technique.