Facebook Penalizing Publishers for Poor Website Experiences

In recent months, many popular social media networks have adopted mobile-first strategies that make displaying and searching for content easier on mobile devices. Facebook has made yet another change to its algorithm, this time to give mobile links with high-quality user experience history priority

Guiding the Facebook UX Toward Mobile

Like Google has done with its AMP pages, Facebook wants to display its link ads based on the link destination's mobile friendliness. Not only will paid ads be affected by this change, but organic news feed links will also feel the brunt. If Facebook detects a link with poor website experience among users, it will reach a smaller audience, and in the case of an ad, it will cost the advertiser more money.

In other words, if a link you post leads to a landing page with poor mobile viewability, the link will fall farther down on the Facebook News Feed, which means that fewer people will see it. The same consequence will impact ads that link to non-optimized landing pages.  Advertisers who don't focus on mobile might experience higher advertising costs and less visibility.

This change might seem frustrating, but it's designed to enhance the UX for Facebook. The company wants to serve up links that will render appropriately on mobile devices; otherwise, they risk turning off users who might otherwise use Facebook to search for content.

How to Design Great Experiences

The most effective advertisers will have already optimized their landing pages for mobile. If you're concerned that this Facebook algorithm change might impact your Paid Social campaign, take a few steps to optimize your landing pages for mobile UX.

  1. Relevance: Make sure the content on your landing page is directly related to the ads on Facebook. Irrelevant content diminishes UX and might harm your visibility on Facebook. Ultimately, the social media giant wants to avoid misleading users.
  2. Appropriateness: Avoid any suggestive content in your Facebook ads or on your landing pages. Facebook doesn't want any content to rely on shock value to generate clicks. Avoid violence, sexual suggestiveness, and gore entirely.
  3. Speed: Users expect landing pages to load within the first three seconds of clicking on an ad. Focus on speeding up loading times to create the most enjoyable UX.
  4. Disruption: Don't interrupt the user experience with interstitial ads or pop-ups. Instead, keep the copy clean and easy to digest on mobile devices.

You might not have time to optimize all of your landing pages right away. In this case, take advantage of Facebook's native microsite options. You can create a miniature version of your landing page on the platform itself to avoid getting penalized.

For instance, you could use a Facebook lead form to capture leads before you send them to your website. Canvas ads can prove useful if you want to create a more in-depth experience for mobile. On desktop and laptop computers, the content expands full screen. Additionally, collection ads can help you display several products on a single ad unit just as you would on your own product page.

While Facebook's new algorithm changes might cause advertisers to work a little harder, they ultimately make the experience better for everyone. If you need help setting up a paid social campaign that drives real results, feel free to download our case study which explains how search, display, and social advertising boosted a high-end retailer's YOY sales by 70%.

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