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Should I Drive my Facebook Ads to a Fanpage or a Website?

Social Media Marketing January 26th, 2012



Many Facebook marketers have noticed that bid prices tend to be lower when you direct your Facebook ad to a Fanpage. We have conducted our own experiment by creating the exact same ad with one key difference: one pointed to the Fanpage, the other pointed to a website. The results speak for themselves.

First a Bit of Background

We had an unnamed client who came to us with a largely ineffective Facebook marketing campaign. Their ads had a low CTR and they weren’t spending their budget because no one was clicking on them.

In an effort to boost their Facebook presence we designed a Facebook landing page with a before and after gallery, a video, some copy and a contact form. This was all well and good, but what about getting conversions? In our case the contact form.

We encouraged the client to have us create a Facebook advertising campaign, but instead of driving the traffic solely to their website we decided to send visitors to our freshly designed Facebook Fanpage.

For experimentation and proof of concept created two duplicate ads: one directed to the Fanpage while the other directed to the site.


  • We targeted both ads to the same group of men over the age of 35, who lived within 50 miles of Toronto and Scarborough Ontario. This amounted to around 710,000 people.
  • We set our bid price to $0.81 per click for both ads
  • We set our daily budget to $7/day (for this experimental phase)
  • We let the ads run for 2 weeks

Creating the Facebook Ads


Ad #1 Directed to the Fanpage                Ad #2 Directed to the Website


You can see that the only difference between the two ads is that example #1 includes the Like count and #2 includes the website’s URL.

Other than that, the two ads were identical, same headline, text and picture.

The Statistics

Have a look at the Dashboard for this campaign:


reachYou can see that Reach for ad #1 is nearly double that of ad #2. Reach is defined as “the number of individual people who saw this Sponsored Story of ad during the dates selected. This is different than impressions, which includes people seeing them multiple times.”


frequencyWe saw over a half point jump in frequency for ad #1. This is due to the increased Reach of ad #1. Frequency in these terms is defined as “the average number of times each person who saw your Sponsored Story or ad.”

Social Reach

social reach (2)Social Reach only applies to ad #1, so it’s no surprise that it beat out ad #2 by a landslide. Social Reach is defined as “people who saw your Sponsored Story or ad with the names of their friends who like the Page, RSVPed to your event, or used your app. If you’re not using Sponsored Stories or advertising a Page, event, or app, you won’t have social reach.”


social-connectionsAgain, connections won’t apply to ad #2, but they were definitely nice to see given the sensitive (undisclosed) subject matter of the business we created these ads for. Connections are “the number of people who liked your Facebook Page, RSVPed to your event, or installed your app within 24 hours of seeing this Sponsored Story of ad. If you’re no promoting a Page, event, or app, you won’t see Connections data.”


click-likeThis is where our hypothesis really started to manifest. You can see that the clicks on Ad #1 were 87 compared to just 45 on ad #2 that drove to the site. In Facebook terms clicks are defined as “The number of clicks your Sponsored Story or ad has received. Clicks also include Page likes, event RSVPs, or app installs directly from the Sponsored Story or ad.

CTR (Click Through Rate)

CTRWe were pretty much dead even with only 0.001% difference. In the early stages of monitoring this experiment we saw quite a large gap in favour of the Fanpage ad, but over time these have evened out. CTR for Facebook ads is defined as “the number of clicks your Sponsored Story or ad received divided by the number of times it was shown on the site.”

Conclusion: Fanpage Ads Offer Better Value

Facebook would rather you click on an ad that directs people to another page in Facebook; that way you remain in the Facebook environment and are more likely to click on another ad.

If you have a Fanpage that offers a way for customers to contact you then go for it, try driving your Facebook ads to a Fanpage. If not, then directing people to your wall probably won’t pay off. Try creating a Fangate, show the visitor some value. Creating a Fanpage is definitely topic for an entire blog post.

For now I hope I’ve encouraged you to do your own A/B test, please feel free share your results with us!

Post By Steve Toth (144 Posts)


Steve is an industry recognized SEO expert who has been published in Moz. He is an audiophile and loves all things internet marketing. Steve enjoys working on the conceptual side of SEO.

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Should I Drive my Facebook Ads to a Fanpage or a Website?

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