Facebook Ads Lead to External Landing Page or Facebook Tabs?

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Great question this week from Scott Linklater:

Landing page within Facebook or outside? What would you recommend and how much difference does it make

A: to the facebook user and
B: to the cost of the ads

The General Answer

In general, there are a few patterns that I’ve seen and that I know others have seen. But there are positives and negatives to both options.

For an external landing page:

  • Positive: Full control over performance, speed and tracking codes
  • Negative: Price tends to be higher

When you send a user to your own website, any performance issues are within your control. Additionally, you can get creative with Google and Facebook tracking codes to micromanage what happens when users are sent to your landing page.

For a Facebook tab:

  • Positive: Price tends to be lower
  • Negative: Tabs tend to load very slowly

Again, the general consensus is that both Facebook and users prefer to keep users on Facebook. As a result, the cost tends to remain a little lower for ads that keep users there.

The big negative, though, is the slowness that tends to follow Facebook tabs. A reason for this is that most tabs are actually iFrames that pull in content from another location. As a result, Facebook needs to essentially load two pages (the tab itself and the page that is being iFramed) before you see it.

Find What Works for You!

All of these things said, I want to be clear: There are no absolutes!

It’s entirely possible that your CPC is higher for ads that lead to an external landing page. But is that page actually more efficient in terms of conversions? It’s entirely possible this is the case because site speed has been known to impact these results.

This is why I always advise that you find your own results! What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. It’s important to split test and experiment!

My Recommendations

Here are a few things I’d do to find the answer that applies to your advertising…

1. Create a Facebook post that includes a link leading users to an external landing page. This landing page should include relevant tracking codes including Facebook conversion tracking so that you can measure results.

Promote this post!

2. Create a variation of that post that leads people to a Facebook tab. This is done by creating a dark or unpublished post.

To do this, first create an external landing page similar to the one above (but the URL needs to be different!). Add all relevant tracking codes. Then use a tool like ShortStack to iFrame that page in.

Promote this post!

3. Split test! Use dark posts to create variations of copy, targeting, placement, bidding and the landing pages themselves.

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Your Turn

Do you find more success driving users to an external landing page or a Facebook tab with your Facebook ads? Let me know in the comments below!