Facebook Ads for Your Business – Two Part Video Series

I often get asked by clients about Facebook advertising and how to get started with it and so I thought I’d put together a screencast/tutorial video on how Facebook advertising works.

You can go watch part 1 or part 2 on YouTube directly or I’ve embedded them below.

It’s intended to be a general overview of setting up and getting an ad on Facebook – a part 3 is in the works if people are interested on looking at the analytics you get back from running your reports.

I’ve done plenty of other screencasts that I’ve posted to my YouTube channel but never one of this scope so I’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts. Too fast? Too slow? Too much information? Not enough? Leave a comment below or visit my contact page to send me something directly.

Part 1

Direct link to Part 1 of my tutorial on How to Get Started with Facebook Advertising

Part 2

Direct link to Part 2 of my tutorial on How to Get Started with Facebook Advertising

Thanks for watching!

The Inconvenient Truth about SEO

Just about every client I work with wants to be at the top of the Google search results when someone searches for something in their industry – who wouldn’t?

And for better or worse, the buzz phrase of “SEO” – search engine optimization – has gone mainstream. People who aren’t at all interested or technically inclined as far as what happens behind the scenes on the web are aware of SEO. They know to ask about it when they’re building a website and they also get calls from SEO companies that try and get businesses to pay them to boost their ranking in search results.

This isn’t a bad thing. It’s a good idea to make sure your website is tuned to inform Google about your content. You want to make sure it’s not being hidden behind obscure headings, technically hard to decipher HTML code or a bunch of images that tell Google nothing.

We Are the 90%

But all the SEO tricks and tips you do to your site should make up about 10% of your overall marketing strategy for your website – the other 90% is the hard work of developing great, interesting and engaging content.

But SEO tricks are easy to market, easy to sell so it seems like a quick fix to help boost your website’s ranking and get more customers – and most website owners don’t have the time or resources to go back and figure out if it actually worked. And so the SEO companies continue to make a quick buck without having to do a lot of work.

Inconvenient Truths

Which brings me to this quote from an article by Paul Boag on Smashing Magazine, The Inconvenient Truth About SEO:

The SEO company can use every trick in the book to get you better rankings, but over the long term they will lose, because Google is constantly changing how it rates websites so it can provide more accurate results.

Remember, you shouldn’t be optimizing for ranking in search engines, you should be optimizing for users.

The black hat SEO marketers have gotten out ahead of the truth and try and spread misinformation about how easy it is to rank higher on Google searches. It’s the same way people view losing weight and getting healthy – despite the obvious truth that it takes hard work by being disciplined, eating smart and exercising – there’ got to be an easier and quicker way!

There is so much good stuff that Paul packs into the article that I’d really recommend going and reading it all yourself. I’m tempted to make it required reading in my contract before I take on a client for website work I feel it’s that important a lesson to learn. Particularly the last third where he talks about the organization change required and offers long-term and short-term solutions.

Not All SEO Work Is Bad!

Right? I know. That’s why I said in the third paragraph that it isn’t all bad. Just as not all tips or tools used in the health industry are bad. But there’s a whole lot of garbage you have to sift through to get to the good stuff unfortunately.

SEO should be part of the whole package of designing, building, launching and then maintaining a website. Not an afterthought. Not an outsourced blog you leave to a generic copywriting company.

The Death of SEO or the Rise of Social?

It may be a slow death, but it\’s happening. The idea that you can somehow manipulate or cheat Google and other search engines into finding your website is going the way of the dodo.

Google used to think if you linked to someone on the Internet they must have valuable content. Now Google seems to believe that if you promote content with social media it is more indicative of relevant content and less likely to be faked.

The bottom line is that all SEO efforts are counterfeit other than one:

Writing, designing, recording, or videoing real and relevant content that benefits those who search.

If you generate content and place it all over the web promoting and linking to your specific content, it is obviously fake. (And that is basically the SEO industry, both black and white.)

From a Forbes.com article titled The Death Of SEO: The Rise of Social, PR, And Real Content by Ken Krogue

The Continuing Rise of Social

The bottom line is that social (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.) continue to be emphasized over the traditional means of links.

Which means that for business owners with websites and website builders like me we need to be building sites that are of value, have useful content and help people – not search engines – find what they need and, most importantly, then want to tell their friends on whatever social network they choose about our website.

Which you\’d think would be easier now considering how quick it is to post something to Twitter or a status update on Facebook compared to writing out a blog post – but it somehow can feel like even more of a personal recommendation and so people have to be really motivated to want to spend some of their social currency on promoting your website to their followers.

How to Schedule a Post on a Facebook Page

Facebook recently added the ability to schedule a post to appear – so you can have something appear at a specific time without having to be at your computer or smartphone to post it.

For example, you might want to post an update of a promotion ending at 6pm without having to make sure you\’re there to post it. Or have a new product announcement go out at specific time.

Here\’s how.

Video Version

For those of you who prefer to see how it\’s done with a screencast, watch this:

Otherwise follow the screenshots and step by step below.

Step 1

Go to your Facebook page and start a status update:


Step 2

Click on the clock icon in the bottom left corner and + Add year will appear.


Step 3

Once you choose a year, + Add month will appear.


Step 4

You should get the idea here but just so I don\’t put all these fancy screenshots to waste, we\’l keep going.

Choose a month.


Step 5

Choose a day.


Step 6

Choose an hour.


Step 7

Choose a minute.


Step 8

Write your post if you haven\’t already.


Step 9

Once you click Schedule, details of your scheduled post will appear in a pop-up.


Step 10

When you click View Activity Log you can see a summary of scheduled posts that you have.



That\’s it. Your post is scheduled and you can go have a sip of coffee or your favourite beverage.

2011 Annual Report from Warby Parker

Warby Parker distribute glasses in a customer friendly fashion with free shipping and free returns1.

They\’ve recently put together their annual report for 2011 and rather than distribute it2 using traditional print and PDF methods, they\’ve built a beautiful HTML/CSS/JavaScript based side scrolling report that shows all the important stats on sales, marketing and company culture that anyone might want – all accessible from your browser.


A great way to show off your brand to an audience that might not otherwise read your stuffy PDF.

On the subject of less boring annual reports, worth checking out is Apple\’s new iBooks Author application. If your potential audience or investors are iPad users, this is a great new way to distribute an annual report with images, text, charts and other audio/video.

  1. Free in the United States, $35 for us Canadians. 
  2. Or perhaps as well as. 

Google+ Community Guidelines

While it’s still early days in how everyone is deciding to use Google+ personally and professionally – Google has just published a set of Community Guidelines that can help give you an idea of how or why you might want to use Google+ for your business or startup.

Right now the different groups they talk about are celebrities, media organizations, nonprofit organizations, political groups, sports teams & Universities – but the ideas are similar for all organizations or businesses.

One of the more interesting uses for Google+ that I could see is through the use of what Google is calling Hangouts. Basically it’s video chatting with up to 10 other people. It’s been done before – but with Google+ it’s free and easy to have a conversation with 10 customers or clients about your product or service. Some ideas for how you might use Google+ Hangouts:

  • Hold a quick video chat on a new feature of your product that you just launched.
  • A live Q&A with one of your support staff and some of your customers
  • Get feedback from your clients on how business is going.
  • Or just shoot the breeze with whoever happens to be online for awhile and see how things are going.

Particularly as more and more of our commerce moves online, using tools like Google+ Hangout to maintain a human connection with your customers is one great way to set yourself apart from all the other websites vying for people’s attention and money.