Facebook—or Meta, as it would rather be known— is everyone’s favorite whipping boy these days. This is hardly without reason, either. Between October’s embarrassing outage, The Wall Street Journal’s Facebook Files, and the recent news that Meta’s shares have tanked through the floor, the social network/corporation has been having a rather bad time of late.
We’re not here to talk about any of that, though. We’re here to discuss a symptom of Meta’s slow erosion. To be frank, Facebook advertising is terrible, and it’s been getting progressively worse.
You’ve likely noticed it yourself if you still spend time on the social network. Low quality, word salad ads with nothing in the way of actual targeting. Constant stories of ads being rejected without explanation or cause, often for completely nonsensical reasons.
And all this is tied together by a backend that can charitably be described as cumbersome.
To be frank, it’s a disaster. But as with any disaster in the marketing world, it represents an excellent learning opportunity. Here are a few search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) insights that can be gleaned from this mess:
- Control your ad network. We’ve made no secret of our belief that modern advertising is broken, perhaps beyond repair—and that the blame lies almost entirely with ad networks not properly policing their content. Facebook is a microcosm of this wider problem; its advertising algorithms clearly aren’t up to the task of maintaining quality.
- Targeted content is crucial. There is one foundational rule that unites content marketing, SEO, and SEM—know your audience. The more effectively you can nail down who they are, what they’re searching for, and what they want, the better your content will perform.
- Technical SEO is no substitute for quality. You’ve probably seen your fair share of ads about how robots are stealing your traffic or auto-generated content is the future of marketing. How many of those did you actually click on, though? Even though they’ve been delivered to the right audience, these error-laden, rambling ads simply don’t seal the deal.
- The quality of your tools matters. Managing SEO for a smaller site is something you can usually handle on your own. However, as your web presence and business both continue to grow, you can either bring in an agency or start relying on paid SEO tools. If these tools are not simultaneously intuitive and effective, they’re likely going to do more harm than good. This is evidenced by Facebook’s Business Tools, which suffer from the same design problems noted by UX Collective.
SEO and SEM have evolved in recent years. By contrast, Facebook has remained largely stagnant. There’s another lesson there—if your business does not evolve and adapt with the market, it will ultimately be left behind.