Have you been creating Facebook Ads only to find that they are not doing what you would like for them to do? Do you feel as though you are simply throwing money at the social giant just to wind up with nothing to show for it? It’s something I’ve experienced as well as something I learned how to watch and overcome. This article should help you learn what to look for and what you’ll need to adjust in order to achieve your goals. And if you’re looking for how to get started with Facebook ads, so you should check that out, too.
How Effective Are Your Ads?
When you’ve been in the Ads Manager, you’ll have seen this dashboard a hundred times.
But perhaps, you’re not sure what to look at, what matters, or how many options are available to you in order to look at the data. This is one of the first mistakes I was also making when I started out creating Facebook ads. Of course I wanted to see how much money was spent. I wanted to know how many purchases were made or leads were gathered. But after reading this article and this article and applying some of that knowledge, my ad data made a ton more sense to me, and I was able to increase conversions.
Change the Ads Manager Dashboard
So let’s setup the dashboard to show us what we need to see; Click Through Rates and Relevancy scores, which will both help us determine how popular or successful our ads are, as well as Frequency Rate, which tells us how often a person in our audience is seeing our ad (on average).
- After you click through to the ad you’re wanting to watch, in the dashboard, find and click on the drop down on the right hand side, near the middle of the page, that says “Columns: ….”
- Click on “Customize Columns”.
- Now you’re going to see all the options available to add to your dashboard. On an ad set I’m currently running, my dashboard is setup for The Ad Set Name, Results, Reach, Cost, Budget, Amount Spent, Schedule, Relevancy, Frequency, Cost per Purchase, and CTR. Of course, depending on your objective, your columns may be different, but I’m assuming you’re attempting to sell something, right now.
- Make sure you choose “CTR (Link)”, Frequency, and Cost per Purchase (or Cost per Lead, if doing Lead Ads).
- Once these columns are setup, be sure to save this configuration for future use on other ads! Go back to the “Columns: …” drop down, and you’ll see “Custom”, with “Save” to the right hand side.
- Give your preset column configuration a name, and you’ll see it from now on, in this drop down menu. (PSST.. Go a step further and make it your default setting by clicking “Set as Default” in the same drop down menu.)
Now, from (almost) a glance, you can tell how many times someone has seen your ad, how the CTR is behaving, how Facebook rates your ad with respect to your audience, and how your overall ROI is stacking up. This is powerful because you’ll be able to find ads that are performing better than others, quickly, and adjust budget accordingly.
I always try to make sure my ads are getting relevancy scores of at least a 5, but 7 and up are best. I’ve noticed anything below a 5 do pretty terrible. Frequency rate is the amount of times someone has seen your ad, on average. I’ve never let it go above 3, and I’ve seen others suggest as high as 5. I think 5 is plenty, and after that, your audience may begin to hate you. #JustSayin. Our CTR (click through rate) will vary from industry to industry, but Facebook is averaging a 1.59% CTR as of last quarter. The Cost per Purchase, is how much it cost us to gain that conversion, according to the Facebook Pixel and its purchase tracking.
By watching these metrics in your analytics, (and I mean daily if you have a decent budget), you can be sure that your ads are going to be well-received by your audience, and that you’ll be able to adjust when things aren’t going quite right, by changing something up.
They’re Clicking My Ads, Now What?
Now that we’ve setup our Facebook Ad dashboard, and we’re tracking our momentum there, we need to see how well that data translates to our websites. To do that, we look to Google Analytics. What we need to know is if our clicks from our ads are amounting to anything on our website. You can have a fantastic click through rate, but if your visitors are simply bouncing away after click through, than we’re still not doing great. So let’s find out how our ads are doing in respect to our websites.
Before going further, you’ll need to be sure that you are “tagging” your campaigns for Facebook, so they correctly show up in Google. You can read here, for some information, as well as here. You also need to have goals setup so you can track conversions.
- Go to your Google Analytics, and find the reports for your ads. You’ll do this by going to Acquisition -> Campaigns
- Inside of this report, you’ll get to see the different ads (“campaigns”) you have setup and how they are performing on your website. One of the number one numbers we’ll be checking will be “Bounce Rate”, because we want to see how many people are actually staying and taking a look around, versus people who are clicking through the ad and just click away again. We’ll also look at Avg. Session Duration, and Pages/Session. These are both indicators that people are interested in not only our offer or product, but our site in general.
- Check on Goal Completions. Besides the other metrics I mentioned above, you want to know if these ads are leading to conversions, right? Actual sales. If you’ve setup your goals correctly, this is the column that will tell you if the people clicking through from your ads are actually completing the goal you wanted them to.
Too much work? Hire a social media marketer to get it done faster, the right way, the first time.
Don’t Spend Too Much on Your Facebook Ads
Facebook recently rolled out the ability to use “rules” on an ad, in order to turn it off, or pause it while you’re away, when it reaches certain parameters. This is fantastic for the business owner, and average, busy marketer, because it means we don’t overspend on our ads. So let’s be sure we are setting up Rules to prevent that from happening:
- After you create an ad and are looking at the dashboard, you will see the option to “Create Rule”.
- Now you’ll select your parameters. You can apply the rule to 1 Campaign, or all. You can apply it to just one ad set, or one ad, or all of them. Within each hierarchy, your campaign, ad set or ad, you’ll have different options. We’ll choose “1 ad”, as it’s our only option when we’ve drilled down to the ad specifically to create a rule. You’ll also choose what happens, and options include: Turn Off, Send notification, Adjust budget, or adjust manual bid. Let’s choose Turn Off Ad.
- Then you’ll choose the conditions your ads must match, to activate the rule. For this one, we’ll choose “Frequency is greater than 5”, and add another condition by clicking add and then the plus sign that shows up.
- Now choose “Other” and “Cost per Result is greater than” and insert the number you are willing to allow the ads to go to in order to get the result you’re aiming for. For example, you sell widgets for $5.00 per widget and it costs $2.00 to create each one. You have setup an ad to sell the widgets. If your ad results are showing that the ad is costing you $7.50 per result (or conversion/sale), you don’t want that ad to keep going! You’d probably rather it stayed closer to $1.00, so you’re making profit ($5.00 sale – $2.00 materials/labor – $1.00 ad = $2.00 profit, or 40% gross profit). So input the number that makes sense for your business/product.
- Choose a time range. The default is 3 days.
- Choose the attribution window. The default is 1 day after a view and 28 days after a click. (This information is adjusting how Facebook attributes data to your reports.)
- Select whether you want an email notification or just a Facebook notification.
- Now give your rule a name. You’ll be able to use this rule across your other ads as well, so name it something descriptive.
Now you are setup with a Facebook Ad Rule. This rule will help prevent us from spending too much money on an ad that is under-performing, but obviously, there are other combinations that you can create and utilize.
Check the ROI of your Facebook Ads
Like I said above, finally, we need to be vigilant about checking on the ROI of our ads. And we can do that in a few ways, but here’s how I do it. Remember the Cost per Result (or Cost per Purchase or Cost Per Lead)? Depending on what you’re tracking for your ad, you simply want to make sure that when a conversion takes place, it costs less than you make. If you know a typical purchase is $25.00, than you can use that. If a typical digital lead normally turns into a $500.00 sale/service agreement, then use that.
Ultimately, the only way to find out if your Facebook ads are earning conversions is to be sure that you are tracking the data. <- Click here to tweet that.
On top of checking just Facebook’s analytics, be sure that you are also checking with Google Analytics that the conversions Facebook is reporting, are actually showing up in Google as well. When you use the tagging we discussed, this can be done easily. When you don’t use it, unfortunately, some of the traffic coming from Facebook can be counted in other areas, which will throw off your campaign’s numbers.
While you were making your goals in Google Analytics, and you added a value amount during that process, you’ll also be able to check your ROI, there. If your campaign is showing you that you’ve earned significant goal value, let’s say $2,500.00 on our $5.00 widget, and you’ve spent $1,000.00 on Facebook ads, you know your ROI is 1.5x which is a pretty good return. If you’re showing that you’ve earned a value closer to your ad spend, and you’re cutting even, you need to go back to testing your ads, your landing page, your offer, your target, or, or, or..
Remember, advertising is all about educated guesses and data. First you make the educated guess, or theory. Then you put it to the test until you get it right.
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