Luso.us: 5 Ways to Audit Facebook Ads for Maximum Results – Auditing your Facebook ad account can feel like a painstaking exercise, but it’s critical to the continued success of your paid advertising strategy. More importantly, it can help reduce wasteful advertising spending.
The purpose of an audit is to uncover opportunities to improve performance and identify areas that are doing well. The results of this review will eliminate your alleged Facebook campaigns and give you confidence in the management of your paid social strategy.
There are several main parts of doing a Facebook Ad Audit, including account structure, tracking, targeting, creatives, and reporting that allow you to dig deeper on a regular basis. All of these aspects work together to determine the outcome of your campaign.
For that let’s discuss How to Audit Facebook Ads for Maximum Results
1. Review Your Facebook Ad Structure
Facebook Business Manager
To make sure you’re ready for success, you need to use Facebook Business Manager to organize all your Facebook assets including your page, Instagram account, ad account, pixels, and website domain. The tool also lets you manage permissions and roles across your business.
If you don’t have a Business Manager account, it’s easy to set it up. Visit facebook.business.com/overview and sign in to Facebook using account credentials that give you access to your ad account and related assets. Follow the instructions and include all your business assets in Business Manager for easier management.
To make sure you’re ready for success, there are some best practices to follow. For starters, make sure you assign more than one admin to your Business Manager account if one loses access. In addition, if you have multiple lines of business, you can group assets together by “Business Line” to ensure that pixels or ad accounts aren’t assigned to the wrong business.
Facebook Ads Manager
In Ads Manager, you can see your entire campaign setup, ad sets, and Facebook ads. Reviewing your Facebook ad account structure can help you manage your campaigns more effectively and reduce potential setup errors.
Your ads manager should be organized based on goals (business goals), such as conversions for online sales and traffic for website visits. Having separate campaigns with different goals allows you to manage your budget and evaluate results correctly.
Ad sets are placed in your campaign. Organizing your ad sets according to your audience is the best way to evaluate performance. The ad set rate is where you determine targeting and exclusions, which we’ll discuss later in this article.
Each ad set must include no more than six ads. This will give Facebook’s algorithms enough information to optimize while still allowing you to gather key insights into the performance of the best-performing creatives and ad copy.
Make sure your ad naming convention clearly identifies the creative used in each ad to help with performance reporting. An example of a naming convention might be “Image_Product Photo_Promo.”
2. Review Your Tracking Setup
Facebook pixel and third-party tracking like Google Analytics help you evaluate the effectiveness of Facebook campaigns and their impact on your business. An often overlooked contributor to poor performance is tracking differences. Here’s how to make sure your campaign tracking is set up correctly.
With the recent iOS privacy update, Facebook’s attribution window (a limited period of time during which results can be attributed to Facebook ads) is now set to a 7-day click, a 1-day view. It’s important to make sure that all of your campaigns measure performance with the same attribution window, especially if you’re enabling an old campaign.
To find attribution window data for your campaign, click Columns> Adjust Columns in Ads Manager and select the Attribution Window metric in the pop-up window.
In the Ads Manager dashboard, select the View Setup button to change the view to display individual landing pages, pixels, and third-party tracking at the ad level.
Make sure the green pixel indicator is displayed next to the account pixels and added to all ads. If pixels aren’t added to ads, Facebook can’t measure performance when users click through to your site.
If you’re using UTM tracking, make sure tracking is consistent across all tagged ads so that reporting is accurate across initiatives. In the ad creation section, Facebook lets you create UTM codes, such as “utm_source = facebook & utm_medium = promotion.”
After you evaluate pixel set up on the Ads tab in Ads Manager, evaluate pixel activity in Event Manager. You should regularly check the Event Manager to make sure the activity is tracked correctly and there are no errors.
When you review pixel activity, compare the same time period to the activity you see on your site using third-party tools like Google Analytics or the Shopify dashboard. If you find a difference, you can test events in Event Manager or add a Pixel Helper browser extension to navigate your website or app and test pixels.
3. Review Facebook Audiences, Targeting, and Placements
You can see all the audiences you create custom, lookalike, and save in the Audiences section of Ads Manager. Using clear, and stored in the Audience section of Ads Manager. Using clear naming conventions for your audience including dates where possible (for example, “PROSPECTING_MIDFUNNEL_JUNE 2021”) will help ensure you’re targeting the right audience in your campaign.
You should update your custom audience regularly but the intervals will vary by industry and company size. Generally, you want to update a custom audience every 1-3 months by manually uploading a new list or by setting up an automated feed through an approved third-party partner. This will refresh the data and improve the quality of the audience used for audience targeting and lookalike.
The size of the audience you’re targeting in your Facebook campaign is an important consideration because a narrow audience will receive limited submissions and can hurt performance.
When you set up targeting, the more targeting options you layer into your audience, the narrower the audience definition. You want to create an audience that aligns with your target market but is also broad enough for Facebook to optimize performance.
Facebook offers two indicators for audience size:
- Audience Definition: In an ad set, you’ll see call indicators that change as your audience becomes broader or narrower. Pay attention to these indicators and keep your audience broad enough to be optimized. With the iOS 14.5 update, usually setting your audience at 500 thousand users or higher is ideal.
- Delivery: Another audience size indicator is the Views column in the Ad Set tab in your reporting. This will be updated as the campaign progresses. If the indicator is marked “Learning Limited”, the audience or budget may be too small. Combining similar audiences can help you manage these issues.
You can set rules to exclude a specific audience or group from being targeted by your Facebook campaign. Audience exclusion helps you manage your budget effectively so you don’t bid on the same audience multiple times. Example:
- Exclude loyal customer custom audiences so as not to receive ads from potential customer search campaigns.
- Exclude a smaller percentage of similarities (1-3%) from larger similarities (3-5%) to test the effectiveness of different similarities ranges.
- Exclude the app installer’s custom audience from receiving a potential customer’s message to install the app.
To see audience setup and audience exclusions for your campaign, go to the Ad Set tab in Ads Manager and select the Setup button.
The default Placement setting for Facebook campaigns is Automatic Placement, which runs media across all Facebook properties. When you get more insight from a campaign, you can select or exclude certain investments based on performance.
If you choose Manual Placement, it’s important to review placements across a set of ads to make sure you’re running on all your desired placements and your creatives are eligible to run on those placements. For example, if you choose Instagram Stories, make sure you have vertical creativity for the best user experience.
4. Your Facebook Ad Creative Review
Some of the most important aspects of Facebook’s campaign are creative and creative messaging. Review these elements:
Message: Evaluate your messaging (i.e., title, main text) and make sure there’s a clear call to action (CTA) throughout your ad. Also, review content for outdated promotions or seasonal assets that you may overlook.
CTA button: Make sure the CTA button (if applicable) encourages users to take the right action (Learn More for awareness campaigns, for example).
Landing pages: Review landing pages related to your ads to make sure they are the most relevant pages based on creativity. Product photos should direct users to a specific product page rather than the home page, for example.
Ad quality: On the Ads tab in your reporting, there are three separate metrics related to the quality of creatives:
- Your ads’ perceived quality ratings for the same audience that other advertisers target
- Rank your ads’ expected engagement levels compared to other ads competing for the same audience
- The conversion rate rate ratings your ad expects compared to other ads competing for the same audience with the same goals
The diagnostic relevance of these ads can affect the potential for your ads to serve more frequently or less frequently to your target audience. If you see a lower score for these rankings, test new messages or creatives to improve your rankings with Facebook’s algorithm.
Review Your Facebook Ad Reporting to Adjust Settings
While evaluating metrics on a weekly or monthly basis is easy to do, you need to evaluate performance over a 2 to 3 month period to truly identify performance trends.
In Facebook Ads Manager, you can customize performance reporting to focus on the metrics that matter most to you. Start with campaigns, ad sets, and dimensions and make sure these metrics are in your report:
- Link Clicks
- Cost Per Result
- ROAS (return on ad spend)
To evaluate the performance of Facebook campaigns, it’s important to identify your key performance indicators (KPIs). For example, if your goal is Conversions, your KPI will include ROAS and cost per purchase. Once you’ve identified KPIs, you can optimize your audience and creatives based on the best performance and use this performance data to inform audience testing and future creative development.
How your Facebook ad audits involve an in-depth evaluation of your account’s settings and performance. This review will help uncover areas for optimization and opportunities to improve your overall campaign performance.