Today’s article on Avoid a Facebook Ads Headache — Focus on These Metrics in Your Dashboard is brought to you by Jake Rheude – Director of Marketing at Red Stag Fulfillment.
Let’s welcome Jake in our blog, and learn from his invaluable experience!
If you’ve poked around the Facebook Ads dashboard, you’ve probably noticed there are a lot of metrics you can track. That’s because Facebook ads can be great for tons of different types of businesses — but that doesn’t mean that every metric is going to be useful for you. In fact, a lot of them will be completely useless and leave you more confused than you were when you started.
The best time to understand and start tracking these metrics is before you start your ad campaign. Ask yourself, what is your goal? For eCommerce owners, it’s usually to get as many customers as possible for the lowest cost. But your ad campaign should have a more specific goal: promote a certain product to increase sales? Get more eyes on your landing page? Increase conversions? Whatever it is, the metrics you track should go hand in hand with that goal.
As an eCommerce owner, there are certain metrics that are likely to help you keep on track with these goals and give you concrete stats on whether you’re meeting them, exceeding them, or falling short. Whatever the goal of your ad campaign may be, there are certain Facebook metrics that are likely to be more relevant to your eCommerce business. Read below for the questions that you will want to ask yourself, and the metrics that will answer your questions.
How many people are seeing my ad?
Looking at your reach is simply getting an idea of how many people are seeing your ad — on Facebook, these are Ad Impressions. Getting a wide reach is generally good, because it typically means more people are seeing your ad, which means more people are being exposed to your brand and your products. Assuming that you’ve set up your target demographic well, these views should be relevant, too — people who are interested in products like yours, and more likely to buy. This is a basic metric that you’ll want to track, but it’s not going to tell you the whole story.
There’s another metric you’ll want to look at in this area. One person viewing your ad nine times is a lot different from nine different people viewing your ad once, but both will show up as nine impressions. Because of this, you’ll also want to see how many average views per user you have. To find this, go to Ad Frequency.
In sales, the last thing you want to do is annoy your audience. If someone sees your ad once or twice and doesn’t click on it, they likely have no intention to buy. So if they keep seeing it over and over and over again, they’re a lot more likely to form a negative impression of your brand without ever even experiencing it! When a viewer sees your ad more than a couple times, they sort of just stop “seeing” it when it comes up again. This is known as “banner blindness.” So unless you’re running a brand awareness campaign, try to keep your Ad Frequency metric fairly low.
How many people are engaging with my ad?
Now we’re starting to get to the good stuff, and probably one of the reasons you’re advertising on Facebook instead of a random banner ad. On Facebook, people can engage with your ad, which can mean everything from expanding to read more to liking to visiting your website. The higher the engagement, the better (unless you’re getting lots of those angry face reactions — then maybe check the comments to see where you messed up).
To track this, check out the Ad Click Rate. The click rate does not actually mean those who clicked to visit your website, though that’s a common misconception. The “click” here is any click on your ad, be it a like, share, comment, or just clicking to read more or read the comments. However, this is not a bad thing! Engagement with your ad is a very good thing, and the click rate tells you that people aren’t just scrolling by.
Assuming you’re trying to increase engagement throughout the life of your campaign, you may want to track this number to see if it goes up.
What percentage of people are engaging with my ad?
These next two metrics will help you understand your clicks with a bit more context. While it is important to get high engagement and increase it over time, it’s even more important to understand the proportion of how many people engage with your content out of how many see it. Getting 20 engagements out of 50 views means a lot more than 20 engagements out of 500 views.
There are actually two metrics that will help you break this down, and they’re both your click through rate — one is all, and the other is links. CTR (All) will tell you the overall percentage of people who clicked on your ad out of how many people saw it. These clicks are, again, any type of engagement with the ad, from reading the comments to liking it. Your percentage of engagement is super important, because when it’s high, it means you’re targeting the right people. If it’s low, try tinkering with your target demographics.
Of course, your ultimate goal is most likely to get people to visit your website, product page, etc. While general engagement on Facebook is awesome, because it increases brand awareness and shows concrete interest in your product, you really want to get people to the place where they can buy it. That’s where the CTR (Links) metric comes into play. This doesn’t measure all engagement — it measures specifically the percentage of people who click any link in the ad out of the total number of people who saw the ad.
Getting a higher click through rate, both overall and links specifically, is vital to the success of your campaign. However, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you won’t get it perfect right off the bat. The last thing you want to do is set the ad, track the metrics, sit back, and twiddle your thumbs. You want to be proactive. If your click rates and click through rates are low or consistently slipping, change it up! There’s no reason to stay stuck to what you started with.
You’ll probably have to fiddle with a lot of things to find what works, including visuals, copy, and posting at different times. You need to hone in on your audience and figure out what they like and what they will engage with. It’s worth looking into all the things that can affect your campaign, and how to optimize it.
There’s a reason engagement is important, outside of getting people interested in your products. Facebook rewards engagement, because it means that the people seeing your ad are interested in it. This increases your Relevance Score. This won’t pop up automatically, but you can view your relevance score by clicking on the ad you want to view it for in your Ads manager, and customizing your setup to show it in another column.
Facebook rates the relevance of your ad on a simple 1-10 scale, 10 being the best and 1 being ouch, better luck next time. It’s an active metric, and it affects how much Facebook pushes your ad. If you’re getting a low Relevance Score, it means that your audience is not connecting with your ad and Facebook will stop pushing it. On the flip side, if you’re getting a score above 8, Facebook will reward you and prioritize pushing out your ad to more people. An ad could be irrelevant to your audience because of bad design, lack of call to action, or bad demographic targeting, so make sure you’ve got those on point.
The Relevance Score has been around for a few years now, but it’s going to become more important than ever. Back in January, Facebook announced that it’s going to be prioritizing posts on the News Feed that are from friends and family — and de-prioritizing company posts. The addendum to that is that it’s also going to be prioritizing “posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.”
This doesn’t just apply to posts from Pages and Groups, but also ads, and that’s where the Relevance Score comes in. If your score is high and it’s sparking conversations and interactions, it’ll be pushed to a wider audience at a lower cost (more about that down below).
Are these ads actually increasing my sales?
While all these metrics are important, we’re down to the bottom line: are the ads helping your sales?
The Conversion Rate is how you find that out. A conversion rate tells you the percentage of people who click on your ad that go on to make a purchase. The higher your conversion rate, the more effective your ad is and the better your target demographics are.
You should also keep an eye on this over time. If your conversion rate is increasing as you adjust things — like the main image, call to action, or ad targeting — it means that those tweaks are succeeding.
How much is this all costing me, anyway?
You know it’s going to cost you money, because running ads always costs money. But setting a budget and hoping for the best is pretty pointless if you don’t know where your money is going and what exactly you’re getting in return. That’s where the Cost metrics come in. There are three that you’re likely going to care about:
Cost per impression (CPM) is the amount you’re spending for straight-up views, and views are measured in the thousands. Like we talked about earlier, impressions are important, but they don’t tell the whole story. You’ll find out how many views your ad is getting, but not how much people care about it.
Cost per click (CPC) tells you how much you’re paying for each click — again, all clicks, not just link clicks. If your ad is doing well and engagement is increasing, your cost per click will go down, which is great. If your cost per click is high, that means that very few people are engaging with your ad and you’ve got to switch something up.
Cost per conversion tells you how much it’s costing you to grab a viewer who then clicks on your website and makes a purchase. It’s up to you to decide where you want that number to land. Obviously, the lower the better, but you need to look at how much each product is costing you to produce and what percentage of your overall budget you want to spend on advertising.
If it’s costing you more to convert viewers than you’re selling a product for, you’ve got some serious issues. If your cost per conversion is going down over the lifetime of the ad, it means you’re improving your ad strategy and connecting with your audience. Tracking and interpreting these results from the beginning will help you stay on top of your ad budget and keep your eyes on the final goal: selling the product.
Putting it all together
Setting up the right metrics to track for your business can be tricky. Of course you care about increasing sales, but you need to know that your Facebook ads are resonating with those who view them, and that they’re feeling inspired enough to engage and interested enough to visit your website. Of course, you also want to know how much all that is costing you, and the amount of money you’re spending to get each purchase.
It’s simple… sort of.
When you set clear goals in advance of your ad campaign, track consistently, and respond proactively, it can be simple. Viewing your ad campaign in the context of these overall goals will give you a clear picture of your success, and you won’t get lost in the sea of data.
We feel honoured to have Jake’s insights featured in our blog, and we are incredibly thankful for the knowledge he has shared with us.
Author bio here:
This post was brought to you by Jake Rheude, the Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an eCommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of eCommerce. He has years of experience in eCommerce and business development.