Are You Using Your Facebook Ad Analytics?
Never checking your ad analytics is like never looking at a bank statement.
You have no idea what’s going on in there and you won’t be able to see trouble coming before it gets you.
Let’s get you comfortable with ad analytics. We’ll also share some possible bad ad scenarios and what you should do to fix them.
Come on in.
Here’s something we learned early on in our digital marketing career:
It’s hard to run good ads when you don’t know what to look for.
That’s because you can’t identify the changes you need to make to see improvements.
That’s why in this post, we’re going to walk you through Facebook ad analytics and how to understand your ad performance.
Here’s what we’ll cover in today’s post:
- Account Overview for quick checks
- Checking performance by campaign, ad set, and ad
- Some troubleshooting tips
Facebook Ad Analytics: Account Overview
Anytime you visit your account, you’ll land on the Overview page which shows you:
- Updates about policy changes, additions, or upcoming releases
- Recommendations for your ads and campaigns
- Alerts are urgent items you need to fix immediately, like ad rejections and payment failures
- Recommendations for improving your campaigns
- Things you can do to unblock your campaigns
- Summary of your account over the last 7 days
- Campaign trends for primary metrics depending on your goal
The alerts and recommendations you see are customized to you and are always relevant to your account.
This is helpful to identify things that a more trained eye would be able to see, but maybe you’d missed. You’ve still got someone looking out for you.
How to Get to the Account Overview
- You can get there by either business.facebook.com/home, clicking the house icon, or clicking the gray Facebook logo in the top left corner.
- You’ll see a greeting with announcements at the top.
- Then you’ll see Ad Account Performance and Alerts.
- Scroll down to see Pages.
Now that you know how to check the Overview page for updates, suggestions, and quick snapshots, let’s look at checking performance on a deeper level.
Facebook Ad Analytics: Checking Performance
You’ll need to be able to identify how your ads are performing so that you can make changes to improve the effectiveness of your ads.
When your ads are optimized (the process of improving your ads), you’ll see:
- More conversions
- Better CTR
- Lower CPA
Before we show you how to view your ad results and check your performance, we’ve got a brand new course for you!
If you want to learn more on how to maximize your social media ads, check out our new social media ads training course today.
How to View Your Ad Results (Check Your Performance)
You’ll spend a lot of time here, so you’ll be able to do this with your eyes closed pretty soon.
- Go to Ads Manager.
- Click Campaigns, Ad Sets, or Ads.
- Click View Charts to open the insights side pane to see a visual representation of your ads performance.
- In this expanded view you can see:
The Performance chart shows the number of people who click on your ad, the number of people you reach, and the overall cost of your ad.
If you scroll over the line chart, you’ll see individual results for that day reflected in the chart.
If you want to change the results you see in the charts, click Custom, and choose the metrics you want to view.
There is a short delay in metrics being reported in Ads Manager, as performance data isn’t available instantly. These delays are normal.
The Demographics chart shows how your ad performs across different ages and genders.
You can scroll over each section of the chart to see individual results for each age group.
The Placement chart shows your ad’s performance across different placements, such as Facebook or Instagram.
Depending on where your ad is eligible to appear, you’ll see where your ad is receiving the most delivery.
You can also click the dropdown menu to see where your ad appears on mobile and desktop devices.
The Delivery chart shows the predicted and delivered values for Reach, Impressions, and Amount Spent.
How to View Results by Platform, Device, and Placement
You need to be optimizing your ads for each of the three categories we just mentioned:
…and a combination of the three.
This prevents you from wasting money on areas that aren’t performing well, and helps you focus your efforts on areas that are performing well.
Use Breakdown to View Results
- Go to Ads Manager.
- Click Campaigns, Ad Sets, or Ads.
- Click Breakdown to expand the list of options. Find the Breakdown dropdown in between Columns and Reports.
- Click the breakdown that you’d like to use. These are grouped by time, by delivery, or by action.
- The table will automatically update to include the breakdown you selected.
You’ll want to exclude any placements, devices, or platforms that aren’t performing well for you and publish changes.
These changes will make your ad re-enter the learning phase so you may want to batch this with other changes like targeting, creative, and budget.
Speaking of targeting, read this post next to learn more about Facebook ads targeting.
Facebook Ad Analytics: Reporting
Even if you’re the only one working on and caring about your Facebook ads, you’ll need to know how to find and create reports.
Reporting is important for a few reasons:
- Reports help you put the numbers into context.
- Reports help you identify trends (like seasons or days of the week).
- Reports help you track changes to your ads over time (for better or worse).
- Reports help you compare past campaigns to current ones.
- Reports give you insights into changes you should make next time.
How to View Reports
Facebook allows you to create, export, share, and view reports from the Ads Manager. It’s pretty easy to find. Here’s what to do:
- Go to Ads Manager.
- On the far right, click the Reports dropdown.
- Click one of the suggested report options here or select All to see more options.
- When you make a selection, your report will open in a new window (we’ll show you another way to navigate here in just a second).
- View performance, change data presentation, adjust the date range, and add or remove tables to review whatever you want to review.
- You can save the report, refresh the window, share a link to the report, and download the report.
View All Reports
Once you’ve navigated here, you can click All Reports to be taken back to the Ads Reporting dashboard. From here, you can:
- Create Reports (custom or from templates) by clicking the blue create button
- Export history
- Use suggested report templates
How to Create Reports
When you get more advanced with your Facebook ad analytics and optimizing Facebook ads…
…you’ll want to measure different things and you may need custom reports.
Here’s how you’ll create your own report:
- In Ad Reports, click the blue “Create report” button.
- Choose the account you’d like to make the report for.
- Click Create.
- Select blank report or report from a template.
- Make your selection and click Next.
- Select your template. We went with ROI Snapshot, but you can see all the names and the data they cover here. Click Continue.
- A new window will open up with your report. You can add or remove columns to customize further as you wish, and save the report for later.
How to Share Reports
You may need to share these reports with other people at your business. You can do that by:
- Clicking the gray Share arrow button.
- Click the copy link button or click into the link field, and then copy.
- You need to save your report in order to share a link. You’ll see this message if you haven’t done so yet. Click Save.
- Anyone with the link will be able to view the report.
If you’re managing ads yourself, check your ads and use reporting at your discretion. Do whatever will help you keep everything straight.
If you’re using an employee, freelancer, or Facebook advertising agency to help you with your ads, ask for monthly reporting so you can stay up to date.
So what happens if you’re checking ad performance in your Facebook ad analytics and you don’t like what you see?
What do you do next? Here are some ideas for a couple of scenarios:
a. When Your Ad Isn’t Running
Check the Delivery Column stats in the Ads Manager.
- If the delivery column shows a red Error triangle icon, there was a problem publishing the ad.
Hover over the icon to see instructions for fixing the problem. Fix the issue and publish your ad again.
- If the delivery column shows a green circle Pending icon, the ad is not running because it is in:
- draft mode,
- review, or
- is scheduled for a later date.
- If the delivery column says off, the ad is turned off. There are a few reasons your ads could be turned off:
- When someone manually turns them off.
- When an automated rule you’ve created turns them off.
- When they are scheduled to end.
- Your ads could also be turned off for account issues like restrictions or payment issues.
b. When Your Ad is Running But Not Receiving Enough Results
Let’s go through a few scenarios you might see while you’re running ads, and what to do about them.
- Your ad isn’t getting enough results but other ads in the same budget are.
Facebook prioritizes ad delivery based on what will perform well, so sometimes that means an ad or two in an ad set don’t get shown.
If you want the ads to be shown equally to see which performs better, use an A/B test. Here’s our post on Facebook ad testing.
- If your ad has exited the learning phase but you’re not spending your full budget, you have a few options.
- If the delivery for your ad set is Bid Limited or Cost Limited, your cost control is preventing your ad set from getting more results.
Either increase your cost control or choose the lowest cost bid strategy instead.
- If the frequency is high or you see “creative fatigue” in Delivery Status, you need to freshen up your creative and targeting.
- If the ad set has a high auction overlap, you have multiple ads entering the same auction.
When this happens, Facebook chooses the ad with the highest total value.
The rest are not shown (which can result in not spending your full budget). Combine similar ad sets and turn off overlapping ad sets.
c. When Your Ad is Running But Costs are Too High
This is one of the worst things, but it’s often pretty easy to fix if you know what to do.
Before you panic about your Facebook ad costs, though, ask yourself this question: “Has my ad existed the learning phase?”
If the answer is no, then you need to wait before you make any changes or turn the ad off.
We know it’s scary, but when your ads are in the learning phase they’re a little volatile.
Cost and performance during the learning phase are not always indicative of cost or performance when they exit the learning phase.
Once your ads have exited the learning phase, you can try these methods to reduce the cost of your Facebook ads:
- Improve your audience
Facebook works to show your ad to the people in your audience who will take the action at the lowest cost.
If your costs are high, Facebook recommends expanding your audience so they have more people to look through to find that inexpensive action.
The smaller you make your audience, the harder it will be for Facebook to find lower-cost actions.
- Add new placements
This leans into expanding your audience. Adding placements gives Facebook more options when looking for a cheaper click.
- Improve your creative
Ad Relevance Diagnostics and Frequency play a big role in determining ad costs.
The “below average” ad relevance diagnostics will make your ads cost more. So, improve those diagnostics.
If the frequency is above 4, your ad is showing to the same people too many times. You need to freshen up your creative and add people to your audience.
- Get out of Learning Limited
Learning Limited is a limbo phase that happens when your ad isn’t getting enough optimizations to exit the Learning Phase.
You need at least 50 optimizations in a week to get out of the learning phase. Here are all the things that can cause your ad set to become limited:
- Small audience size
- Low budget
- Low bid or cost control
- High suction overlap
- Infrequent optimization events (like sales if you’ve never had one)
- Too many ads at the same time
There are multiple ways to fix Learning Limited ad sets to improve performance. Let us walk you through those before we go:
a. Combine ads sets and campaigns
Combining ad sets and campaigns will help you get the results you need faster, which means you’ll see stable results sooner.
b. Expand your audience
The larger the audience, the more opportunities for people to complete your optimization event.
c. Raise your budget
If your budget is too low to receive around 50 optimization events, the ad set is unlikely to exit the learning phase.
d. Raise your bid or cost control
If your bid or cost control is too low to receive around 50 optimization events, the ad set is unlikely to exit the learning phase.
e. Change your optimization event
Consider choosing an optimization event that occurs more frequently. For example, move from purchases to add to cart.
If a Learning Limited ad set receives 50 optimization events since your last significant edit, it will move from Learning Limited to Active.
This should help reduce the cost of your ad quite a bit.
If you want to learn more about FB ads, check out this post next as we list down some of the best Facebook ad examples we created for our clients.
We hope you learned something new in using your Facebook ad analytics.
If you want to get the most of your Facebook ad campaigns, our LYFE experts can help you out.
Check out our Facebook advertising services today!