Do You Know What Your Facebook Ad Results Mean?
We talk a lot on this blog about all of the results we drive for our clients using Facebook ads.
But one common problem we hear a lot is that it’s either confusing, daunting, or both to try to read our clients’ Facebook Ads Manager.
The question we get asked often is: how do you analyze your Facebook ad results?
So that’s exactly what we’re going to show you how to do in this post.
For today’s post, we’re going to walk you through Facebook Ads Manager’s metrics.
And, we’ll look at 3 major metrics to pay attention to while we’re walking through how to analyze your Facebook ad results as a whole.
Let’s get started!
Understanding The Layout Of Facebook Ads Manager Metrics
When you’re looking at Facebook Ads Manager, it breaks down into the:
- campaign level,
- ad set level, and
- ad level,
…so you can view all of these columns of metrics on any given level.
This is helpful for comparing metrics when you want to see how different campaigns stack up against each other.
As well as if you want to compare how different ad sets, aka audiences are performing.
So the columns of metrics you’re seeing here are likely the same ones you will see on yours, because these are Facebook’s default settings.
If you click the dropdown, you can see all of the different ways to filter your view of metrics.
Some of these metrics overlap between filters…
… but there are some metrics that are not present on the default setting but are present on others and vice versa.
And beyond that, you can click customize columns to unlock every metric that the Ads Manager offers.
Top 3 Most Important Metrics In Your Facebook Ad Results
This metric will automatically be available to view if you have your filter set to default.
What the “result” is will vary depending on what campaign you’re running.
If you’re running an engagement campaign, it’s going to be your cost per post engagement. Traffic campaign, per link click.
A conversion campaign will usually be per purchase, but a custom conversion can track anything you want just about.
For example, the cost per result for a custom conversion can be the cost per “thank you pages”.
And that’s because, let’s say, you’re sending people to a landing page and you want to track how many people fill out the lead form.
So once they complete the form, it takes them to a thank you page. You can track how many people land on that thank you page to track conversions.
Facebook will automatically select what the result is in your cost per result based on the campaign you choose.
We’ve stated in other posts that the campaign you choose optimizes around that goal. This is just further proof of that.
But why is the cost per result metric one of our top 3 important metrics to focus on with your Facebook ad results?
Because, if you’re happy with that number, the rest of the Facebook ad metrics won’t matter so much.
Oftentimes if your campaign isn’t performing well, meaning you’re spending a lot of money on it and not making much (or anything) back…
…we’ll start troubleshooting things like what’s your frequency, what are your quality ranking scores, and etc.
But ultimately, even if your quality ranking score is low, for example…
…we wouldn’t go out of our way to fix that if you’re still getting results at an affordable, profitable cost.
Because it doesn’t matter if you’re getting results. What matters is if you’re getting results at a sustainable level.
But before we get into that, if you want to learn more about social media advertising, in general, then check out our new social media ads training course.
Even if your cost per result is healthy, frequency is still something to keep your eye on and we’ll show you why in a second.
So to get to frequency, we’re going to change our column metrics to Delivery, and then we’ll see the frequency metric.
Facebook says it’s the average number of times each person saw your ad.
So if your frequency is higher than 1, it means the same people are seeing your ads multiple times.
Having a high frequency can either be a good thing or a bad thing when it comes to Facebook ad results, depending on your ad performance.
So, if your cost per result is healthy and profitable, but your frequency is 8, does that mean you should change everything to get your frequency lower?
Not necessarily. Don’t fix what’s not broken, you know what we mean?
In changing your ads and/or audiences to lower your frequency…
…you run the risk of ruining what is working about your current ad and audience combination that are driving the good results you’ve been getting.
The same people seeing your ad 8 times isn’t bad if you’re still generating great results at a profitable cost.
And at the same time, the same people seeing your ad 8 times is bad if you’re not generating great results at a profitable cost.
That’s why we often look at frequency as a quick troubleshooting metric if your ads aren’t performing well because it’s a quick fix.
But what we would advise is if your frequency is high but you’re happy with your cost per result, then leave things as they are for now.
But go ahead and have some back up audiences and ads ready to test out in the event that your results do start slowing down.
If your budget is big enough, we’d more so suggest having hose audiences and ads running in another ad set in an A/B split test.
Read our post on Facebook ad testing next to learn more about it.
But essentially, if you have a good thing going with your Facebook campaigns…
…you don’t want to change it solely to fix a metric that isn’t as important as the one directly related to your profit, like cost per result.
Now before we move on, it’s important to note that everything we’ve talked about with frequency so far is in the event of cold audiences.
These are the people who have never heard of your brand or business before.
You should expect your frequency to be higher for warmer audiences, like a retargeting audience.
These are people who have heard of your brand before such as:
- your website traffic,
- your Facebook post engagement,
…and you’re intentionally showing ads to them again to get them to convert.
You should see a higher frequency on those campaigns because that’s the point of them.
When looking at your Facebook ad results, if your cost per result is too high, and your frequency is low, we usually look at link CTR.
So we’re going to go back to columns, and change our view to Performance And Clicks.
You can see it’s showing link clicks, cost per link click, and link CTR which means link click-through rate.
We keep specifying link clicks and not just clicks because some metrics will measure all clicks, which include likes on the ad, comments, etc.
And in this instance, we specifically want to see out of all the people who have seen the ad, how many people are actually clicking to the website.
So your link CTR is “the percentage of times people saw your ad and performed a link click.”
Now your link CTR will vary depending on your business, industry, and target audience, but let us show you how to think about these metrics in general.
If your cost per result is really high (or nonexistent because you’re not getting any sales)…
…and you check your frequency and it’s low, then you look at your CTR.
If your CTR is low, or your link clicks are low, then that means there’s either something wrong with the ad itself or the target audience you’re delivering it to.
This means either your ad isn’t captivating enough, or addressing the right pain points or goals of your target audience.
Or maybe it is, but you’re showing it to the wrong audience.
Now if you are getting a lot of link clicks, but not conversions…
…that means your ad is doing its job, it’s getting people’s attention and getting them to click to your site.
But then something on your site is deterring them from purchasing.
Here are a couple of things that could be going wrong there:
a. Your ad and your website (or whatever landing page you’re sending them to) are not congruent.
This means the offer, branding, and verbiage they see on the ad is not the same as what they’re seeing on the website the ad sends them to.
b. Your website is bad.
Now we know that’s blunt and subjective, but here are a few examples of what we mean.
- It’s poorly designed.
- It’s not practical or in some cases not fully functional.
- It doesn’t give people a clear CTA of what to do or where to go.
- Maybe the loading time is so slow that people exit before it’s even loaded all the way, which happens a lot.
If you’re an eCommerce store owner, you can take this a step further by looking at your Add to Cart metric.
If you’re seeing a high CTR, and lots of add-to-carts but not many conversions, the problem is probably in your checkout process.
Either something is not working correctly or quickly there.
Or, maybe you’ve got some high shipping costs or long delivery times that are deterring people from clicking the Purchase button.
But the last thing that could possibly be the issue here is not necessarily with your website itself, but with a lack of retargeting.
Only 2% of website visitors actually convert on the first visit to the site.
So if you’re not putting your ad in front of these people again, you’re likely to lose up to 98% of visitors who have abandoned your site!
That’s why you see statistics like this one that says “with retargeting you can attract up to 98% of visitors who have abandoned your site.”
And once you do retarget them and get them back to your site, website visitors who are retargeted are more likely to convert by 43%.
So if you’ve looked at your frequency, your link CTR, and your website, and you’re still not finding the issue as to where you’re losing customers…
…you may need to look at your retargeting efforts to see if that starts closing some more sales for you.
At this point in the post, hopefully you’ve learned a few things about analyzing your Facebook ad results, though you might be thinking…
…“okay so those are just 3 metrics…out of a bazillion in Ads Manager. What about the rest of them?!”
And you’re right there are a ton! So let’s discuss some more of them.
4 More Common Metrics To See (And Actually Use) In Ads Manager
This is your cost per 1,000 impressions.
You can find this under the Delivery columns filter, along with the cost per 1,000 people reached.
So remember, the difference between reach and impressions is that reach is individual people…
…while impressions are just the number of times your ad was seen.
So if someone saw your ad 5 times, your reach would be 1 and your impressions would be 5.
People like to look at their CPM because, for a lot of the Facebook campaign objectives, you are charged by impressions.
So as you go down your list of things to troubleshoot to figure out why your ads aren’t performing well…
…you might find yourself going back to the basics with your impressions.
That’s because this will tell you if your ad is delivering at an expensive cost, to begin with.
There are a few things that can affect your CPM, so let’s go through some really quickly.
a. If you’re targeting a really popular audience, it can raise your CPM.
Birthdays are a great example of this.
So many businesses love to target people by their birthday month because you can deliver ads that say:
“Here’s a free birthday sample on us! Just fill out your name and email to receive it!” or what have you.
And when everybody is targeting the same audience, it becomes an expensive audience because you’re all bidding on the same people.
b. Facebook basically rates your ads based on how people respond to them.
If you’ve read our post on Facebook quality ranking score, then you’re probably familiar with this concept.
If people are hiding your ads a lot or disliking them, Facebook will recognize that and kind of punish you for it.
It will take more money from you than it did before to continue delivering ads to the same number of people.
So if your CPM is high, try testing out some new audiences and new ads.
Now, this is more specific to conversion campaigns and businesses that are selling online products.
You’ll need to go to customize columns, then type in ROAS and select that option, and click the blue Apply button to see this metric in your campaigns.
This is “the total return on ad spend (ROAS) from purchases.”
This is based on information received from one or more of your connected Facebook Business Tools and attributed to your ads.
You’ll need to have your Facebook Pixel set up correctly.
This is so you’ll be able to see how much you made in revenue from the purchases that originated from your Facebook ads.
This is another metric that helps you see whether the results you’re receiving are profitable or not.
Facebook automatically calculates this number for you.
But to help you understand better, it’s the revenue generated from your ads / your total ad spend.
So it’s a multiple.
If your ROAS is 10, that means you’re getting $10 back for every $1 you invest in ads, or 10x your investment.
We wanted to give you the formula because it’s important to remember that Facebook is calculating this based on your ad spend on that one campaign.
It’s not taking into account the money spent in labor on your marketing employee or for the graphic designer you paid to make your ads.
So if you want to get an even more accurate idea of your ROAS, you have the formula in your toolbox now.
But in addition to your cost per result, which was one of the most important metrics we discussed at the beginning of this post…
…your ROAS is just another indicator to confirm if your ads are still leaving you profitable.
Or are you losing money on acquiring these purchases?
The last two metrics we want to look at are part of the breakdown feature in the Ads Manager.
You’ll come over here and click the 3 dots, then click By Delivery, then Placement.
This will break down your campaigns by platform and placement…
…giving you a clear look into which placements are delivering the most results for you at the lowest cost.
So if you can see that all of your results are coming from Facebook feeds, and none from Instagram Stories…
…you might consider removing the Stories placement to save yourself wasted ad spend.
By the way, if you want to learn how to use Instagram Stories for business, be sure to read this post next.
Again, you’ll click the 3 dots, then click By Delivery, then Country.
Now we’re only running ads in the U.S. but if you’re running ads in multiple countries, the same principle applies here…
…where you can determine which country is driving the most results and which is driving the least and make informed decisions from there.
And as you saw on the gif above, there are tons of different breakdown options to choose from.
Placement and country are just the 2 most relevant that we usually see for our clients.
But you can break your campaigns down by any metrics that are relevant to you to allocate your budget appropriately.
So in total, we’ve looked at 7 metrics today. The 3 most important, and then 4 more common helpful metrics.
That’s still only 7 out of a bazillion, right?
The thing is, you don’t want to get overwhelmed by all the metrics there are to look at.
And you also don’t want to get caught up focusing on metrics that don’t really matter as much.
So we would advise you to start with these 7, and then if there is still a metric you feel like you need to look into…
…you can always go back to customize columns and type it into the search bar to see if Facebook offers it.
Once you kind of get in a rhythm with the main metrics you want to compare every day, you can also click the Columns dropdown.
And then, click set as default to create your own custom default settings of the metrics you want to always see when you log into Ads Manager.
Is there a metric you were hoping we would go over today that we didn’t? If so, let us know down in the comments so we can help you out with it.
Otherwise, the last thing we want to leave you with is this:
Ultimately, analyzing your Facebook ad results should be geared towards lowering your cost per result, and maximizing your ROAS.
So when you start to feel lost or again overwhelmed by all of the analytics inside Facebook Ads Manager…
…just start looking at your campaigns in the form of Yes / No questions.
For instance, “is my cost per result too high?” Yes or No.
If yes, then ask yourself if your frequency is too high, and so on until you find the issue.
Breaking it down like that is not only effective, but also helpful for small business owners trying to make sense of Facebook ad results.
And if you are really looking for ways on how to maximize the results you’re getting from your Facebook ads, contact us today!
We offer affordable Facebook advertising services to help small businesses like yours.