Once you have fought your way through dealing with the Facebook ad manager, you probably breathed a sigh of relief. The ad is approved and you think you have the conversion tracking happening.
You have read all about the 20c conversions and the 6 figure launches in the Facebook groups you hang out in and you know that while the 6 figure launch probably won’t happen this time, you are still hoping for good things.
And then your ads don’t seem to be working. Your list isn’t growing and no one is buying and if people are signing up it is costing you an arm and a leg.
Before you swear off ads for the rest of your business life all is not lost. The Facebook reports in ads manager give you a lot of information to help you work out what is going wrong – though it is important to remember that no matter how much testing you do, if you have an opt-in that people don’t want the ads won’t help. Ads are great but they can’t turn around something that is failing organically.
But if you have an opt-in that is working organically then there is a good chance with some testing and tweaking that you can get ads to work. You just need to read the numbers and know what to test.
The five numbers I look at for ads that have the aim of getting people to sign up to my list are:
- Cost per conversion
- Link click-through rate (CTR link-through rate)
- Conversion rate
They all help tell the story of why my ads aren’t getting people on my list when I am using conversions as my campaign objective.
Cost per conversion
This is the first number I look at. If this is where I want it to be then I will still look at the other metrics to see if I can improve the results but if I am paying the amount I want to for a conversion then I may not try and improve things immediately. I have lots I need to do in my business and sometimes this can wait.
You may have seen people on Facebook saying they are getting 20c conversions and some people will be but this kind of a result is rare now that Facebook is getting more competitive. The cost will also vary considerably depending on what industry you are in. I generally see much lower costs for those in the health area than say for a business coach.
The type of opt-in will also affect the cost of conversion. Webinars are normally more expensive per conversion than a checklist. I like to think of this like a purchase but the price is time rather than money. With a webinar you are asking people to give up a lot more their time than with a checklist.
Link Click-Through Rate
The link click-through rate measures the percentage of people who see your ad and then click on a link that goes off Facebook. This is different to the click-through rate which measures the percentage of people clicking any link on the ad eg. liking your page, reacting to your post or clicking on an image.
To find this figure you will need to head to the ad manager and change the columns to performance and clicks and then make sure you are looking at the right CTR. You can see in the image below there is a CTR (Link Clicks) which is the one you want to use and a CTR (All).
I normally aim for a click through rate of at least 1.5% but for certain sectors such as health and wellness I like to see this at least over 2%.
If the click through rate is lower than this it means the ad isn’t as appealing as I would like and people aren’t clicking. Things to test are:
- the audience, if you are showing the ad to the wrong people they won’t click;
- the image, it needs to be appealing to get people to stop scrolling;
- the headline, again it needs to grab people’s attention;
- the copy, I tend to test this last.
The conversion rate is the number of people who click on your ad and then convert – in this case sign up for your opt-in. This number is not calculated by Facebook but you can calculate by dividing the number of sign ups by the number of link clicks (which you can see in the image above) and multiply by 100.
If you are getting less than a 30% conversion rate then there are two things to look at:
- Is the ad consistent with the landing page. If these aren’t consistent particularly in terms of copy then you may find people click through and then think the page where they have landed is not the same thing there is a good chance they will click off your landing page.
- The landing page itself isn’t converting. This is a whole topic in itself but one thing to do is check what the landing page looks like on mobile and how far people have to scroll to get to the sign-up form. It is easy to forget to check what your page looks like on mobile.
If your conversion is for a sale then the rate is likely to be a lot less – 1-2% conversion is not uncommon but it will vary depending on how warm your audience is.
The relevancy score is something Facebook calculates and ranges from 1-10 with 1 being not relevant at all and 10 being very relevant. This is what Facebook says about how it is calculated:
“We base relevance scores on several factors, including:
- How well your ad is performing
- Positive feedback (ex: app installs, clicks, video views) we expect from people who see your ad
- Negative feedback (ex: Someone clicks “I don’t want to see this” on your ad)”
The lower your relevancy the less Facebook will show your ad making it cost more for it to get seen. I normally like relevancy to be over 6. If it is under that I tend to shut the ad off and go back to the drawing board and work through testing new options as I would for a low click through rate.
To see your relevancy score change the settings to performance and clicks – as we did for the click through rate and then go to the individual ad. You can only see this number when ad has reached over 500 people and only at the ad level, not at the ad set or campaign level.
CPM is the cost per 1,000 impressions. Again change to performance and clicks to see this number in the ad manager. CPM is driven by a number of factors but a big one is competition for the audience you are targeting and there is not much you can do about that.
For example there are some audiences that are popular to advertise too and you can’t control that. Women aged 35-44 are generally more expensive to advertise to than Men aged 65+. CPM also goes up at certain times of the year – it is always more expensive near Christmas as everyone is looking to make a sale.
What you can do is test out some different audiences to see if you can get the cost down. And if your ad has a good relevancy score and is performing well on the other measures this helps bring down the CPM.
What you shouldn’t do though is chase cheap audiences who aren’t relevant. Sure you can advertise to men aged 65+ but if you are selling a product targeted at young women your ads won’t convert! And if by some bizarre chance they do convert, are these men likely to turn in to buyers?
All of these measures are great for identifying why your ads aren’t working but the one number to focus on is your return on investment. If you get cheap conversions but people don’t buy then it doesn’t really matter how cheap those conversions are, if you then don’t make money.
Written by Caroline
Caroline is a quiet business strategist working with introverts to create strategies and systems for their business that work with not against their introversion. She aims to get business processes working smoothly so her clients have more time to do the work they love. When not working she can usually be found either at the local coffee shop or hanging out with her dogs.