Does this sound like a familiar scenario: you publish post after post on Facebook, but your statistics tell you that only a very small fraction of your audience actually sees them. Heck, you don’t need the metrics to tell you that - the lack of comments and shares alone is enough to tell you that your message isn’t reaching your audience.
This is because, since 2018, Facebook has made a big push towards showing more content from friends rather than companies and liked pages on people’s home feeds, causing endless headaches for social media marketers everywhere. Algorithm changes like this mean that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make a big splash on Facebook organically.
That’s why in order to achieve more on Facebook, Instagram and their associated network, you should consider boosting your efforts with ads.
However, with around 350 trackable metrics on Facebook Ads Manager, it can be hard to figure out which metrics to focus on, especially if you’re new to PPC advertising.
To help you figure out which metrics you should track for your campaigns, here are six we like to always keep our eye on here at Bundle. We’ll also cover three new metrics Facebook announced in March 2019 that we predict will have a big impact on Facebook advertising.
As a bonus, we’ll also name two metrics you shouldn’t waste your time worrying about.
It’s worth noting that none of these nine metrics alone will give you an exhaustive picture of how your ads are performing. In order to get a more complete idea of your campaign performance, you’ll want to consider these metrics together as a whole. It's also good to throw in some extra metrics relevant to your campaign (like video views for video ads) as well.
So, while these nine metrics are a good place to start, this list isn’t exhaustive.
Right, that’s about enough blether for now - let’s get to the good stuff! Without further ado, here are the nine Facebook ad metrics we recommend you keep track of:
- CTR (click-through rate)
- CPC (cost per click)
- ROAS (return on ad spend)
- Ad frequency
- Quality ranking
- Engagement rate ranking
- Conversion rate ranking
Impressions basically tells you how many times your ad has been shown - it’s the simplest metric we’re covering, but that doesn’t make it unimportant. After all, if no one is seeing your ad, it can’t be considered very successful, can it?
Especially if your main goal is raising brand awareness, keeping a close eye on impressions is a good idea. This metric is also important because it can help you analyse why steps further down your funnel, like your CTR or conversion rate, aren’t meeting expectations.
Your ad’s click-through rate measures just what it says on the tin: it calculates what percentage of your ad views lead to a click through to your website. A high CTR tells you your targeting and ad creative is effective, while a low one suggests the opposite.
We need to make an important distinction here: Facebook tracks any and all clicks on your ad as a ‘click through’ - this includes things like clicks to your Facebook page or the ‘read more’ button. You should focus your attention solely on the link clicks.
The cost per click of your ad calculates the average cost of a click on your ad. It’s important to note here that, as with your ad’s click-through rate, you should only focus on the average cost of your link clicks.
It’s good to consider this metric alongside your ad’s CTR: if an ad has a high click-through rate, you will likely be very pleased with yourself, but before you allocate more of your budget to a campaign with a high CTR, have a look at the cost per link click for your ads. If this cost is very high, it takes away from the success of your ads and, naturally, your return on investment.
A conversion means the completion of any desired action by the ad’s viewer. For Facebook ads, this could mean visiting your landing page to download an ebook, purchase your product or book a consultation with you.
With Facebook Pixel installed on your website, you can create custom conversions so that you can track the exact action you want. You can also choose ‘conversions’ as your ad objective, which will make Facebook optimise your ad’s delivery around this goal.
Return on ad spend is an important metric to track because, well, at the end of the day, if you’re getting little or no return on investment on your ads, something’s not right. Having Facebook Pixel installed on your site will allow you to get more detailed information on your return on investment.
This metric isn’t good for assessing the performance of individual ads, but rather, your campaigns and account as a whole. If you compare this metric to your ads’ cost per link click, you can get a more complete image of how individual ads are driving revenue for you.
This metric is what some marketers have referred to as the ‘silent killer’ of Facebook campaigns. Ad frequency tells you how many times on average a user has seen your ad. This metric is important to track because while it often takes several views of a single ad before your potential customer is ready to convert if you show the same ad to them too many times, you risk alienating them.
As you see, this metric is a bit of a slippery slope and, unfortunately, there's no magic number we can provide here that'll tell you how many times to display any given ad to your audience. If you show an ad too many times to someone, they might just start ignoring it or worse yet, they'll start actively disliking your brand - and that's the opposite of what you want!
In March, Facebook announced that it was doing away with their relevance score on April 30th - an ad metric that gives you a rating between 1-10 to signify how relevant the Facebook algorithm estimates your ad to be to your target audience.
This metric has been largely useless at telling you anything valuable about your ad performance, and it’s now being replaced by three more detailed metrics: quality ranking, engagement rate ranking and conversion rate ranking. Together, these three new metrics will give you a much more complete picture of your ad performance.
The quality ranking tells you your ad’s perceived quality compared with ads competing for the same audience. If your quality rank is high, you’ll know you’ve been able to target your ad pretty well and that your ad copy speaks to your audience. If this ranking is low, consider whether your ad creative answers a pain point of your targeted audience clearly and succinctly.
This new metric predicts your ad’s expected engagement rate by comparing it with ads competing for the same audience. A low engagement rate rank tells you that your ad isn’t grabbing the attention of your audience. If this is the case, consider whether you could replace the imagery on your ad to something more eye-catching, or even use video instead.
This metric is a calculation of your ad’s expected conversion rate compared with ads that have the same optimisation goal and are competing for the same audience. If this rank isn’t meeting your expectations, you should turn your attention to your landing page experience. Consider if the messaging on your landing page is unclear: do you have a call to action that makes the next steps crystal clear? Are you providing the necessary information on what your product or service does and how it can help solve an issue your audience is facing? These could be reasons for why someone has shown initial interest in you but in the end, they didn’t convert.
Hopefully this has been useful in highlighting some of the differences between these three new metrics. We believe they’ll provide much more actionable insights for advertisers going forward and we can’t wait to start gathering this data for our clients!
BONUS: Metrics you shouldn’t worry about
Now that you know about some of the key metrics to track with your Facebook ads, how about ones you don’t need to lose sleep over? The two metrics below might seem very important on the surface level, but in reality, they don’t tell you much about how well your ads are actually performing.
We know what you’re thinking: “Hang on, didn’t you already cover CPC in the metrics you should track?” Yes, but that was only for the cost per link clicks. CPC (All) is a different metric which calculates the average cost of any and all clicks on your ad - whether that’s to visit your Facebook page or to see more content about your company right there on the ad.
While CPC (link clicks) is a useful tool for figuring out how many people click to visit your website and what the drop-off rate is between them and those who convert on your landing page, CPC (All) doesn’t really tell you anything useful.
While it might be nice to know, for example, how many people go to see your Facebook page after viewing your ad, knowing the average cost of actions like this won’t help you optimise your ads.
This is the CPC figure that Facebook tells you by default, but it’s little more than a vanity metric, so don’t be lulled into a false sense of success by looking at this metric!
Ad reach signifies how many individual users Facebook has served your ad to. This is different from your ad’s impressions since while that metric calculates the overall views of an ad, this one shows the unique users who’ve seen your ad. Your ad’s reach, like its CPC (All) is a vanity metric that doesn’t tell you anything useful about your ad’s performance.
As it often takes several ad impressions before a lead is ready to convert, you should focus your energy on metrics like ad frequency and impressions instead.
What do you think of the metrics we chose for this guide? Do you agree with us or are you currently shouting at your screen and banging your fist against the table? Let us know in the comments below!
Want to learn more about what Facebook advertising could do for your business? Talk to our digital marketing experts today.