What makes some eCommerce Facebook Ad campaigns more successful than others? Well, depending on who you ask, the answer is a number of things. But almost all of these answers include regularly monitoring their ads with an eCommerce Facebook Ads audit and adjusting them accordingly.
While the word audit might not sound like much fun, the effect they can have on your business sure can be. If you pull off eCommerce Facebook Ads successfully, you’ll be able to watch your business grow as a direct result. More clicks, more sales, and more money in your pocket. What’s not fun about that?
(If you’re still not convinced of the importance of these ads for your business, head over to this post next: 5 Reasons You Need Facebook Advertising to Promote Your Business)
Today, we’re going to answer, “How do I audit an ad on Facebook?” with all of the detail you need. We’ll cover the Facebook Ad audit process from beginning to end, and dive even further into why you need to start doing eCommerce Facebook Ad audits if you aren’t already.
Here we go!
What is an eCommerce Facebook Ad Audit?
First, let’s talk about exactly what an eCommerce Facebook Ad audit is. Essentially, it’s a check to make sure everything is working correctly with your Ads account. And we don’t just mean the technical side of things (although that’s important too). But you also want to be sure your ads are working. And in this case, that means converting.
During a FB Ads audit, you look for which ads are performing and which ones aren’t. You track conversions, check how much you’re spending, review your target audiences, and “audit” everything else that goes into your Facebook Ads campaign. If you set up, and then audit, your ads correctly, you can help boost your traffic, conversions, and minimize the chances of wasting advertising dollars. These audits will also help you minimize your costs while maximizing your CTR and conversion rate.
This all sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Now it’s time to make it happen.
So, let’s dig into the step-by-step Facebook Ad audit process you need to follow to get the job done.
Facebook Ad Audit Process
We’re going to break down the Facebook Ad audit process into six big steps. Each of these steps are designed with an ultimate goal in mind: helping your eCommerce Facebook Ads perform at their very best. Ultimately, that means getting more conversions at the best price possible. Within each of these steps, we’ll provide smaller steps so you can cross each item off of your list. Remember not to skip any steps or you risk not getting the results you hope for!
Business account analysis
First, you need to start with your Business Account. Go back to the beginning and make sure your profile for your business account is filled out properly and completely. Double check that the links to your social media accounts, website, or any other social profiles are up to date. During this step, you’ll also make sure you have chosen the correct call to action for your page.
From your business account, you will also double check the structure of your ad campaigns. This includes double checking the objective of your campaigns and defining your goals. At the ad level in Ads Manager, you also want to make sure your ad sets are properly named, and that your ad copy and other creative are up to date.
(Speaking of ad creative, take a look at this post next: Facebook Ad Creative: Your High-Converting Cheat Sheet)
Then, before you go, double check that you have claimed and customized your eCommerce store’s Facebook URL.
Now you need to check and make sure your pixel code is active. If it’s not working right, it won’t be tracking all of the conversions on your site so you won’t have an accurate representation of the success of your ad campaign.
New to Facebook pixels? Facebook offers this handy definition on their website:
“When someone visits your website and takes an action (for example, buying something), the Facebook pixel is triggered and reports this action. This way, you’ll know when a customer took an action after seeing your Facebook ad. You’ll also be able to reach this customer again by using a custom audience. When more and more conversions happen on your website, Facebook gets better at delivering your ads to people who are more likely to take certain actions. This is called conversion optimization.”
Take a look at this other resource from Facebook to learn more about pixels and how to make sure they’re working correctly.
Remember when you first set up your eCommerce Facebook Ads? A big part of that was targeting your audience effectively.
Now that your ads have been up and running for a while, it’s time to review your audiences. Take a look at the interests, behavior, demographics, and other targeting factors to make sure they still match your ideal buyer avatar. Perhaps, as your business has grown, your ideal buyer has changed too. Sometimes your audience targeting won’t need to be changed. But in the event it does, you can’t afford to miss this step in your eCommerce Fb Ads audit.
Where are your ads showing? During the placement review step of your Fb Ads audit, this is what you’ll find out.
Facebook has an Automatic Placements option which is recommended for most users, or you have the ability to override this and set the placement yourself. Additionally, you can choose which devices your ads are displayed on.
When it comes to the ads displayed specifically on Facebook (as opposed to Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Networks) there are several placements to choose from.
- Instant articles
- In-stream videos
- Right column
- Suggested videos
Again, Facebook takes care of all of this for you if you choose Automatic Placements. But during your audit, you might discover one of these options simply isn’t converting. In that case, you might choose ad placements for yourself and try deselecting the option that isn’t working for you.
As far as eCommerce Facebook Ads go, most users have good luck with automatic placements. You’ll want to keep a close eye on your CPC in case certain placements are costing you more than they’re worth.
Chances are you did a deep dive into your competitors when you first set up your Facebook Ads. If not, during your ads audit is the time to do it!
Facebook released an ads transparency tool in 2018 that lets users see which ads a Facebook page is currently running. With this information being publicly available, you, as a competitor to a brand, have a big advantage of being able to see the ads they’re running! (Just remember, it works both ways and they can see yours too)
Facebook gives you helpful tools to use their ad transparency tool for competitor research. For starters, you can use their Report feature to “Explore, filter and download data for ads about social issues, elections or politics. Also find the spending tracker and spending totals by advertiser and location.” Additionally, users can make use of the API tool to “perform customized keyword searches of active and inactive ads about social issues, elections or politics.”
With all of this information on hand, you can start analyzing your competitors’ success factors.
How many ads are they running? Where are they running ads? What are they spending on ads?
There’s no rule that says you have to do exactly what they’re doing by any means. However, this information can help you highlight any major discrepancies that might be holding you back making even more sales and conversions.
For example, if your competitors seem to be growing at a much faster pace and you also notice they spend a lot more on ads, this could be the sign you need to increase your ad budget!
We are all about strategy at BWM. More specifically, well-thought-out, proven strategies that get results. During this step of the ads audit, it’s time to take another look at your ad strategy. After all, this is one of the golden keys of success for a Facebook advertising campaign.
Facebook Ad strategies aren’t meant to be set in stone. The strategy you had in mind when you created your first set of ads three months ago could very well have changed since then. This isn’t surprising, considering how quickly market demand and interests change.
But don’t worry, we’ve got everything you need to know over here: How to Foolproof Your Facebook Advertising Strategy.
In that post, we cover everything you need to know about setting yourself up for success from the get-go with your Facebook ad strategy.
Other Areas to Check During a Facebook Ads Audit
We’ve covered the biggest parts of the Fb Ads audit. During these steps, you’re likely to spot any major errors or opportunities to improve.
That being said, there are still a few areas worth considering if you want to do a complete audit that doesn’t leave an inch uncovered.
Here are some of the extra areas to consider during an even more comprehensive audit:
Have you heard of an attribution window on Facebook before? They define it as:
“the number of days between when a person viewed or clicked your ad and subsequently took an action. We measure ad actions based on clicks and views of your ad:
- Click-through attribution: A person clicked your ad and took an action.
- View-through attribution: A person saw your ad, didn’t click it, but took an action within the attribution window.”
During your audit, it’s worth checking these attribution windows and seeing if they need to be adjusted. Facebook sets them automatically if users don’t set them for themselves. But depending on your goals and the way your campaign is performing, they might need to be changed in either direction.
Ad relevance diagnostics
In 2019, Facebook changed what was once known as an ad relevance score to what we now know as ad relevance diagnostics. Relevance scores are important because the more relevant an ad is to a Facebook user, the more likely they are to engage with that ad. That’s why Facebook calculates relevance scores for every ad.
Over time, a user’s activities with other ads, their interests, etc., will be taken into account when scoring an ad’s relevance. For example, if a user regularly hides similar ads yet your ad is still being shown to them, your ad is more likely to receive a lower relevance score.
If you notice your relevance scores are consistently on the lower end, this can be a sign it’s time to redefine your target audience. A single ad having a low score isn’t necessarily a big red flag. But if you have several ads each with low relevance scores, chances are something is off with your targeting.
Short on time?
It’s worth carving out some time to do a comprehensive audit on every single ad you run every three to six months. But we know that can seem overwhelming to take on by yourself (more on that in a moment) But if you only have the resources to commit to auditing some ads right now, put your focus on your lowest performing ads. These are the ones you might spot some really obvious areas to improve on. They might require more drastic adjustments, while your best performing ads could stand to get some minor tweaks and A/B testing.
Why Do We Need to do this Audit?
Now that you know how to do this audit, it’s time to talk more about why you need to do one in the first place. Or more specifically, why you need to do them on a regular basis. In fact, best practice involves a full audit of FB ads at least every three to six months. This is important because it helps you spot any major issues that could be affecting your ad performance. At the same time, it gives you the opportunity to tweak, test, and adjust accordingly.
At any given time, there are a number of dynamic factors that affect customer behavior. This can include the time of year, current events, and a number of other things. But based on these and a number of other factors, it’s important to always be up to date and relevant within your niche and among your competitors. As these changes take place, as new competitors pop up, and the world of eCommerce keeps evolving, it’s vital to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.
There’s nothing quite as aggravating as finding out you’ve been spending money for months on Facebook Ads that simply aren’t performing. Rather than letting this go on too long, make sure you follow these audit steps every few months. Better yet, entrust your Facebook Ad services to professionals who can do all of this for you—and on a more regular basis!
How Do Agencies Perform eCommerce Facebook Ads Audits?
We’ve given you the inside scoop on today’s post. When we perform Facebook Ads audits for our clients, we follow these steps ourselves. However, a lot more goes into them than what we can tell you in a single blog post. Our strategies are tailored to every single unique client. We get to know you, your business, and your goals to begin. Then, our proven Facebook Ads strategies are applied to your account.
As valuable as the initial implementation of your Facebook Ads is, it’s the ongoing management and optimization that can ultimately make or break the success of your campaign. The process of optimizing Facebook Ads campaigns simply means improving the performance of the ad account. At Blue Water Marketing, we have a very clear method in place for gaining the maximum amount of return from your budget.
There are several ways to achieve this goal. This could be increasing your ad budget, removing certain age brackets, split testing the creative, tweaking the audience, and many other things. Our team monitors ad accounts every day to ensure they are on track to fulfill their objectives. That’s right—rather than setting aside several hours or a few days every few months to audit your ads, you can have the peace of mind that someone has their eye on them at all times.
With your eCommerce Facebook Ads covered from A-Z, you can devote all of that time you’ll save on other critical aspects of running your business. Often, an investment in professional ad management ends up being one of the best ones our clients ever make for their business.
If that sounds like a dream come true for you and your eCommerce business, we should talk. Our Facebook Ads agency in Stuart, Fl., has created incredible results for clients across the country, and we’re excited to do the same for you. Click here to learn more about our social media marketing services