Facebook certainly keeps us on our toes. It is currently one of the most powerful platforms for digital advertising and, when used strategically, the most cost-effective. But Facebook is always improving, always changing. It can be tricky to continue to re-learn how to decode Facebook’s Ad Manager analytics updates and that pesky algorithm. I will say one thing:
Facebook is smarter than we are.
We should research, train, study, and pay attention to these social platforms and their capabilities for advertising. But Step #1 in decoding Facebook advertising is to come to terms with the fact that it is always changing. Things have to change in order to grow. Mark Zuckerberg certainly understands that. There are over 70 different categories of measuring success in Facebook analytics. These categories – and their numbers – can be a little overwhelming. To prevent feeling bombarded by ever-increasing analytics sections, it is helpful to learn which of these numbers actually matter for your goal. Most of the time, our clients’ objectives are to:
- Increase Website Traffic
- Facilitate Website Conversions (ex. a customer ‘opting in’ for information or making a purchase)
Here are the numbers that matter most to us (and the ones that don’t) when analyzing the success of a campaign with these goals:
Landing Page Views / Cost Per Landing Page View
Link Clicks / Cost Per Click
Landing page views are different than link clicks. Link clicks track on clicks interacting with an ad – they could be on a button that leads to your website, the facebook page that is publishing the ad, to scroll through multiple photos, or to read more comments. While we will always welcome engagement in what we are sharing, it does not serve our client if users are reading their post’s comments but not making it to their website. Furthermore, if a user clicks on a link, but closes out of that window before the landing page / website loads, it is still reported as a link click. A landing page view requires that a button / link is clicked and a web page is fully loaded. Therefore, analyzing landing page views over link clicks gives a much more accurate statement of how many users are visiting your website based off of your ad.
Conversions / Cost Per Conversion
Reach / Impressions
Conversions are, often, the end game. Users transforming into customers. If a user clicks on your ads, navigates through your website, enters their email address to receive content from you (or makes a purchase from you), you have shown them value.
Reach is the number of people who have seen your ads, and impressions is the number of times your ad was shown on screen (multiple times to the same people). This is very useful information to know if you are trying to spread brand awareness or generate more social media traffic. In my perspective, they are not the most useful numbers to fixate on for web traffic / conversion goals.
Amount Spent / Relevance Score
Post likes / Page likes
Amount spent is always important… especially when you are spending another organization’s money! Regardless of objective or budget, this is a number that will always be important to keep track of.
We prefer to look at the relevance score, which is a estimated score (1-10) of how well your target audience is responding to your ad, after it has made 500 impressions. It incorporates post engagement and conversions to give an overall rating, which, in my opinion, is more useful than searching for individual ad’s likes or overall page likes in response to your ad. If an ad has a high relevance score, Facebook will, by default, show it to more people because Facebook’s #1 goal is to show its users relevant content to engage them on the platform longer. This is one way that pesky algorithm can work in your favor!
These numbers are the big ones for our goals, but we understand yours might be different! The point here is that some numbers are more important than others. There is no need to stress over them all… just the ones that matter to you!