18 Facebook Ad Metrics That Actually Matter (and 3 That Don’t)

Facebook ad metrics

Launching your Facebook ads is one thing, but how do you analyse the data and make good optimisations?

Where the heck do you start? What Facebook ad metrics should you be paying attention to? What ones can you ignore? It can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re new to Facebook advertising.

Whenever we run Facebook ads for clients, there are only a handful of Facebook ad metrics we actually pay attention to – around 16 in total. In this article, I’m going to walk you through the 16 FB ad metrics that actually matter.

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First, the funnel…

Before we look at the Facebook ad metrics, we need to understand the customer journey. What steps will people receiving our ads take? Whether a metric or number is good/important is based on your goals and what your funnel looks like.

Your funnel is essentially the steps someone must take to become a customer of yours. You could also call this the customer journey. With the right tracking (via the Facebook pixel) in place, we’re able to track each stage of the customer journey. This gives us a holistic view of how our campaigns are performing.

As we think about funnels, we can start to jot down the different touch points someone might take to buy from us. For example, in an e-commerce business, they may:

1. Visit website
2. Visit product page
3. Add item to cart
4. Checkout
5. Receive sale confirmation

With the right metrics, we can look to see how each stage of our funnel is performing. We might send a ton of people to the checkout page, but if none of them buys, are our ads really performing well?

So, with that in mind, let’s go over the Facebook ad metrics that actually matter.

Facebook Ad Metrics Worth Paying Attention To…

For Sales Campaigns

Whenever we run campaigns with the goal of increasing sales, these are the metrics I pay attention to.

  1. Results This is a given… how many sales have we made? The ‘result’ is the event you choose when selecting your conversion objective. So, if you’re looking for sales, this is likely to be it.
  2. Cost per result How much are you spending to get that result? This is your cost per acquisition.
  3. Add to carts If you’re an e-commerce store, how many people have added your product to their cart? (regardless of whether they’ve purchased or not). You would need to have the Addtocart standard event created to track this (and #4, #5 and #6).
  4. Cost per add to cart How much are you paying in ad spend to have someone add to cart?
  5. Initiate Checkouts How many people are initiating checkout with you? This is typically the final step before clicking ‘purchase’.
  6. Cost per Initiate Checkout how much is it costing you to have someone initiate checkout.
  7. Click-through rate (CTR) – The percentage of people who saw your ad and clicked on it.
  8. Purchase conversion value – How much revenue have you generated from your campaigns?
  9. ROAS – From every £1 you spend on advertising, how much are you making in return? The higher the ROAS the better.

How to interpret the data

Making sales on Facebook can be challenging, which is why we need to pay attention to metrics other than just results/sales.

If you set up your campaign and you’re generating sales, fantastic! Just make sure you’re paying less than the lifetime value of your customer. You don’t want to be spending £200 per sale if a customer is only worth £10 to you.

If you’re not seeing sales, that’s when we start to look at the other metrics, for example:

  • If we’re not seeing sales, are we seeing Add to carts? Are we seeing people initiate the checkout? If not, we’re not compelling people enough to start the buying process. This means our targeting or our messaging is off. If we are seeing these things, where is our biggest drop off? Are we getting lots of ATC’s but no checkouts?
  • What does our CTR look like? Ideally, we want our CTR to be around 1-2%+. If we’re not achieving that, it normally means our message isn’t working with our audience. We need to do more testing. If our CTR is high, but our conversion to sale is low, it could indicate an issue with our website/funnel.

For Lead Generation Campaigns

  1. Results – How many leads have you generated? Similar to sales campaigns, the results depend on your conversion event.
  2. Cost per result – How much is it costing you to generate a lead? this is your cost per lead (CPL)
  3. Click-through rate (CTR) – The percentage of people who saw your ad and clicked on it.
  4. Frequency – The average number of times each person has seen your ad, on average.
  5. Link Clicks – How many people have clicked on your ad
  6. Amount spent – How much money have you spent on the campaign, in total

How to interpret the data

It’s hard for me to give you an idea on what your cost per lead should look like as all leads are different. £2 leads might be good for some businesses. £200 leads might be good for others. It all depends on the lifetime value of YOUR customer. You need to know these numbers before you determine whether Facebook is working for you or not.

  • Obviously, the most important data here is the results and cost per result. Similarly to our sales campaign, if you’re not seeing results, take a look at your CTR. Are you seeing 1-2%?
  • Are people actually clicking on your ads? Take a look at the number of link clicks you’ve had and divide that by the number of leads you’ve generated. That’ll give you your landing page conversion rate. We want to be shooting for 30%+. If it’s below that, take some time trying to improve the landing page. You can use tools like Google Analytics to see what people are doing on that page.
  • We also want to keep an eye on our frequency. If you’re targeting a small audience, it’s very easy to exhaust the audience quickly. Your frequency score tells you how many times people in your audience have seen the ad, on average. If you see your frequency score reaching ~3, it’s time to change your ads… otherwise, you run the risk of getting ‘ad fatigue’, where people switch off to your ads having seen them too many times. Lastly, it’s important to keep an eye on the amount spent – nobody wants to spend too much, right?

For Content promotion campaigns

  1. CTR – The percentage of people who saw your ad and clicked on it.
  2. Link Clicks – How many people have clicked on your ad
  3. Cost per click (CPC) – the average cost of each click from your ad through to your site
  4. Video Views how many people have watched your video ad (3 seconds)
  5. Cost per 10s views – how much it’s costing you to have someone watch your video for 10s or more
  6. Comments – How many people have commented on your ad
  7. Shares – How many people are sharing your ad/post
  8. Cost per share – How much it’s costing you for someone to share your post

How to interpret the data

Content promotion campaigns are slightly different as the end result isn’t as tangible as generating a lead or sale. When we run a content promotion campaign, the main aim is essentially brand awareness. We want more people to view our content. But not just that, I’m bullish on getting people to share our content. Views are nice, but if someone truly loves our content, we’d hope they would share or comment on it.

Here are some things to look out for:

  • As with lead gen and sales campaigns, shoot for that 1-2% CTR and look at how many people are clicking the ads. With content promo ads, if you’re promoting a blog, keeping an eye on the CPC is also important. Because we’re not tracking lead generation or sales results, we look at CPC as the indicator of success.
  • If you’re running a video ad, we want to keep an eye on the video views. That’s only going to give you the number of people who have watched 3 seconds or more. This is why I like to also track the cost per 10-second video – as that gives us an understanding on who’s actually watching it… as opposed to just seeing it as they scroll through their feed.
  • As mentioned above, I like to track how many comments and shares I’m getting. If one piece of content gets shared more, I would want to prioritise that, because I’m essentially getting free reach and I know it’s resonating well with the audience.

As for the metrics that don’t matter?

As you’ve gathered, the goals of your campaign will determine the metrics you pay attention to. If you’re going for sales, you’re probably not bothered about the number of likes on the post. But there are three metrics that I never pay any real attention to:

  • Relevance score – Relevance score is broken up into three sections now: Quality ranking, Engagement rate ranking and conversion rate ranking. Facebook will often tell you that your campaign is performing poorly on relevancy, even if it’s a profitable campaign. Relevance can be a good indicator on why a campaign isn’t working… but I’d take it all with a pinch of salt.
  • Clicks (all) – Above I spoke about the importance of monitoring ‘link clicks’, but there’s also a metric called ‘clicks’. Clicks take into consideration ALL clicks on the ad, such as clicking ‘see more’. Meaning, if you look at that metric, you’re going to think your ad is performing much better than it actually is! Focus on link clicks.
  • Post engagement – You can also ignore post engagement. For sales and lead generation campaigns, engagement isn’t something you want to concern yourself with. On a content campaign, you might want to think about it but focus on more specific engagement metrics like the number of shares.

There we have it! These are the Facebook ad metrics we pay attention to whenever we run a campaign. If you’re looking for an agency to run your ads (so you don’t need to spend all day analysing the metrics) click here to get started. 

Are there any other metrics you like to use?


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