Facebook Ads Audit Checklist
You might be able to run the same old PPC ads on the same old search keywords without any significant dip in volume, but you won’t get away with that with Facebook Ads since they require regular maintenance to keep click-throughs high. Even when you update your ad images and copy regularly, there are many other aspects of your account that can fall through the cracks. In this guide, I’ll walk you through a comprehensive Facebook Ads audit to identify opportunities to improve your Facebook Ads performance.
Even when you update your ads regularly, other aspects of your account can fall through the cracks.
Here are the main sections I’ll cover:
- Ad Settings
As you go through the guide, feel free to check each section off. Now let’s get started!
Account Level Audit
The following steps will help you make sure your overall Facebook Ads account is in good shape.
Structure – Is there a clear structure to the account’s campaigns? A well-structured campaign helps prevent problems like outdated ads and helps you spot opportunities in your reports. It also makes it easier for colleagues to help manage your campaigns if your team grows. Group your campaigns together according similar traits like goal or targeted audience.
Admins – Are there any admins that should no longer have access to the account? Keep your admin list current and remove the profiles of former employees, agencies, interns, etc.
Email Settings – Are you set to receive all important email notifications? You’ll want to at least receive email notifications of ad disapprovals, ads that require editing, and perhaps even periodic account summaries.
Conversion Tracking – Is conversion tracking set up? Is it working? Are the right conversions being tracked? With conversion tracking, you can optimize every aspect of your campaigns to maximize profit and eliminate wasted spend by measuring the impact ads have on your bottom line. Make sure you’re tracking the most important actions a visitor could take (e.g., add to cart, purchases).
Custom Audiences – Have custom and similar audiences been created? Custom audiences allow you to upload a list of customers to target or exclude. This helps you advertise to leads or past customers exclusively, or to exclude current customers from your audience. Update your custom audience lists or create your first. For help, read How To Use Custom & Lookalike Audiences with Facebook.
Campaign Level Audit
Now that we’ve made sure your overall Facebook Ads account is in good shape, let’s take a look at each campaign to make sure they’re set up optimally.
Budget – Is the campaign budget adequate? Is the campaign consistently depleting its budget? Review your spend and budget to make sure your best-performing campaigns have a high enough budget to meet your goals. If the budget is maxed out, consider lowering your bids in order to reduce your cost per click– you just might get more clicks for your money.
Schedule – Is the campaign end date correct? Not every campaign will have an end date, but if it does, make sure it reflects your plans for the campaign duration.
Ad Quantity – Does the campaign more than one active ad? Keeping multiple ad variations in a campaign makes it easy to test them and adds variety to the ads your customers see. Create new ads frequently to keep your tests active and fresh.
Naming Convention – Do the campaigns have a proper naming convention in place? Is it easy to understand what’s happening in the campaign?
Facebook Ads Audit
Now it’s time to address the part of your campaign potential customers see. Your ads are what you’re paying to promote, after all, so let’s make sure they’re strong.
Approval Issues – Are there any ads marked as disapproved? Approval issues keep your ads from running but can be fixed quickly. If you find any, make the required change and set a reminder for yourself to check back in a few days to make sure the issue has been resolved.
Typos – Are there any typos or spelling issues in the ads? Typos reflect poorly on your business and obscure the message of your ad so address any issues.
Calls to Action – Does each ad have a call to action? Tell your customers what the next step they should take is and you’ll see an increase in the number of them that actually follow through. For help writing ads, read 5 Tips For Creating Effective Ads.
Freshness – Have new ad images and copy been added in the past month? Ads must be updated frequently so your audience doesn’t get fatigued causing click-through rates to drop. Create new ads with new images regularly.
Ad Types – Are the appropriate ad types being used to to reach the goals? Facebook frequently changes the ad types you can choose from and each type caters to a different purpose (e.g., Mobile app install ads). Review the current options from the ad creation screen to see if there is one that works better, given your goals.
Ad Settings Audit
Next we’ll take a look at your ad settings to make sure they’re configured for the maximum impact.
Location – Are the ad location targeting settings appropriate? Make sure your ads are targeting only the locations your business serves. Also consider creating ads that only target your most profitable locations.
Placements – Do the ads cover all placements? Are there any placements that should be more heavily targeted? Now that Facebook allows you to choose from a wide list of placement on the screen on which your ads can display, you can craft custom ads that take advantage of each placement. You can also generate a report that includes the “placement” column to analyze your performance by placement and use it to give a placement extra attention when creation new ads.
Top Audiences – Have the top audience targeting settings been used in other ads? Since audience targeting is on the ad level, it’s easy to lose track of which audience types are perform best. Review the best performing ads and see if they have any targeting settings in common. Use this as inspiration to create new ads that target these top audiences.
Audience size – Do ads target a large enough audience size? While it’s ok to have a highly targeted ad with a small audience size, you’ll want to create other ads that target the rest of your potential audience as well. Consider increasing the audience size of low volume ads by relaxing the targeting settings, or create additional ads with larger audiences to get broad coverage.
Age – Have the appropriate ages been targeted? Age data on Facebook is fairly accurate and is a great way to exclude users that may be too young or too young then your demographic. If your customers tend to be a specific age, consider narrowing your age targeting to focus on your target age group.
Custom Audiences – Are custom audiences being used where relevant? Custom audiences can be used to target past customers, exclude current customers, and more. Review your current audiences and consider how they can be used to improve your ad performance. For example, when trying to get more page likes, you could target your customer list since they are
Conversion Specs – Have conversion specs been specified for ads? If you use Optimized CPM bidding in the Power Editor, Facebook will automatically optimize your bids for a specific action (e.g., likes, clicks, etc). If no conversion spec is specified, Facebook will choose an action by default, depending on the ad type. If you have a specific action goal for the ad (like video plays), make sure to define it. For help, read Facebook Conversion Specs.
Facebook Ads Destination Audit
Finally, let’s review your ad destinations to make sure you’re making the most of the traffic your generating.
Facebook Page Quality- Is the brand Facebook page in need of updating? Many of your ads are tied to your brand’s Facebook page, but small teams may find it difficult to keep it up to date when they’re focusing on paid channels. Review the page and perform regular maintenance, like updating contact info, descriptions, etc.
Landing Page Errors – Are any ads pointing to error or “out of stock” pages? Landing page problems break your ads, frustrate potential customers and are a complete waste of money. Update the destination of ads with broken landing pages to make sure your money goes towards ads that can actually lead to conversions.
Landing Page Quality – Are you sending traffic to the right pages of your website or tabs on your Facebook Page? The messaging on the ad’s landing page should match that of the ad. If your ad is advertising a specific product, don’t send customers to your homepage and make them search– take them straight to that product so they can make a decision to buy. Review the destination of each ad to make sure the most relevant destination is being used.
Landing Page Optimization – Are the landing pages optimized for conversions? You’re going through a great deal of effort to bring customers to your website; is there anything you can do to make the most of the visitors you already have? Consider removing distractions from the landing page, adding a clear call to action, testing headlines, etc.
There you have it! A quick checklist to follow when auditing your Facebook Ads account. Are we missing anything? What have you found to be effective when conducting audits? Let us know in the comments.
Sam is the Director of Online Marketing at InVision and former Director of Marketing at AdStage. Prior to AdStage, he was part of the AdWords product team at Google, serving as the in-house AdWords expert and advisor to product management, engineering, and UX. Prior to that, he personally managed and grew in-house digital marketing programs with over $300,000 in monthly ad spend.
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