How to optimize your Facebook ads


1. Perfect your account structure

This one isn’t so much an optimization as a best practice, or rather, a requirement if you want to succeed at all in Facebook ads. Too many times, advertisers break out their campaigns according to who their targeting rather than what their objective is.

So let’s say you have an SEO ebook for small businesses. You have three different variations of the ebook—one for physical therapists, one for interior designers, and one for lawyers. Instead of creating three separate campaigns for each audience, the better way to go is to create one campaign for the ebook and then within the campaign create three ad sets for each audience. This is how Facebook campaigns and ad sets are meant to be used.

With this proper Facebook ad account structure, you can more efficiently manage and optimize your ads as well as scale your efforts and offers.

how to optimize facebook ads - account structure setup


2. Set up the Meta Pixel with Google Tag Manager

That’s right. Google Tag Manager can be used for more than just Google Ads conversion tracking. For any paid media strategy, if you want to track conversions that take place on your website, you’ll need to install a tracking pixel.

Through partner integrations, Facebook Ads Manager has made it possible to set up the Meta Pixel without using code—but some of them can get clunky. There is one, however, that isn’t exactly codeless but is found to be the easiest: through Google Tag Manager.

With Google Tag Manager, you can install a container code on each of your website pages. Then instead of, having to add code to each of your pages every time you want to install a pixel, you can just connect it to GTM. Google’s page on GTM is here.

You can then do the same to set up the Facebook Conversions API. Because of privacy measures, you’ll want to use both the Facebook Conversions API and Meta Pixel together to get a more complete picture of your ads’ performance. With visibility into what actions visitors are taking after viewing your ads, and who those visitors are, you can then make data-driven optimizations and retarget people who have been to your site.


3. Consolidate your conversions

Once your pixel is set up, you can then tell Facebook which conversion events you want to track. Looking back to our SEO ebook example, you could set up a separate conversion event for each ebook download, but if you do, this is what you’ll see when you’re at the campaign-level view:

facebook ad campaign level view

You’ll have to dig into each ad set’s data to look at how many total conversions you’re getting from the campaign. But if you create one ebook download conversion event, you can then get a total conversion count quickly from the campaign view. It’s a small detail that can save you time and help you make decisions faster.

While you can create events that are not in your eight priority events list, these events will not be reported if they’re taken by iOS 14+ users who have opted out of Facebook tracking.


4. Choose the right bidding strategy

There are five different bidding strategies in Facebook Ads:

  1. Highest volume (formerly lowest cost)
  2. Highest value
  3. Cost per result (formerly cost cap)
  4. ROAS goal (formerly minimum ROAS)
  5. Bid cap

If you’re running an ad with a lead generation focus and you have your funnel mapped out with costs and conversion rates, then cost-per-result bidding is a great choice. If you don’t have a clear idea of what an ideal cost per conversion will be, go with the highest volume.

If you’re an e-commerce business and you’re running ads for purchases with a fixed conversion value, cost per result, ROAS goal, or highest value would be best.

Manual bidding is still an option and gives you strategic control over the delivery of your ads, but it’s less common and should only be used if you have a strong understanding of your costs and conversion rates. This knowledge comes with time and you may have to run your campaigns using automatic bidding first, to get a baseline.


5. Optimize for your objective

Once you get to the ad set stage of your Facebook ad campaign creation, you’ll find an “Optimization for ad delivery” section. This is a little confusing since you’ll see options like Conversions, Landing Page Views, Link Clicks, Impressions, and more. But didn’t you already establish the goal of your campaign when you chose your campaign objective? Yes.

This setting just allows you to further fine-tune who Facebook delivers your ad to within your audience settings. As you can imagine, for the most part, it’s best to stick with the default option Facebook provides, which is usually the same as or similar to the campaign objective. Here are some tips on that front:

  • Awareness campaigns: Facebook defaults to reach, and this is good since it will reach as many people as possible. Impressions, on the other hand, will serve the same ad to the same account to get the
  • Traffic campaigns: Facebook defaults to link clicks. We recommend changing to landing page views since it’s easy for people to accidentally click on an ad on Facebook and Instagram. Landing page views will filter out those accidental clicks.
  • Engagement campaigns: Facebook defaults to ThruPlay (15 seconds) vs 2-second continuous video views. Stick with ThruPlay.
  • Leads and sales campaigns:  Go with the default (conversions).

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