Craptastic Facebook Ad Results? Here's what to do.

So, you decide to run some Facebook ads and after a few days you’re seeing craptastic stats that make you want to scream. I hear ya! Facebook ads can be frustrating as all get out. But, the numbers don’t lie and this is why it’s really important to dig into the reporting area of Facebook once you’ve run your ads for a few days (I recommend 72 hours and a reach of 1000) and look at the numbers to try to figure out why you aren’t getting the results you want. The numbers will also give you an idea of what to do next.

Before I get into the stats to look at I want to make sure you’re running the correct ad objective. If you’re looking for conversions (opt ins) and you’re running a “Traffic” ad objective that’s your first faux pas. Each ad objective "tells" facebook what you want so it's important to select the right one. Check out my complete guide to ad objectives so you know which ad objective to choose for the result you want.

Here are some numbers I look at first after my ads have been running for a while. You can create a custom report inside of Ads Manager but to quickly see these numbers, go to the button that says “Performance” and click it to see a whole slew of other reports. I like the “Performance and Clicks” report. Click that and then take a look at these stats.



What’s your CTR (LINK)?  

There are two CTR stats inside of Ads Manager. CTR (ALL) and CTR (LINK). There's a difference and it's important that you're looking at the right one. 

CTR (ALL): This is the percentage of people clicking anywhere on the ad. It can be the ‘see more’ button, the ‘like’ button, the ‘learn more’ button, the image itself, the link to the landing page, etc. This percentage is typically higher than the CTR (link).

CTR (LINK): This is the percentage of people who are clicking on the link to go to the landing page. Therefore, THIS is the stat you want to look at when looking at your stats. Ideally, you want this number to be OVER 1%. This means that your ad is interesting enough for people to click on it to go to the landing page and that’s what you want.

What do you do if you have a low CTR (link)?

If you have a low CTR (LINK) you want to look at a few things: 

·        Your Ad Copy

·        Your Headline

·        Your Ad Image

·        Your Targeting

Ad Copy: Make sure your ad copy is speaking directly to your audience and you are talking about the benefits they’ll receive if they click on your ad. Assume they know nothing about your product/offer and explain what it is, why you created it and how it will help them with their problem/challenge.

Headline: Make sure the headline grabs they’re attention. Often, this is the second thing people see is the headline (after the image) and it should be a quick snapshot of what the ad is about and what they're going to get.

Image: Your image needs to be scroll stopping. You don’t want it to look like an ad—I know, easier said than done—but think about the images that you slow down for in the newsfeed. What elements do they have? A familiar face? Bold text? A landscaped image? Striking colors? Generally, if you’re sending an ad to a warm audience it’s ok to put your personal photo in the image. (I’ve even had good luck with an ad to look-a-like audience that had my photo in it.) Try it. Can’t hurt to test!


When you’re marketing to everyone, you’re marketing to no one. – Marie Forleo

I share this with my students all the time. You have to be VERY specific with your targeting. You might serve people age 20-60 but are they all likely to buy from you? If you had your ideal client sitting across the table from you who would he/she be? Is she a 35 year old mompreneur who reads the Wall Street Journal and who enjoys yoga?  Well, then let’s dig into the targeting to find more of these people. Get specific with your age range, gender, location, interests, etc. And don't go overboard with interests. Try to focus on one or two interests at a time or interests that align with each other. (ex: If your fans follow Social Media Examinar, Digital Marketing and the Wall Street Journal, you might be ok to target Social Media Examinar and Digital Marketer in one ad set as they align with each other and have similar fans, but don't throw in fans of the  'Wall Street Journal"  as they don't align with those two companies.and you won't know which people are clicking on the ad (the social media business fans or the Wall Street Journal fans). Lastely, you want your audience size (if you sell a product that has no demographic boundaries) to be around 1-1.5 million. If you’re a local business it will be considerably less. Remember, it’s ok to be specific. You don’t want to waste ad spend on people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer.


Run an ad to a cold audience as a ‘traffic’ ad and let THEM self-select. Sometimes we might not want to start with a conversion ad right away. We need to warm them up first and take a step back in our funnel to  allow the people who are interested in what we have to offer to click on our ads so that we can retarget them later. This way we know for sure that when we run our retargeting ads these are people who are likely to opt in in the future. Run a traffic ad to a great blog post or video that aligns with what you’re offering.

Relevance Score

I also look at the relevance score. This tells me how well my ad is resonating with the audience. It’s on a scale of 1-10 and is seen at the AD level once your audience as reached 500. The higher the score the better.

What do you do if your Relevance score is low (under 6)?

Look at your targeting. You might be targeting the wrong audience. Something isn’t resonating with them. Consider adding another ad set with  a new audience to see if your relevance score increases. See my notes from above on targeting.

Landing Page Conversion Rate:

You’ve got a decent CTR (LINK) and you’re getting link clicks but you’re not getting conversions.


When you divide the number of conversions by the number of Link Clicks you’ll get a percentage. This is the landing page conversion rate. This tells us the number of people who are actually converting when they click on your ad. We want this to be over 20% - the higher the better. 

What do you do if your landing page conversion rate is under 20%?

It’s time to work on your landing page. You must make sure it is congruent with your ad. Is your copy similar to your ad? Is your headline similar, if not the same? Do the images look the same. You want someone to get to your landing page and think, “Yep! I’m in the right spot.” For more on what to include on your landing pages check out this recent blog post.

So, I hope that helped understand a bit of the stats that I look at when I'm running ads. I know it's often confusing at times, but once you run ads for a while it becomes old hat.