What is Facebook Advertising?

Chapter 4

Measuring Facebook Ad Performance

Facebook takes care of auto-optimizing your ad campaigns based on the options you select during the ad creation process. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t measure ad performance and gather ad insights from the data collected by Facebook and create better, more optimized campaigns in the future.

Facebook collects a lot of ad performance data to help you improve ad performance. To view your campaign performance, navigate to the Facebook Ads Manager and view real-time ad reporting, it tells you what’s working for your campaign and what’s working against it.

Discussed below are the Facebook ad metrics you should track to improve ad performance.


Engagement measures the number of times a user took an action on your ads or posts. The action can range from clicking on the link, sharing the post, and leaving a comment or a reaction.

You can track engagement for your Facebook posts through Facebook Insights.

By measuring engagement, you get to know how the target audience is responding to your posts, which content they prefer and which they ignore.


Reach tabulates the number of people who have seen your ads on Facebook – this includes both paid and organic views.


Impressions measure the number of times your posts were seen, if the same user saw your posts multiple times, Facebook will count this as multiple impressions. Impressions give you fair idea of how viral your Facebook ads and posts are.

Click-through rate (CTR)

CTR shows the percentage of people who see your ad and click through to the post-click landing page. WordStream’s Facebook CTR data concludes that average CTR for Facebook ads across all industries is 0.90%:

A low CTR compared to a high ad reach and impressions signifies that users are seeing your ad but aren’t clicking it. If your ad CTR is below average it’s best to test your ads to see what will work best for your audience.

A higher ad impression and a lower ad CTR allows Facebook to assume that your selected audience doesn’t find your ad relevant which has a negative impact on your ad relevance score.

Cost per action (CPA)

By measuring CPA, you are able to ascertain whether the money you spent on Facebook ads was worth it. Instead of simply measuring clicks and impressions, cost per action measures costs based on a specific user action. This action can vary from an app download to a free trial sign-up.

CPA helps you gauge a better idea of your advertising ROI. You can see which ads lead to a higher CPA and create similar ads to increase your ROI.

According to WordStream, the average CPA in Facebook ads for all industries is $18.68.

Ad frequency

Ad frequency measures the number of times your ad is viewed by your target audience. Keep an eye on ad frequency to ensure that the same people aren’t seeing the same Facebook continuously, as this can cause banner blindness and cause them to ignore the ad altogether.

After you’ve analyzed the important ad metrics, Facebook gives you the opportunity to split test your ads that lead to better ad performance.

Facebook split testing

Facebook’s split testing gives you the opportunity to test different ad creatives on mutually exclusive audiences to see which ad works best:

Facebook’s API ensures that there is no overlap between audience groups which helps you test different ad variables. You can test the impact of different audience types, delivery optimization methods, ad creatives, ad placements, ad budgets and much more with the split testing tool.

To get started with split testing, you need to follow these guidelines:

  • Define KPIs: Define the key performance indicators you want to track for the tests.
  • Determine confidence level: Determine the test confidence level beforehand. Generally, tests with larger audience reach, longer schedules, and higher budgets give more statistically significant results.
  • Select one variable/test: If you select one variable for each split test, you’ll have a better idea of what causes the difference in ad performance.
  • Comparable test sizes: If you’re testing for volume metrics, for example, number of conversions, make sure you scale results and audience size so both test sizes are comparable.

Tracking Facebook ad performance metrics and running split tests helps you see which ads have a bigger impact on the target audience, which translates into creating better optimized, more data backed Facebook ads in the future.

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