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The 4 Most Common Troubleshooting Scenarios and What to Do A…


The following excerpt is from Perry Marshall, Keith Krance and Thomas Meloche’s book Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising with guest writer Traci Reuter. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

What do you do when your Facebook Ads tank? It’s time to troubleshoot!

Following are the four most common troubleshooting scenarios we see most often when running campaigns and what you need to do to salvage them.

Related: 14 Ways to Increase Your Facebook Page Engagement

1. Zero conversions

You launch your campaign, 24 to 48 hours go by, and you’ve got nothing. Alarms start to go off in your head. This is the worst of all scenarios.

First, verify that the Facebook pixel is on every single page. Start by checking every URL in your funnel. Click on the URL in every ad that has zero conversions and verify that the pixel is there.

Next, look at is whether you have the correct pixel on every page. Go to Ads Manager, select all tools in the dropdown menu, and then go to pixels. Once you’re there, you’ll find your ad account Pixel ID on the right side. Then you’ll want to cross-reference that Pixel ID with the pixel the Facebook Pixel Helper is listing. Make sure these two numbers match up on every page of your funnel.

Next, make sure you’re optimizing for the right conversion event and that your reporting columns match. You can verify the conversion event you are optimizing for at the ad set level.

Once you’ve verified that you’re optimizing for the correct conversion event, go back to your reporting columns and make sure that’s what’s being shown. If it isn’t, customize your ad report columns to show the correct conversion event. Simply select the correct conversion event that you want to show up in your reporting, and then save this reporting view as a preset. Name it something that makes sense to your campaign, and then save it as a default view so that it will be the first thing you see in your reporting. After you’ve verified that all the pixels are on the right pages, check and make sure all the URLs in your funnel are loading. If this turns out to be the case, you’ll need to have someone resolve what’s making the URLs load slowly.

If you’ve made it this far and still haven’t found the culprit, check the landing pages. Make sure all the call to action (CTA) buttons on all your URLs are working properly. Click on every single CTA button or link and make sure they’re going where they’re supposed to go. The final thing to look for in this process is to make sure that your landing pages actually have a CTA button or link..

Related: 10 Hidden Facebook Marketing Hacks You Can Try Today

2. Click-through rate (CTR) is high — cost-per-click (CPC) is low

CTR is the percentage of people seeing your ad who click through to it. In this case, we’re referring to the link CTR, and not the general CTR, which measures any clicks on your ad. CPC is the cost per click each time someone clicks through from your ad to your URL. A CTR over one percent is considered high, a low CPC targeting consumers is typically under $0.50, and a low CPC in the business to business area is usually $1 or less.

You might be thinking “It seems like a high CTR and a low CPC would be a good thing,” but not if you’re not getting any conversions or your cost-per-action (CPA) is high. There are three potential issues in this case — landing page, ad scent and targeting.

If it’s your landing page, people are clicking on the page but not converting. If it’s your ad scent, you don’t have any scent between your ad and your landing page. If it’s your targeting, you’ve been sending unqualified traffic to your page, and it’s time to take another look at your targeting.

If your landing page is the culprit, you should consider split testing your landing page. Average conversion rates for a landing page are around 20 percent, and if you’re running below 10 percent, you’ve got a problem. Rework your landing page, your registration page and your sales page, and see if you can increase your page conversion rates.

Ad scent is easy to overlook but pretty easy to fix. Look at your ad and look at your landing page — are there any similarities or familiar components?

Interest targeting seems like something you’d get right, but we’ve often seen people where people target an audience that really has no correlation with their target market. Take a little time to make sure you’re putting your ad in front of the right people.

Related: Top Tips to Create Facebook Videos to Market Your Business (Infographic)

3. Social shares are high — conversions are low

You might expect that if you have an ad that gets super crazy social engagement — people liking, commenting and sharing — that you’d get great conversions. That’s not always the case. If this happens, especially if your ad is getting lots of social shares, the first thing to do is re-evaluate your campaign objective. If you’re running a campaign with a traffic or page post engagement as the objective, that’s what the Facebook algorithm will give you — traffic or engagement but not conversions.

The next thing to look at is your ad copy. Is your hook strong? Is the copy leading to the next step in the customer journey?

Another possible solution to high social shares with low conversions is to rework your offer. If you’re getting high social shares, your ad is resonating with your audience and you’ve got a solid hook. It’s most likely the offer that’s missing the mark.

The final thing to consider is your ad copy and creative. It’s possible your ad is engaging people for the wrong reasons, and they totally miss the point that would lead them to convert because they’re focused on the wrong thing.

4. Relevance score drops or is low

Before you can begin troubleshooting this scenario, you’ve got to understand what relevance score is. It’s a huge priority for Facebook to only show people ads that are relevant to them. Facebook determines relevance score based on the positive and negative feedback they expect an ad to receive from its target audience. As people interact and provide feedback on the ad, Facebook adjusts the relevance score of the ad.

While relevance score isn’t the only factor in a poor performing campaign, it can impact your CPAs and conversions. A low relevance score is ultimately the result of a poor message to market match. Rewrite your ad copy to better connect with your target audience. Make sure your copy is hitting on their biggest pains, desires, and fears. Focus on taking your prospect from their undesirable before state to their desirable after state.


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