I love Facebook Ads.
They remind me of my fiancé in many ways; crazy intelligent, totally surprising, always make you wonder what they’re thinking, but once you crack the code they’re just the best fun ever.
What can I say, I’m a bit of (ok a LOT of) a Facebook Ads nerd.
Oh and please don’t share this post with my fiancé, I’m not sure he’d be that happy being compared to Facebook Ads. 😂
I’ve built countless campaigns, worked with clients of all shapes and sizes, with hugely different needs and goals. No matter what though, I have a couple of classic campaign set ups that NEVER fail.
Today I’m going to share with you my absolute go-to campaign.
Am I in the right place?
This campaign is perfect for you if you’re yet to dabble in the wonderful world of Facebook Ads or have had a go or two (or three! 🙋♀️) but just couldn’t get them to work.
If you have a lot of experience with Facebook Ads and are looking for a crazy detailed, multi-stage campaign with all the bells and whistles, this isn’t for you. Go take a look at some of our other Facebook Ads posts.
Right, on to the good stuff…
Why you need to send more people to your website
When you’re just getting going with Facebook Ads it’s most likely that you have a small number of page fans, i.e. under 500, and have a small amount of website visitors, again i.e. less than 500 a month. The less details Facebook has on the kind of people who like your page and visit your website, the harder it is for Facebook to show your ads to the right people. But don’t stress, we’re going to fix that!
To give Facebook a little helping hand in understanding more about your ideal customers we’re going to run a simple campaign with the goal of bringing more traffic to your website. This campaign will impact your business positively, not only by increasing your website traffic but you’ll also see an increase to your Facebook page likes, an uptake in your email opt-in and potentially an increase in sales/leads too.
Best of all though, more website visitors means more data. Having this helps Facebook understand which of its users are going to fall in love with your business, a heck of a lot faster.
‘I’ve tried a website traffic campaign before though Sarah and it just didn’t work.’
Stay with me. I’m going to show you how to do it right.
The never fail recipe for an awesome Facebook Ads Traffic campaign
For this to work, we need these three essential ingredients:
- Quality Content
- a Relevant Audience
- Tracking Setup
Sending people to a dud page on your website is going to give us bad data. Don’t do it. We’re going to look at how to find quality content on your website in just a second, so stay tuned.
Showing your ads to anyone and everyone on Facebook is pretty much like door knocking. You’re going to waste 99.9% of your efforts. I’ll show you how to find relevant audiences even when you don’t have a huge fan base of your own yet, in just a moment.
Without tracking set up correctly we’re not going to be able to measure how your campaign is doing. If we can’t measure how the campaign is doing is, we’ll have no idea if it’s even working let alone have the ability to improve it! You’re better off putting your money in the pokies (please, please don’t waste your money on the pokies or Facebook ads without tracking, EVER!).
As tracking is SOOOOO important, let’s tackle that one first…
It’s time to get acquainted with the Facebook pixel
If you’ve got the Facebook pixel all set up and you know it’s 100% working you can skip this bit and move right along to finding quality content. Awesome work! 🙌
Facebook have this nifty little thing called a pixel (yep, the kind of pixels that make up a computer screen) and this little guy can help us track our ads. You can learn all about it on Facebook’s business website here.
In its most basic form, it’s a small piece of code that lives on your website and sends information back to Facebook each time your page is loaded. In even simpler terms, it’s a little big of magic. 😉
You can find your Facebook pixel (or create it if you haven’t yet) by heading over to Facebook’s Events Manager. Here you can send the instructions to yourself or your web developer on how to set it up, or you can copy the Pixel ID if you’re going to use a plugin of some kind to install it.
There are loads of different ways to set up the Facebook pixel on your website and which one you’ll use will most likely depend on who you’ve set your website up through.
With WordPress, you can paste the pixel code to your theme’s settings if it has the option, or your child theme if you use one or if not, you can use a plugin.
Once you’ve got your tracking set up it’s important you check it’s actually working. Pop on to Chrome if you’re not already and install the Facebook Pixel Helper. This awesome tool will tell you if the pixel is firing correctly. You can also pop back into Facebook and it should update with any data from visits that have happened since you installed the pixel.
Feels awesome to have it all set up doesn’t it!
But wait we’re not finished with tracking just yet…
Even though your tracking is working and recording visits, we need to tell Facebook about some of the important stuff that happens on site like when someone subscribes to your email list. This is done through custom conversions.
Back over in the Events Manager on Facebook, select the tab Custom Conversions. Here you can set up any important events that happen on your website, like someone getting in contact, subscribing to your email list, or making a purchase.
The easiest way to set up a custom conversion is to tell Facebook the URL (website address) where someone lands after they’ve completed the action. For example, if after someone subscribes to your email list you send them to a thank you page your custom conversion might look like this:
If you don’t send people to a specific page after they subscribe to your email list or fill out your contact form, you can still send events to Facebook through the pixel code itself. This will either need some code adding to your website or Google Tag Manger if you use it. We definitely recommend having a pro help you with this as doing it yourself is likely to take hours of learning and testing with plenty of headaches along the way. A pro will be able to do it in a fraction of the time it’ll take you. Money well spent I reckon.
Ok, so we’ve got tracking sorted, let’s move on to content…
Finding the best content to send your traffic to
First impressions last. We want first-time visitors to be wowed by your content and inspired to take action. So it’s important that we send them to your best content.
Now, take this the right way, but you’re a little biased when it comes to your content so please don’t trust your gut feeling on this. Let’s see what the data has to say. 🤔
Log in to your Google Analytics account and from the left-hand menu, select Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages. This will list all your website pages and by default it’ll rank the pages by most page views.
Before we start assessing the value of pages you want to change the date range (top right) to show a decent length of time. If you get less than 200 visitors a month, extend this range out to six months or a year. If you get more traffic than this, choose either a 90 day range or anywhere up to six months. You want to have a good balance of recent data but also a good amount of data.
Now take a look at these three figures:
- Avg Time on Page
- Bounce Rate
- % Exit
When choosing top pages we want those that people spend a good amount of time on, those with a lower bounce rate (this is when someone only looks at this one page and leaves the site…the lower the number the better) and those with a lower exit rate (this means this was the last page someone visited before they exited…again the lower the better).
We only need two or three different pages here to start with so be ruthless and pick the best few.
Let’s take a look at some of the Beeson Media data and talk it through…
We have four posts here that are doing really well.
Using Heat Maps To Analyse Google Analytics Data – This post has the most views, a lower time on page, a good bounce rate but an average exit rate.
When’s The Best Time To Post On Facebook – This post had a high number of views, a really high time on page, a great bounce rate but a really high exit rate.
How To Boost RLSA Performance With Powerful Google Analytics Audiences – This post has a good number of views, a really high time on page, a great bounce rate and an average exit rate.
How To Create A High Converting Facebook Ads Structure – This post has an ok number of views, a good amount of time on page, a great bounce rate and a great exit rate.
To be honest, any of these pages would be good candidates but I’d go with the last two as they have better exit rates and time spent on the page, hinting that people are enjoying the content and are more likely to want more after reading than the other two pages. Make sense?
‘But Sarah I don’t have a blog, I just have products on my site.’
That’s totally cool, you can do the same with products, but instead of looking at average time on page, bounce rate and exit rate, consider the last column, page value as your most valuable metric, with bounce rate and exit rate coming in behind that.
Now you have the right content to send your ad traffic to, let’s find the best people to show your ads to…
Not just any eyeballs, the perfect eyeballs
We want to give your ads the best chance when sending them out into the world. Thankfully, Facebook has some incredible targeting options to help us do that.
If you haven’t already, now is the best time to set up pixel based audiences in Facebook. Even if you can’t use them right now (they take time to gather data and build up your audience), the sooner you create them the sooner you’ll be able to use them!
From Facebook Ads Manager, use the little hamburger menu (top left) and head over to Audiences.
This will show you any audiences you’ve already created. Let’s create a new custom audience and select Website Traffic. If you skipped the pixel section and you don’t have that set up yet, you won’t be able to do this step.
From the options, select all website visitors for the past 30 days and give your new audience a name. Hit Create Audience and you’re done! Easy peasy.
There’s a few essential audiences you should set up:
Website Visitors – 30 Days
Website Visitors – 90 Days
Website Visitors – 180 Days
The reason we set up multiple audiences is that people who have visited more recently generally perform better when it comes to ads, however it’s also likely that you’re only going to have a small number in the 30 and 90 days audiences so we need to create bigger pools of people. Cool?
The other way of creating larger audiences of relevant people is through lookalike audiences. Using the pixel we can say to Facebook…
‘Hey, here’s a list of all the people that visited my website over the past couple of months, go find more people like these.’
Pretty awesome hey!
Create an audience again, but this time instead of choosing custom audience, select Lookalike audience. This will bring up an option to choose a source for your lookalike audience and for this, choose the Website Visitors – 90 Days, that you just created. That should be a good balance of recent visitors and a decent number of visitors. Next, choose the countries you want to target and finally, leave the Audience Size option as is (i.e. 1). Select Create Audience and you’re done!
Now this will take a couple of hours to populate but the great thing is that once it’s done it automatically updates as your original audience, the Website Visitors – 90 Days audience, updates and grows as more people visit your website. I love a good automation like that! 👌
So now we have these really great audiences but if you’ve only just set up the pixel, these audiences aren’t much good yet. They will be, don’t worry about that, but for now we need to start with something else.
There are loads of great targeting options in Facebook and there’s a couple of different ways you can approach finding the right options for you.
1 – Competitors/Thought Leaders in your industry
Targeting competitors or thought leaders in your industry (if they have significant Facebook fans) is a great way to identify people who are likely to be interested in your products/services.
2 – Interests
Topics/interests based targeting are a little broader but also give a clear indication that someone interested in topics around your products/services are likely to be potential customers.
3 – Attributes
These could be job roles, location, marital status…almost any personal characteristic/attribute that someone might share with Facebook. It can be a tricky one to get right but if you have a clear buyer/customer persona then you should have a good indication of attributes of your ideal target market.
The important thing is to be specific as possible while keeping a significant number of people in your pool. We’ll get to that as we set up the campaign in the next step.
Putting your campaign together
Now that we have our three essential ingredients, quality content, a relevant audience and tracking setup, let’s the campaign going!
Head over to Facebook Ads Manager and select Create. I like to use the quick creation to get things up and running fast, but you also have the option of the guided creation if you prefer.
If you’re using the quick creation, give your campaign a name and select Traffic as the objective. Also give your ad set a name, but skip the ad for now.
If you’re using the guided creation, choose the same options as above.
Moving on to the settings for your ad set…
First of all, Budget. The minimum you can set this at is £1 or $1 a day. If you’re just getting started with Facebook Ads there’s nothing wrong with going with that for now. How many website visitors you’ll get from this amount will vary depending on your industry. We’ve seen landing page views as low as a few pennies and as high as £4-£5 (usually finance/insurance based industries). Let’s hope for the lower end of the scale! 🙏
If you have some flexibility in your budget though, I’d recommend putting your daily budget anywhere up to £5 or $5 a day. Going beyond this when targeting interests isn’t a great idea until you’ve proven the audience. If however you already have a Lookalike audience that has been gathering data for a while, feel free to spend more than that but keep a close eye on your campaign to make sure you’re getting the results you want!
Under the Audience section is where you’d normally select your lookalike audience but we’re going to leave this blank for now. Choose the countries you want to target, along with age, gender and languages. I recommend keeping the age broad for now, we’ll whittle it down later as we optimise the campaign.
In the Detailed Targeting section is where we’re going to add our interests. It’s important to keep your interests themed to give you a better idea of what’s working. If you’re choosing to add in targeting for a couple of competitors and also some interests, separate them into two different ad sets.
As you add in your interests, watch the change in the Audience Definition (top right). You want the needle to stay within the green section. So keep adding interests until it gets there and if you get in the red, remove an interest or two.
Now for Placements. When starting out, you’ll find you get the best response from people seeing ads in their newsfeed. Select edit placements and remove everything except Facebook > Feeds.
In the final section, Optimization and Delivery, make sure your Optimization for Ad Delivery is set to Landing Page Views. Your Bid Strategy should be set to lowest cost, meaning you’ll get charged per impression and your Delivery Type should be set to Standard.
Your ad set is now ready to go! Last hurdle? Creating the ads themselves.
Ad creation at its finest
For each ad set I recommend creating 3 ads. Facebook will rotate your ads initially but once it finds the best performing ad (usually after a few hundred impressions or so) you’ll see the impressions for this ad soar above all the others with occasionally a second ad waiting in the wings. Because of this is doesn’t make sense to start off by creating 10 different ads. Start with 3 and we can optimise from there.
What I do recommend though is trying different types of ads. Generally image ads work best for traffic campaigns but there’s absolutely no harm in creating a video ad or carousel ad to see if these types resonate better with your audience. If you’re driving traffic to products rather than a piece of content like a blog post, then you may find carousel ads work much better for you!
When you’re writing the copy for your ad (the text, headline etc), I often find that people tend to bounce less when the ad copy matches or is very similar to the copy on your landing page. Not word for word, but if you reference the title of your posts/product, keep it the same as what is on the page. Don’t change ‘red’ to ‘crimson’, ‘bottle’ to ‘flask’ or ‘experience’ to ‘adventure’, etc.
Once your ads are created you’re ready to go live!
Before I set any campaign live I double check the budget, that there are no spelling or grammatical errors and that the landing pages are correct (and working!). Once you’ve checked these again for good measure you’re good to go! 👏
Congratulations you did it!
Woohoo! It’s time to celebrate, your campaign is now live. I am absolutely buzzing for you and so excited to see your results.
While you can sit down and relax for now, in a few days’ time you’re going to need to check on your ads and see how they’re doing. And in a few weeks’ time when your website visitors have increased and your lookalike audience is ready to go you’ll need to pop in a new ad set for these.
If you’ve got some real value out of this post (you must have if you’ve got all the way to the end right?), then I’d be super grateful if you’d copy this link and share it with a friend. I want to reach as many people as possible who are struggling with Facebook and help them to stop wasting money on ads that don’t work and start investing in growing their business the right way. Will you help me do that by sharing?