Meta Ad Account Auditing: Setting Your Meta Ads Up To Succeed

John Clarke
April 21, 2023

Managing Meta ads can be frustrating. Analysing, evaluating and putting heaps of time into our Meta accounts doesn’t always have the desired impact and can leave us all feeling demoralised.

John Clarke, one of Genie Goals Digital Market Account Directors, recently presented at Brighton SEOs Paid Social Show where he detailed 10 key areas in Meta accounts that should be evaluated when undertaking an audit.

John advised that the account overview section in Meta is one of the best places to start when undertaking an audit. Evaluating delivery recommendations, trends, and amount spent in learning, advertisers can attain a quick snapshot of anything that is fundamentally wrong in an ad account whilst also getting clues into any areas that may need looking at closer in an audit.

“Account overview can show us how much we’re spending within learning were the figure equates to ad spend that is being deployed without learnings and data to optimise performance”.

Auditing the creative used across your Meta advertising was described as one of the most important areas when auditing. John recommended using ad quality rankings to assess how your ads compare to advertisers aiming to reach the same audience.

“When auditing creative you should be viewing your content through the eyes of your audience. If you won’t click on it, neither will the”.

A key area to evaluate when auditing is how many campaigns are being deployed to form the account structure. John described that the 2 most important things to evaluate here was whether the campaign structure: (i) followed a clear structure, and (ii) is the budget being spread too thinly over too many campaigns.

“If you have multiple campaigns set up to achieve the same thing, you’re probably running too many campaigns”.

John described how audience overlap can play a huge role in account efficiency and advised analysing what the total percentage overlap was across your targeted audiences.

“Aim to keep your overlap as low as possible. If you have a high audience overlap, you’re likely seeing wastage by paying to reach the same audience more than once”.

When undertaking an audit, John detailed the importance of ensuring the numbers you’re evaluating are accurate and reliable. John suggested that having the CAPI in place, testing sessions through events manager, and having granularity within your UTMs, was key in being able to trust the data.

“If we can’t be confident in the numbers we’re exploring, we’re probably not ready to audit the rest of the account”.

Optimisations were described as having the potential to make or break performance if used incorrectly. John recommended that selecting the right optimisation for your activity, and it’s suitability to your audience and creative, was something that you must evaluate. Reviewing whether your selected optimisation is both realistic, and likely to achieve 50 conversions to get out of learning, are key to consider when evaluating. 

“If you’re optimising for purchases but your website has only sold 5 things ever, you’re probably going to struggle”.

John went on to advise that using breakdowns were a great way to get a snapshot of where you were channelling your media spend, and having the ability to cross reference with performance. Age, placement and platform were described as key breakdowns to use.

“Using breakdowns we can get a snapshot of where our money is going and sense check we’re spending in the right areas”.

Diving into audience size, John advised that when we’re using smaller audiences we need to be careful about whether they’re too small and whether our spend levels are representative of their size. CPMs, CTRs & CPCs, and frequencies were suggested to be monitored to evaluate whether you were spending too much for the size of your audience.

“If your audience is too small, and you continue to spend too much on it, wastage will begin occurring by frequencies shooting up and CPMs and CPCs increasing”.

Audience structure was described as key when using campaign budget optimisation. John recommended that if your audience size and expected outcome from targeting them was significantly different, they should not be run under CBO together as the bigger audience will exhaust all of the budget which could lead to higher value audiences being under-served.

“Ensure that audiences are structured into campaigns that are relevant to the marketing funnel and avoid using CBO on audiences that are significantly different from each other”.

Finally, John detailed the importance of auditing whether the correct exclusions were in place to ensure that audiences were not falling into multiple campaigns across the funnel.

“If you’re aiming for new customer acquisition, but you’re not excluding your active customers, Meta will find a way to slip them into this campaign”.

You can find a copy of the slides John presented here.

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