How to Optimize Your Facebook Ads to Drive More Traffic and Sales

How to Optimize Your Facebook Ads to Drive More Traffic and Sales

Once you’ve selected all the campaigns you’d like to import, click Add Facebook Ad Accounts. The detailed targeting option allows you to target consumers based on demographics, interests, or behaviors. This is great for finding groups of people who are interested in products or content similar to yours. This adds a lot of power to your campaigns, and it can offer the optimization you need to bring your campaign to success. By changing the way Facebook runs your ads, you can usually save money and optimize your conversions and traffic. Mobile users will just keep scrolling rather than click “read more,” even if the content looks interesting. In my experience, mobile users are less likely than desktop users to read full articles. Here’s what an ad looks like on Facebook. For that reason, I’d highly recommend using AdEspresso if you’re going to test a lot of different images or videos with your ads. How will you optimize your Facebook Ads?

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Are you frustrated by underperforming Facebook Ads?

I understand your pain.

I’ve worked with Facebook Ads for years. I’ve run plenty of campaigns that performed terribly.

But I’ve also learned some secrets that will bring you more traffic and sales through Facebook Ads.

Optimizing your ads is a helpful tool in your toolbox.

Facebook takes up 38% of the total online U.S. ad revenue. They’re making almost $2 for every $5 spent on Internet ads. That’s crazy!

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Plus, Facebook is only expected to keep growing.

So, not only do you need to understand Facebook now, but this social platform will also probably become more critical to your brand’s success in the future.

I’ll explain exactly how you can optimize your ads for a profitable Facebook Ad campaign.

Let’s start at the beginning. What are you trying to accomplish?

Decide on your goals

Facebook Ads can be fun and exciting. But if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve, you’ll only experience frustration.

I’ve seen lots of people try to drive leads or sales with no success. The problem? They’re running ads for traffic or clicks.

Sales, leads, and traffic aren’t the same!

For example, this is a fantastic ad by Adidas, but it wouldn’t work for most small businesses.

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Adidas is a well-known brand and spends money for awareness. That is, it just wants people to remember the brand.

But if you have a small business, an ad like this is a waste of your money.

There’s no call to action. You won’t increase sales. And most people who see it will probably ignore it.

So before you invest any money in a Facebook ad campaign, understand your goals.

There are three types of goals:

  • Awareness. In this stage, you’re teaching people about your brand. You want consumers to recognize you.
  • Consideration. When you get to the consideration phase, you’re starting to acquire leads. You might drive web traffic or collect contact information from consumers.
  • Conversion. Now you want the customer to take an action, like buying your product or starting a free trial of your software. This is the ultimate goal for most small businesses.

Before you start a campaign, decide which of these is most important for your business right now. (And it may change as your business grows.)

When you first set up an ad campaign, Facebook gives you objectives in these three categories.

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Choose the objective that makes the most sense for your current strategy.

To determine if the ads are performing well for your strategy, we need data.

I wrote earlier about the five most important metrics for Facebook Ads. They are:

  • Conversion rate: This is the percentage of people who perform the action you want. It may be subscribing to an email list or buying a product.
  • Frequency: This tells you how often your ads are shown to each person. After a while, they lose their effectiveness, and people ignore them.
  • Spend and return on ad spend: Use this metric to determine whether or not you’re making your money back on ads.
  • Cost per click and CTR: This is the percentage of people who click on the ad. It’s different from conversion rate because not everyone who clicks will buy or sign up.
  • Cost per action: This tells you how much it costs to make a sale or convert a lead. Knowing this will help you price your ads effectively.

These metrics will frame the testing we will be doing.

It’s easy to be distracted by other numbers, like how many people see your ad. But remember, if you aren’t reaching your goal, this is worthless.

With that in mind, let’s jump into the fun part: testing!

Set up a system for testing

To be truly effective with your ads, you need to test. Testing your ads is important enough for Facebook to recommend it.

If your ads aren’t performing well, you probably just need more data.

The problem is that Facebook isn’t great for testing. The interface works fine for a few ads, but once you run a lot of ads at once, the interface just gets too complex.

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Instead of spending tons of time figuring out what the data means, I like to see results visually.

The best program I know for this is called AdEspresso.

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It basically runs a series of split tests all at once and gives you actionable, easy-to-read data on the results.

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Running ineffective ads is expensive. If you’re running a lot of Facebook Ads, AdEspresso can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

To get started, hit the Start Your Free Trial Now button.

AdEspresso Simple Powerful Facebook Ads Manager

On the next page, enter your account information.

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You’ll create an AdEspresso account. But you still need to connect with your Facebook account. Be sure to connect it with someone who manages your advertising.

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Agree to Facebook’s requirements.

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Let AdEspresso manage your pages and ads.

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Select the campaigns you’d like to connect with AdEspresso. Select the checkbox on the left-hand side of the accounts.

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If you like, you can let AdEspresso import all your active campaigns as well. This is helpful if you already have ads running, and you want to improve them.

Neil Patel Optimize Your Facebook Ads to Drive More Traffic and Sales NeilPatel com Google Docs

Once you’ve selected all the campaigns you’d like to import, click Add Facebook Ad Accounts.

The number of accounts you’ve selected will appear in parentheses. In this example, I’ve selected one.

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Once you connect the ad accounts, it’s time to get started building a campaign! Click Create your first campaign.

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Give the campaign a name and choose the ad account you’d like to work with.

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You’ll need to choose what you want to promote. This is AdEspresso’s way of asking what Facebook objective you want to use.

Just choose whichever objective you chose earlier.

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Scroll down and hit the Proceed button.

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Once you get started with the campaign, you need to choose the page you want to use. Different ad accounts can use different pages, so make sure you double-check this.

Next, enter your headline and ad text.

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So far, everything we’ve done is easy to do with Facebook’s default interface. But this next step is where AdEspresso really shines.

Click on the plus button next to the headline.

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This allows you to add a new headline to test. You can either try something completely different, or you might just use a variant on the original.

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You can add different changes to each piece of your campaign.

This is where AdEspresso makes it easy. On Facebook, you’d need to create different ad sets, different ads, adjust each feature individually, and manage and track them all.

With AdEspresso, you can create dozens of variations on your campaign with a few clicks. Even better, you can manage them all in one dashboard and compare their progress.

You can change headlines, ad texts, and anything else you want. While I don’t recommend going crazy with dozens of variations your first time around, make sure to experiment!

When you’re finished, hit the Proceed button.

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As your data comes in, you’ll be able to easily track the results of the campaigns and improve your traffic and sales.

Now that you know how to manage your testing, I’ll explain what variables to change. I’ll go step-by-step with the six most important variables.

In case you decide not to use AdEspresso, I’ll be using screenshots of Facebook’s native interface for the variables.

If you are using AdEspresso, you’ll find all the same data on the campaign page we looked at earlier.

1. Audience details

Your ad might be perfect, but if it’s reaching the wrong people, it will fail every time.

If you really believe in the message of your campaign, but it’s not doing well, start by refining the audience. I’ll explain all the ways you can do that.


I’ve seen huge mistakes with location-based campaigns. While it seems simple, it’s actually extremely important for a successful campaign.

For example, you may think that subscribers around the world are all the same.

As long as they’re interested in your product, does it matter whether they live in Georgia the state or Georgia the country?

(Ignore language for a bit. We’ll talk about that in just a minute.)

But different countries use different currencies, have different cultural understandings, and, perhaps most importantly, have different income levels.

A popular ad with a massive click-through rate in a less-developed country might not yield a single sale.

The location setting is first in the Facebook audience box.

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When testing this variable, look for countries with a higher income level and cultural interest in your product or content.


The age of your ideal customer is a determining factor in how well something sells.

I recommend testing age windows separately. For example, you could target one ad set to those age 18-25, another to those age 25-45, and another for users age 45 and above.

If one of those outperforms the others, break it into narrower categories. If viewers age 25-45 love your ad, try a 25-35 test and a 35-45 test.


Testing campaigns by age is also a great way to find multiple buyer personas.

For example, you may find that 18-25-year-olds love your product, as do customers age 45-50. This gives you insight into how you can target two different ad sets.


Of all the variables here, gender is the simplest. Facebook only has targeting available for men and women, which makes it easy.

I’d recommend running a split test with both genders. The results you find may surprise you!



Chances are, you already know the best language for your product. I don’t recommend doing much rigorous testing with this.


However, there are some exceptions. If your campaign plays distinctly to one type of English, it’s best to target users who are familiar with that dialect.

The nonprofit crowdfunding site Chuffed, for example, is named for the British and Australian slang word meaning “very pleased.”

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An ad using wordplay on the name would be understood by Facebook users registered with “English – UK,” but not very accessible to “English – US” speakers.

Detailed targeting

In addition to the broad demographic targeting Facebook offers, you can also target your ads to people with unique characteristics.

The detailed targeting option allows you to target consumers based on demographics, interests, or behaviors.


The easiest way to use this feature is to type in a phrase that best describes an interest your target audience shares.


You can then choose from the expanded category list that Facebook presents you with. I recommend testing between audiences with different interests.

For an even more precise campaign, you can click the Browse button in the Detailed Targeting box.

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There are four options: demographics, interests, behaviors, and more categories. We’ll start with demographics.


Demographics are life scenarios Facebook can derive from a user’s profile.

To get started, click on Demographics.


These include life stages, home type, and even specific time-sensitive groups, like those with a close male friend celebrating a birthday in the next week.


One of my favorite metrics is the income analysis. If you have a high-end luxury product, and you only want to market to the 1%, you can easily set that up.

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Whatever your goals are, look for relevant pieces of information that could help refine your campaign. Test with a few variables at a time, and keep the variables that improve your results consistent.


Interests represent the kinds of activities and pages users like.


This is great for finding groups of people who are interested in products or content similar to yours.

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Another way to use this is to search for competitors’ pages using the search box. Test with audiences who like similar ads to see how well they perform.

Buying behavior

For demographic data not included in a user’s profile, Facebook purchases it from other databases and anonymously matches it to users.

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This may increase the price of your campaign, but it is usually worth it for the highly detailed information you receive about the users.