We see new posts about improving your Facebook ad campaigns all the time.
The vast majority of these are focused on the Facebook side. The main goal being to reduce your cost. Usually it’s cost per click, cost per lead, conversion, or something along those lines.
But one thing that isn’t discussed very often is that most people are leaving money on the table because they are running Facebook ads (or any other type of paid traffic) without optimizing their website for them.
Paying to send traffic to your website is only part of the process. It’s what happens once they get there that matters.
Making sure your website is set up to make sure you get the highest possible return on investment from every single website visitor is crucial.
Overlooking this part of the process is a costly mistake.
In this post I’m going to walk you through 7 simple things you can do to make sure you get the best possible ROI from every visitor you send to your website with Facebook ads.
Follow these steps and you’ll not only improve your current campaigns, but you’ll be armed with the data you need to continually improve every campaign you run in the future.
1. Install the Facebook retargeting pixel
The Facebook retargeting pixel is a small piece of code that you add to your website that allows you to retarget previous website visitors with Facebook ads. If someone visits your website, you can then show highly targeted ads to them in the Facebook news feed.
You should add the pixel to your site as soon as possible.
Because every time someone visits your site it’s an opportunity to ‘tag’ them for retargeting later.
But this only happens if you have the pixel on your site.
If you don’t have the pixel installed, you are missing out on retargeting opportunities further down the track.
I’ve created an extremely detailed guide to walk you through the process of installing the retargeting pixel. Go ahead and check it out when you’re ready to get started.
2. Set up Google Analytics
Google Analytics is essential for every website. Adding the Google Analytics tracking code to your website is the first step, but that’s not where it ends. I suggest also setting up some goals based on what you want people to do once they reach your site.
With Goals you get insights into what people are doing before they sign up for your email list, buy your product etc.
You also get insight into where the people who aren’t completing your goals are dropping off.
For example, you might have a goal for people to join your email list by opting in for a free PDF you are offering.
Let’s assume you have written a blog post on a similar topic to the PDF. In the blog post you have a banner promoting the PDF.
When people click the banner they go you your opt-in page where they can enter their email address & get the PDF.
So the entire ‘funnel’ looks like this:
- Read the blog post
- Click the banner
- Sign up for the PDF (the goal)
By creating a goal in Google Analytics & setting the goal as the thank you page people hit after requesting the PDF you get lots of easily accessible insights.
You will be able to see how many people read the blog post, how many of those people clicked the banner, and how many of those actually signed up.
Why is this useful?
Because you can see the percentage of people who complete each step. You can then use that data to find out what you can improve.
For example, if only 10% of people who hit your signup page actually submit their email address, that’s a good indicator that you should focus on changing the opt-in page to improve your conversion rate.
Without setting up goals you can figure out the percentages but it’s much more difficult. Setting up goals before driving paid traffic to your website makes things much easier and you’ll be glad you did it in the end.
3. Have specific thank you pages set up instead of email provider default messages
When you set up your email opt-in forms you will be able to choose the page that your visitors see after they sign up.
These are often referred to as thank you pages.
Most email service providers will offer default thank you pages that your visitors see after signing up. It’s easy to just leave the thank you page set to the default, but I don’t recommend this is you’re running Facebook ads. Here’s why:
When you run Facebook ads you will want to track conversions. A conversion is when a visitor completes a specific action like opting in for your freebie or completing a purchase.
In order to track conversions, you need to have the Facebook conversion pixel on the thank you page. And the default thank you pages don’t let you add your conversion pixel to them.
Even if you are using the new Facebook pixel with Custom Conversions, you still need to be able to add the pixel to your thank you page. This is only possible with custom thank you pages.
And there are other benefits of using custom thank you pages as well:
- Generic thank you pages are usually very plain and simple. They won’t contain your personal branding or images.
- You can’t give your visitors instructions about what to do next if you use a generic page. You might want to remind people to confirm their email address, put you on their email ‘safe list’ so you don’t end up in the spam folder, or tell them more about you & what you offer. Only a custom thank you page gives the flexibility to do these things.
Whenever you run Facebook ads with the goal of getting conversions, make sure you add a conversion pixel to your thank you page.
This will allow Facebook to measure the number of conversions being generated by your ad campaign.
Take a look at how Ramit Sethi uses thank you pages to re-enforce the benefits of his free PDF, as well as set expectations around what else he will be emailing out in the future.
4. Optimise your website for collecting email addresses
If you’re using Facebook ads to drive traffic back to your website, you might as well make sure it’s easy for those people to join your email list, right?
Make sure your website is optimised for collecting emails by setting up multiple email collection options for them. Here are a few recommended placements for your email opt-ins:
- On your sidebar
- The sidebar is one of the most common places to put an email opt-in box. It’s a good place to put an opt-in because the sidebar is present on basically every page on your website. Sidebar opt-ins are also unobtrusive, meaning they don’t annoy your users by interfering with them consuming your content.
- Top or bottom bar
- Adding a floating top or bottom bar to your website is another unobtrusive way to collect email addresses. These are thin bars that sit at either the top or bottom of your webaite and ‘float’ as the user scrolls up or down. They offer a simple call to action and provide visitors with a place where they can enter an email address.
- In-post or after-post opt-ins
- An in-post opt-in is a form or button that sits inside a blog post. They can either trigger a pop-up when clicked, or have the name & email fields displayed directly on the page. These are really effective if you offer something that complements or works well with the blog post. For example, you might have a post about how to tie fishing knots. In that post you might use an in-post opt-in to offer a free guide that helps you choose the best fishing lure. Makes sense right? If people want to learn to tie fishing knots, they are probably wanting to tie lures to their fishing line. Of course they are likely to be interested in learning how to choose a good lure!
Of course there are other options for email collection, but I covered these 3 because Facebook don’t like pop-ups on pages you are running ads to.
I like to use pop-ups across this site and I turn them off for the specific pages I’m running Facebook ads to.
Personally I use and recommend Thrive Leads to create my email opt-ins. It can be used to create all the opt-ins I just mentioned and more. (Note: That is my affiliate link for Thrive, meaning if you end up purchasing Thrive I receive a small commission).
Every business is different, and since I’m not a lawyer and don’t know what your specific needs are, I suggest assessing your own personal situation and choosing the best solution for you.
6. Disable popups on landing pages
If you are running paid traffic to a particular page on your site, I recommend disabling all popups for that specific page.
It’s fine to leave your popups active on the rest of your site, just not the specific pages you are sending paid Facebook traffic to.
Facebook in particular don’t like you running ads to pages with pop-ups so this will help keep your account safe.
7. Remove prohibited content
Does your website contain content that is prohibited by Facebook?
The Facebook ad guidelines don’t just apply to your Facebook ads. They also apply to the landing pages you send people to after they click your ads.
The reason for this is because Facebook want to ensure that their users always have a positive experience. That experience extends to the landing pages that Facebook ads send people to.
Make sure your landing pages are free of prohibited content before you start running Facebook ads to them.
This includes things like:
- Before/after photos
- Nudity or images sexual in nature
- Violent images
You can see the full list of prohibited content in the Facebook Advertising Policies.
This is one of the most common causes of Facebook advertising accounts being shut down.
Keep your landing pages Facebook friendly and you’re much less likely to run into problems.
Facebook advertising is a great tool for growing your business.
But if you want to get the most from every single one of your ad dollars there is a little bit more work to do.
By following these 7 steps, not only will you improve the performance of your Facebook ad campaigns, but you will also minimise your chances of having your account shut down.
My hope is that you implement at least some, if not all of these steps before running your next ad campaign. If you do, I’m sure you will achieve better results than you would without it.
None of these are overly time consuming and most of them only need to be done once and they will benefit every campaign you run in the future.
If you have any thoughts or questions about preparing your website for Facebook ads, let me know in a comment below.