If you’re a Meta advertiser, you’ve experienced this. You face the task of running ads that will drive more purchases or sign-ups, but they are utterly failing. Your ads aren’t converting at all, or the number of conversions is startlingly low.

It’s easy to blame Meta for your bad performance, but you know that’s a bad approach. Instead, you should troubleshoot to isolate the specific factors that are leading to these bad results so that you can address them.

Stop throwing money away. Your lack of conversions is likely due to at least one of these things…

1. Pixel, API, or Event Problems

If you get this wrong, you have no chance. Events are how important conversions are defined. This makes attribution (credit given to your ad for conversions) possible. And the algorithm learns from those attributed conversions to make adjustments to delivery.

You haven’t set up the pixel or Conversions API.

If you don’t have either set up, what are we even doing? I assume you’ve got the pixel set up — that’s the bare minimum now. But, attribution is bound to be incomplete if you haven’t also set up the Conversions API — either web or CRM version.

You’ve set up events incorrectly.

It’s one thing to have the foundation (pixel and Conversions API) set up properly. That’s worthless window dressing without events.

In some cases, event setup is straightforward. In others, it can be complex. The result could be undercounting, overcounting, or events that haven’t been deduplicated.

This confuses Meta, which will impact your results.

You’re optimizing for the wrong event.

You could have everything set up properly, but the problem could be that you’re optimizing for an event that isn’t your ultimate goal.

View Content Conversion Event

Advertisers often do this because they are unable to exit the learning phase by optimizing for their conversion event of choice (like a purchase), so they may optimize instead for something further up the funnel that will generate more volume.

It’s not that this is necessarily something you shouldn’t try. But it’s always a gamble to optimize for an event that isn’t what you ultimately want. More often than not, this results in not getting the thing that will make the campaign successful.

2. Your Performance Goal

A surefire way to get disappointing conversion results is to set a performance goal for something other than a conversion.

The performance goal may be the most important step you take when creating a campaign. It defines what you want to accomplish. This also impacts who sees your ads. The algorithm will dynamically update delivery in an effort to get you more of that action.

If you set a performance goal for link clicks, landing page views, ThruPlay, post engagement, or some other top-of-the-funnel action, don’t be surprised if you struggle to get any conversions.

Link Clicks and Landing Page Views

Why? Meta’s delivery algorithm doesn’t care if you get conversions in that case. The only focus is on getting you those clicks or other actions because that’s what you defined as your performance goal.

If you want conversions, set a performance goal that reflects that.

3. Your Ad Copy or Creative

You could summarize this section by simply saying that if you create a bad ad, you should not expect to get conversions. But, let’s dig a bit deeper.

Understand that people aren’t robots. You can’t just create an ad and expect people to perform the action that you want. You have a role to play.

In fact, ad copy and creative may be more important now than ever before. Since your targeting inputs mean less than they once did, much of the targeting is determined by your ad. You attract your ideal audience.

Here are some examples of how your ad can go wrong…

Your copy doesn’t inspire an action.

This is the most important quality of good copy. It needs to inspire the action that you want. A prospective customer should read your ad and know what they are supposed to do and why.

Your ad doesn’t clearly articulate the value of your product.

What makes your product special? What is the customer’s pain point that your product solves? It’s not always easy to articulate these things in an ad, but that’s your job.

Your copy is unprofessional or is filled with typos.

The audience matters, but there’s often no better way to repel potential customers than an ad that’s littered with typos and grammatical errors. You don’t need to be buttoned up and professional for all audiences, but you still need to convey a trustworthy brand message.

Your creative is fuzzy, out of focus, or poorly done.

Unprofessional execution can be found in the creative, too. You don’t need professionally staged images. Those can be ineffective, too. And while there are arguments for the effectiveness of intentionally ugly ads, the audience matters.

Your creative isn’t optimized by placement.

Your ads will be shown in many different placements with various aspect ratios and design specs. Some of it will be taken care of automatically for you. But, your creative can also be cropped in ways that impact your brand. The copy may also be limited by character counts, thereby impacting your message.

Your ad is bombarded by negative comments that you don’t address.

Do you publish ads and walk away? If you get bombarded with negative comments, you can’t just ignore them. They need to be addressed in some way, or they may be the reason why no one is converting.

4. Ineffective Offer

This is loosely connected to your a copy itself, but there is a difference.

You could actually do everything right with your ad, but your offer itself isn’t desirable. Great copy can’t fix a bad offer.

Is the price too high? Is the discount a weak 10% off or free shipping? Did you fail to make your offer irresistible?

You could potentially create an ad with no copy at all. If the image features an amazing offer, it will generate conversions.

Your offer is that important. Take your goggles off. Would you act on your offer? If not, come up with something better.

5. Landing Page Issues

You’re doing everything right. You’ve set up the pixel, Conversions API, and events properly. You created an amazing ad with an inspiring call-to-action and an offer that can’t be refused. But, you still aren’t getting conversions.

It’s probably because of your landing page. And that’s part of the problem for advertisers. You are judged on the performance of your ads, but you may have no control over the landing page experience.

Consider these problems…

Loading and connection issues.

Your ad inspired a potential customer to click. They’re excited. The page loads and loads or eventually crashes. Do not overestimate the potential customer’s patience. They will move on and never come back.

Poorly designed page.

I’ve seen some amazing ads that lead to the cheapest, lowest-quality landing pages. While ugly ads might work sometimes, don’t expect that to be the case for your landing page. You will lose trust.

Confusing or broken purchase flow.

You require multiple steps to complete the purchase, and those steps are unclear. Maybe the customer is unable to easily able to update their cart or apply a promo code. If you make it too complicated, they will leave.

Branding and messaging are inconsistent with your ad.

Do not underestimate the importance of consistency. Colors, branding, and messaging should be consistent from ad to landing page. Was the product or offer that you promised in the ad found on the landing page, or does it look different?

The landing page violates rules related to post-click experiences.

Low-quality post-click experiences like pop-ups, lots of ads, and more can increase your costs, if not get your ads rejected.

If any of these are problems, consider experiences that eliminate, or at least minimize, the landing page. If you need leads, use instant forms. For sales, consider Shops.

6. Product Problems

If you can confidently check off every item we’ve listed so far, you are running out of excuses. The problem might be obvious.

If no one will buy your product, maybe it’s because no one wants to buy your product.

Or maybe the competition in this space is so great that you are unable to stand out. If someone can buy a similar product from a well-known and trusted brand, what makes your product special?

It’s possible the problems go even deeper. Your product has a bad reputation. Bad reviews. Low quality or poor customer service.

These are all issues that are difficult to overcome.

7. CPM Related Issues

When we talk about CPM (Cost Per 1,000 Impressions) related issues in this context, we’re not talking about slight increases that drive up your costs. We’re talking about CPMs that are so high that they’re virtually impossible to overcome.

There are many factors that drive a high CPM:

  • Competition for the audience
  • Seasonal competition (Black Friday)
  • Stale ads with high frequency
  • Negative feedback on your ads (hide, report)
  • Limiting your audience size unnecessarily
  • A difficult or controversial industry

A high CPM gives you fewer impressions for your budget, which will likely mean fewer conversions and potential delivery issues.

8. Your Budget is Too Low

It’s simple. If you can’t spend enough to generate conversions, the delivery algorithm can’t properly learn from the results that it gets. More volume helps the algorithm properly optimize and make adjustments to get you the best results possible.

If you’re generating five conversions per week because you’re spending $20 per day, the algorithm is mostly going blind. It won’t exit the learning phase, and you’ll end up in learning limited.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get results in that state, but performance won’t be stable or optimal.

I realize that not everyone can simply spend more money to get more conversions. But, in some cases, this is self inflicted. You have an excuse if you can only spend $20 per day and it’s all dedicated to one ad set. You don’t have an excuse if you can spend $100 per day, but only $20 is dedicated to the ad set for conversions.

You could combine campaign and ad sets and focus your budget, but you’ve chosen not to.

Your Turn

Are there any other issues I missed?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post 8 Reasons Your Ads Aren’t Converting appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.