So you want to conduct a Facebook ads audit - either for your own account or a potential client. This is the #1 way to optimize your campaign if you've not touched it in a while - and is a must for any instance where you come into a new account that you've never touched before.
But, what should your audit consist of? If only there were a Facebook ads audit template or step-by-step guide out there.
Fortunately for you, that's exactly what we're going to provide you with today. By the end of this article, you'll be an expert auditor of Facebook ads manager. We'll explain what exactly an audit is, and the different instances in which you should conduct these. Then, we'll take you through an audit step by step so you can perform one yourself in confidence.
We've got a lot to cover, so let's not waste any time!
What Is A Facebook Ads Audit?
A Facebook ads audit is a deep dive into a Facebook ads account. You do it to gain an understanding of where the account is at right now in terms of scale and profitability - and to influence your future decision-making.
With the information you gain from the audit, you'll start to take steps to reduce wasteful spending, or scale up on profitable angles. You'll be able to identify trends and patterns that help you make stronger campaigns.
Conducting an audit will entail looking at the number of campaigns and their structure, spend, performance, and more. It's an exhaustive process, which is why it is so important for you to feel confident going in to conduct an audit.
Why Conduct A Facebook Ads Audit: Two Use Cases
So, why conduct a Facebook ads audit? Sure, you'll learn more about the account in question. But is this really necessary? Can't you just look at which campaigns convert well, scale them, and kill the rest?
To truly unlock the full potential of Facebook ads, you need to go a bit deeper than just the eye test. By having a standardized set of questions and criteria you can assess, you'll gain far more useful information - that will pay off in the long run. Let's look at a few use cases for the audit.
Get Better Results For Yourself or Your Client
The most obvious use case for a Facebook aad campaign audit is to get better results - whether that is for yourself or your clients.
There are likely three groups of people reading this article - those who run ads to their own brand or offer, those who run ads for clients, or those who are just starting to learn about Facebook ads in general. No matter which bucket you fall into, conducting audits is something you are going to have to get comfortable with - because it's how you'll get better results.
The main goal of the audit is to uncover opportunities to improve performance - while seeking out wasteful campaigns, ineffective ad sets, and low-converting ads. At its most basic level, an audit is used to identify the good, the bad, the ugly in a Facebook ad account.
This process eliminates any sort of guesswork for you moving forward in that account - you know exactly which campaigns you want to allocate more spend to, and which campaigns you need to tweak more as they aren't cutting it. It gives you more confidence in running ads because you have a framework to fall back on - usually written out for easy reference.
Use A Free Audit Of A Prospect's Facebook Ads Manager To Get Your Foot In The Door
Besides just helping you optimize ads and scale-up, the audit is one of the #1 ways to gain clients as a service-based business. If you're struggling to convert prospects into customers, it could be worth starting to make free Facebook ad audits a part of your offer.
This can be tricky, as there are pros and cons to using free Facebook ad audits. Of course, you get your foot in the door with a prospect. This makes closing them much easier - as you're able to explain exactly what you're going to do with their specific campaign. It will also help you determine whether or not a client is a good fit for your service - saving you from wasting time. And, should you successfully close them - you can hit the ground running since you already know what needs to be done.
However, those who oppose free Facebook ad audits have good points, too. You're going to waste a lot of time conducting audits for prospects who are not interested in your service - they just want the free audit so they can take it and implement it themselves. It's up to you to determine if this extra work is worth it - knowing there is no guarantee at the other end. One way to get around this is to offer free audits if the client ends up signing with you. By charging a small price and then reimbursing paying customers who decide to move forward with you, you'll eliminate risk and weed out time-wasters.
When Should You Conduct An Audit Of Facebook Ad Campaigns?
So, you know the two main use cases for audits - but when are these audits necessary? How frequently should you audit your account - or the account you're managing?
The answer isn't one size fits all - there are a few unique scenarios where an audit is an absolute must. And, there is also a general recommendation for interval audits to ensure everything is running smoothly. Here are a few instances when you should consider conducting an audit of a Facebook ads account:
- Every 4-6 weeks: You glance at the ads dashboard every day (hopefully) to take note of short-term performance while also ensuring your ads are delivering correctly. But, you don't need to assess your ads at a high level daily. Every 4-6 weeks, however, you should conduct an in-depth audit of the campaign's performance. This will influence future strategy.
- Anytime you onboard a new client: If you run Facebook ads for clients - or are even just a general digital marketer with the occasional Facebook ads client - audits are going to become your bread and butter. Not only are they necessary any time you onboard a new client, but, you now know you can use them as a lead magnet to get clients interested in your service. This is an especially great tactic when you're first starting out.
- When performance has been slipping: Not happy with the ROAS over the last 14 days? Are you seeing CPMs rising over the past week or so? Anytime you see a problem that persists more than a week, it could be a good chance to look deeper and see if you can spot the underlying cause - and rectify it fast.
- When preparing to scale: If your account is running profitably but you want to scale by 50% (or higher) over the next week or two, it's not a bad idea to conduct a quick audit and assess which campaigns deserve more spend, which ads you'll rely on the most, etc.
How To Audit Facebook Ads: Step By Step Guide
Now it's time to get into the main topic at hand - how to audit Facebook ads. We're going to walk you step by step through conducting your first audit. The same rules will apply whether the audit is done on your own ad account or the ad accounts of potential clients. Let's start with the obvious: gaining access to ads manager.
Step 1) Get Access To Ads Manager
If you're running ads for your own storefront or offer, this one is already done - you have the credentials so you can proceed to step two. But, if you're conducting an audit for a potential client, this will be the first time you get inside their ads manager. You'll need to get access - and the right kind of access, too. You don't just want analytics reports - you want to get inside their dashboard with full access.
This way, you have access to all the data you need - such as frequency, CTR, and other specific ranges. You can look back at the maximum time allowed to see what worked in the past - and assess how performance has shifted over time. Most clients you talk to aren't experts in Facebook ads - that's why they want to hire you. So, getting access isn't always easy. To simplify matters, you can send them this document to help walk them through the entire process. Or - create a short loom video and explain exactly what you need them to do.
Step 2) Start Assessing Ad Metrics
Step 2 is where the fun begins - you have access to everything you need to begin conducting the audit. The first thing you should do is head to their active campaigns and begin assessing ad metrics.
Start with the highest level - are their campaigns themselves profitable? How much are they spending a day? Then, you can start getting more granular in the audit by assessing each individual ad set, along with all the ads. If you're going to conduct the audit, you might as well take it seriously - and go all the way down to the ad level. Many auditors just look at campaign metrics, but this doesn't give you insights into creative strategies, copy, etc.
There are a seemingly endless number of metrics you can assess, but some are more important than others. Here are the ones we like to look at when conducting audits:
- Quality Ranking
- Amount Spent
Step 3) Add These Metrics To Your Physical Audit Report
Conducting an audit isn't just about looking at the metrics and proceeding accordingly - you need to actually write this stuff down so you can organize your thoughts and determine the next steps. You will also look back at this audit as you tweak and scale the ad account - ideally, to show the client (or yourself) how much progress has been made.
This can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. Google Sheets or Excel works just fine. But if you're conducting an audit for a high-value client, you may want to organize things more professionally in a PDF format.
Step 4) Identify Winning Campaigns, Audiences, Ads
By diving deep into the analytics during your audit, you can start to gain a few pieces of crucial information. The KPIs and metrics you've added to your report in step 3 will help you uncover which campaigns, audiences, and ads are converting. You'll also start to see which of these are wasting spend. There are a few questions you should ask yourself while analyzing these campaigns, audiences, and ads:
- Which stage of the funnel are you falling short in right now? (TOFU, MOFU, or BOFU)
- Which specific audiences are the highest value?
- Which types of ads are the most profitable/highest converting?
The deeper and deeper you look, the more you'll understand the current state of the ads manager in question. You may find that most ads are professionally shot photos or videos - but UGC ads are converting the highest. Or maybe you'll find that certain types of ads get tons of clicks, but a low conversion rate - this could indicate a landing page issue. Whatever you're seeing in this step, you'll use to influence the next step.
Step 5) Determine Next Steps Based On Your Findings
Step 5 is where the audit comes to a close - you've done your analysis and you're ready to either take action on your findings and optimize your account, or bring the audit to the client. You should provide concrete next steps in the audit report you built in step 3.
Perhaps your next steps will involve consolidating the campaigns if they're messy. Maybe you want to start testing different audiences that have been neglected thus far. Or, what if everything looks dialed in? Then it's time to start increasing spend 20% every few days while building a separate campaign for creative testing.
Whatever your findings are, make sure you write them out clearly so you or the client can begin to take action on them - and improve the results you currently see from Facebook ads.
Final Thoughts On How To Conduct A Facebook Ads Audit
Well, there you have it - everything you need to know about a Facebook ads audit, including how to audit Facebook ads effectively. At this point you're ready to get your own audit underway - or start using this as a lead magnet for your digital advertising service.
Looking for additional tips and tricks to scale your ads? Or, want personalized help to get your ads agency off the ground? In our digital marketing community, you'll gain access to valuable insights from over 3,000 entrepreneurs just like you. Join the Utopia today! Or, check out related blog posts such as our guides on Facebook CBO or Facebook detailed targeting expansion.