Facebook Ad Metrics That Matter

Facebook Ads Manager can be a clunky and overwhelming place. If you are unfamiliar with the Facebook Ad metrics that matter, it’s easy to get distracted by vanity metrics. Better yet, if you head for Google in search of explanations, you may find yourself going down a rabbit hold that’s hard to get out of. 

As an agency, we’ve spent years learning what goes into successful campaigns. Through trial and error we’ve been able to determine which metrics affect which KPIs, and how we can better leverage them to improve results for our clients. Let’s look at exactly which Facebook Ad Metrics matter, what they mean, and how to use them to reach your goals.


Definition: When 1 ad is shown.

Calculation: Facebook counts this number for you

The reason you want to pay attention to impressions is to gauge whether or not a particular audience segment has had enough significant data come through to make a justified buying decision. In other words, you can’t make a good optimization decision from a couple hundred impressions. 



Definition: The average number of times an ad is shown to the same person in the chosen time period.

Calculation: Facebook counts this number for you

Frequency is actually one of the most important Facebook Ad metrics to pay attention to. An audience’s frequency determines how the budget should be optimized. If you have a high frequency, that means your ads are being shown to the same person many times, which is wasting money. If you have a low frequency, that means a single person is not seeing your ads very often, which could be leaving money on the table if you’re seeing a good ROI. Check out our complete guide to Frequency to learn more.



Definition: The number of people who have seen at least one of your ads.

Calculation: Facebook counts this number for you

The main difference between Reach and Impressions is how how Facebook counts each one. For example, if one person views an ad 3 times, Facebook would count 3 Impressions and a Reach of 1. If 2 people were served 3 ads each, Facebook would count 6 Impressions and a reach of 2. From a client perspective, Reach is a more valuable metric to report on than Impressions because the business would want to reach as many new individuals as possible, rather than knowing how many times their ads were displayed across Facebook as a whole.


Website Purchase Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

Definition: The direct return on investment based on the determined attribution window.

Calculation: Website purchase conversion value / Amount spent

If your Facebook campaign (and business in general) is ecommerce focused, ROAS is the most important metric to pay attention to. In order to optimize your campaigns for ROAS, you’ll need to make a Conversion campaign with a goal of Purchases (based on your pixel). Facebook also recently added the ability to optimize to value, which they are slowly rolling out to a small number of accounts if you should be so lucky.


Cost Per Click (CPC)

Definition: The average cost of one click.

Calculation: Amount spent / Link clicks

Cost per click is pretty straightforward. At Strategy Labs we always aim for a CPC below $1.00. In most cases, your CPC needs to be well below $1.00 unless your audience is highly qualified. This is a good metric to pay attention to when conversions aren’t the most important performance indicator (ex. local saturation campaigns). CPC is also affected by Relevancy Score.


Click Through Rate (CTR)

Definition: The percentage of people who clicked your ad after seeing it.

Calculation: Link clicks / Impressions

CTR gives you a clear view of how well the creative content is connecting with that particular audience. As an agency we aim for a CTR above 1%. If your CTR is below 1%, it’s time to try some new creative. If your CTR is above 1% but you’re not hitting your sales goals, it could be that your website isn’t converting well or that your Facebook audience targeting is off.


Cost Per 1000 Impressions (CPM)

Definition: The average cost of 1000 Impressions

Calculation: (Amount spent / Impressions) * 1000

CPM is another metric that is especially important for lead generation and local saturation campaigns, as it gives a more accurate view of the performance at scale. In a practical sense, CPM is often used for optimization decisions instead of CPC because it provides better clarity as to the difference between two very close audiences. 


Relevance Score

Definition: On a scale of 1-10, how relevant the ad is to the audience.

Calculation: Facebook determines this number based on their algorithm

Relevance Score is vital to the success of your campaign. In our experience, it is difficult to achieve a CPC below $1.00 with a Relevance Score below 8. Likewise, we’ve seen that CPCs can double (or more) once a Relevance Score drops below 7. The key to maintaining a high Relevance Score is to constantly be pushing the envelope in terms of new creative. In other words, you need to produce a handful of high-quality new ads every week.



Website Metrics That Matter

(And How They Affect Campaign Success)

Average Order Value (AOV)

Definition: The average dollar value of a single order.

Calculation: Purchase value / Number of purchases

Average Order Value has a direct correlation to the ROAS of your Facebook Ad campaign. For example, let’s say it costed $10 to get 2 sales. If your AOV is $25, that’s $50 in your pocket, but if your AOV was $50, you get $100. While that is a very rudimentary example, the important thing to note is that nothing about the media changed. In other words, when your AOV changes, the outcome of your entire marketing strategy changes. If you need to increase your AOV, try adding upsets to your cart page. Another idea would be to give a promotion for orders over a certain amount (ex. free shipping on orders over $50).


Conversion Rate

Definition: The percentage of people that reach your goal action on your website.

Calculation: Conversions / Visitors

Similar to AOV, conversion rate can make or break your marketing strategy. If 100 people visit a site with an AOV of $25, a conversion rate of 1% means $25. However, if that same site could get the conversion rate up to 2%, your revenue just doubled. Again, such a simple example shows how much of a difference a small improvement can make. If your site has a low conversion rate, try switching up your layout to make it more user-friendly. Another idea is to add exit pop-ups to entice users back to the site before they leave.


If you were to login to our Facebook Ads manager right now, these are the metrics you would see right up front. While there are several other numbers you could pay attention to, these are the ones that are going to get you closer to your bottom line.

We’re curious; have you seen success when tracking different metrics than these (in terms of Facebook Ads specifically)?