Wondering why your Facebook ads don't convert? Learn the top 5 reasons why your Facebook ads are not converting and what you can do to fix them.
When your Facebook ads don't convert, it's easy to get disheartened and call it quits. But with just a few tweaks to your strategy and ads, you can quickly recover your conversion rate and create high-performing ads in no time.
In this post, we'll go over 5 reasons why your Facebook ads are not converting and what you can do to fix it ASAP.
#1 Your Facebook pixel isn't firing correctly
Before we get too far into why your Facebook ads aren't converting, it's good to take a moment and check the basics. Specifically, we want to see if the Facebook pixel is actually registering any conversions that may be happening.
Luckily, Facebook has some great tools that can help us see if the pixel is working correctly.
Solution: troubleshoot your pixel installation
It may sound like common sense, but ensuring you have installed the correct pixel on your website is the very first step.
You can download the Facebook Pixel Helper extension on Chrome to help with this. Once downloaded, go to your website and click on the extension. You'll see the ID of the Facebook pixel installed (if any) and the events that are firing on the page.
Compare this ID with the ID you see on the Events Manager to confirm the correct pixel has been added to your site. If these numbers are different, this is the likely culprit behind your Facebook ads not converting.
If the correct pixel is installed, it's time to check and see if we have any traffic at all for the pixel. Head over to Events Manager and look at the Overview tab for the given pixel.
Here, we can see if the pixel is firing in general. You can look at the name of the event, how many times it has been triggered, and the most recent trigger underneath the All Activity graph.
If you see no activity at all (and know your website is getting traffic), the pixel must be incorrectly installed. If you're seeing the specific conversion event has been firing, the problem lies elsewhere.
For the last step, check the Diagnostics tab of your pixel page.
Here, you'll be able to see a list of active and past pixel issues. Facebook has a guide on every error message and how to respond to them here.
If your pixel isn't firing and you don't have any known issues, you probably want to reach out to your web developer to check the code itself. You can use the test events tab to trigger conversion events in real-time until you see them firing correctly.
#2 Your bid is too low
If you had conversions previously but see that your Facebook ads are not converting anymore, another thing to check is your bid strategy.
Since Facebook acts as a giant auction house, your normal budget and bid costs can skyrocket during heavy advertising seasons—typically around holidays and Q4 in particular. A low conversion bid that had been doing well up until then can stop performing, leaving you with no sales to be seen.
Solution: Increase bid or change bid strategy
Again, there's a simple solution to this—increase your bid, or try a different strategy.
When creating your campaign, you can set a manual bid for the specific events you’re looking for.
To set yourself up for success, aim for the middle of this range. If you have it in your budget to bid higher, then do so. Facebook will only charge you the minimum required to beat out your competitors, so having a higher bid range will give you a significant advantage over them.
If you don't know what strategy to use, you can read our guide to Facebook bidding here. For those looking to get a little more advanced, use Madgicx's Bid Testing tool to experiment with different bidding strategies and prices to find the optimal bid for your Facebook ads.
#3 Your ad isn't relevant to your target audience
We've all had to suffer through a sales pitch we weren't the least bit interested in—and even though it's painful to hear, your audience may be feeling the same way.
There are a couple of ways you can tell that your Facebook ads are not converting due to poor audience targeting:
- Your ad targeting isn't detailed (for example, any location with anyone over 18)
- Your campaign has a lot of impressions, but a low conversion and click-through rate
- Your engagement rate is low or non-existent
It's easy to think that your product or service will be great for anyone, anywhere. Realistically, your audience is more niche than you think.
Take a universal item like a toothbrush, for example. Is it soft, medium, or hard-bristled? Electric or manual? Is it designed with cute cartoons or plain colors?
Each of those options helps to narrow down the perfect toothbrush for the right person. Your Facebook ad campaigns shouldn't be any different.
This problem can require a little more effort to solve but is absolutely critical to achieving the Facebook ad results you're looking for.
Solution: Use custom audiences to target the right people
The easiest way to increase your conversion rate is to find someone interested in your product—and there's no better way to do that than to target those currently interacting with you already.
When we talk about audiences, there are three overarching types of contacts—cold, warm, and hot.
A cold audience comprises contacts who have never heard of your company or brand. Warm audiences have some level of knowledge of your brand—they could be a follower on social media or have checked out your site in the past. Hot audiences are actively looking at your product offerings or are current (and repeat) customers.
In general, it's easier to convert a warm or hot audience than a cold one. This is because they're more likely to purchase from you rather than a competitor they've never heard of (unless that interaction was negative, of course).
With Facebook custom audiences, we can find those people and serve them ads that are relevant to the interactions they've been having with you already.
If you head over to the Audiences section of Business Manager, you can see there's a wide array of custom audiences available to you:
We don't have time to dive into every one of these options, but there are a few that are easy to set up (and drive outstanding results):
- Website custom audiences. If you have the Facebook pixel installed, you can retarget people who have visited your website or triggered any events you've set up. You can then use it to create campaigns for things like enticing a user to finish filling out a form on your landing page or creating an abandoned cart campaign for those who didn't check out.
- Customer list custom audiences. Another way of making sure your message gets to the right person is to upload your email database directly to Facebook. This feature opens up additional strategies like special offers for repeat customers, upsells or cross-sells, or even getting them to follow your Facebook page to increase reach.
- Engagement audiences. Engagement audiences can be made up of engagement on your social posts, those who follow your page, or even those who have just watched a video. If you're trying to build up your email list or reach a new audience, engagement custom audiences can be a great alternative to targeting cold prospects.
Creating a Facebook ad campaign around audiences who are already interested in what you have to offer is one surefire way to increase your overall conversion rate.
If you're looking for more tips on finding the right target audience for your ads, we have an entire playbook for Facebook interest targeting available for you.
#4 Your copy looks scammy or doesn't relate value
If the phrases "Satisfaction guaranteed!", "Don't wait, call now!", and "Start making money TODAY$$!" make you want to hurl on sight, you're not alone. But thousands of advertisers across the globe are using these scammy tones in their ads every day.
While your copy might not be quite that bad, being vague on what you actually offer can be just as harmful and might be one of the primary reasons why your Facebook ads don't convert.
Let's take a look at two different examples of Facebook ad copy so you can see what I mean.
This ad describes who the offer is for (students), the offer at hand (75% off a digital subscription), and what they get out of it (news at their fingertips). Their headlines, image, and CTA are clear and reiterate the offer. This is a clear 10/10.
Now let's take a look at another example.
This ad, on the other hand, is all over the place. The copy (and image) seem to indicate this is a credit card offer, but it's unclear exactly what they mean. There's also some missing punctuation which makes us feel like the copy is a mistake.
In addition, the call to action is unclear here. We do not see any Apply Now terminology, only a Like Page button.
The difference between these two ads is stark but highlights just how vital copy is to your conversion rates.
Solution: Optimize your ad copy
The answer here is pretty straightforward—create better ad copy. We could write a book on this alone, but there are a few critical mistakes we see most advertisers make when it comes to copy.
- Giant walls of text in their ads: On average, people spend around 1.7-2.5 seconds on a piece of content on Facebook. This means if they see a giant wall of unending text, they're less likely to stop and read it all. One such example comes straight from our agency’s client, Whisky Loot, in an A/B test we ran for them.
We tested two copy variations for their subscription box - a short version and a longer one.
Long version (control) -
Short version (variant)
The most incredible thing about this test was the results - the short ad copy resulted in 4.5x more purchases, 1.25x higher ROAS, and a 3.87x higher CTR than the variation with the long copy.
Now, this doesn’t mean every business should only use short ad copy. However, if you’re experiencing any conversion issues, try testing different versions of your ad copy (long vs. short, different value props, etc.) to see if it resonates better with your audience.
- They don't speak to their audience's pain points: Just like we saw in The Economist's ad above, capturing your audience's attention is easy if you call them out in the copy. Combining that with addressing the problems your audience suffers from and how your company uniquely solves it can help create an ad that resonates with potential buyers.
- They get too salesy too soon: You wouldn't ask for someone's hand in marriage on a first date, so why would you ask for a sale from someone you don't know at all? Instead of trying to get sales from a cold audience, try focusing your purchase campaigns on one of the warmer audiences we mentioned earlier.
Creating ads with copy that entices and inspires can be difficult, but avoiding the pitfalls above will set you well on your way to achieving your revenue goals.
#5 Your ad image is unappealing
If you're an aging millennial like myself, you remember the craze that was Geocities websites. Glittery gifs, giant neon comic sans text, and colors that would make your eyes water on sight.
Yes, the internet really looked like this at one time.
These days, this sort of design is only seen on scammy and low-quality sites, and most people steer clear of it, regardless of what the copy is trying to sell you.
Pair that against some modern-day graphics, and you can see a noticeable difference in your emotions regarding which company you're likely to give your credit card to.
Again this is a pretty extreme example, but just like with copy, you can see how images have the power to drop your conversion rate to 0% in no time flat.
Solution: Create ads that stand out and convey your ad's message
Good design is hard to get right, but there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to your ad creative:
- Your image should reiterate your offer. If you're selling golf clubs, having an image of hockey is going to confuse your audience. Similarly, using bland stock photos of people or landscapes does nothing to convey your message. Make sure that your image ties in with the theme of your ad copy.
- Use high-quality images and correctly sized images. This is one I can't say enough. Using low-quality images that are pixelated, blurry, and do not meet Facebook's ad specifications is another red flag for many consumers and doesn't make your brand look trustworthy.
- Use bold designs and colors that stand out. According to WebFx, people make a subconscious decision about a product within 90 seconds of viewing it. Around 62-90% of that decision is based on color alone. Combine that with our relatively low attention span for content and banner blindness, and you see how easy it is to create an underwhelming ad.
Together, the copy and graphics for your ad are just as important as targeting the right audience for them. But doing this well can be a daunting task, especially for those who have just started out and are already having trouble seeing the results they need to continue advertising.
If only there were a way to make sure every ad you create comes out of the gate with clear and concise copy and graphics that wow your audience at first glance.
If you haven't guessed yet, that's where Madgicx comes in. :)
Constantly create converting ads with Madgicx Creative Workflow
At Madgicx, we know that compelling copy and graphics are the keys to creating Facebook ads that convert. It's also one of the hardest to get right.
That's why we developed the Madgicx Creative Workflow, a toolkit to simplify your creative process. It allows you to browse for inspiration, send briefs, outsource ad design, launch ads, and analyze ad performance from the Madgicx app.
Ad Library - Browse thousands of ads for inspiration by industry, ad type, format, and platform for free. Not just that, you can spot trends by seeing what your competitors and other brands in your niche are doing. If you upgrade your plan, you can save your favorite ads to unlimited boards and share with your team. Plus, you can send a detailed brief straight from Ad Library to Sparkle - our design service.
Sparkle - If you're a small business owner or a one-person marketing team, finding or creating your own ad graphics can be time-consuming and stressful. With Sparkle, we offer on-demand graphic design services to help you make the ad of your dreams. Our designers will develop a relationship with your brand to align their creation with your unique style and message and deliver your design within 48 hours.
Creative Insights - This tool turns your data into actionable tips, so you understand how specific creatives are doing over time. We use AI to extract the creative elements and attributes that drive performance so you can see which ones are giving you the most bang for your buck and which are draining your resources.
Try the the Ad Library for free and browse for creative inspiration for your next ads. Filter by brand, industry, and ad specs and save your favorites to boards if you upgrade your plan for only $9 per month!
Use Madgicx Ad Library to browse thousands of ads for creative inspiration, and spy on brands and competitors in your niche - filter ads by brand names, industry, platform, ad type, and format. Plus, send detailed briefs without leaving the page!
Tory is a digital marketing specialist and the current Marketing Manager of Breadcrumbs.io. She's been featured in various high-profile marketing blogs like Hootsuite, AdEspresso, and Databox and holds certificates for both Google and Facebook Ads. In her spare time, she gardens and paints from her house in the Florida panhandle.