Too much focus on tactics, little focus on basics
A lot of advertisers are just split-testing the most random things with little thought behind it. Different optimizations (like testing VC vs ATC vs PUR) or testing different cost caps and bid caps
Moreover, the creative itself is cr@p. The value proposition isn’t communicated clearly, the image or video is bland. And no wonder it’s not converting
The basics are having a good product and offer, compelling creative and messaging, a fast site with good CRO (conversion rate optimization) and an easy checkout process with an AOV (average order value) high enough to leave a margin to scale. It’s seemingly obvious but common sense is not common practice.
The tactics mean testing different bids or software or other random hacks. There’s only so much you can optimize within an ad account. It feels good to do all these little tests to keep busy because it’s harder for example to go and source better creative.
No rules set on the account
Ensure you’re using rules on your account. I am sure that you’ve heard about “rules” but have you ever tried it?
There is no need to manually turn ads on and off. Learn how to use them to protect your time and bandwidth.
Aiming for ROAS, not scale
A lot of advertisers don’t know what their breakeven ROAS is. So they set a higher than needed ROAS target and underspend to hit that.
When you break down the LTV, repeat purchase rate, the average time to repeat purchase and other factors in the business you realize that customer acquisition is more important and profitable than aiming for a high ROAS and front-end profit.
Because how big is the opportunity cost from not scaling and underspending in that time frame compared with scaling and getting more customers
On your prospecting campaigns, you need to exclude your site visitors and purchasers. This is to ensure your prospecting ROAS is accurate, and they aren’t delivering “cold traffic” ads to your remarketing audience.
On retargeting, ensure that exclusions are set apart from each other. So that 1 ad set included audience is excluded from the other to make sure your data is accurate.
Retarget only up to a timeframe that makes sense
If you are driving enough traffic to split out your retargeting timeframes, ensure you do a segment and your rules will kill the longer time frame ad sets if they perform under target remarketing ROAS
Not retargeting collection page visitors
Sometimes there are no retargeting ads for those who visited the collection page but didn’t click through onto a product page. Often there are the most visited pages yet the most looked over. Ensure your collection page visitors are retargeted.
Creatives being left to run indefinitely
You can quickly check to diagnose creative fatigue by seeing if there’s a decrease in ROAS as frequency and first-time impression ratio increases.
Make sure you are always testing new creatives to cycle them in once your winners start fatiguing
Underspending on retargeting and no campaigns targeting existing campaigns
Everyone loves to focus on new acquisitions.
But a lot of the times retargeting bringing in great ROAS, yet the budget is kept small. Especially if you’re driving traffic on other channels, keep increasing the budget as long as your target remarketing ROAS is met.
ROAS target is set per ad, not account-wide and not by prospecting + remarketing
The healthy account-wide ROAS is 1.6-2.
Example, if you’re usually getting just over a 3 ROAS on remarketing, you can cut off at 1.5 ROAS on prospecting to hit a 2 account-wide
If you’re getting 4 ROAS on retargeting, you can aim for a 1.2 ROAS on prospecting to hit the target of 2 ROAS overall
You want to aim for a higher ROAS target on retargeting, due to the fact that you will have already spent money on prospecting ads from Facebook / Google.
Facebook assigns credit to sales on the last touch basis so the FB ad that is last clicked/viewed within the attribution window (which will usually be your remarketing ad) will get the revenue attributed to it.
Also, conversions from abandon cart emails will positively skew your retargeting ROAS.
Little focus on CRO
I personally see a lot of websites that are slow, the value proposition is weak. Only product on white images is displayed. No reviews. The site is hard to navigate on mobile. No clear explanation of how the product works and why it’s different.
The best tool to quickly benchmark performance is the audit app in the chrome developer tools. Small but very helpful!