4 Most Important Factors That Impact Meta Ads Performance

There are four factors that, if you consistently prioritize them and get them right, will lead to high-performing Meta ads. If you run an agency or manage ads for others, invest in these primary areas.

First, allow me to state the obvious: There are limitless factors that impact the performance of your ads. I’m not saying that these are the only things that matter and you can ignore everything else.

But these things are easily the most impactful. I’m confident saying that if you aren’t getting the results you want, it’s likely due to a combination of these factors.

I should also be clear about what I mean by “performance.” Your ads didn’t just appear to perform well. You didn’t just get a great CTR or other surface-level result. Your ads performed well in a substantive and measurable way.

Let’s get to it…

1. Performance Goal

The Performance Goal is determined in the ad set and has the most impact on how your ads are delivered.

Performance Goal

Don’t overcomplicate this. The Performance Goal is exactly what it sounds like. This is the action that you want. This is how you measure success. It is also how Meta measures success and the metric that is prioritized for optimizing delivery.

The algorithm is literal. Meta will do everything it can to get you as many of that action as possible at the lowest price. That means showing your ad to the people most likely to perform that event.

The Performance Goal is why broad targeting is possible. The algorithm knows the action you want and can then search out the people most likely to perform that action.

Meta will find ways to get you those actions, even if it means taking advantage of weaknesses in placements that can inflate your results. Setting a Performance Goal that is a surface-level action will guarantee you’ll get lots of those actions. But you may not get conversions.

When possible, you should optimize for some type of conversion. You can even adjust the quality of conversion Meta optimizes for and you get.

You can optimize for number of purchases or value of purchases.

Value Optimization

You can optimize for any leads or conversion leads.

Conversion Leads

There isn’t one “right” Performance Goal you should use in all cases. But this one step is possibly the most critical.

2. Attribution

In the simplest form, attribution is the ability to give credit to an ad for a conversion. Here are examples of when that is important…

Have you properly set up events?

You have the Meta pixel on your website. You’ve set up standard and custom events to track the most important actions. You’re also passing first-party data via the Conversions API. If you take any shortcuts, the ability to measure the impact of your ads will be limited.

Can you interpret results?

This is under appreciated. Do you take the results at face value? Or do you compare attribution settings to see how many conversions fell within each window to better evaluate those numbers?

Compare Attribution Settings

Is attribution complete and accurate for optimization?

Incomplete attribution doesn’t only impact reporting. It’s important for Meta to know that engagement with an ad led to a conversion for the purpose of optimization because Meta learns from and makes adjustments based on results.

Attribution could be deflated or inflated if set up incorrectly. That will impact how your ads are delivered.

3. Copy and Creative

Let’s assume that you nailed the Performance Goal and attribution. You did everything right, but your ads are still bombing. What’s the most likely explanation?

Especially these days, it’s copy and creative. Your ads need to be designed in a way that appeal to your target audience. They should invite the action that you want. The right Performance Goal won’t guarantee that.

You need to test different formats (video, static image, carousel, Instant Experience), language, primary text, headlines, and CTA buttons. You can test several at once using Dynamic Creative, Flexible Formats, or Advantage+ Creative.

There isn’t one right way to get the ad copy and creative right. It’s the most variable and difficult to pin down. But they can be the reason your ads failed.

4. Budget

I went back and forth on whether to include the budget, but I don’t think we can ignore its importance.

I’m not saying that you can’t have success with lower budgets. I’m also not saying that higher budgets will guarantee good results. But this is absolutely a factor.

In order to get optimal results, your ads should exit the Learning Phase. To do that, you’ll need to generate about 50 conversion events (your Performance Goal) in a week. If your budget is too low, that may not be possible.

Learning Phase

You may still get acceptable results with that lower budget, even if you are unable to exit the Learning Phase. But you’re unlikely to get optimal results without spending more.

And because of that, advertisers often feel forced to adjust their Performance Goal when selling a product. You may use link clicks, landing page views, or a conversion event that’s further up the funnel.

These approaches aren’t guaranteed to fail, but they are much less likely to succeed than if you could spend the budget to optimize for purchases.

Prioritize These Optimizations

You may not be able to do anything about your budget, but you can understand how it impacts performance. Otherwise, a strategy that prioritizes all of these items will give your ads the best chance of success.

1. When possible, set the Performance Goal that accurately reflects the action that you want. If you choose something else, know the risks involved.

2. Make sure that Meta has an accurate and complete picture of attribution by properly and thoroughly setting up the Meta pixel, Conversions API, and events. Know how to evaluate the resultant data.

3. Invest in copywriters and creative resources to help generate ads that will give you the best opportunity for success.

Do these things, and you will consistently outperform those who deprioritize them.

Your Turn

Do you prioritize these four factors in your advertising strategies?

Let me know in the comments below.