5 Things You Need To Know Before You Get Started With Facebook Ads

Author Dan Lifton 5 min read time

If I think back to when I first started working with Facebook Ads, there was so much advice (both good and bad) online, that it was hard to know where to begin.

Whether you’re thinking about kicking off with your first Facebook Ads campaign or you’re not quite sure where to look for improvements, I believe you need to be aware of these 5 things before you even think about spending your money on Facebook Ads.

I presented this deck at the Search London event and I hope you find these points useful.

1. The Power of the Pixel

Before starting any Facebook ad campaigns, you should make sure you have the Facebook pixel implemented on your website – it’s a must. Once this is implemented it really will be your best friend and you’ll be able to:

  • Create remarketing audiences
  • Track specific website events
  • Create custom website events
  • Optimise campaigns based on pixel data
  • Create lookalikes from pixel events
  •  Run Dynamic Product Ads

If the standard events do not fit your business, the beauty of the pixel is you can create your own custom events. With Google Tag Manager and a little bit of code, you can create custom events to track any goals or actions your customers take on your website.

The Facebook Pixel Helper Chrome Extension is a great way to debug your pixel and make sure everything is working correctly.

2. Facebook Ads vs Google Analytics Attribution

Facebook Ads and Google Analytics have two different attribution models.

Facebook is a last-touch attribution model, with a default conversion window of 28 day click and 1-day view. It is also includes user-based tracking, which means customers can be tracked across devices and browsers.

Google Analytics is a last-click attribution model, which is cookie based and can’t track customers across devices. Currently a session by the same person which takes place on a mobile and desktop is counted as two separate sessions.

THE ANSWER? The data you see in each platform will never be the same.

For example, On Day 1 I click an ad on Facebook for trainers but do not purchase as I wanted to do some more research. On Day 3 I return through Organic Search and make a purchase.

Due to the attribution models, Facebook will attribute the sale to the ad clicked on Day 1 and Google Analytics will attribute the sale to Organic on Day 3, even though I was served the Facebook ad first.

This is why the data from Facebook will never be what you see in Google Analytics.

3. Have a bank of creative assets ready from day one

With a plethora of creative options available to you, make sure you have enough imagery and video assets available before you even start your campaigns is crucial. You would be surprised how much of an afterthought this is.

Through Dynamic Creative Ads on Facebook, you can quickly test up to 10 images to learn what creative resonates effectively with your customers to drive them to complete your desired action.

4. Account structure is key

I would recommend building your campaigns around your funnel stages, so you have clear control over all stages of the funnel when it comes to budgets, optimisations and audiences.

You would then need to match your goals to the objectives in Facebook when you create your funnels e.g Top Funnel to drive traffic, retargeting to drive conversions.

Budget permitting you might not be able to build out each funnel stage from Day 1. If that is the case, I would initially focus on retargeting the lower funnel and scale from there.

It is also important to get your naming conventions right for your campaigns, ad sets and ads. We usually follow a structure like this:


OD | [Funnel Stage] | [Campaign Objective] | Year

Ad Set:

[Funnel Stage] | [Audience targeting]

Ad Name:

[Funnel Stage] | [Product/Offering] | [Creative type]

5. Assume nothing, test everything

I’ve often had my theories about whether an audience, placement or creative will be successful or not and I’ve been proven wrong on more than one occasion – and as my wife can attest to, I hate being wrong.

My advice, test to your hearts content. Test your creative, copy, headlines, placements, objectives, demographics and much more. There is no right or wrong answer until you’ve tested it.

The more you test, the more you can learn and optimise and the better ROAS your account will receive. I’d also recommend allocating some of your budget towards testing each month.

BONUS ADVICE: Be prepared for Facebook Ads Manager to ruin your day.

Sometimes there are bugs. Sometimes it crashes. Whilst you may start pulling your hair out on the odd occasion this happens, it’s a platform that I love and I’m sure you will grow to love it as much as I do.

The overall return and rewards are totally worth it.

And there you have it! I hope these 5 points give you a positive first step into the world of Facebook Ads.


Dan has been working in Paid Media for 5+ years, and has extensive experience in managing strategies and campaigns both in-house and agency side, meaning he knows the best of both worlds.