Among the many emails we receive asking for advice on Facebook Ads optimization, there’s one question that keeps popping up:
Why does the click-through-rate (CTR) of my Facebook Ads decline so quickly?
The answer to this is easy, yet it’s crucial to understand and adapt to in order to run a successful Facebook ads campaign.
Imagine driving the same highway every morning and one day you spot a new billboard advertisement. This story can evolve two different ways, but both of them have the same ending…
- If you’re really interested in the billboard ads, you’ll take note of it immediately, or maybe the second time you see it, you’ll buy the product/service.
- You’re not interested.
In both cases, after two – or maybe three times – of seeing the billboard, your brain will develop the same response: “banner blindness.”
Your brain knows there’s a billboard in that spot, and it knows you’re not interested in it, because you either (a) bought the product/service or (b) you’ve decided you don’t like it. You stop even noticing it. This is exactly what happens to your Facebook Ads when you see your CTR decline.
When you’re doing paid search advertising, the problem is less prevalent: your ad is only displayed to someone who is searching for a keyword related to their needs.
With Facebook Ads, it’s different.
Once you’ve selected a demographic target, whoever is within that target will see the ads every time they browse Facebook.
Facebook’s frequency metric determines how many times they see the ad, but without optimizing it, users will quickly get tired of it, develop “banner blindness,” and your CTR declines as fast as your budget.
How Fast Will My CTR Decline on My Facebook Ads?
There’s no easy answer to this. It mainly depends on a few factors: who you’re targeting, how big this audience is, and how big your budget is.
If you’re targeting only 10,000 people and are investing $1,000 per day in advertising, you can expect this to have an incredibly quick CTR decline – probably less than 3 days.
On average, our internal data suggests that if you’re using an adequate budget, you can expect to see the CTR of your campaign lose 50% within 5 days.
To dig deeper, you need to also focus on the frequency of your Facebook ads.
Frequency tells you, on average, how many times a user has seen your ads in a selected period. The higher the frequency, the lower your CTR will be, and the higher your CPC will be.
There’s no one-size-fit-all rule here, but if someone has seen your ad 10 times and still hasn’t taken action, then you are well overdue for a new audience, or dramatic changes in your copy and imagery!
What are the CTR trends on Facebook?
Compared to a year ago, there’s been a 18.9% increase in CTR. This means that, on average, CTR is increasing, on a whole, for advertisers on Facebook. Maybe the platform is becoming more effective at delivery…or maybe we’re all just getting better at making Facebook ads? 😉
What’s really surprising, is that most of these clicks aren’t happening on desktop computers and laptops anymore. As of Q4’2015, 80% of Facebook’s ad revenue is from mobile.
90% of Facebook users access it through mobile app at least once a month, and over 50% only use the mobile app for Facebook. Crazy, right?
On other platforms, ad block can be responsible for click-through-rate decline. Not so on Facebook.
While ad blocking software has dramatically increased in use – it’s increased 42% in the last year– it’s typically geared towards Desktop browsers.
And given that the majority of ad revenue is generated through Facebook’s own mobile app, it’s unlikely any integrations for ad block would be approved since it threatens their revenue model.
It’s also helpful to know the baseline CTR rate on Facebook for your industry and location. It can vary greatly, and having a benchmark helps you know how much you should be worried about your CTR rates.
So, as with everything else with Ad Espresso: it’s all about your testing! Every industry + location is unique, so there’s no definitive CTR “benchmark.”
What Can I Do To Maintain or Increase the CTR of My Facebook Ads ?
You can fix CTR decline in a few key areas…
- Audience exclusion: Exclude those who are already fans of your campaign, or sync your leads/current customers to be automatically excluded from the ads as they run.
- Set a frequency rule: Our optimization algorithm will stop all ads with an excessive frequency, thus limiting the decline of the CTR. It optimizes automatically, but you can also set this manually; when your frequency goes above 5, you can stop the campaign.
- Update your campaign’s pictures and copy – A bit obvious, but often forgotten. Text is relevant, but pictures are the most important element to fight banner blindness. Changing the pictures of your ads alone may completely revitalize your campaign’s CTR.
With optimization, you don’t even need to monitor this, as it will automatically “pause” an ad when its frequency goes too high. A/B testing for CTR is essential.
- Change the target. It’s possible that people in the current target are not clicking on your ad for one simple reason: they’re not interested. This means that changing the picture won’t solve the problem, and that you need to go back to the basics. Try to change your target by reaching new Interests or demographics.
As the above shows you, preventing the CTR decline of your campaigns is no easy task, even if you understand why its declining. However, using Facebook Ads Tools, like AdEspresso, will make your life a whole lot easier.
Have you tried other strategies to prevent banner blindness on Facebook? We want to hear your experience, leave a comment and share with our growing community of Facebook Marketing experts!