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  • Sara Seoudy

The Ultimate Facebook Ads Checklist for 2021

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

Making sure all your bases are covered in order to run the perfect Facebook ads campaign can be a daunting task, and we're here to cover them for you. Scroll down and find out what you've already taken care of and what you need to get done in order to get the best, most trackable results from your campaign.

Here are the steps we've learned to take for a successful ad campaign:

Facebook pixel

Getting Facebook pixel set up on the website & setting up events for the metrics you want to track. For example if you want to know the number of purchases of a certain product from a campaign you'll install the Pixel code into your website, if you cannot do it yourself there's the option to send the code to a developer, set up purchase events on Facebook ad manager's event manager via the pixel. You can set up the events you want through the event setup tool in Facebook ads manager. Set up events on thank you pages that follow purchases to track purchases, set up events on add to cart buttons to track adds to cart, and set up events on the URLs of product or service pages so you can track visits to them.

Google analytics installed on the website

Head over to Google Analytics and do the same with analytics that has been done with Facebook Pixel. It works pretty much the same way and gives you super helpful insights into the performance of your website pages, user sessions, demographics, devices, everything you can think of. You can use this valuable data to improve your website and optimize your ad campaigns.

Validate correct setup of pixels and analytics

Give the set up a try by testing the events of the pixel and the data Google is registering and making sure everything is registering the right way in order to catch anything that has been missed and be certain everything is in working order before you start your campaign.

Set up product catalog

Check that Product feed(s) created and uploaded and product groups are used to identify products that are almost identical but have variations such as color, material, size or pattern (instead of separate Product ids). Make sure that you’re matching 100% of product IDs in your catalog. Check that your purchase event is firing every time with the correct product IDs and that you are not using too many product sets with few items.

Targeting checklist

  • Upload buyers/subscribers lists into Facebook, altogether and segmented by product, product category, relative value to business (e.g. high-ticket buyers and repeat customers vs all customers). They can be very useful for custom & lookalike retargeting.

  • Create as many as possible variations of Custom Audiences based on your assets.

  • Launch test ads to people who have either viewed or added a product to their cart in the past 10 days, but haven't purchased it (without any additional targeting).

  • Check that you exclude people who make a purchase from every campaign unless you run a subscription service,

  • Expand the audience if it's too narrow by changing retention window to more days or adjust targeting options like interests & behaviors.

  • Set up one type of audience to an ad set, one campaign for each objective, with different audiences each to an ad set in the campaign, and different creatives each in its ad under the ad set.

  • If you launch two or more campaigns with the same objective they will cancel each other out in bidding.

  • Make sure you exclude audiences from ad sets that you used for other ad sets to optimize reach. So if you've used page & website retargeting in one ad set, exclude lookalikes & customer lists in the same ad set and vice versa.

  • Make sure creatives appear ok on all devices, as for the types of retargeting to use check our last article about retargeting hacks.

  • Finally, use audience sizes in the range of 200,000-1,000,000 for cold traffic. Definitely not more than 2 million because it will be too generic and definitely not less than 50,000-100,000 because you’ll exhaust the audience too quickly and will have limited room for scaling.

Optimizing & Testing

  • Check Facebook and Google Analytics & compare them to the KPIs you set for your campaign in the time window you chose. For conversion campaigns make sure you are able to get at least 15 of the conversions you want per week using a 1-day attribution window, and that you’re bidding the maximum amount you’d willing to pay for the conversion you want.

  • Push conversion event towards the top of the funnel if you're not getting enough conversions weekly.

  • Make sure you're getting enough visitors to your website before running conversion campaigns so Facebook has enough audience to convert in the first place, or else you won't get any conversions due to lack of audience.

  • Avoid making creative changes during time sensitive campaigns and high traffic time.

  • Don’t change many things at once to determine which change caused change in performance.

  • Test educating and warming-up cold audience with video/blog content before selling high ticket products.

  • Make sure your test campaigns get enough data (conversion number and time frame) before you make decisions.

  • Avoid ad fatigue, don't run the same creative with the same caption for too long, change things up.

  • Test different objectives like Lead Ads vs Conversions vs Video Views. Also test different types of ad copy to find the optimal one for your current audience and objective.


  • Increase budget by 20-50% when seeing good performance and when spending your full budget daily & give the ad 3-5 days to optimize accordingly before changing budget again.

  • Calculate maximum scaling room for each ad set (max budget = 10$ for every 10,000 people in the audience).

  • Take the top 5-7 really broad interests and create lookalike audiences based on the largest list or pixel with most data and launch ads with them. You can use not only 1% or 2% but up to 3% or even 5% lookalike if you layer it with interests/behaviors.

  • After you have enough data, lookup which age, gender, placement are performing better and start to scale that combination, while not scaling or even reducing others.

  • Alter ad creatives a bit upon duplicating into new ad sets to match the message and the new audience if it's needed.

  • Used pixel data to refine retargeting audiences and launched new lookalike audiences to drop costs on them by 10-20% or more, like targeting those who visited from an iOS device in the last 30 days and viewed over 5 pages, or targeting desktop users that purchased at least 4 times in the last 60 days.

  • Finally, Duplicate winning creatives into new ad sets using the same post ID to maintain social engagement on ads. This can be very overwhelming and a lot of work at first, so try it bit by bit at first, you don't have to apply all this at once or at all, take what you need and what best fits your business & goals and apply it gradually until you get the hang of things.


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