Have you recently been hit by a message or penalty because you are causing a poor ads experience? As you can probably guess, Facebook’s advertising platform is meant to maximize value for not just you, the advertiser, but the user as well.
And if your Facebook Ads are causing anything but a positive experience for those that see them, then the balance of value is out of whack. Facebook will take steps to correct this, which for you, is a bad thing. In this article, I’ll explain what a poor ads experience is and teach you how to avoid it.
What does poor ads experience mean on facebook
Facebook gathers data and feedback on the attributes of a “low quality” ad, so that it can better understand how to improve user experience.
How does Facebook determine a poor ads experience?
Facebook is constantly gathering feedback from users on the ads they are presented. You have likely seen this menu picture below.
This is where users can hide your ad or report your ad. Both of these things tell Facebook that a poor user experience has occurred, and they will take steps to limit this situation from happening again.
Often times, however, Facebook’s algorithm and review process can sniff out an ad that will cause a poor experience. In this case, your reach will be limited or the ad won’t be approved in the first place!
Why you want to avoid a poor ads experience
Facebook has really been cracking down on advertisers with a reputation of causing a poor ads experience. If you don’t align with their goal of creating meaningful connections (emphasis on meaningful) between businesses and people, they are going to punish you.
You can expect to have your ads reach limited at the very least. Plus, you’ll have a tougher time in the Facebook Ads auction. Or, for more serious cases or repeat offenders, you can have your ads account shut down.
The two causes of poor ads experiences on facebook
At its core, a poor ads experience on Facebook can be broken down into two categories – a low-quality landing page or a low-quality ad. Either what you initially show the user is bad, or the destination you lead them to is. Regardless, you are in for trouble.
Low-Quality Landing Pages
The landing page is where you send the user from your Facebook Ad. There are quite a few things that can cause a low-quality landing page. Your landing page should be easy to navigate, and free of user experience killers.
You may think that because you are off Facebook you can get away with anything, but that is not the case. Facebook can still get feedback from those that have visited your landing page! Here are some of the common attributes of a low-quality landing page.
- Lack of Substantive or original content
- A disproportionate volume of ads relative to the content
- Pop-up ads or interstitial ads – Pop up ads can interrupt user experience, and are generally disruptive. This doesn’t mean you can’t have an email opt-in or any sort of pop up. It just needs to be delayed for a while, and easy to navigate away from. This also doesn’t apply to any legally required disclosures or logins to private content.
- Unexpected content experience – This can occur when a user has to navigate more than one page to consume the content they clicked through for. For example, if an article is spread across multiple pages and a user has to click around to digest all of the material, this creates an unexpected content experience, and thus provides a poor ads experience.
- Misleading experiences – You can do a variety of things that cause a misleading experience, such as misrepresenting your product or service, being inaccurate on shipping times, customer support experiences, and more. If Facebook sniffs out that you are doing any of these things, or any other act that violates their Misleading Claims Policy, they will reject your ad and penalize your account.
Most often, a poor ads experience is caused by low-quality content. So many different things can cause low-quality content, and many of them are common sense. But, some are a bit more nuanced, so we will examine each in detail.
Text in ad image
There is a specific ratio of text to image that you should adhere to. If your ad is an image with big blocks of text taking up space, this can cause a poor experience for the user.
This isn’t specific to just images, however. Video thumbnails and videos themselves should be, for the most part, free of text.
There are levels to this, though. Depending on how much text is in your ad image, your ad may have a smaller reach. As you add more and more text, your reach diminishes. At a certain point, your ad just won’t run.
Withholding information in the copy
While a huge principle of copywriting is to leave the reader begging for more, keeping them on the edge of their seat, this isn’t the best approach with Facebook Ads.
Withholding vital information to entice a click causes a poor ads experience. Any sort of clickbaiting like this should just be avoided.
Sensationalism in ad copy
Another example of copy that can land you in the Facebook hot seat is sensationalism. This is where you use exaggeration headlines or command a reaction from the user. This is one of the low-quality ads that can be a bit tough to define, but below are two examples of it.
Engagement bait is where your copy aggressively encourages the user to engage with the content in an unauthentic way. This can be done to get more likes, comments, and/or shares. Don’t directly ask the user to do anything, as this can violate the low quality or disruptive content policy.
Don’t create ads that cause a poor user experience in the first place!
If you just avoid doing the things I’ve outlined above that are known to cause a poor ads experience, you should be ok. But, this is just a surface-level look at some of the more common culprits. There is a lot more to Facebook Advertising that you won’t know until you spend the money to learn from your mistakes!
If you want to avoid any expensive lessons, and decrease your chances of causing poor user experiences, check out the Facebook Ads Crash Course.