You may not be aware, but there are numerous ways to measure clicks on Facebook. So, when comparing data it is very important to make sure that you are actually looking at the same data. What one company refers to as a click is not necessarily the same to another company. In fact, more often than not, it is done differently.
One thing I’ve learned from years of working at an agency is that there is no ‘one size fits all’ metric for measuring clicks and you need to be very specific about what types of clicks you are talking about when reporting results whether internally or to others.
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This is basically an engagement metric, so if you need to report on traffic to your website, for instance, you shouldn’t use this metric. The metric counts multiple types of clicks on your ad, including certain types of interactions with the ad container, links to other destinations, and links to expanded ad experiences. It includes:
- Link Clicks
- Clicks to the associated business Page profile or profile picture
- Post reactions (such as likes or loves)
- Comments or shares
- Clicks to expand media (such as photos) to full screen
- Clicks to take actions identified as your campaign objective (such as liking your Page for a Page engagement campaign)
How should I measure Clicks (All)?
You should use this metric to measure how engaging your content is.
Clicks (All) tells you the no. of clicks your ad received, but it’s not really comparable if you’re looking at two ads where the one has a budget of $500 and the other has a budget of $5,000 for example. Instead, the metrics you should be using are Click Through Rate (CTR) and Cost per Click (CPC), which are more suitable for comparing ads independent of your spend.
CTR is calculated by No. of Clicks (All) divided by No. of Impressions and then multiplied by 100. The number you get is a percentage, which is generally referred to as the CTR. It tells you how often someone performed a click (all) on your ad out of all the times your ad was served.
CPC is calculated by Budget (or Amount Spent, to be exact) divided by No. of Clicks (All). The number you get is the Cost per Clicks (All).
The metric counts link clicks on any area of the ad that links to destinations or experiences for the ad. For example, a link click would be counted if someone clicked on an ad’s image or if they clicked the call-to-action button on the same ad.
These destinations may be off Facebook or maybe experiences or destinations on Facebook-owned properties. For example, they can include ad links to:
- App stores or app deep links
- Click to call
- Click to message
- Facebook Instant Experience
- Facebook lead forms
- Facebook Marketplace
- Playable experiences
- Videos that launch the Watch & Browse experience
- Videos hosted by another website (including videos embedded in News Feed ads but hosted on a video platform such as YouTube or Vimeo)
How should I measure Link Clicks?
While Link Clicks is the metric most commonly used for measuring the amount of traffic to your website an ad or campaign generates, you should know that it has its flaws as the metric also includes clicks on other links in your ad (such as lead forms, videos, instant experiences, and CTAs, as described above).
As with Clicks (All), Link Clicks tells you the no. of link clicks your ad received, but again, it’s not really comparable in cases where you have different spend or other variables. Instead, the metrics to go for are Click Through Rate (CTR) and Cost per Click (CPC), which are more suitable for comparing ads independent of your spend.
CTR is calculated by No. of Link Clicks divided by No. of Impressions and then multiplied by 100. The number you get is a percentage, which is generally referred to as the CTR. It tells you how often someone performed a link click on your ad out of all the times your ad was served.
CPC is calculated by Budget (or Amount Spent, to be exact) divided by No. of Link Clicks. The number you get is the Cost per Link Click.
The Outbound Clicks metric is somewhat similar to the Link Clicks metric, except it only counts clicks to destinations off Facebook, which makes it a lot more suitable for measuring website traffic.
The metric includes clicks on links that appear in the displayed ad, as well as links in extended experiences such as Canvas, collections or Facebook forms. It includes clicks to:
- Your app in an app store
- App deep links
How should I measure Outbound Clicks?
Although it isn’t the most commonly used metric for the purpose, this is the one you should use for measuring traffic to your website as it filters all the clicks that take you to destinations on Facebook and only counts the clicks that actually take you off Facebook.
As with the two previous metrics, Outbound Clicks tells you the no. of outbound clicks your ad received, but again, it’s not really comparable in cases where you have different spend or other variables. So what should we use instead? You guessed it! Go with CTR and CPC to measure performance on Outbound Clicks.
CTR is calculated by No. of Outbound Clicks divided by No. of Impressions and then multiplied by 100. The number you get is a percentage, which is generally referred to as the CTR. It tells you how often someone performed an outbound click on your ad out of all the times your ad was served.
CPC is calculated by Budget (or Amount Spent, to be exact) divided by No. of Outbound Clicks. That number is the Cost per Outbound Click.
Landing Page Views
Landing page views are counted when a person loads a webpage or Instant Experience optimized for landing page views, after clicking your ad, and your pixel fires a PageView, PixelInitialized or ViewContent event. The PageView and PixelInitialized events are automatically captured by your pixel and do not require any additional setup.
A pixel from your ad account must be installed on your webpage in order for a landing page view to be counted. If your ad links to a webpage that does not have a pixel installed on it (for example, a redirect page) then a landing page view will be counted if your pixel fires a PageView, PixelInitialized, or ViewContent event within 3 minutes of the original ad click.
How should I measure Landing Page Views?
If you have a Facebook Pixel installed on your website, you should definitely look at the Landing Page Views when reporting on traffic to your website. Although it isn’t really considered a click, I wanted to include this metric because it works really well in combination with Outbound Clicks for example.
As I said, this metric is a little different than the others. You can use it instead of Outbound Clicks, but also as an add-on.
So, if you consider Landing Page Views as clicks, your CTR should be calculated like this: No. of Landing Page Views divided by No. of Impressions and then multiplied by 100. It tells you how often someone clicked on your ad, visited your website and waited for it to load the PageView pixel event out of all the times your ad was served.
The CPC can be calculated in the same way by Budget (or Amount Spent, to be exact) divided by No. of Landing Page Views, which will give you the Cost per Landing Page View.
But the best way to use the Landing Page Views metric (in my opinion) is to compare it to the amount of Outbound Clicks your ad received. By comparing the Landing Page Views to Outbound Clicks you learn how big a part of the clicks generated by your ad was actually misclicks. So, take the No. of Landing Page Views and divide it by No. of Outbound Clicks, and then multiply by 100. Let’s call it the Qualified Clicks Rate.
What about Unique Clicks?
True. Sometimes you are not interested in knowing the number of clicks your ad generated but rather you want to know how many people actually clicked. All the click metrics mentioned above are also available as unique metrics. What that means is that instead of counting the number of actions, we count the number of people performing the action.
As with the total click metrics mentioned above, you should be looking at the (unique) CTR and (unique) CPC to get a better understanding of your ad or campaign’s performance.