Beware the Facebook Audience Network in Traffic Campaigns

Recently, while running a Facebook Ad campaign optimised for traffic, I noticed the campaign was generating clicks at a reasonably low Cost Per Click. Awesome Start! Or so I thought…

Digging deeper into the result, I broke the Facebook ads report down by Placement to see which placements were contributing the clicks. Low and behold, most of the clicks were coming from the Audience Network. In fact, ALL the clicks were coming from the Audience network via Mobile Apps.

Facebook Ads Manager Placement report
Facebook Ads Manager Placement report

What’s wrong with Mobile App Traffic?

Traffic coming via banner ads in mobile apps are notorious for low quality clicks. Sometimes banner ads get in the way (intentionally or non-intentionally) of people’s activity on an app and they accidently click on an ad.

It looks great in your reports, but dig a little further into the data and you’ll see that the traffic quality is very poor indeed.

Enter Google Analytics

Google Analytics Session Duration
Google Analytics Session Duration

We use UTM tracking on all our Facebook ads so we can jump into Google Analytics and dig a little deeper into our Facebook campaign performance.

As you can see above, the traffic from this particular Facebook campaign had a session duration of 1 second. That basically means people are hitting our landing page and clicking the back immediately. They’re definitely not reading the content of the landing page.

Removing the Audience Network

The remedy of course is to remove the Audience Network from the Placement settings in our Ad Set.

Remove the Facebook Audience Network form your Ad Set

So if you’re running traffic optimized campaigns, be sure to check your Placement reports for poor quality traffic from the Audience network. No use throwing good money after bad!

By Luke Moulton

Founder of