Facebook Advertising 101: 5 Best Practices for Creating an Optimal Ad


If you have made it to this point, congratulations! You have put in the hard work of establishing your goals and audience and walked through the process of how to build an ad. Now that you have gotten your feet wet, we’re going to help take your dental practice Facebook ads to the next level. 

In this article, we’re going to discuss some best practices for building a Facebook ad, from the ideal amount of copy to the best images to use to bring in patients.

Ad Creation Basics

Keep your message simple and have a clear goal
Your image will be doing the legwork, but you want to make sure your ad copy keeps the user interested. To do so, it is best to keep your message short and simple in each of the three text areas. Here are our tips: 

  • Ad text: There isn’t really a magic number for how long your ad text should be. But we recommend keeping it on the shorter side to start—maybe 20-30 words. If you need to add more to get your story across, be mindful of your text becoming too long. If the reader must “tap to read more,” you’re likely going to lose their interest. 
  • Headline: Something punchy and direct is best in this space. Try to keep it to around 5-8 words, such as, “A friendly family dentist in your neighborhood.”
  • Link description: This is the space that gives the audience an idea of where the link in your ad will take them. If you are taking them to book an appointment on your website, keep it to one sentence with copy like, “Schedule your appointment today.”

Make sure your copy and image match
Whatever the message and goal of your ad are, you want to make sure the image and copy work together to tell the story. If there is any disconnect,
you are going to confuse your audience and they will be less likely to click on your ad. 

For example, if your ad copy is speaking to young families with children, you will probably not want to use an image of an elderly grandmother. Your ad will make much more sense if you use a photo of a family or a child at the dentist. 

Utilize free image tools, not  Google
Resist the urge to use images found on Google for your ads. Using someone’s image without their permission could mean legal trouble if you get caught! You will be much safer if you use images that are royalty-free, meaning they are licensed for common use and do not require permission from the creator. 

Facebook has an entire library of these types of images that are free to use. This is the easiest way to add an image to your ad, but keep in mind Facebook’s countless other ad accounts have access to the same library. This could result in multiple dental offices using the same photos in their ads and thus, making it easier for audiences to forget them.  

An option you can try instead is using Creative Commons 0 (CC0) photos, which are free for commercial use. Websites that offer these include PexelsPixabay and Unsplash, so take a look and see what you can find! 

Advanced Ad Design Tips
If you have someone on your team that is comfortable with basic graphic design (think creating PowerPoint slides), you can create a free account on Canva to design basic images for your Facebook ads!

For those designing their own images, we wanted to offer some additional advice. 

Choose colors that work together
To create an ideal customer experience, it is ideal to use the colors of your practice in your ad so the audience has a cohesive journey from the ad to your website. 

If your practice doesn’t have an established color palette, you can find colors that work with your logo or website. Try this tool from Coolors.co to create a palette swatch or this tool from Canva to find colors that complement or contrast each other. 

Be careful with texts in images
It can be tempting to use words on your image to tell even more of your story. But be careful: covering your image too much with words can have an effect on how much of your audience will see the ad! Facebook has found that ads perform best when words take up 20% or less of an image. Therefore, when you upload an ad with more than 20% of the image covered in text, Facebook will give you a rating on how it will perform. The more text you have, the less likely it will reach your full audience. So use text in your image sparingly! Check out this guide to see examples of this rule in effect.

And if you do choose to use text in an image, make sure the font is clear and readable. Fonts that are sans serif are easier to read than script or handwriting-like ones. 

The bottom line: Once you get a feel for creating Facebook ads with these best practices, you will be able to try different ads and see which ones perform better. In the upcoming finale of our series, we will help you understand the numbers behind your ad’s performance.