Facebook Ad Optimization: Landing page views vs. conversions

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If you’re running a new campaign on Facebook and you’re unsure about which optimization strategy to use – you’ve come to the right place. We know that advertising on Facebook can be challenging, especially when you’re new to it. 

In today’s blog post we are discussing whether it’s more profitable investing in more landing page views or improving your conversion rates. We’re going to break down the differences between these two optimizations while also showing you the results from an a/b test.

This way you’re going to actually see the performance metrics for yourself and understand if your ad optimization choice really makes a difference.

Landing page views vs. Conversions optimization

When you optimize for landing page views, you’re basically telling Facebook to find people who are most likely to click on your ad and then visit your website.

But even if a lot of people view your landing page that doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to purchase something (convert). They might scroll around and decide the product or service is not for them.

Actually, it turns out (as you will see in the next part of this article) when you optimize for landing page views, Facebook’s algorithm intentionally drives users that will just check your landing page, but won’t convert (purchase)

Why? Because you told Facebook to find those subset of users by choosing the landing page view optimization.

So the bottom line is that Facebook is really good at optimizing your ads, you just have to specify your end goal and let the algorithm do the heavy lifting. With that said, make sure to always optimize for conversions so that Facebook can find you people who are most likely to convert, i.e. purchase from you. 

Now let’s get to the test results so you can see the difference in key advertising metrics.

The Test

We decided to test out these two different optimization strategies, so we could understand the impact on key advertising metrics and our performance. The campaign’s objective was to bring conversions and we tested them throughout the same time period, with the same amount of budget and creative. We thought that the optimization type would influence five key metrics that are presented below. 

Key metricsLanding page views Conversions
CTR (All)2%0.59%
CTR (Link Clicks)1.39%0.43%
CR0.19%2.47%
CAC$115$15.39
Bounce Rate55.4%45.3%

The Results

With the test complete, optimizing for conversions was the clear winner. The landing page views optimization generated significantly fewer conversions. So even though optimizing for landing page views resulted in higher click-through rates, the audience that landed on the website had significantly (12x) lower intent to purchase

We kind of saw this coming because you’re trading off high click-through rates for lower conversions. Secondary metrics such as bounce rate further show that the “Landing page optimization” audience has lower intent to engage with the website.

Of course, as we mentioned before, your conversion rate might also be affected by so many other UX/UI factors. According to Unbounce, the average conversion rate for a landing page is 4.02%

That means that almost 96% of your site visitors won’t convert at all.

So even if you have a great landing page or website, with great copy, clear call to actions, and great design your conversion rate still might be just slightly above the industry average.

Another no-brainer here was that conversions optimization would get the lowest CPA (CAC). To be more specific, when optimizing for conversions, acquiring new customers was 7 times cheaper. This is actually good news for everyone who plans to advertise as it means the Facebook algorithm is achieving the objectives we choose for our campaigns. 

Conclusion

Every test impacts your metrics and performance differently. Keep in mind that some ad accounts have much more complex funnels than include tons of combinations so results may vary. If you’re running an e-commerce store, one thing is sure  optimizing for landing page views is not going to be a profitable strategy for you. 

In the end, the drop in your conversion rate will end up being much higher than the increase of click-through rates. You’re always going to trade off these high click-through rates for fewer conversions so if you’d ask us, optimizing for conversions would always be a better approach.

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