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 to invest in more landing page views or improving your conversion rates. Meaning, when and why you should optimize for conversions and landing page views. We’re going to break down the differences while also showing you the results from an experiment we ran.

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.

On the flip side, if your goal is to increase sales you should always optimize for conversions. In this case, Facebook will find similar people to those who already converted and show them your ad. The problem some advertisers might see is that the conversions optimization is not converting at all so they immediately switch to landing page views optimization.

Before changing your strategy, think about all the factors that might impact the conversion rate.

Page speed, call to actions, website design, and much more. The landing page views optimization might be good for getting better quality traffic, but if your campaign goal is to bring more conversions you might rethink it. Why? Even if a lot of people view your landing page that doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to buy something. 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 they won’t convert. Why? Because you told Facebook to optimize for those audiences with your conversion goal of landing page optimization. Let’s get to the test results because after all, the question is which optimization strategy brought more conversions? So let’s look at the numbers.

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. We thought that the optimization type would influence five key metrics that are presented below.

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.

The 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 in 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.