Facebook Ads 101: Traffic vs Conversion

Who wins out of a Traffic vs Conversion Ad?! 

You’ve probably heard of both of them before right? But what do they actually do? And when should you use them? In this blog we will be breaking down two of the most popular facebook ad campaigns and weighing up their pros and cons: 

  • Objective matters
  • Traffic Ads – gimme more, gimme more!
  • Conversion Ads – make it a done deal
  • The bottom line 

Objective Matters

It’s important to know that the objective you choose when you create your Facebook campaign has a HUGE impact on your final results. That’s why it’s important to get it right. 

If you haven’t realised already, Facebook is very clever and will focus on showing your ad to the people who are mostly likely to take the action set by your objective.

The traffic and conversion objectives are two of the most popular and on the surface appear very similar. Ultimately both drive people to your website, however your results can vary wildly depending on which type you use. 






Traffic Ads – gimme more, gimme more!

Simply put, traffic ads aim to give you more traffic on your website.

A traffic ad will have a button which takes the user to a chosen page on a website which will be tracked by ‘link clicks’. Although, like all ads you can also track a number of other metrics including reach and impressions. 

If you choose to use the traffic objective, Facebook will show your ads to people who click on lots of ads. Hopefully, bringing you lots of traffic to your website!

These ads are perfect to use if you are just getting started and haven’t had the Facebook pixel installed for long on your website, (if you are a newbie to the Facebook pixel this is a piece of code that is installed through Events Manager so you can track conversions and retarget website visitors). 

You need a Facebook pixel set up to run both traffic and conversion ads. However, conversion ads are unlikely to work endless your pixel has gathered enough data – that’s where traffic ads come in!

Traffic ads are also great for simply boosting the number of individuals visiting your website. One effective trick is to re-target Facebook users who previously visited your website and direct them back to your site. Read our Real World Retargeting Ads blog to get some ideas on how to do this: https://lightboxdigital.co.uk/retargeting-ads-that-work/






Conversion Ads – make it a done deal

Conversion ads also direct traffic to your website, however usually in smaller numbers than traffic campaigns. The reason being, their main goal is to encourage users to go to your website and complete an action. This could be adding something to a cart, making an enquiry or even a purchase. 

So, when you choose the conversion objective Facebook will show your ads to people who are most likely to take that chosen event action.

Event actions are also set up within Events Manager and allow you to attach specific code to pages or buttons that reflect an important action to your business. It sounds complex at first but think of it as an alert firing every time someone clicks ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Contact Us’.

Determining which event action to use will depend on your business. For example an online shoe shop may focus on purchases whereas a wedding venue will favour enquiries. 

Bear in mind, Facebook states that you need between 500 and 10,000 pixel events per month to make full use of the conversion objective. However, if you’re not generating that many events, the traffic objective is your next best bet to drive action.







The bottom line

A lot of Facebook advertising comes down to testing different things out and finding what works for you, but it’s good to have a few guidelines along the way. 

In general, if you’re new to Facebook advertising it’s best to start with the traffic objective to increase web traffic and build up the number of event actions tracked by the Facebook pixel. Once you have enough of these, feel free to dive into conversion led campaigns to generate the leads or sales you really want!

As usual, please get in touch with our social media experts for any further guidance on your digital marketing strategy.