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Facebook Conversion Optimization [No Data No Problem]

Leveraging Facebook Conversion Optimization for conversion objective campaigns can yield strong results.

However, have you ever tried to launch a campaign with minimal or no historical Facebook Pixel conversion data?

What usually happens?

You launch the Facebook (conversion objective) campaign only to find Ad Sets stuck in learning, and ad delivery getting minimal traction.

This can be frustrating. But the reality is without a substantial set of historical data Facebook Ads cannot optimize for conversions.

Especially since Facebook needs 50  conversions per Ad Set in a seven-day window for Facebook Conversion Optimization to properly work.

So given how Facebook optimizes ads here are our available options:


  1. Optimize for Link Clicks Until There is Enough Data to Optimize for Conversions
  2. Optimize for Landing Page Views Until There is Enough Data to Optimize for Conversions
  3. Optimize For Conversions & Link Clicks Until There is Enough Data to Optimize for Conversions
  4. Optimize for Soft Conversions


Let’s explore each one of these in more detail.


Optimizing for link clicks is the least recommended option because in its simplest form it goes after clicky people.

The ad will be stuck in a dark abyss not optimizing towards a specific Facebook objective such as reach or views neither on-site objectives such as engagements or goals.

Note: In the past, I have seen a 40 – 60% drop from clicks to Google Analytics session data when running Facebook website conversion ads against link clicks only.


Facebook Conversion Optimization


2. Optimize for Landing Page Views Until There is Enough Data to Optimize for Conversions


Optimizing for landing page views is one step better than link clicks because it will optimize against users that reach the landing page long enough to generate a page view.

I know this isn’t as valuable as soft conversions but it is by far better than link clicks. The reason being that you are going after users that will reach your page.


Facebook Conversion Optimization



If you are trying to optimize your key performance indicator but have minimal volume, Facebook does allow you to spend the budget on both link click as well as conversions.

You can define how aggressive you want to go by selecting either:

Standard – “Spend up to a limited amount of the budget…”
Extended – “Spend up to the entire budget…”

Essentially Facebook is saying hey if you have no conversion how much of your ad dollars are you ok with us placing (potentially sacrificing) behind link clicks in hopes of driving conversions.


Facebook Conversion Optimization


4. Optimize for Soft Conversions


For this approach, all setting are in place to optimize for conversions.

But instead of leveraging Facebook Conversion Optimization against your final conversions such as a purchase or lead generated you optimize against soft KPIs that are part of the user journey.

For example, if a user takes these following steps to complete a purchase:

Blog Scroll Depth/Time on Site

View Product Page

Add to cart

Initiate Checkout


You would optimize against any one of the above-listed steps in the funnel. Ideally the one closest to the final goal as long as it generates enough conversion volume for Facebook Conversion Optimization Requirements.




To summarize these are some viable options you can kick into gear if your new Facebook campaigns are not getting traction.

However, don’t forget to have some patience 😉

Let campaigns run for at least 10 – 14 days after you applied your changes before deciding your next move so that you can give the system enough time adjust and optimize.



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Awesome Post!!!!
One should consider these points while doing Facebook ads. Another suggestion we should take of the attention span of the users while designing the ad.
Thanks & Regards


Does FB Ads still have option #3? I tried checking and did not see an option to optimize for both conversion and links where you can also click standard or extended? If not, do you recommend running landpage views until FB has sufficient data to switch to conversions? How long do you recommend running LPVs if pixel does not have enough data if no conversions yet, a few weeks? a month?


The Facebook Ads Manager does not have option #3 anymore. When you are just starting out it is important to have the Facebook Pixel in place and all key events of your funnels tracked. Remember that Facebook will record all events that occur on your site regardless if they come from a Facebook Ad or not. Then you need use an event that collects a recommended 50 events over a 7 day window. If you don’t have enough Purchases use Add to Cart. If you don’t have enough Add to Carts then fallback to Landing Page Views. The time frame is less relevant here. What is more important is the event volume you can collect. I would also note that Landing Page Views do not account for any time spent on your site. In my experience, I have found it better to create a custom conversion for an engaged users [trigger the event based on time spent on site i.e. 45 seconds or more]. It is pretty easy to collect conversion events for engaged users and it is a better quality data point compared to the Landing Page View event. Having said that now is a tricky time to get started given the changes that are happening relate to the Facebook Ads iOS 14 Privacy Update. Conversions are going to be harder to track [my guess is that the recommended 50 conversions over a 7 day window requirement will also change in the near future] and the reporting attribution window is cut down from 28 days post click to 7 days post click. Given these changes I would also recommend you track all performance in a third-party analytics platform such as Google Analytics.