Facebook Ads – Traffic vs. Conversion Case Study

traffic ads vs conversion ads on facebook

Which is better traffic ads or conversion ads?

I get this question ALL the time in my Facebook Ads Mastermind Group. People want to know when they are advertising products or services directly on Facebook if it’s better to use the traffic objective or the conversion objective.

I understand why people ask the question. You get SO MANY MORE clicks for the same budget with a traffic ad than with a conversion ad.


Traffic AdsConversion Ads
Lower cost per clickHigher cost per click
More impressionsFewer impressions
Generally lower conversionsGenerally more conversions

Facebook Ads – Traffic vs. Conversion Case Study

To answer this question I set up a case study with the agreement of one of the companies we work with.

I tested the EXACT same campaign in both a traffic and a conversion objective and measured the results. I’ll go over the results in a moment, but first let me tell you a little bit more about the company that I did the case study with.

Company Background

The company we ran this experiment with was a design company. The offer we are using in these ads is a free interior design consultation.

Pro Tip: If you are a service provider AND you have a good system to follow up, a free consultation is a good way to generate qualified leads that often turn into customers.

This particular company wanted very high quality leads and so they had their prospects sign up for the consultation through their own website instead of through a Facebook lead ad campaign. That’s because typically Facebook leads aren’t as high quality and for a high ticket item like interior design, the company needed high quality leads.

Another important note about this company is that a single client is typically worth hundreds of thousands of pounds in client value. Because of that, they can afford to spend quite a bit of money per lead.

The amount that YOUR company can spend per lead will vary depending on the cost of the goods or services you offer.

The Results of the Test

This company spend about £2,500 on each campaign, so the spend was nearly identical on the traffic campaign vs the conversions campaign. It’s not hundreds of thousands of pounds, but it is enough to create a significant test.

Each campaign sent people to the same web page that was optimized for lead generation.

The first thing I want to point out here is the link clicks.

The traffic campaign produced 2,304 link clicks and the conversions campaign produced only 1,344 link clicks.

facebook ad campaign link clicks

A lot more people were sent to the website with the traffic campaign than with the conversion campaign.

You’ll also see that the cost per click on the traffic campaign is very low at £0.77 per click.

That’s a very good price for clicks with a direct lead generating campaign.

Then you have the impressions.

In the traffic campaign there were about twice as many impressions as the conversions campaign, but interestingly there wasn’t much more reach. That means that the people in the traffic campaign saw the add much more often.

So far, it SEEMS like the traffic campaign is winning. There are more clicks and more impressions, but what about number of leads and cost per lead?

This is where the results flip. The conversion campaign produced MORE leads at a LOWER COST per lead than the traffic campaign.

And these are the metrics that REALLY matter. The rest are mainly vanity metrics. As you can see from the numbers, the conversion campaign had 40 leads vs. the traffic campaigns’ 24 leads!


Traffic AdsConversion Ads
Impressions325,316168,163
Unique Clicks2,3041,344
Leads2440
Cost per lead£98.76£61.34

And the cost per lead on the conversion campaign was nearly 40% LESS. That’s a HUGE cost savings for the company.

Get More Free Facebook Ads Training! I have a free webinar called “3 Killer Facebook Ad Strategies to Double (or More!) Your Revenue. It’s really good, if I do say so myself, and you can watch it here right now for free.

In my experience, conversion campaigns nearly always outperform traffic campaigns – just like in this case study.

Facebook Ads – Traffic vs. Conversions – Video Case Study

I show you step by step in this video how traffic ads performed in comparison to conversion ads for an interior design company.

The Bottom Line On Which Is Better

If you want to generate leads on your website or make sales, then conversion campaigns are almost always the best way to go.

You do have to install a Facebook pixel in order to use the conversions objective. If you don’t know how to do that, here’s a tutorial that I’ve put together on installing the Facebook Pixel correctly.

Facebook understands users history and will work to find people who buy when you use the conversion objective. That’s why you should use the conversions objective rather than the traffic objective.

About The Author

Ben Heath

Ben Heath is a Facebook advertising expert, writer and the Founder of Lead Guru. Alongside creating content for our online community, he works closely with our clients to develop and implement Facebook advertising strategies that deliver industry leading ROIs.

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