Facebook Optimizations – Link Clicks vs. Conversions

04.24.20 // Thuy Tran

Two of the most common optimizations goals we select here at Obility is between link clicks and conversions. Something I was pondering about is which to choose. Is there a big difference if you change the optimization of an ad set? Historically, I would go case by case depending on what the ultimate goal is. I was more interested in selecting link clicks because you get charged per click which is ideal in the digital advertising landscape. You get charged by impressions if you select conversions. So, which should be the one to choose? Let’s test it out.

Note this test was utilizing Campaign Budget Optimization. The objective is to show how the two optimization settings affects the results overall within two-week increments. The results gathered below are showing from the NA region using a retargeting audience. No change in budget spend throughout the periods. The campaign was consistently running the same amount of assets with the same targeted audiences at the time. The conversion points are simply people that have filled out a form and landed on the ‘thank you’ page.


First up, link clicks:

Let’s take the results from the last couple of weeks from January, which was already set to conversions, and switch it to link clicks:

You can see drastic changes from the switch for the next two weeks. Half of the conversion volume lowered between the two periods. As a result, my cost per conversion increased by $30. Let’s take a look into link clicks:

Looks like it did it’s job in gathering more impressions and link clicks but at a cost of lowering conversions. So you’re getting more volume at a much cheaper average cost per click when optimizing towards link clicks.


Next up, conversions:

After this period was over, I switched the optimization delivery to conversions:

Just like that, the conversions went back up along with cost per conversions looking a lot better. Let’s check back in the click volume:


Impression and link click volume went back down as expected. Average cost per click did increase by a buck but I’m still pretty satisfied with this level. At least the CPC isn’t above $10 like in LinkedIn Ads am I right?

Looks like if you select conversions to optimize for, you’ll get more conversions and if you select link clicks, then you’ll get more link clicks as promised.

Turns out Facebook isn’t messing around and their algorithm is powerful enough to get what you want depending on what you select to optimize for between link clicks or conversions. Most of my clients are focused in generating leads therefore I want to get the most conversions I can with the lowest price. In this case, I’ll choose to optimize for conversions. I have seen Facebook exceed my client’s expectations ever since. Even though it is less than ideal as I’ll get charged by impressions, it’ll still get me the best results for the cheapest cost per conversion for my clients. Hopefully, there will be an update from Facebook that will give us the option to choose to be charged for clicks when optimizing for conversions.

So back to the question on which should you choose? Review your objectives and test it out. Make sure your goals are clarified and figure out what you want out of the campaigns you’re running. If you want to grow some awareness, get your customers to your landing page, and increase your retargeting pool, go with link clicks. If you want to get most amount of conversions for the lowest cost, go with conversions.

Am I seeing the same outcome on the LinkedIn side when comparing the website visits and conversion objectives? No, absolutely not. That’ll be a discussion for another time.