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How to optimise Facebook Ads and Google Ads if you don’t have enough conversions?

How to optimise Facebook Ads and Google Ads if you don’t have enough conversions?

In this article, learn how many conversions do you need for proper optimisation in Facebook Ads and Google Ads and what can you do if you don’t have enough conversions to optimise correctly.
How to optimise Facebook Ads and Google Ads if you don’t have enough conversions? Ben Ó Mathúin
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How to optimise Facebook Ads and Google Ads if you don’t have enough conversions?
2 min read

Facebook & Google rely on conversions as a feedback mechanism to understand and evaluate the success of their campaigns. If you’re running campaigns today, without enough conversions, often called ‘Limited Learning’, your campaigns will be limited in their effectiveness. 

How many conversions do I need?

This varies depending on the source you read. Over the years, the publishers have pivoted on the exact number of conversions. However, we suggest you follow the below as a rule of thumb.

When optimising for conversions in Facebook you should be striving for about 50 optimisation events within your conversion window per week. Facebook Documentation.

When optimising for conversions in Google Ads, Google requires a little less, recommending having at least 30 conversions in the last month. Google Documentation.

What we do know is that the more conversions the better. 

What can I do if I don’t have enough conversions to optimise correctly?

If you don’t have enough conversions to feed the publisher bidding engines with enough data, there are two typical actions marketers can take: 

1. Optimise towards an Upper-Funnel conversion

Typically, advertisers will want to optimise towards their final goal. In the case of an e-commerce business, this is likely a Purchase Event. For a B2B based business, SegmentStream for example, our primary objective is for a prospect to ‘Request a Demo’.


For businesses that do not have enough data to optimise towards the final conversion, it is possible to optimise towards an upper-funnel event. Instead of Purchase, perhaps an advertiser can optimise towards AddToCard or View Content. In the case of a Lead Generation business, perhaps they optimise towards a Whitepaper Download. If it’s the case that an advertiser simply does not have enough data to optimise to an event, it is not uncommon for businesses to optimise towards Link Clicks. This can be very inefficient as it leads to very poor quality of traffic. 

The challenge with this, however, is that although you’re sending an increased number of signals, are asking the publishers to buy poorer, less qualified traffic. This can lead to inefficient spending, and poor audience targeting. 

2. Ditch smart bidding, and use manual bidding strategies

If an advertiser continues to struggle with conversion volume for automated bid strategies, it may be time to return to manual bid strategies. This is solely to control spending on your non-performing campaigns. Given you don’t have enough data for effective optimisation, an advertiser will want to make sure they’re spending as effectively as they can. This is an incredibly time-taxing job, and often has very little upside. 

Wait, you mean there’s another option….?

At SegmentStream, we have the ability to calculate a probabilistic conversion value for every single session that happens on your website. We utilise your website behavioural data and machine learning technologies, to better understand the real-value of every single website visit. 

Within the SegmentStream Conversion Modelling Platform we have a multitude of levers to pull to be able to fine-tune your marketing mix analysis. We can find an appropriate confidence level to calculate ‘valuable sessions’ and in turn send these signals to the publishers for optimisation. 

What’s the difference between using SegmentStream for optimisation, over a higher-funnel event? 

Every modelled conversion SegmentStream creates and sends to the publishers bidding engine has a high confidence level of converting. When using upper-funnel events, you’re acquiring traffic that may not have any consideration for the final conversion. Using SegmentStream you can send higher-valued, better-qualified signals to the publishers – in turn feeding the engines with powerful data, resulting in massive performance uplift. 

How does it work?

Why not schedule a conversation with a member of our partnerships team to hear more and learn how SegmentStream can solve these problems for your business!

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