When some advertisers use Facebook, they do not realize that view-through conversions are a thing. Ads manager reports on conversions that happen within 7 days of clicking (or, by default, 1 day after viewing your ad without clicking) (facebook ads attribution).

So you can get credit for a conversion that occurs without anyone clicking on it. I will tell you what is likely to happen, and why it might be controversial.

When will this happen?

The general scenario for converting from a view-through to a view-through is simple:

  1. Your ad was served to a user
  2. That user may have seen it and even engaged with the ad without clicking to your website
  3. Later that day, the user Googled or went directly to your website
  4. The user then bought the product you were selling

One of the users in the example displayed the ad, but they did not click on it. The user in that example converted, within a day, to your website.

I am meta, the only one who knows how to tie all these things together. It is meta that knows who saw the ad, and it is meta that knows (thanks to the pixels) who converted. If Url parameters were used, Google Analytics would not be able to report this.

That is probably the easiest thing to explain, but the following scenario may be the most common:

  1. You are running a remarketing campaign on Facebook. That campaign is the foundation of your Facebook advertising. This is where you’ll set an advertising objective, which defines what you want your ad to achieve.Click word to read full description that targets someone who is on your email list
  2. An ad was served, but the targeted user may not have noticed or engaged with it
  3. Since that user is on your email list, you send them an email (coincidentally) later that day
  4. The user clicks a link in your email, goes to your website and makes a purchase
  5. Since Facebook knows the user saw your ad and can connect that user to your website, attribution An attribution window is the number of days between when a person viewed or clicked your Facebook ad and subsequently took an action.Click word to read full description is given

If that happens, the ad may have promoted something that did not have anything to do with your email, or with what the user ultimately bought.

What makes the controversial view-through conversions?

There’s no surprise that view-through conversions have been controversial for so long. That is, even before the release of iOS 14, clients were skeptical of ads manager results, because they never noticed that ads manager reported more conversions than other sources.

The question has always been whether view-through conversions are as valuable as click-through conversions. It’s certainly not, but you can make the argument that the view contributed to the conversion. How much is contributed will depend on what the circumstances are.

It should be noted that I have not had an issue with conversions that were view-through. However, that has changed recently, mainly because there is no way to separate view-through and click-through conversions in reporting. It was previously possible, but Facebook removed the ability to compare Windows, due to the changes that happened to iOS 14+.