It is well-known across the industry that Facebook advertising is essential to an effective marketing strategy. In order to optimize and measure the success of advertising by understanding the actions customers take on a website, Facebook pixels must be utilized. A Facebook pixel is code that you place on your website. It collects data that helps track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads, build targeted audiences for future ads, and remarket to customers who have already acted on your website. While standard events are more commonly used, utilizing custom conversions allow for more specific customer action tracking.

Let’s take an in-depth look at what exactly a custom conversion is and some specific integration examples for best use cases.

What is a Custom Conversion?

Standard Events

Facebook Standard Conversions are used to track ads being shown to the right people, drive sales, and measure the results of ads. Once placed on your business’s website, you’ll be able to see actions taken on the site and use those to build audiences and determine campaign success. Facebook predetermines multiple standard events to log conversions, optimize for conversions, and build audiences. When selecting the standard conversion events, match these to your most important business outcomes. In order to determine events to use, navigate through the path to conversion on your website and select corresponding events that can be used for targeting, optimization, measurements, and insights.

These standard conversion events allow, for example, the ability to trace the actions of a site visitor in the path to purchase. It is possible to follow a customer adding an item to their cart, initiating checkout, adding payment information, and completing a purchase. Some of the most used standard events are add to cart, find location, lead, purchase, and complete registration.

To utilize these standard events, the pixel event codes must be placed with the corresponding actions on the site along with the standard universal Facebook pixel. The Facebook pixel provides a universal event to track all activity across the site. In order to separate out the actions a user takes on the site, we can use standard events or custom events. Standard events are predefined actions we recognize and support across ad products. When you add them to your pixel code, you can log those standard events, optimize for conversions, and build audiences.

Custom events are actions that fall outside those covered by our standard events, and you can give them a unique name to represent the action taking place. Using custom events along with standard events to build custom conversions allow a more granular view of how a user is interacting within your website and how to better segment and target that user for future advertising. The options for the standard events are shown below.

Standard Pixel Events | Utilizing Facebook Custom Conversions

Custom Conversions

Custom Conversions are unique in their own right. There will be events when using paid ads on Facebook that you will need to measure or track the conversion of a certain action that standard events cannot. These non-standard events will require custom conversions.

One great thing about custom conversions is that extra code is not required to utilize this piece of tracking. Rules are set up through the parameters of either customized URL rules or event rules. You can filter out specific events to better segment your audience and the actions they take on your site. Custom conversions are best used to optimize ad delivery for actions that cannot otherwise be optimized towards, set up standard events without additional code, filter events, and control what you share with partners.

To build a custom conversion, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the custom conversions tab in Events Manager.
  2. Create a custom conversion.
  3. Select your data source – or universal pixel already placed.
  4. Select a custom event or all URL traffic as your website event.
  5. Set up a rule using Event Parameters or a URL. You can enter multiple rules.
  6. Enter a name for your custom conversion. You can also add a description and conversion value as an option.
  7. Click create, and it should be all set.
Custom Conversions Build | Utilizing Facebook Custom Conversions

Keep in mind, once you build a custom conversion, you can edit the name, description, and value—but not any of the rules. There is a maximum of 100 custom conversions allowed per ad account. Once your custom conversions are built, you can set your ad sets up to optimize towards these unique conversions and better target your audience.

Business Use Cases for Custom Conversions

Retail Purchases

Let’s say you own a clothing store and want to improve your sales in high-end male shirts. In order to separate these out, you need to build a custom conversion that segments both the product type and the price of the items. First, make sure the Purchase event is built as a website event on your site. Then, create a custom conversion with a URL rule indicating it is for “mens” clothing. Add in a second rule that indicates the Value of the purchase is greater than $50. The set-up should look like the following.

Retail Purchases | Utilizing Facebook Custom Conversions

This conversion pixel can then be used to optimize ad sets to show ads to an audience of people most likely to purchase men’s clothing over $50, and thus high-end men’s clothing.

Lead Form Sign Ups

Let’s say you’re looking for leads from visitors to your site by filling a form on your site, but you have many different locations that a site visitor can yield from. In order to separate these out, a custom conversion can be used to specify which location a lead is interested in. You would need to select the Lead event and set up a URL rule to contain the location.

Lead Conversion | Utilizing Facebook Custom Conversions

With this information, you can segment and follow up on leads based on the locations the audience is more likely to be interested in and target your ads to these people. This will optimize your ads to an audience that is more accurate rather than serving ads to a broad audience who may not be intending to find more information about a specific location.

Ticket Sales

One conversion type we are very familiar with is ticket sales for events. Sports teams, art shows, and movie theaters—nearly all entertainment types need to sell tickets to their events—and most often have more than one event on sale at one time. To see what specific event that a customer buys a ticket for, a custom conversion is ideal. To set this up, custom event parameters must be utilized. For example, if you want to see customers who purchased tickets to a home game for over $100 in the lower level, the set-up will look as below.

Ticket Sales | Utilizing Facebook Custom Conversions

This custom conversion will tell you what event your audience is most interested in and then target your ads to boost improvement on other events and provide insights into how effective your ads are towards getting customers to buy tickets to certain events.

Conclusion

Facebook is always changing, and one of the most exciting things that has come recently is the power of utilizing Facebook custom conversions. Custom Conversions allow you to define your business goals yourself as they are unique to each business. The four solutions of these pixels are targeting to reach the right people, optimization to drive more sales, measurement to understand the impact of your ads, and insights to learn how people are interacting with your business. These elements help bring out the best in your marketing and business overall.