The confusing part for many advertisers is that standard events, custom events, and Custom conversions let you create rules for events or URLs so that you can better track and optimize for specific actions with Facebook ads. More can all be used for both reporting and How you optimize impacts who sees your Facebook ad. Facebook will show your ad to people most likely to perform your desired action. More. They each have their own quirks, similarities, advantages, and disadvantages.
Custom conversions, though, have a very specific role.
Let’s clear it up…
You can create website custom audiences based on both standard and custom events. You can’t create A website custom audience matches people who visit your website with people on Facebook. You can then create ads to show to that audience. More based on a custom conversion.
When we talk about the role of custom conversions, understand it has nothing to do with targeting audiences.
One of the nice benefits of custom conversions is that they don’t require extra code to be added to your website. Both standard and custom events require event code (though, technically, you could use the Event Setup Tool to create standard events).
The process of creating a custom conversion is similar to that of a website custom audience. It can be created based on a URL or event fire.
Standard events, custom events, and custom conversions can all be used for optimization. The difference is granularity.
For example, you can select the Purchase standard event as your conversion event that would be used for optimization.
You could use a custom event for this same purpose (in my case, one of my custom events is Podcast Play).
Custom conversions, though, allow you to set a more specific conversion event. You could first create a custom conversion based on the purchase of a specific product (or, in this case, category of product).
You could then set that as your conversion event, which could be used for optimization.
This level of granularity also carries into reporting. If you add columns for standard and custom events, you will get reporting for those things.
For example, I have columns for Purchases, Registrations, and Searches (standard events) as well as Podcast Play and Quality Visitor (custom events).
This is nice, but sometimes you want details. What products are people purchasing? What are they registering for? What are they searching?
I also add columns for the registration for specific opt-ins and the purchase of specific products. I use custom conversions to accomplish this.
So, let’s summarize custom conversions and how they differ from standard and custom events:
- No code is needed to create custom conversions (unlike standard and custom events)
- You can’t create website custom audiences based on custom conversions (unlike standard and custom events)
- You can map details of standard and custom events with parameters to add granularity to optimization and reporting
I use custom conversions quite a bit to help understand the specific actions on my websites that occur as a result of my ads. How do you use them?
Let me know in the comments below!