Custom Events vs. Custom Conversions

Do you know the difference?

Custom events and custom conversions confuse too many advertisers. They either mistake one for the other or they use the two interchangeably.

Both require the pixel or conversions API and help you define conversions that are used for reporting and optimization. But the similarities stop there.

Custom events require code and allow you to freely define actions beyond standard events using custom triggers.

I have custom events that fire based on things like

1. Amount of time spent on a page
2. Scroll depth down a page
3. Watched an embedded YouTube video

Beyond using these actions for optimization and reporting, you can also create website custom audiences based on this activity.

Custom conversions don’t require code and are built within the Events Manager interface. They rely on URL or parameter rules, which limits what you can create. You can’t create custom audiences based on them.

You should use both.

Use custom events to capture all people who performed a specific action beyond predefined standard events. Use custom conversions to isolate segments of people who performed those events based on parameters. That could mean only those who watched a specific video or spent more than a minute on a certain page.