You may be seeing that reported A conversion is counted whenever a website visitor performs an action that fires a standard event, custom event, or custom conversion. Examples of conversions include purchases, leads, content views, add to cart, and registrations. More are down since iOS 14+ changes of 2021. You aren’t alone. While there are many reasons for a drop in reporting, one may be the way that you configure your custom Facebook ads reports.
It has to do with unranked events. Let’s discuss…
Custom Ads Manager Reports
If you’re like me, you create custom Facebook ads reports in Ads Manager. You don’t rely only on the default construction of columns that Facebook provides.
I even wrote a post about how I have a saved report called “The Good Stuff.” It allows me to monitor the impact of my ads on the metrics that I care about most, regardless of The Performance Goal is chosen within the ad set and determines optimization and delivery. How you optimize impacts who sees your ad. Meta will show your ad to people most likely to perform your desired action. More.
My custom report consists of about 30 metrics in all, from standard Facebook ads metrics to standard 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.
And there, of course, is the potential issue.
Ranked and Unranked Events
A quick refresher on Aggregated Event Measurement is Meta's protocol for handling tracking opt-outs from iOS devices. AEM initially required advertisers to configure and rank eight events and verify their website, but those requirements were removed in 2023. Aggregated Event Measurement still exists, but Meta handles it on the back-end to comply with Apple requirements on privacy. More, ranked and unranked events, related to iOS 14+ changes…
When an iOS user opts out of tracking, only that user’s highest-ranked event will be reported (no change to reporting for an iOS user who opts-in). This, of course, assumes that you have ranked your events (you can rank up to eight).
In theory, only a ranked event has the potential to be reported for an opted-out iOS user. And the higher that event is ranked, the greater the possibility that it will be reported when executed.
Unranked events, though, won’t be sent. They are bound to be far less complete (the level of completeness, of course, will depend upon the density of opted-out iOS users in your targeted This is the group of people who can potentially see your ads. You help influence this by adjusting age, gender, location, detailed targeting (interests and behaviors), custom audiences, and more. More).
I’m running a Reach measures the number of Accounts Center Accounts (formerly users) that saw your ads at least once. You can have one account reached with multiple impressions. More The campaign is the foundation of your Facebook ad. This is where you'll set an advertising objective, which defines what you want your ad to achieve. More to a very warm audience to promote my 10 Tips free opt-in lead magnet. One of my columns is for the Complete Registration standard event. Facebook reports 51 registrations.
However, I added a column for registrations for the specific opt-in I’m promoting as well using a custom conversion. There, Facebook is reporting only 39. Where are the other 12?
Well, the next thing I did was add a column for my other primary lead magnet, The Basics. If a user I targeted opted in for both within seven days of clicking the ad, they could both be counted.
Then it occurred to me: The Complete Registrations event is ranked among my eight events. The custom conversions for each opt-in are not.
While it’s impossible to know whether opted-out iOS users account for the full 12 additional conversions (reasonable to assume there are other explanations, too), it’s certainly consistent to assume that some or most of those missing conversions are due to opt-outs.
If these signups follow my normal traffic trends, about 12-percent came from iOS devices. So, it’s reasonable to assume that at least something in the neighborhood of 6 of the 12 weren’t counted due to opt-outs.
It’s important not to overreact to this. I could simply stop tracking unranked events in my reports. Instead, I understand that this information still has value.
Just understand that while reporting may be incomplete overall, reporting for unranked events should be expected to be even less complete. Be aware of it. Don’t act on that raw data. Maybe compare it to a related ranked event for clarity (like the Complete Registration event in my case).
It’s situations like this where it’s important to cross-check results these days. It’s why I use URL parameters with Google Analytics, and why I’ve also experimented with duplicating landing pages and forms that are used only for ads.
How do you address the issue of unranked events in your custom reports? Do you ignore them entirely or do you simply look at them with more scrutiny?
Let me know in the comments below!