You may have heard some buzz recently about the changes Facebook is making for their advertising platform. Truthfully, Facebook is ALWAYS making some kind of change to their ads platform. It makes me want to pull my hair out sometimes. Did you know, for example, that 360 video is coming soon to Facebook ads? If you don’t know what that is look at this post on Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page…
But I digress.
The big change everyone is talking about is that Facebook recently launched their new Custom Conversion code. The old conversion pixel that you knew and hated loved will be going away by the middle of 2016. In its place we now have the Custom Conversion Code as well as Standard Events.
So what the heck does that all mean?
First, this is not replacing the custom website audience pixel.
Initially I think there was a lot of confusion because there are technically TWO options for conversion code. Some people misunderstood and thought that they needed to replace their website custom audience code, and that isn’t the case.
The website custom audience code is what you have (or hopefully have) placed on your site to track website traffic for remarketing purposes. This code doesn’t track conversions.
The old conversion pixel that you created new each and every time you had a new conversion to track, the code you placed on your thank you pages, is what’s going away.
The Custom Conversion code will make your life easier.
Just like the Website Custom Audience pixel lets you create multiple audiences using the one code, the Custom Conversion code will let you track multiple conversions using the same code.
To create yours, go to the Ads Manager and under Tools select Custom Conversions.
From there you’ll click the big green button that says to Create Custom Conversions.
You will tell Facebook what pages you want to track conversions for creating rules. (That sounds a lot more complicated than it is.) In the Create Custom Conversion pop up box you’ll enter the URL and select the URL Equals option that you want (either URL contains or URL equals). Finally you’ll select a category for the conversion and you’re done!
When you set up a new ad and want to track for conversions, you’ll optimize for conversions at the campaign level and there you’ll be able to select which conversion you’re tracking. In the past, you had to do this at the ad level.
There are currently only two downsides to Custom Conversions:
- You can currently only create 20 Custom Conversions.
This means if you are tracking a LOT of different conversions, the custom conversions won’t work for you. And even if they do work for you now, you will likely eventually hit your limit when you’re making new lead magnets, promoting new webinars, selling new products, etc. Facebook, I’m guessing, will increase this limit at some point. If they don’t, they’ll have to allow users to delete Custom Conversions. Which brings me to the other down side…
- You can’t currently delete or edit Custom Conversions.
Again, I’m sure this will change at some point in the (I’m guessing) relatively near future. They have to allow people to delete, as I said, because otherwise a lot of people are going to be upset when they hit their 20 conversions and are maxed out.
What if you have more than 20 conversions you need to track now?
This is where it gets a LITTLE more complex. If you’ve ready used up all of your 20 conversions you can create Standard Events. It’s a little more like the old process where code needs to be added to individual pages.
It’s really pretty easy to implement if you have easy access to your website (or if you have someone who can do it for you). Unlike the Custom Conversions, you can have as many standard events as you need.
To set up a standard event, go to the Tools menu and select Pixels.
From there, click on Create Conversion. (This is another way to access the Custom Conversions, by the way.)
You’ll be shown this list of standard events that may be occurring on your website. You’ll copy the code for the event you want to track and paste it right after the Page View standard event that’s currently in the code. The pixel code is already tracking page views on every page of your website…you’re just adding the standard event code to the code so you can track the conversion that’s taking place there.
Again, if this is too technical for you, I have no doubt that you could easily find someone who could add it for you in no time at all. (If you don’t, I’m happy to point you to someone.)
When you create a new ad campaign and choose to optimize for conversions, all of the different conversion options will be there: Custom Conversions, standard events and (until the middle of 2016), the conversion pixels you’ve set up in the past.
I would recommend, if you’re going to swap out your old pixel code for the Custom Conversion code, that you go ahead and remove the old code altogether. Too much code can slow down your site.
I think there has been a lot of confusion for people around these new Facebook changes so hopefully this cleared things up for you. For many of you, the Custom Conversions will likely work for now and you won’t have to create standard events as well.
Best of luck and let me know what you think of the new changes!