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Conversion API Tracking: What You Need To Know

Apple released its iOS 14 update in Spring 2021, offering users the option to opt out of tracking technologies, which has had a huge impact on the way Apple user data can be used to inform advertisers on the performance. As an estimated 7.33 billion people globally used Apple’s iOS technology, this loss of data has been critical.

Before the update, cookies could be used to power retargeting, ad personalisation and conversion tracking. However, all is not lost – Facebook’s Conversion API can now be installed server side to collect user events data, all within current privacy regulations.

What Is Conversion API Tracking?

The Facebook Conversion API is a tool that allows advertisers to send user events from their website or mobile app directly to Facebook’s servers. It is an alternative to the traditional Facebook Pixel, which relies on client-side code (JavaScript) to track user behaviour on a website.

With the Conversion API, advertisers can track more types of events and collect more accurate data than with the Facebook Pixel alone. This is because the Conversion API sends data directly from the server, bypassing any limitations imposed by browsers or ad blockers.

Once the Conversion API is set up, advertisers can track events such as page views, add-to-cart actions, and purchases, as well as custom events that they define themselves. This data can be used to optimise ad targeting and measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns within the Meta platforms.

It’s worth noting that the Conversion API is more complex to set up than the Facebook Pixel and requires a certain level of technical expertise. However, for advertisers who are willing to invest the time and resources, it can provide valuable insights into user behaviour and help improve ad performance.

What Is The Difference Between Meta Pixel And Conversion API Tracking?

The functional difference between Meta Pixel and API is that rather than Facebook collecting and storing the data from your site as it did with Pixel, you are now collecting the data from your website server and sending it to Facebook’s server to populate the data contained Ads Manager. Essentially, with Meta pixel, the code is installed on your website browser, whereas Conversion Tracking API is installed on your website server. They are both mechanisms that transport event data, just in slightly different ways.

There were limitations to the Meta Pixel that were imposed by web browsers and ad blockers which prevented the tracking code from firing, causing incomplete and inaccurate data, however, Conversion API does not use cookies or other tracking technologies that may compromise user privacy.

The Benefits of Conversion API Tracking

Some businesses are choosing not to send the time or budget to set up Conversion API tracking for on their server and are continuing to just Meta Pixel alone. However, it is Strongly recommended that you use both Meta Pixel and Conversion API in conjunction to ensure the best results. Some of the benefits of installing Conversion API are as follows.

  • Reliable data: The data that populates your Ads Manager is more reliable than the data collected by Meta Pixel alone.
  • Improved data privacy: Conversion API can help ensure user privacy and protect their data in accordance with the last data protection regulations, as it bypasses tracking technologies such as cookies.
  • Cross-device tracking: By using Conversion API you can now track user events across multiple interlinked devices to further understand user behaviour, attribute conversions and ultimately, improve the results of your ad campaigns.
  • Accurate ad targeting: Because the event data collected is more accurate you can make informed decisions regarding your target audience which will lead to increased conversions.

Setting Up Conversion API Tracking

Setting up Conversion API tracking requires knowledge of server-side coding, such as PHP or Python. It needs to be integrated with your website or app’s backend code. If your site or app uses a popular e-commerce or CMS platform, such as WordPress, there may be pre-built integrations available that can simplify the setup process slightly.

If you’re tracking standard events, such as page views and purchases, this may be relatively straightforward. If you’re tracking custom events, these events will need to be set up.

As with any new integration, it’s important to thoroughly test the Conversion API to ensure that data is being tracked accurately and reliably. This may involve creating test events and verifying that they’re being tracked correctly.

At Bigwave, we have begun this process with our existing clients as part of our PPC service, for no extra charge to our clients who are on WordPress. If you would like any more information regarding the marketing services Bigwave can provide your business, please feel free to enquire today.

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