Analytics

How to Optimize Meta Ads With Better Data Collection

Discover how the right data can lower your CPMs for Meta Ads. Learn what data Meta really wants, event tracking, user data collection, and steps to boost your ad performance.

How to Optimize Meta Ads With Better Data Collection

Kayle Larkin

Head of Marketing

Want to lower your CPMs for Meta Ads? Better data collection is the solution.

Brad Redding, Founder of Elevar, details how Facebook event tracking and user data collection impact the money you spend on Meta Ads on The Conversion Tracking Podcast [listen to Episode 70 here].

In this article, we break down the main points, including:

Overview of Facebook Dataset IDs

In 2023, Meta (formerly known as Facebook) updated the Events Manager UI within Facebook Business Manager and transitioned to dataset ID views. With this transition, you now see your Facebook pixel data rolled up under a single dataset.

Wondering what dataset ID views are?

The dataset ID is Meta’s way of allowing you to send data from different sources and consolidate it under one single dataset. This makes it simple for users to combine their data from disparate sources into one view.

In most cases, your dataset ID is the same as your pixel ID.

Whether your data is coming from your pixel, conversions API, iOS app, offline data, or if you’re doing a CSV upload, all of your data is now grouped under one master dataset so you can see it within a single view in Facebook Business Manager.

This allows you to drill down into your events and different customer behaviors based on where the data is coming from.

Reference Meta’s datasets resource for an in-depth explanation of datasets in Meta Events Manager.

Understanding What Data Facebook Really Wants

Having accurate and reliable data can help you improve your Meta Ad campaigns, which in turn drives growth and efficiency for your business.

There are three primary principles for collecting the data Facebook wants:

1. Total Number of Events

Facebook emphasizes the importance for you to record all of your events, including purchase events, add to cart events, page view events, and so on.

They care about the comprehensive recording of event data so much that they launched the Meta Conversions API (CAPI) to better capture the total number of events.

Years ago when client-side tracking through the Facebook pixel was Facebook’s only option for event tracking, businesses would compare the number of purchase events in Shopify to the number of purchase events Facebook recorded to check that their data collection was accurate.

With the rise of ad blockers and changes to browsers limitations for data collection, businesses began seeing 20% to 30% gaps in their Shopify purchase events compared to the purchase events reported in Facebook.

Meta introduced server-side tracking through the CAPI in response to those limitations, giving businesses better visibility into their conversion data.

2. Event Match Quality Score

Your Event Match Quality score provides an indication of how effective the customer data parameters sent with your server event are at matching events to Facebook user accounts.

Customer data parameters play a key role in data attribution.

Even if you’re collecting all of your event data, Facebook will not be able to attribute traffic from your site to a campaign if the data does not have user matching parameters.

Examples of quality customer data parameters include email addresses, IP addresses, names, and phone numbers. The user’s FPC and FPP parameters, which are essentially cookies set on visit, also factor into customer data collection.

Facebook needs that data so they can help match activity from your site back to views and clicks within the Facebook platform. Unmatched events cannot be used for attribution or for ad delivery optimization.

3. Event Deduplication

Currently, Meta still wants businesses to send data both client-side through the pixel and server-side through the CAPI.

While it’s a best practice to implement the Meta Pixel and CAPI together, transmitting data from both sources means event data is duplicated. For this reason, deduplication is necessary so the same event isn’t recorded twice.

The Event ID and the Event Name parameters allow for event deduplication. If you aren’t sending these parameters along with your event data, Facebook won’t discard the duplicated event and your metrics will be falsely inflated.

Event deduplication is essential for accurate reporting.

How Meta Uses the Data

Why does Facebook want user data? For Meta Ad auctions.

Facebook uses a formula to rank and essentially start making the decisions on what brand or business wins the auction to show an ad for a particular user.

The Facebook ad auction formula is Bid X Estimated action rate X Ad quality = Total value

image showing facebook ad auction formula. Bid x estimated action rate + ad quality = total value

The estimated action rate is the probability of getting a desired outcome or action from displaying an ad. This is where the data that you feed the Facebook engine becomes extra important. Facebook uses the data you transmit to them to determine how likely it is that a user will convert from one of your ads.

Estimated action rates have an impact on bidding and costs.

If the estimated action rate is very high, you have the chance to bid lower than the competitors you are bidding against in the ad auction and end up paying less for a click or an acquisition. You could win the formula simply by having a higher estimated action rate.

Practical Steps for Improving Meta Ad Performance

It’s in your best interest to focus efforts on improving the data powering your Meta Ads because doing so can lower your CPMs while increasing revenue.

Take these steps to improve your Facebook ad performance:

1. Ensure maximum event coverage across all funnels.

Facebook wants you to track all of your events. Implementing both the Meta Pixel and Meta CAPI is one solution for maximizing your event coverage. Learn more about Meta Pixel and Meta CAPI and why you should implement both on your Shopify store.

2. Examine event count coverage in Facebook Events Manager.

This can give you a clear understanding of whether or not you’re tracking all events and if the data you’re collecting is being deduplicated.

If you pull up Events Overview in Events Manager, you can see how many events you received client-side from the pixel and how many you received server-side from the CAPI integration.

In general, your number of server-side events should be higher than your number of client-side events. If you see more client-side events than server-side events, you likely have duplicate data.

3. Deduplicate event data.

When you implement both the Meta Pixel and Meta CAPI, include Event ID parameters in the data you collect so Facebook can identify duplicate events and pair them as one single event.

4. Send high-quality user data.

Transmitting data like email addresses, IP addresses, names, and phone numbers helps with matching an event to a specific user, which is key for data attribution.

It’s important to compare the data you can collect with the native Facebook channel integration to what you can collect with Elevar. In terms of non-purchase events, the native Facebook channel app gives you email addresses, IP addresses, user agent, external ID, and click ID.

With the Elevar CAPI integration, you’re getting the same data as the Facebook app plus phone number, browser ID, zip code, country, first name, last name, city, and state.

Check out this side-by-side comparison of what data you can collect with the Elevar CAPI integration vs. the native Facebook channel app.

Final Thoughts

The transition to Meta dataset IDs is good for businesses because it simplifies the way you can view data from multiple sources. This can help you make more informed decisions about your business’s Facebook ad campaigns, and ultimately lead to an increase in business growth and revenue.

In order to tap into the event tracking benefits of dataset IDs in Facebook, you need to understand what information Facebook wants.

Focus on collecting the total number of events, optimizing your Event Match Quality score, and ensuring your data is deduplicated.

Validate and improve your data tracking by examining your event count coverage and checking to confirm that your number of server events is higher than your number of browser events.

Sending high-quality data can help Facebook match events to specific users, which is essential for data attribution. Explore how Elevar can help you collect higher quality data than the native Facebook channel app.

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