Have you recently seen an error like this in Facebook Ads Manager?
This event hasn’t been set up on any of your domains. Once Apple begins enforcing their new iOS 14 requirements, ad setsAn ad set is a Facebook ads grouping where settings like targeting, scheduling, optimization, and placement are determined. optimizing for **EVENT NAME** will be paused unless you change your available events in Events Manager.
Here’s an example…
One of Facebook’s reactions to the iOS 14 data tracking prompt is to impose a limit of eight events for optimizationHow you optimize impacts who sees your Facebook ad. Facebook will show your ad to people most likely to perform your desired action.. That limit is the source of this error.
You are probably seeing it for one of these two reasons:
- You attempted to optimize for an event that falls outside of your primary eight
- You tried to set up a conversions campaignThe 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. and have not yet configured your eight events
If none of this makes sense, keep reading. Let’s talk about the 8-event limit and what it is, how to configure your events, and some outstanding questions.
Understanding the 8-Event Limit
Once the iOS 14 tracking prompt goes live, Facebook will execute an 8-event limitation on optimization. This means that you will only be allowed to optimize for one of eight different events per domain.
When I say “optimize,” I’m referring to the conversion event you select within your ad set when using the Conversions objective…
Keep in mind that this limitation applies “per domain.” You can have a single pixel on multiple domains and optimize for eight different events on each domain. You can have multiple pixels on the same domain, but you are still limited to the same eight events.
While Facebook hasn’t been entirely clear, it’s assumed that you will be able to continue to include events outside of the primary eight within your reports (when customizing columns) and for custom audience targeting. Of course, reporting will be incomplete for users who opt out of the iOS 14 tracking prompt, though Facebook says they will perform modeling to attempt to fill in the blanks.
Now that you have a better understanding of the 8-event limit, let’s talk about configuring your eight events…
Navigate to Web Event Configurations
Within Events Manager, you will see a tab for Aggregated Event Measurement. Click on that…
Once you click on the “Configure Web Events” button, you’ll be sent to the Web Event Configurations page…
Web events on this page will be organized by domain. You’ll notice that the second column will include one of three messages.
“Owned by another business”…
Or “Verify Domain”…
Note that you cannot configure your events until you verify your domain. If you don’t own that domain, you will not be able to verify it — or configure the events on that domain.
If you haven’t yet verified your domain (and you’re able because you own it), click the button to start that process. You will then be redirected to the Domains section of your Business Settings.
You essentially need to add code or a file to the backend settings of your website — settings that only the website owner or admin will be able to access.
You’ll have three options:
- DNS Verification
- HTML File Upload
- Meta-tag Verification
I personally prefer the Meta-tag Verification option since it’s closest to the process for adding a pixel to my website (which I know how to do). Simply add that code to the header of your website’s homepage and then click to verify.
For more info on domain verification, read this blog post.
Configure Your Eight Events
If your domain is verified, expand the entry for that domain in Web Event Configurations to view the events currently assigned to it.
Facebook will attempt to choose and rank your events for you, but you can (and likely should) edit this. Note that the list will start only with the current standard events Facebook finds on your website. You can remove and move events, and you can also add custom conversions.
Click to edit your list. First, you’re going to get a warning…
Prior to the iOS 14 tracking prompt going live, this is no big deal. But it could be a very big deal later. Keep in mind that changes can and will result in your ad sets pausing.
Now, let’s edit your events…
The ranking matters. When a user opts out of iOS 14 tracking, Aggregated Event Measurement will come into play. At that point, Facebook will only receive a user’s highest-ranked event in a given visit.
You can order your events any way you want, but it would certainly make sense to have your Purchase event be the highest rank. It would be nonsensical to want Facebook to receive a ViewContent event but not Purchase, for example. This would happen if you rank ViewContent highest.
An example of how you might order it with standard events:
- Add Payment Info
- Initiate Checkout
- Add to Cart
- Complete Registration
- View Content
This is only an example. A registration may be worth more to your business than an add to cart. Also, note that you may not even have all of these events on your website.
Of course, if you want to use Value Optimization, that will take up four events by itself…
It’s possible, though, that you won’t even be able to optimize for value since you may not qualify.
Including Custom ConversionsCustom conversions let you create rules for events or URLs so that you can better track and optimize for specific actions with Facebook ads.
Maybe you can fill up your events using standard events. Regardless, you may want to include Custom Conversions in your list.
There are a few reasons you may want to include Custom Conversions. Doing so allows you to optimize for…
- Custom Events that you find important
- The purchase of a specific product
- The purchase of a category of product
There are other reasons as well, but standard events are based on very general actions. Custom Conversions give you more granularity.
To include a Custom Conversion, click the first drop-down that otherwise selects your pixel and scroll down to the bottom to select “Custom Conversion.” Then select the specific Custom Conversion in the drop-down to the right.
Here is my final, ranked list of eight events…
My website only makes use of Purchase, View Content, and Complete Registration standard events. However, I use a custom event for tracking quality web traffic by time (and scroll depth, for that matter). So, I included Custom Conversions for 60-second visits so that I can optimize for high-quality visits (typically for blog posts).
I created custom conversions based on categories of product as well, mainly because I had slots available. Since optimizing for specific products will create an issue of needing to edit my list often, these categories will (or should) remain unchanged. That also provides some volume for optimization purposes, rather than optimizing for the purchase of a single product.
Addressing the Error
Let’s return to the original issue of the error you may be seeing…
For now, this isn’t a problem. But once the tracking prompt goes live, the eight events will be enforced. At that point, you will not be able to optimize for an event outside of your primary eight. Any ad sets currently running that are optimized for an event outside of those eight will be turned off. And any change to your primary eight will result in a temporary pause.
This is going to create all sorts of problems and frustration for advertisers. It’s important that you plan ahead while you can. The more evergreen your eight-event configuration, the less likely you are to need to edit it later.
Fewer headaches, happy advertiser!
Many Open Questions
I covered a lot here, but know that the 8-event limit per domain opens up a ton of questions. One of the most common is something along these lines…
“What about using a third-party website to sell products? I provide them my pixel, but I am not able to configure these events because I don’t own — and can’t verify — the domain. So, I can’t optimize for these events. What do I do?”
It’s a question that I haven’t seen Facebook address yet. It’s not clear if they have a solution in mind, but this example does seem to present a big problem.
I’ll address this, and many other, related questions in separate blog posts and within my training (sign up if you haven’t yet!).
Have you configured your eight events yet? What issues are you running into?
Let me know in the comments below!