What is Audience Optimization and how do I use it?
Audience Optimization sends your actual conversion data from ClickMagick Campaigns back to the major ad networks. This helps their ad optimization algorithms work more much efficiently, which results in more great customers for you at the lowest cost possible.
The first thing you need to know is you absolutely cannot rely on the conversion stats provided by your ad platforms.
That just doesn’t work, because individually they simply don’t have all the data points necessary to generate accurate and actionable marketing insights.
Here’s a simple example …
Imagine someone clicks on your Facebook ad today, but doesn’t take action on your site.
They forget about you and your business, but three weeks from now they happen to click your Google ad and ultimately make a purchase.
In this simple example Facebook Ads is going to show one sale, and Google Ads is going to show one sale.
Not only do your ad networks show two sales when you only had one, but they both took credit for the same sale!
On top of that you have people constantly switching devices, oftentimes logging out of Google and Facebook which breaks their cross-device tracking, deleting their browser cookies …
And even worse, some browsers and security apps are now outright blocking tracking code from the major ad platforms like Google, Facebook and YouTube.
In fact, if you’re already running paid ads on Facebook or Google and you’ve tried to use their systems to track things like your opt-ins or your sales, you’ve probably already noticed that their stats just don’t match up with the other things like your autoresponder or CRM, right?
Based on the data, the bottom line is that the major networks like Facebook and Google misattribute or just completely miss anywhere from 20-50% or more of your conversions.
That means the stats in your ad networks are essentially useless, aside from showing your ad costs.
The other major problem is that the ad network pixels you have on all of your pages are actually feeding all this bad data back to the ad networks, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
So now they’re using this bad data to try to find you new customers …
Which means their algorithms are going to be a lot less efficient than they should be, and the end result is fewer new customers for you, and at a higher cost for what you do get.
In short, ClickMagick Audience Optimization fixes this problem.
It allows you to feed your actual conversion data back to the ad networks, which allows their algorithms to find you even more and better customers at the absolute lowest cost possible …
And this will dramatically increase your profit margins, and make it much easier to scale.
Google Ads & Microsoft Ads
We’ll send your actual conversion data to Google and Microsoft via the offline conversions feature they support, using their respective “gclid” and “msclkid” click IDs which ClickMagick Campaigns captures automatically.
Whenever you want to upload your recent conversion data back to these ad networks, simply navigate to the Audience Optimization page in ClickMagick Campaigns.
Select your Campaigns project, the date range you’re interested in, and any optional UTM parameters if you want to restrict the data set to a particular ad campaign for example.
Then simply click the download button to download your actual conversion data, and upload it to the ad networks via the instructions on the other tabs in this article.
For most businesses, doing this just once a month should be enough and it just takes a handful of minutes.
Even better, in Q2 of 2021 we’ll be fully automating this process so you won’t have to do a thing.
We’ll send your actual conversion data back to Facebook Ads via their Conversions API.
Once you complete the integration, which shouldn’t take more than 5-30 minutes depending on your experience level with Facebook Ads, the entire process is fully automated and you won’t have to even think about it.
Step 1 – Ensure Auto-Tagging Is Turned On
Before you get started, make sure that you have auto-tagging turned on in your Google Ads account by going to Settings > Account Settings and checking the “auto-tagging” box:
Step 2 – Download the Campaigns CSV Report
Next, simply specify the UTM Parameters you’re interested in on the Campaigns Dashboard, then select “Audience Optimization” from the Tools menu .
From there under “Google Ads” click on the “Download” button and choose between Actions, Engagements or Sales and then click on “Download”.
This file will contain a unique GCLID (Google Click ID) value for each conversion that you can then import into your Google Ads account, and this will help Google’s systems to better help you find more great customers!
Step 3 – Create a New Google Ads Conversion Action
Now head over to Google Ads, click on “Tools & Settings”, and select “Conversions”:
Select the “Conversion actions” tab and click the little plus sign:
Select “Import” from the conversion type, click on “Other data sources or CRMs”, select “Track conversions from clicks” and then click on “Continue”:
Fill in the details for your new conversion action. The most important thing to remember here is the name of this new conversion action.
After you fill in the rest of the details, click on “Create and Continue”.
Note: After you create this new conversion action, it can take up to 4 hours for it to “register” with Google. So you can wait for a bit before proceeding to the last two steps, or try them anyway. Keep in mind if the upload doesn’t work, you’ll just have to wait a bit and it’ll get resolved.
Step 4 – Change the Conversion Name In Your Excel Report
Now that you created your new conversion action, open your CSV report that you downloaded from step 2 and change all your conversion names in the “Conversion Name” column to match the name of your new Import Conversion Action in Google:
Note: By default the conversion names will be Action, Engagement or Sale so you can make your Conversion Name in Google one of them so you don’t have to change the name in the Excel Report.
Step 5 – Upload the CSV Report Into Your Google Ads Account
Now you are ready to upload this file into your Google Ads account.
From the Conversions section, click on “Uploads” from the tab on the left, and click on “Upload a file”:
Select your file that you just downloaded from ClickMagick and then edited in step 4 and you will have successfully imported your conversion data into Google!
If you want to import your data into Google on a regular schedule, you can do so by uploading a Google Sheets doc or store the file online via HTTPS or SFTP. For more information on how to do that, check out this Google article, scroll to the “Import your conversions” section and select the “Upload your conversions on a schedule” dropdown.
Note: If you added the optional cmc_strip parameter to your URL, you will not see the GCLID number show up in the URL bar when clicking your link. However the GCLID number is still being generated and you will be able to import your conversions into Google Ads.
Step 1 – Ensure Auto-Tagging is Turned On
Before you get started, make sure you have auto-tagging turned on in your Microsoft Ads account by going to Campaigns > Settings > Account settings and check the “Auto-tagging of Click ID” box
Step 2 – Download the Campaigns CSV Report
Specify the UTM parameters you’re interested in on the Campaigns Dashboard, then select “Audience Optimization” from the Tools menus .
From there, under “Microsoft Ads” click on the “Download” button and choose between Actions, Engagements or Sales and then click on “Download”.
This file will contain a unique MSCLKID (Microsoft Click ID) value for each conversion that you can then import into your Microsoft Ads account.
Step 3 – Create a New Microsoft Ads Conversion Goal
Head over to Microsoft Ads, click on “Tools” and under Conversion Tracking click on “Conversion goals”.
Click “Create conversion goal”.
Fill in the details for your new conversion goal, remember the name of the this new conversion goal.
For type select “Offline conversions”
Proceed to fill out the rest of the details and then click “Save”.
Note: After you create this new conversion goal, it can take up to 2 hours for it to “register” with Microsoft. So you can wait a bit before proceeding to the last two steps, or try them anyway. Keep in mind if the upload doesn’t work, you’ll just have to wait a bit and it’ll get resolved.
Step 4 – Change the Conversion Name In Your Excel Report
Now that you created the new conversion goal, open up your CSV that you downloaded from step 2 and change all your conversion names in the “Conversion Name” column to match the name of the goal you created in Microsoft:
Note: By default the conversion names will be Action, Engagement or Sale so you can make your Conversion Name in Microsoft one of them so you don’t have to change the name in the Excel Report.
Step 5 – Upload the CSV Report Into Your Microsoft Ads Account
Now you are reason to upload this file into your Microsoft Ads account.
Click on “Tools” and under Conversion Tracking click on Offline conversions:
Then click on “Upload” and select your file you just downloaded from ClickMagick and then edited in Step 4 and you will have successfully imported your conversion data into Microsoft!
Your existing Facebook pixels are "corrupted” with bad data and should NOT be used for optimization. If you’re interested, you can read a bit more about this in the articles below:
Instead, you’ll want to create a new pixel that ClickMagick can post your actual conversion data to and “start fresh.”
This new pixel will be the only source of your actual conversion data inside of Facebook Ads, and you’ll want to start using this new “ClickMagick pixel” for optimization going forward.
Note: To be perfectly clear, none of this affects your existing Facebook pixels. You’re only “starting over” in the sense that you’ll be training a new more accurate pixel from scratch. If necessary you can still use your existing pixels in any way that makes sense to you.
With all of that out of the way, here’s how to actually set this up …
There’s just a few steps and if you’re familiar with the Facebook Ads interface it should only take a few minutes, and if you’re not there’s a video below which walks you through each of the steps …
Step 1 – Create a new Facebook Pixel
Go to your Facebook Events Manager, click “Connect Data Sources”, select “web” and then “Get Started”, select “Conversions API” and then “Continue”, then give your new pixel any name you want and click “Continue.”
Once you name your pixel and click “Continue” your pixel will be created. Facebook will then present you with instructions on how to use your pixel but this is not important so just close the window.
Caution: Do not under any circumstances add this new pixel to your website. If you do it will become corrupted with bad data and you’ll have to start over from scratch.
Step 2 – Copy your new Pixel’s ID
You should see your new pixel listed in the “Data Sources” column on the left. Simply copy the Pixel ID under the pixel name as you’ll need this in the last step.
Step 3 – Create an Access Token
In order for ClickMagick to be able to post your conversions to the Facebook Conversion API, you’ll need to create and provide us with a Facebook API Access Token.
Select your new pixel, then select Settings, find the Conversions API section and click on “Generate access token” under “Set up manually”. Copy this Access Token for use in the next step.
Step 4 – Add your Pixel Details to ClickMagick
The final step is to tell ClickMagick about your new pixel. To do this, simply navigate to the Campaigns project you want to optimize, select Audience Optimization from the Tools menu , then select the Facebook option.
Tell ClickMagick if you want to optimize for an Action, an Engagement or Sales, enter your Facebook Pixel’s ID and Access Token, enter the URL of your homepage, submit the form and you’re done with the integration.
Note: We’ll always pass the actual URL(s) where your conversions occur to Facebook’s API when available. When no URL is available, for example if you’re tracking affiliate sales via Postbacks, we’ll simply pass the URL you enter.
This means that the domain of the Website URL you enter must be a domain that you’ve properly configured in your Facebook Events Manager. If it’s not, Facebook will ignore conversions we send with this “backup” URL.
Tip: While you can technically send Action, Engagement and Sales conversions to your pixel, Facebook only allows you to select a single event to optimize for.
So for example if you know you’re going to use the pixel to optimize for Sales, there’s really no benefit in sending Action or Engagement conversions to your pixel.
Step 5 – Test Your Pixel (Optional)
Once you’ve set up your Facebook Pixel in ClickMagick, we’ll immediately start sending the conversions you want to optimize for to your new pixel via Facebook’s Conversion API in real-time.
When we do, you’ll see a simple status message on the same screen where you set up your pixel(s) letting you know if everything is working properly.
You can also verify that Facebook is receiving the data correctly by selecting the pixel in your Facebook Ads account and viewing the pixel activity on the Overview tab.
Please note that while we send your conversions in real-time it usually takes their system anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours or longer to update.
Step 6 – “Season” Your New Facebook Pixel
Making the switch to a new pixel that has only accurate data is a very smart move, but it does require “starting over” for optimization purposes. So for the best performance you’ll want to “season” this new pixel a bit before using it.
To be clear – we recommend that you do NOT start using this new pixel for optimization right away. If you do, you’ll almost certainly see a temporary drop in ad performance.
Instead, set everything up, start sending some traffic, and let ClickMagick start to track your clicks and conversions, and begin sending your conversion data to your new Facebook pixel.
This will “season” your pixel and allow Facebook’s AI to learn what your ideal customer looks like.
We can’t tell you exactly how long to season your new pixel as it really depends on the number of conversions you get per day, your audience and many other factors …
The short answer is “the longer the better,” but we suggest waiting at least a week or two and then you can go ahead and test your new pixel’s performance by using it to optimize a single campaign or a single ad set.
If things don’t go great that generally means you need to send Facebook more data to work with, so stop using the pixel for awhile, let us send more data, and then try it again in a week or so.
Once you’re happy with the performance of your new pixel you can go ahead and apply it to your other campaigns.
Step 7 – Use Your New Pixel for Facebook Ad Optimization
When you’re ready, you’ll use your new Pixel to optimize your Facebook ads like never before.
If you want to optimize for an Action like an opt-in, these will show up in your pixel as the standard Facebook “Contact” event. So when optimizing your ads you would simply select your new pixel and then select the “Contact” event. For Engagements you’d choose the “Lead” event, and for Sales it’s the “Purchase” event.
And that’s really all there is to it. As your new pixel gathers more and more accurate data, the performance of your ads should continue to increase and far surpass previous results based on Facebook’s inaccurate pixel data.
Tip: There have been massive changes recently with Facebook Ads due to the new privacy policies enforced by iOS 14.
And while these technically have nothing to do with ClickMagick, they could very easily trip you up as you try to use your new pixel for ads optimization.
To read about a few specific things you’ll need to do in your Facebook Ads account in response to their recent changes, please see the article below: