Mastering iOS 14.5: Enhance Your Facebook Ads Tracking with These Clever Strategies

facebook pixel tracking

Apple’s recent iOS 14.5 update made it harder for e-commerce brands and Facebook advertisers. Apple put strict rules on Facebook pixel tracking. This was good for people’s privacy but caused problems for businesses using Facebook ads.

Because of these changes, Facebook couldn’t track users as well. So, brands couldn’t see if their ads were working. Even if people still bought things, Facebook couldn’t track those sales.

But don’t worry, there are ways to handle this. By using better Facebook pixel tracking, brands can find new ways to track purchases, make ads better, and grow their business.

It’s time to face the facts

Things won’t return to how they used to be. We can’t afford to ignore the data anymore. As founders, brand owners, and marketing directors of e-commerce brands, we must embrace the importance of data.

E-commerce advertising has become a test of survival. Only the strongest will thrive. The brands that have excelled during this time are the ones who have the best grasp on their data, especially through effective Facebook pixel tracking. They understand their audience and market trends, giving them an edge in the competitive landscape.

Facebook decreased its attribution window

The iOS update has brought Facebook’s tracking and conversion attribution methods under scrutiny. With the loss of crucial tracking data, Facebook struggled to accurately report conversions, leading to a decline in reported conversions and challenges for its optimization algorithms.

Notably, Facebook slashed its reporting window by 75%. Previously, advertisers had a generous 28-day attribution window. Now, it’s been cut down to just seven days. This means Facebook can only report conversions within a much shorter timeframe, leaving out a significant portion of valuable data, especially considering opted-out conversions.

Despite these changes, many brands didn’t see a drop in sales. However, the big question remains: how can advertisers and brands effectively optimize and track their ads amidst these challenges?

Effective Facebook pixel tracking becomes paramount in this scenario. By leveraging enhanced tracking methods and adapting to the condensed attribution window, advertisers can still gain valuable insights and optimize their campaigns for success.

Monitor Your blended Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

To effectively gauge your advertising performance, it’s crucial to analyze all your ad spend and sales data collectively on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Over time, advertisers have become overly reliant on individual channel metrics. However, solely focusing on specific channel performance can be misleading, especially in today’s landscape where data reliability is questionable.

It’s always been wise to approach data with caution. For instance, running an email campaign might falsely inflate your return on ad spend within your ad account due to what’s known as multi-touch attribution. Facebook, for example, might wrongly attribute sales or conversions that didn’t originate from ads, leading to skewed metrics.

One of the major impacts of recent changes, like the iOS 14.5 update, is Facebook losing various attribution methods, which previously encouraged brands to invest more in advertising. Additionally, there’s significant overlap between Facebook and Google in terms of conversions attributed. Moving to a last-click attribution model helps clear up much of this confusion.

Now, it’s imperative for brands to assess their advertising holistically, understanding that channels like Facebook and Google complement each other and even boost direct and organic channels. This underscores the importance of comprehensive Facebook pixel tracking to accurately measure the interconnected performance of various advertising channels.

Avoid tracking your Facebook ad performance on a daily basis.

It’s time to shift away from monitoring day-to-day performance on Facebook. Due to a 72-hour delay in data reporting, Facebook can no longer provide real-time insights. Instead, focus on analyzing data within 3, 7, and 14-day windows to identify trends rather than reacting impulsively.

Reacting to immediate changes in performance can lead to loss of control over your account. This approach hinders your ability to scale your media spend to $100k-$300k per month. Emphasizing comprehensive Facebook pixel tracking allows for more strategic decision-making based on long-term performance trends.

Make the switch to a blended attribution model for better insights.

Shift your perspective from viewing Google ads and Facebook ads as separate entities to seeing all your advertising channels as interconnected. While each channel has its unique traits—like Google’s focus on warm traffic and Facebook’s on cold traffic—they actually complement each other.

When you treat these channels in isolation, you’re missing out on maximizing their combined impact. Often, Facebook ads contribute to Google’s success by generating interest and awareness that later translates into sales across various Google platforms.

While Google tends to lead in performance, especially for scaling to high monthly sales figures, it’s essential to recognize the synergy among all advertising channels. Analyzing the blended return on ad spend weekly and monthly provides a more accurate picture of your advertising effectiveness. For instance, tracking if a $100,000 ad spend generates $300,000 in revenue over time is crucial for informed decision-making.

In this context, using MER (Marketing Efficiency Ratio) as your primary metric offers a comprehensive view of your advertising performance, emphasizing the importance of robust Facebook pixel tracking for accurate data analysis and optimization.

Utilize the Marketing Efficiency Ratio (MER).

Marketing Efficiency Ratio (MER)

MER is the total marketing spend divided by revenue and you should track it daily, weekly, and monthly. You should be looking at your MER to see if your ratio is staying within range. And then based on your analysis you could pull on individual levers within your traffic system or funnel. 

There are going to be days when you don’t hit your goal and you lose money on your advertising campaigns. That’s why the biggest brands are looking for bigger patterns and trends in their ad account. The advertisers and business owners that react to daily changes are the ones that often struggle to scale.

This is a great way to look at your advertising campaigns as a collective and adjust things on a weekly or monthly basis instead of reacting day-to-day. And this is how in-house CMOs and VPs of Marketing have analyzed their ad performance for years.

Facebook made it so easy for us to “print money” over the years that we’ve been able to get away with sloppy advertising, sloppy marketing, not knowing our data, not knowing how the reporting works. Embrace the data, embrace the tracking efficiency of your ad dollars.

Best Practices for Setting Up a New System

Here are the essential setup practices for your new system that nearly 50% of audited ad accounts overlook:

  1. Domain Verification:

    Head to Facebook, navigate to Data Sources, and verify your domain. This step confirms to Facebook that you’re the domain administrator, linking it to your specific pixel and ad account.


  1. Define Aggregated Events Measurement:

    Due to data loss challenges, you must manually prioritize events like purchase, add to cart, initiate checkout, view content, landing page view, add payment info, and any custom conversions. This prioritization, along with Facebook’s conversion API integration, ensures accurate event tracking.


  1. Configure Facebook’s Conversion API:

    Once your aggregated events are defined, set them up in Facebook’s Conversion API. Since Facebook’s tracking capabilities are limited, manual setup is necessary for accurate event tracking. As the account administrator, this process should take around 10-15 minutes.

These practices, coupled with robust Facebook pixel tracking, are vital for optimizing ad performance and maximizing your return on investment.

Attribution & tracking

Now that your custom conversions are set up in Facebook, it’s crucial to enhance your attribution and tracking to leverage this data effectively.

  1. Streamline Your Channel Reporting:

    Begin by tidying up your channel report. It’s likely that many of your Facebook Ads conversions are erroneously categorized under other channels like direct and organic search due to Facebook’s limited tracking accuracy. To address this, upgrade your Facebook campaign reporting to accurately reflect these conversions. This involves defining and categorizing your channels into paid search, paid social, and display ads.


  1. Revamp Your UTM Structure:

    The first step is to redefine your entire UTM structure in Google Analytics to ensure precise attribution of each sale to the correct channel. Create a custom report in Google Analytics to replicate your Facebook reporting. Achieve this by setting up distinct UTMs for each advertising campaign. This allows you to pinpoint which ads and audiences are effective and attribute sales to specific campaigns based on the UTM parameter.

Enhancing your attribution and tracking methods, alongside robust Facebook pixel tracking, empowers you to make informed decisions and optimize your ad campaigns for maximum effectiveness.

Establish a testing system incorporating ad variable isolation.

If you’re encountering challenges in scaling your ads, the key lies in how you approach testing and scaling overall. Let me unveil the secret sauce that drives my ad management strategy and guides my team: ad variable isolation.

A common mistake made by 95% of media buyers, marketing agencies, and brands is running ads with multiple variables without understanding why an ad succeeds or fails. With reduced data availability, this issue becomes more pronounced. When ads contain different headlines, creatives, and ad copy, it becomes challenging to pinpoint what’s working and why.

By adopting the method of isolating each variable and testing them one at a time, both in audience and creative testing, you can significantly lower your cost per acquisition on Facebook and improve return on ad spend. This approach is often referred to as the SVST Method (Single Variable Split Testing).

Here’s how it works:

Phase 1: Audience Testing

Phase 2: Creative Testing

Phase 3: Scaling

The groundwork for identifying winning audiences and successful combinations of copy and creative is laid in phases 1 and 2. By diligently implementing this method and leveraging robust Facebook pixel tracking, you can enhance the effectiveness of your ad campaigns and achieve better results.



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