Facebook Pixel: What is it and how does it work?
Facebook pixel is the new popular kid on the block and rightfully so! The facebook pixel enables a deep dive into what users are doing on your site. This pixel bridges where website analytics would typically do the heavy lifting but cannot on Facebook. Most agencies have yet to embrace the complete set of capabilities and are using it in a simple page view state according to our research. If you are in this same situation, we have detailed out how you can take advantage of the Facebook pixel and get more granularity and visibility into your Facebook ads so you can leverage this data into conversions.
What Is It?
Facebook Pixel is code that you can put on your website to track conversions from Facebook ads, build targeted audiences for future ads, optimize ads based on the collected data, and re-market future ads to qualified leads (people that have taken an action on your site). At the end of the day, it lets you measure the effectiveness of your ads by letting you understand the consumers actions and what they do on your site. 3 Things Facebook Pixel can help you accomplish:
- Make sure your ads are being shown to the right potential customers
- Build an advertising audience
- Unlock additional Facebook ad tools
It places and triggers cookies to track users as they interact with your site and your ads.
What are the benefits?
Facebook Pixel gives you a variety of tools to use to refine your ad strategy from all the data it collects.
- Track Conversions
Pixel let you monitor visitors behavior while on your website after they’ve viewed or taken action on your Facebook Ad. Pixel allows you to track the same customer across all of their devices. For instance if a potential customer sees your ad on a mobile device, then switch over to a desktop before they buy or vice versa. This will help you adjust your ad strategy and help you calculate your ROI.
Facebook Pixel tracking data lets you show targeted ads to users that already visited your website. This lets you get really specific with your custom audience, you can show users ads for the exact product that they might have abandoned in their cart from your website.
- Make Lookalike Audiences
You can leverage Facebook Pixels data collecting to build a targeted or lookalike audience of users who have similar likes, interest, and demographics to other users that have already taken action on your website. This will help expand your customer base.
- Run Effective Facebook Ads
Facebook Pixel will make your ads be more effective by improving the target audience who view them. You can also use the data to make sure your ad is being viewed by users are more likely to take action on it.
How to use Facebook Pixel
You’ll be able to use the pixel tracking data with 2 different types of events. The first type is a set of 9 standard events that Facebook predefined and the other is custom conversions that you create yourself. Facebook defines an event as a specified action a user takes on your website.
The 9 Facebook Pixel standard events that you can copy and paste event code for are:
- View Content – A user lands on a page on your website
- Search – A user uses the search tool to look for something on your website
- Add to Cart – A user adds a product or products to their shopping cart on your website
- Add to Wishlist – A user adds a product or products to a wishlist on your website
- Initiate Checkout – A user starts the checkout process to buy a product on your website
- Add Payment Info – A user submits their payment information in the purchase process on your website
- Make Purchase – A user completes a purchase on your website
- Lead – A user signs up for a trial, identifies as a lead or register their email on your website
- Complete Registration – A user fills out a form or subscribes to your website
Custom conversion event lets you collect more details than standard events provides. Customer conversions use URL rules based on specific URLs or URL keywords. For instance, you would use Facebook pixel tracking data to record views of a specific category or products on your site instead of just tracking views, which is what the “view content’ standard events does. It helps separate specific buyers on your site.
Before using a Facebook Pixel custom conversion tool, you’ll need to help Facebook understand the conversion event you’d like to track. In order to do so you’ll need to go to your Facebook Ads Manager, click on “Custom Conversions” and click “Create Custom Conversion” to define your custom conversion event using URL rules.
You can create Facebook pixel custom events by adding more details to standard events using other bits of code called parameters. These let you customize standard events based on the following:
- How much a conversion event is worth
- Product name, category, or ID
- Number items a user adds to their shopping cart
- Specific search string
- Status of registration
How to Create a Facebook Pixel & Add it to Your Website
Now that you have a better understanding of what you can track and why you want to, you should create your pixel and put it on your website so it starts working for your needs.
Step 1: Create your pixel
- From your Facebook Ads Manager, click on the hamburger icon/menu on the left hand side and choose Pixels
- Click Create a Pixel
- Choose a name for your pixel, accept the terms, and click Next. When picking the pixel’s name, keep in mind you you only get one pixel for each ad account, so the name should represent your business, rather than a specific campaign
Step 2: Add the pixel code to your website
In order to have the pixel work properly and gather information from your website, you’ll need to install code on your website pages. There’s 2 ways to do this depending on the tools you have in your website. The easiest is the copy and paste method. The other option is using an integration or tag manager.
- Click Copy and Paste the Code
- Copy and past the pixel base code into the header code of your website. Post it after the <head> tag but before the </head> tag. You need to paste it into every single page or into your template if you have one. When done click Next.
- Copy the appropriate event code based on the specific actions you want to track on your website. For custom conversion code, click Custom Event. Check out this Facebook help article to help you figure out which type of setup is best for you: Basic – Recommended – or Advanced.
- Paste the event code in the correct location on your webpage based on the action you’d like to track. It will go below the </head> tag for a new page that opens as a result of the tracked action, almost like a “Thank You” page. The other option is to attach the code to a specific HTML element like, buttons that trigger action from within the page. When done, click Next
Step 3: Confirm your Facebook pixel is working properly
Before you start using data collected from your Facebook Pixel, make sure it’s working properly.
- Download the Facebook Pixel Helper extension for Google Chrome
- Visit the page where you’ve installed the Facebook pixel. If the extension finds the pixel, the </> icon will turn blue, and a popup will indicate how many pixels are on the page. The popup will also tell you if your pixel is working how it’s suppose to. If it’s not working properly it will give you error information so you can make the needed adjustments.
The existing Facebook Pixel combines the two older pixel versions: The conversion tracking pixel and the custom audience pixel. Facebook got rid of the conversion pixel in February of 2017. If you were using the Facebook conversion pixel you’ll need to switch to the new Facebook Pixel. Check out the Facebook Business Help Center for more information. Now it’s time for you to make yourself stand out and make sure that you’re a valuable asset to your clients. We hope that this article gave you a better understanding of how pixel works and how you can leverage for your clients and be an important asset to them.