Facebook Pixel: Everything You Need to Know
Behind most successful Facebook ad campaigns, there is most likely a Facebook Pixel.
If you were wondering how important the Facebook Pixel is to your social media marketing or your overall marketing strategy as a business with an online presence, then get this straight: it is very important.
It is a very decisive tool that can make the difference in the success of your Facebook and Instagram ads. And if you’re a business owner that’s serious about generating leads and increasing your sales conversion rate through online marketing for your business, then you’re surely running Facebook or Instagram ads.
There are several fantastic online marketing tools on the internet but few can guarantee the convenience, cost-effectiveness, and transparency the inbuilt Facebook pixel in Facebook Ads manager can provide for your campaigns.
A Facebook pixel will deliver accurate reports on your conversions, the effectiveness of your ads, and provide metrics that will give you insight on areas you need to work on. It will even automatically improve the quality of your ads.
What is a Facebook Pixel and How Does it Work?
A Facebook pixel is a piece of code that you add to your website that tracks and shows you details of your ad campaign such as the traffic it generates to your website, how these visitors interact with your website, and key actions they take during these interactions.
How a Facebook Pixel Can be Used
A lot of business owners don’t realize the full range of functionality and benefits that a Facebook pixel can provide to their marketing. Here’s a list of such functions:
- Track Conversions: The trademark functionality of a Facebook Pixel is that it tracks conversions from your ad campaigns to your website, as well as conversions and key interactions your leads take on your website. Such interactions are usually called Events, and could include purchases, email subscriptions, or even views.
- Create Custom Metrics: Building on the ability to track conversions, you can observe specific metrics that are tailored to your website or strategy for instance by creating new events to track the specific interaction you want to look out for. These new events deviate from the Standard Events Facebook Pixel lets you track and can be created using Custom Events.
- Improve Your Funnel: Being able to track conversions and observe interactions with your website this way means you can analyze your sales funnel for weaknesses and know which areas have low conversion rates or interactions so you can optimize your content and improve your strategy.
- Create a Custom Audience: A Facebook pixel will improve your marketing by helping you redefine your target audience. This means you can create a new list of people (a Custom Audience) that have interacted with your website one way or the other and send them retargeted ads containing products they saw or considered but didn’t buy.
- Retarget Ads: Facebook pixels don’t just help you create a richer and more detailed audience list for retargeting, they can automatically retarget your ads and products to those audiences anytime they come on Instagram and Facebook. This can boost the results of your campaigns by a long shot.
- Generate Quality Leads: With your new and customized audience lists, you have captured a base number of leads and prospects you can always market new and similar products to in the future. This way you can be confident those future campaigns have a higher chance of success.
- Measure ROAS: You can measure your return on ad spend (ROAS) as the Facebook pixel can show the actual order value of a campaign based on the purchases on your ads manager.
How to Create A Facebook Pixel
Okay now you’re sold and you have a great idea of what a Facebook Pixel can do for your business. You can’t wait to get started. How do you do that?
First, you need to be aware that you have two options for creating and using Facebook Pixel for your campaigns: the Facebook Ads Manager and the Facebook Business Manager.
The major difference between both options is that with Facebook Ads Manager, you can only create one pixel per ad account. Facebook Business Manager is like an upgraded version. It lets you create up to 10 pixels for an account.
To create your pixel, you first need to generate it through either of these platforms. It’s a unique 15-digit code. Once you find it, you can install it on each page of your website that you want to track.
Creating it with Facebook Ads Manager
Navigate to your Facebook Ads Manager and click on the Events Manager button in the left drop-down menu.
Click Connect a data source on the next interface.
Then click Web from the options provided in the next interface, since you’ll be connecting to your website. In case you’re connecting an app or some sophisticated software like a CRM, the choices are there for you to pick.
Click Connect once you’ve selected your preferred platform.
Select Facebook pixel in the next interface and click Connect.
You’ll now be required to name your pixel and link your website. You can name your pixel to represent a specific campaign or your website or business. Once you’ve done that and submitted your website URL, you can click Continue.
Once you’ve done this, you’ve created your pixel.
Creating it with Facebook Business Manager
With this upgraded version, from your Business Manager dashboard, click Business Settings, then click on Data Sources in the left column. Click Pixels in the drop-down menu that appears. You’ll be required to fill in your pixel name and your website’s URL.
Do that and you’ll be prompted to complete the setup and install the pixel on your website. You’ll be given straightforward instructions on installing your pixel based on the option you choose.
Once you’ve followed these instructions, you would have created your pixel and would need to assign it to any of your ad accounts to be used for your preferred campaign.
How to Install a Facebook Pixel
After you’ve created your pixel code, you have to install it by embedding the code in your website.
After you’ve created your pixel, you’ll see a page where you are told to Continue pixel setup.
Click on the button, and you’ll be directed to a page containing the different options for installing your pixel. You can then choose your preferred option.
There are three ways you can install your pixel code on your website through the Facebook Ads Manager:
- Installing manually: This means you will install the code on your website yourself. This might not be as complicated as it may sound, as there are detailed instructions to put you through this process.
- Using a Partner Integration: If your website uses a website service that is integrated with Facebook, like WordPress, Shopify or Squarespace, or any of the recognized website builders like Wix, then you can install the code with a Partner Integration. If you do use a Facebook partner, you’ll be automatically directed to this option from the setup page. This is easier and will give comprehensive steps that will help you avoid having to handle any code.
- Email Instructions: If your website was built and is maintained by a developer, you will need to have their email address so you can Email Instructions for completing the process to them.
Manually means you need to copy the code and paste it in your website’s backend. Out of the three options, click the one that allows you to manually install.
You’ll be directed to a screen with a box of code. Copy the code. That’s your pixel that you’ll embed on your website. You’ll have to paste it into the header tag of every page on your site that you want to track.
On the page, there’s an example of which position (the header tag) in your website’s backend you’re supposed to put it and how you can find this header in your website.
Once you’ve pasted your pixel code on every preferred page of your website, you can be confident your ads are ready for tracking. But you’re not done yet..
Use Automatic Advanced Matching
You’ll observe that there’s an option for you to toggle on “Advanced Matching’ on or off under the Settings tab in your Events Manager. Toggle it on.
Automatic Advanced Matching does what it says. It matches the information of leads or customers who have interacted with your website (and dropped their information) to Facebook profiles. This lets you know which of your website visitors came from Facebook, and which Facebook accounts specifically.
This type of data gives you a more accurate analysis of your Facebook ad conversion rates and clears illusions on how much improvement you need to make. It also boosts your retargeting campaigns as you can now create a wider and more detailed custom audience.
Set up Facebook Pixel Events
Once you’ve added the code to your pages, you can now set the events or interactions you want to track for the page you want to track. You can do this easily by using the Event Setup Tool under the Settings tab within Events Manager.
As mentioned earlier, you can create Custom Events that work well with your specific strategy but there are Standard Events that are available for all businesses to set up and track. These include:
- A purchase.
- A completed registration on your online form.
- A submission of payment information.
- An “Add to Cart” action.
- A page view
- An “Add to Wishlist” action.
- An initiation of the checkout process.
- A use of the “Search” function.
- A customization of preferred product version, such as color or size.
- A donation.
- A search for your business’s physical location.
- A lead-generating action such as subscribing to an email list.
- A contacting of your business
- A booking of an appointment at your business.
- A sign up for a free trial of your product or service.
- An application for your service or program.
- A paid subscription to your product or service.
As you can see, that’s a pretty long list and it covers the majority of conversions any business might want to track, but you can still create your own custom conversion if you want. Doing this would require tweaking some code to add more details to the Standard Events.
To set up the conversions you want to track, go to Events Manager, choose your pixel ID that you’ve already set up, then find the Open Event Setup Tool button under the Settings tab. Click the button.
You’ll be presented with a form bar to enter your URL and “Open Website”.
Do that and you’ll be provided with a list of events to pick from. You can then choose to check each event by clicking “Review”. Select the ones you prefer by clicking “Confirm”. Once you’re done choosing your preferred interactions, you can click “Finish Setup” to continue.
And that’s that, you’ve set up your pixel for your campaigns and chosen the conversions to be tracked. You still aren’t really done yet though.
Confirm Your Pixel is Working Properly
You need to confirm that your pixel is working properly and tracking the conversions it’s supposed to track. There are several ways you can do this.
First, you can use the Test Events tool in Events Manager to test your events and see if they are being tracked. If there was an error in setting up your events, you would find out through this process. This tool debugs your events to discover any error or unusual activity.
The Diagnostics tab in Events Manager can help you resolve any such issues associated with an error in event setup by providing recommendations to deal with any detected issues.
The standard way to confirm if your pixel is working properly is to set up the Facebook Pixel Helper. It’s a browser extension that you can add to your Google Chrome. Note however, that it works only for Google Chrome.
Once you visit a page where you’ve installed your pixel, this tool will indicate with a popup, how many pixels are on the page and which events are running or being tracked. It’ll also notify you of errors so you can discover which pixels are not working.
Once you’ve run all these tests and confirmed your pixels are working, then you’re all set up to track conversions and make the best of your Facebook ad campaigns.
There are regulations on how you can use and manage data collected through your ads and privacy concerns amongst consumers are rising more than ever, so you need to add “cookie notice” to let your website visitors know their data is being collected.
You must give them the option to opt out of having their data collected and provide clear instructions on how to do so. All these are to make sure your business stays on the right side of regulatory bodies, Facebook’s privacy terms, and consumers.
The iOS 14.5 Update
Recently, there’s been an update in the use and application of Facebook pixels that might not be such great news for Facebook advertisers. The iOS update only applies to mobile users of Apple devices who update to the new version.
It was implemented as a response to growing privacy concerns among consumers and has limited some Facebook pixel functionality for advertisers.
One major restricting change is that users of iOS have to opt in for data collection on every app they use on the device. This also applies to Facebook, and it means that pixels wouldn’t be able to access or track data unless users grant access.
In an increasingly privacy-focused world, this is a blow to Facebook advertisers as it means Facebook pixels might not be able to account for a significant number of iOS conversions, thereby reducing the accuracy of conversion data and limiting custom audience sizes. These restrictions ultimately affect the optimization of ad campaigns.
Perhaps respite can be taken in the fact that iOS users don’t account for a major percentage of Facebook mobile users. However, some changes came with the upgrade that do affect all Facebook advertisers.
For instance, for the purpose of accommodating iOS 14.5 requirements, the Facebook pixel will be restricted to allow for only up to eight standard events and custom events.
Getting Around the Limitations of the New Update
This is certainly scary and discouraging news to advertisers, but there are few problems without an accessible solution, and this is not one of them.
You can get around the limitations of the iOS 14.5 update and avoid losing so much valuable data by using Conversions API. Conversions API is a tool that tracks interactions and conversions on your website and sends the data directly to Facebook’s servers, thereby bypassing the use of pixels.
By having the Conversions API functionality turned on, you can be saved on only reliable data your Facebook pixel is unable to collect.
You can access this tool by scrolling down the Settings tab in your Events Manager.
From here, you can turn on Conversions API in either one of two ways; by integrating with a partner or by following the platform’s step-by-step guide.
Integrating with a partner is an easier option that doesn’t require the use of code. If you don’t use an integration partner, you might have to handle code and involve a developer.
Audit Your Pixels
Pixel auditing is a crucial part of Facebook advertising, as you don’t want to develop a situation where you have old pixels sending you unnecessary and misleading information and also wasting your ad spend.
It’s advisable to check your pixels frequently, most especially when taking on a new campaign. This way you can start on a clean, refreshed slate and lead more efficient ad campaigns.
Don’t Sleep on the Pixel
It’s true that consumers are more conscious than ever of digital advertising and how it affects their online privacy. And while this is a valid concern, it doesn’t and still hasn’t generated drastic consequences on both sides; the consumers and online businesses when it comes to Facebook ads.
On the other, by adding the Conversions API to their Facebook pixel functionality, advertisers can still collect valuable data from the majority of consumers who aren’t so spooked about privacy and create personalized and better customer experiences.
Using the pixel is a no-brainer if you want maximum conversions and a smarter, cost-effective way of managing your ads.
Now you have all the basic information you need to make use of your Facebook pixel. Get started today and read more here