Of all the incredible tools that Facebook has created for marketers, perhaps the most useful is the Facebook Pixel.
The truth is that any business or e-commerce site that runs advertising campaigns with Facebook should definitely install the pixel.
Pixels are fairly common tools found on most major advertising platforms. They are used to deposit a cookie that will have the function of tracking visitors to your website so that you can offer them relevant advertising later on. This is called sequential retargeting. Once you advertise to past visitors to your website, the Facebook pixel can also be used to track their behavior when they return.
1- What is the Facebook Pixel?
The Facebook pixel is an analysis tool that helps you measure the effectiveness of your Facebook advertising campaigns by monitoring the actions that users take on your website.
The Facebook pixel is a piece of code that tracks these types of events
Add to cart
Time spent on a page
The Facebook Pixel can help you optimize your ads and ensure that they are delivered to the right audience. You can also use the pixel to improve your Facebook retargeting and remarketing to people who have visited a specific page or performed a desired action on your website.
You can create up to 100 pixels in your Business Manager account.
In short, the Facebook pixel allows you to better understand the impact of your ads by understanding what people do after they see them. This allows you to reach people who are more likely to take meaningful actions, such as purchasing a product.
2- How to create your Facebook pixel?
Each pixel has its own 15-digit identifier, which you’ll need to install on every page you want to track on your website.
There are two ways to generate your unique code: via Ads Manager and via Business Manager.
Method 1: via Ads Manager
Once you have accessed Ads Manager, click on the drop-down menu in the upper left corner, then click on the “All Tools” tab at the very bottom of the available options.
Then select “Pixels”.
When you click on “Create Pixel”, all you have to do is name the pixel to create it permanently.
Method 2: via Business Manager
In Business Manager, go to the “Pixel” section in the menu on the left and create a new pixel.
As with the previous option (Ads Manager) give your pixel a name.
Finally, you will want to assign the pixel to certain ad accounts so that it can be used in your ad campaigns.
Once you have applied one of these methods, you just need to decide how you want to install your pixel.
3- How to install the Facebook pixel on your website
The current Facebook pixel works in the same way as the old custom audience pixel. It must be located in the main section of your index page so that it appears on every page of your website. No matter which page is loaded, the pixel will trigger and start tracking your visitors throughout the site.
There are three ways to add the Facebook pixel to your website:
Install the code manually
Email instructions to a developer
Use a partner integration or tag manager
1- Install the code manually
Manual installation is the most common way to install the Facebook tracking pixel. When you are on the “Pixel” page in the “Ads Manager” section you will see the option “Complete Pixel Setup” if it is not already installed. Click on it.
You will then see three different options. Choose “Install manually”.
On the next screen, you will see a large box containing about ten lines of code, in the form of text. This is your pixel. Copy it.
You will need to install it in the header of each page of your site that you want to track.
So you need to access the code of each page of your website. And it only remains to paste the code of your pixel in the header, at the following place: “insert_pixel_code_here”.
And there you go, your pixel is well installed.
2- Ask a developer to install the Facebook Pixel code on your website
If you have a web developer who manages your website, you can also email him the code and instructions to install the Facebook Pixel. You can do this by selecting the “Email instructions to a developer” option, and all you have to do is enter their email address.
Once your developer assures you that the code is installed, you can use the Facebook Pixel Helper to verify for yourself that it is working properly.
Once you’ve verified that it’s working, you’re ready to go back into the ad manager and start creating your own custom audiences and custom conversions to begin your optimized Facebook ad campaigns. With enough time and oversight, you can quickly start scaling your Facebook ad campaigns and gain efficiency and performance.
3- Use a partner integration to add the Facebook code
Some of the partner integrations where you can also install your Facebook pixel are WordPress, Prestashop, Magento, WooCommerce, Hubspot, Google Tag Manager or Shopify.
Let’s look at the cases of installing the pixel with Google Tag Manager and Shopify:
If you choose to use Google Tag Manager, you’ll need to create a tag first. Give your tag a name like “Facebook Pixel – Basic Code”.
Use the custom HTML tag type and paste in your base pixel code.
Then, in the “trigger/triggering” section, under your tag, edit and select the “All Pages” page view trigger.
Finally, all you have to do is save your new tag and validate your changes.
If your e-store is on Shopify, the process is also simple:
In your Shopify admin interface, click on Facebook in the “Sales Channels” section.
Then click on “Settings” and then on “Data Sharing Settings”.
In the “Customer Data Sharing” section, click the “Enable Data Sharing” button.
In the “Choose data sharing level” section, select “Standard”, “Enhanced” or “Maximum”.
Select your pixel from the list. Or if you have not yet created a pixel, follow the instructions to create one.
Before you click “Confirm”, check the connection to see if your pixel is working by sending a test traffic to your site, and then you’re done!
Now that you understand how to create and install the Facebook pixel, let’s see how it works.
4- How does the Facebook pixel work?
Before 2015, Facebook already had a custom audience pixel to retarget website visitors and conversion pixels to track conversions such as sales. While each ad account could only have one custom audience pixel, you could create multiple conversion pixels, one for each web page you wanted to track conversions on.
In 2015, Facebook simplified this process by introducing a new single Facebook pixel to replace the old ones, making it the only tracking pixel you now need. The Facebook pixel was updated again in 2017 to make advertising on the platform easier and more efficient.
The Facebook pixel works in six steps:
Install the pixel: it all starts with adding a tracking code snippet to your website.
Gather information/insights: you’ll start receiving information about site visitors, such as where they’re getting their traffic from, what type of device they’re using, and other demographic information.
Review visitor behaviors: see how people are acting on your website, whether they are browsing a specific product page or adding an item to their cart.
Create audiences: Use the data collected from pixel events to create custom Facebook audiences, similar audiences and ads tailored to those specific audiences.
Optimize your bids: Leverage the lowest cost bidding strategy to reach the people who are likely to take the action you want (e.g., buy a product) to spend your budget efficiently.
Analyze events: Evaluate conversion events to decide the best Facebook advertising strategy for your business.
5- How to use the Facebook pixel
The Facebook Pixel offers five basic functions to help you get a better return on investment:
Customized audiences for your website
Standard and custom events
- Custom Website Audiences
Custom website audiences are kind of how Facebook helps you retarget traffic that comes and goes from your website. If you have the Facebook pixel installed, it will track the movements of all visitors to your website who are simultaneously logged into Facebook.
The pixel has the ability to track the following activities:
Which pages are visited by a user
Which pages are not
Time spent on the page
Using this data, you can advertise to highly targeted groups of people. You can also use this data to create similar audiences and reach customers who are likely to buy your products. It’s also relevant to exclude specific groups, so you don’t keep targeting users who may have already converted or are not highly engaged.
To be clear, when you advertise on Facebook, you can’t pick a specific visitor and advertise to them. However, you can advertise to groups of users (Custom Audiences on your website) based on shared behaviors, as in the following examples:
Users who have visited your website in the last 24 hours
Users who have visited your website in the last 180 days, but have not returned in 30 days
Users who have visited a specific landing page on your website
You can define custom audiences based on which pages users have or have not visited, and also based on when they visited your site. It is possible to choose a period between one and 180 days.
Audiences are created independently of ads. Once an audience is created, you can choose when to expose it to your ads, and which ads to use in particular.
- Custom Conversions
One of the most interesting features of the Facebook pixel is the ability to create custom conversions, similar to how you create custom audiences. A custom conversion is created by selecting a completion page, and naming the conversion type. Typically, the completion page consists of a sort of thank you page, where you will display messages similar to these:
Thank you for your purchase. Your order is on its way.
Thank you for subscribing. You will soon receive your first e-mail from us.
Thank you for your feedback. Here’s your free download.
This means you can create custom conversions independently of your Facebook ads, then choose when to use them in the future.
Since the tracking pixel triggers on all pages of your website, it can easily track when someone visits a completion page, especially if they are users who have clicked on your Facebook ads.
You can also add a monetary value in this category. For example, if you create a custom conversion that tracks visitors to an ebook download page, you can include the cost of the ebook. This feature will help you determine if your advertising campaigns are profitable. If you charge $20 for your ebook, but spend $21 for each purchase from Facebook ads, you’ll definitely want to review your copy for that particular campaign.
- Standard and Custom Events
When someone performs an action on your site, the Facebook pixel records it as an event. You can use the pixel to track two different types of events:
A standard event, or predefined actions that Facebook recognizes through ad products.
Custom events, or an event not recognized by Facebook, which you will name.
Standard Facebook Pixel events