The best explanation of a Facebook Pixel
Author: Justin March 4 | Blog
A Facebook Pixel is the only way you can track actions taking place off the Facebook platform.
In this article, we cover:
- The three main purposes of the pixel
- How to install the pixel
- How to test that the pixel is working properly
UNDERSTANDING & INSTALLING THE FACEBOOK PIXEL
THE THREE MAIN PURPOSES OF A PIXEL ARE TO:
- Track actions and conversions
- Optimize for conversions
- Create custom audiences and Lookalike audiences
Compared to a standard cookie, the pixel is slightly different. Different in the sense that it’s able to track users by their personal Facebook profiles which means that you’re able to follow or retarget across different devices (such as their laptops and mobile smartphones) provided the user is logged into their Facebook profile.
THE TWO MAIN PARTS TO KNOW:
- The base pixel
This is “PageView” trigger and ties back the tracking to you and your ad accounts.
2. Event tracking
This tracks specific actions such as “Purchase” to your account.
Pixels are separate entities to ad accounts – meaning you can use a pixel across hundreds of different ad accounts and ad accounts can also use hundreds of different pixels. You can manage your pixels and what accounts they are associated with under your Business Manager.
THREE MAIN WAYS TO INSTALL IT:
There are three main ways to install the Facebook pixel. You can manually install it into your site’s code, use one of Facebook’s partner integrations if your platform supports that (such as Shopify), or you can forward the instructions to your web developer and have them do it for you. Whichever way you go, you need to follow steps 1 and 2 below.
Head to the “Events Manager” tab on the top, left-hand side in your Facebook Business Manager.
If you have multiple pixels – select the pixel you would like to install.
Click “Set Up” (top right) and “Install Pixel” – you will be shown three main ways to install:
INSTALLATION FOR DUMMIES
HACK! If installing the pixel in the website’s code is a bit too much, you can use Facebook’s Event Tool Set Up using just the URL to get all your tracking in place!
Simply click on “Manually add pixel code to website” from the options shown in the screengrab above.
Next, you’ll see a window like this. Click on the “2 Add Event Code” option.
You’ll then be given an option to punch in the relevant URL – just follow the prompts to set up your specific event tracking and main pixel!
HOW TO CHECK IF THE PIXEL IS INSTALLED CORRECTLY
To check to see if the pixel has been installed correctly on your site, use the free Chrome plugin “Pixel Tool Helper” and download it to your browser. The plugin will glow green when it spots a pixel on any website.
Optimizing the Pixel
A pixel requires 50 event triggers PER AD SET, PER WEEK in order for Facebook to properly optimize for the desired action (it will still work without this, but just won’t be as effective). If you are using CBO (campaign budget optimization) it’s 50 event triggers PER CAMPAIGN.
This means that when you launch a campaign using ad set budget – start with an easier event trigger than one that may not be getting 50 per week, per ad set.
Let’s say you run an eCommerce campaign. The client is making 10 purchases/mth on average. This, technically, isn’t enough to build a very good optimization from – so rather than optimize your campaigns for the “Purchase” event, optimize them for “Add to Cart”.
If there’s not enough “Add to Cart” events either, optimize to the step before this, which may be “View Content”.
If we take this example into your own funnel, instead of optimizing for “Leads” you would place the “View Content” Standard Event on the landing page (or the page with the calendar) and optimize for this.
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