Facebook Pixel is a tool within Facebook for Business. It can track conversions which are known as actions taken on your website as a result of your Facebook Ads, retarget specific audiences, and give you valuable insight into how your users are interacting with your content.
This feature has been around for a long time but recently experienced a major update. In this guide, we’ll talk about what the Facebook pixel actually does for your business, show you the three most important features of the updated version, and take you through how to use it and take your online experience to the next level.
A pixel is actually a very small piece of code created by Facebook that you can use and install on web pages.
Before, it had two separate components. The first was the Website Custom Audience Pixel and with this you could see people that went from your Facebook Ads to your website and then target those people as a custom audience for future Ads. The second component was the Conversion Tracking Pixel which would tell you what actions (or conversions) users completed on your website such as filling a form, clicking on a button, calling your business, etc.
All in all, this is the tool that allows us to retarget ads to the right people, at the right time.
These Conversions are the #1 reason we pay for Ads on Facebook, right? That’s why this information is so valuable. It’s a sure way to see which Ads are performing best, and how to improve them and get more results. But there were flaws in the old version of this tool. Thankfully, with the update to Facebook’s Pixel, we can use them more efficiently and be even more laser-targeted in our conversion tracking.
You can read the full announcement, but below are the three most important updates to the new version of Facebook Pixel:
The previous version included two separate pixels as discussed above – Audience & Conversion Tracking. Both pixels needed to be installed separately on the desired website pages. Because of this, websites often had many different pixels on the same page which could confuse some.
The update includes a consolidated pixel for tracking both components at the same time. Having only one pixel makes everything simpler in terms of installation, and also with data. With each and every pixel present on your website in the old version, Facebook had to send information for that pixel alone. Now, the process of sending data is simpler and more direct.
In their release, Facebook announced that the new pixels were “now up to 3X faster” than the old ones. As we all know, site speed affects your Website’s Ranking (SEO) against your competiton – so this was a significant improvement. The presence of multiple pixels on a single web page was a drag on overall site speed. It was a long and complicated process.
I mentioned that a pixel is code – but what’s it’s purpose? When you install a pixel on a website as a code, you’re actually placing an invisible 1×1 pixel image. These images are what send information to Facebook when a user completes a desired action on the webpage. Multiple lines of code installed on the site meant downloading multiple images. Fewer pixels means fewer images, and thus brings a faster site speed.
The original pixel allowed you to track one of five different actions :
You had to choose one (and only one) before Facebook would give you the pixel code. If you wanted to track more than one of these actions, you needed more pixels. This, of course, was another huge drag on site speed, not to mention that it became complicated for you to keep track of all of these pixels at the same time.
The updated pixels now give you an incredible array of options through a huge list of actions and an added parameter list. The actions now include:
In addition to this expanded list, you can also now customize parameters for the actions above. I’ll show you exactly how to do this in the next section. The available parameters are:
If you’re not sure which actions or parameters you should be tracking, Facebook gives us a more in-depth look at each of the options. The parameters are shown in their chart below:
Even more important that this, you now can add more than one action to your SINGLE pixel. Because of this, there’s no more need to make individual pixels for each conversion you’re interested in tracking.
With all of this technicality, you might be wondering if the effort of having us install it on your website for you is worth it.
The customization of events and parameters are ENDLESS, and so are the applications of the data. Sure, you may have other analytical tools that can get you nice results on how your Facebook Ads perform, but pixels are unique in the way that they show you incredibly targeted conversions that other platforms simply cannot track. If the parameters seem a little bit too deep and in-depth at this time, you can simply track for the conversions on their own with no problem.
Once your pixels are in place, it’s time to attach them to your actual Facebook Ads. Doing this will optimize the Ads for the action you want taken (Lead Forms or Purchasing, for example) – and send it out to even more people who are likely to take that action as well.
Enter your website’s URL and a box should appear. Once you click on it, you’ll be able to select one of your pre-installed pixels. Don’t worry, you’ll still be tracking the multiple events per the code that we’ve already installed, but you only need to choose the one conversion you want to optimize for. Keep in mind, if you’re optimizing for a product, the URL you enter should be the product page. If you’re optimizing for leads, you should include a page with a form to get in contact with you.
If you use Power Editor and when boosting a Facebook post, you’ll also be able to add pixels. Just keep your eyes wide open for any options to ‘’Add Conversion Pixels’’ – they’re always right in your face, but Facebook does change it’s placement pretty often.
We’ve been talking a lot about conversions, but let’s also not forget that the pixel you added also tracks your audience. Audience Data is one of the most important factors of any marketing effort that can’t be collected from Billboards or ‘’Door-to-Door Flyers’’. From the Facebook Pixel dashboard, click on “Create Audience.”
Once your pixel is installed, you might see that there’s many different groups of people that are displaying trends in behavior. For example, one issue many e-commerce stores may see is that people are starting the checkout process but not completing it. The problem could be with your website itself, but most of the time it’s because of distractions. They were so close to the goal you wanted, but they change websites and they actually forget about what they were about to do. From there, you can retarget these specific people using your Facebook Pixel with a new Ad – maybe offering free shipping or a special discount that will convince them to make a purchase.
Another example is for Restaurants. From the people who are currently inside your restaurant, to those who filled in a form for a reservation, to those who like your page on Facebook, the Pixel is able to create the profile of your ”Perfect Customer” and retarget other people who are likely to love and come eat at your restaurant because of the same tastes they may share.
To activate this option, click on the Website Traffic drop-down and select the option for people visiting specific web pages. Enter the URL of your checkout page, that way, only the people who made it there will get your special offer. You don’t need to worry about every customer getting this deal. You can also add other conditions by selecting the Custom Combination option.
After all the hard work of setting up your pixels is complete, it’s super simple to use and reuse them in your future Ads. As long as your pixels are set up on the right pages, you’ll be able to track traffic, audiences and conversions that result from your Ads and boosted posts.
When you find that one of your Ads is successful and resulted in conversions, by having a pixel, the best course of action is to optimize for that action in future Ads using the steps described in the previous section which will help Facebook target other people who are especially likely to make the same conversion. You’ll also be able to quickly stop and make changes to Ads that are not as successful, saving valuable time and money in the process.
Use this guide as well as the plethora of educational content in the Facebook for Business Help Center to get your business and its Facebook Ads where you want them to be.
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