Before you learn how to build complex social media ad strategies and assess their effectiveness, your first step is to get familiar with the Pixel Itself. In this article, we will cover the basics on how to work with Facebook Pixel.
Facebook Pixel is a tool that lets you take the data from your website visits and use them for the sake of ad assesment, optimization and retargeting. It’s the data source for other Facebook products, that you connect it to, including Facebook ad accounts.
The Duties of Facebook Pixel
Pixel gives advertisers the info on the actions, which Facebook users take on the website. Based on such data, you can assess how close you are to the chosen objective in the current ad campaign, and make changes to get more efficient.
With Pixel, you don’t need to be an expert in programming to track the web pages visits. It’s enough to get it done with the standard installation and setting up process.
The pixel in its core is an image of 1px in size. It “sits” on the website and registers events that happen – from a web page visit to the entire chains of actions, depending on the rules you set.
You can use the data collected this way to track conversions, optimize ad delivery and retarget ads. Let’s take a closer look:
- Conversions tracking.
The data you get lets you evaluate the effectiveness of advertising. You can find out, whether users are doing the necessary actions on the website after viewing or clicking through your Facebook ads. In addition, Pixel’s data also go to Facebook Analytics. We’ll have a chance to talk about this in details in our future materials.
When the target actions get registered on the website, Facebook system receives an opportunity to optimize the ad delivery according the action you have selected. The ads will be shown to users who are more likely to perform the required action.
Users, who went to the website or performed the target action there, can be collected into segments. Thanks to the segments, you can personalize communication and follow users along the funnel with the relevant offers.
The Face of Facebook Pixel
Facebook Pixel consists of a constant part, which remains the same for all pages of the website, and a piece for a particular event.
This is a scheme from Facebook, which is most convenient to understand the structure of the code. This is what you’ll have to work with. Let’s take a closer look at each item:
- Website header. The place, where you put the pixel code before the </head>.
- Basic code, the same for all pages of the website. Initially, it contains the standard pixel event ‘PageView’. It collects all page visits by URL. The ‘1234567890’ fragment is the identification number of your pixel. Please note, it’s not equal to the ad account ID, it has its own unique number.
- Event. The code fragment in the example above, fbq (‘track’, ‘AddToCart’), is the event for adding goods to the cart. You can switch this fragment with a specific event, that you want to track on the website. Such event can be either one the standard kit or your own custom one.
The Birth and Life of Facebok Pixel
To create your Facebook Pixel:
- Go to Ads Manager menu and select Pixels.
- Click the large green “Create Pixel” button.
- Name your pixel and click Next.
The code that you get right at the start is all you need to:
- collect the audience by URL of a webpage, and
- track conversions by URL of a webpage.
To do this, you need to put the general basic code on all pages of the website.
Yet, not all actions by users happen at their own URL addresses. For example, there may be no Thank You page, after a user makes a purchase. Therefore, it’s important to use events.
We highly recommend adding events to be able to track the data in Facebook Analytics, and to track offline conversions as well. These options won’t be available, if you stop at the basic code level.
Facebook offers the list of 9 standard events you can use:
After you select an event from the list, an installation instruction opens. Copy the code of the event you need from here:
If you cannot find the event you need, you can create your own one. Having created a custom event, you should also create a custom conversion to enable tracking and optimization. Standard events are already regarded as conversions and they need no additional registration.
If your custom events happen in the middle a webpage, such as clicking a button to make an order, these events need to be linked to HTML elements of the webpage.
You may contact a programmer with this task, but we advise you to use Google Tag Manager. Its use speeds up the process and opens up additional opportunities. For example, you can set up an event to register users, who viewed YouTube video on the website. We’ll write about such complex settings in our blog in the future.
The simplest example of using a pixel is when an online store guides a user through a sales funnel to the purchase. It needs three must-have standard events:
- ViewContent – for viewing an item,
- AddToCart – for adding an item to the cart,
- Purchase – for making a purchase.
Users who have completed one of these actions can be devided into the segments. Advertisers then can show special ad posts to each segment.
You can remind of yourself to those who viewed a product and left the website, or push to the purchase those who left a product in a cart without buying it. Those who’ve made a purchase should be excluded from a general ad campaign. And, of course, you can make look-alike audiences based on them.
How to make sure your pixel is active
The first thing you need to do for your pixel to work properly is to simulate its firing, right after you got it installed. That’s the way you activate it.
If you are setting up custom events, take the actions yourself. Go along the user’s path and tell the system, which user actions are target actions for the specific web pages.
If Facebook Pixel is installed and active, and a conversion event fires, you’ll see the start of the data collection in the Pixels report.
Be sure to install the Pixel Helper extension. It’s available only for Chrome, but it’s a huge helper in understanding how your pixel with its events perform. Pixel Helper will tell you if the event doesn’t work correctly, and the pixel needs further tweaking.
Also, this extension finds all other pixels and shows their IDs. This helps you understand what other tools are connected to the website and receive its data.
After completing the initial work of installing and configuring the pixel, you can track, for example, what kind of product has been purchased, at what price and what kind of advertising led the user to this. If there are no purchases, you can contact the website visitors again, remind them about yourself or make an attractive offer.
It’s a shame all the info cannot possibly fit into one article. The detailed work with the pixel also requires you to know how to create custom conversions, pass parameters, work with Google Tag Manager, analyze the info in Facebook Analytics and much more.
We’ll be happy to discuss this with you in our blog in the future. Subscribe, if you want to receive valuable information on managing the social media advertising.