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What is the Facebook Pixel & How Does it Work?

January 16, 2018

The Facebook Pixel

When it comes to spending money on advertising, it’s important to make sure your dollars are being spent effectively. Advertising can be an integral part of your business when it comes to driving sales, but in order to get a good return on your advertising investment, you need to ensure that your campaigns are reaching the right people. This is particularly important when it comes to digital marketing.

That’s where the Facebook Pixel comes in.

In this post, I’ll be explaining what exactly the Facebook Pixel is, why it’s important for your business, and how you should be using it to optimize your advertising spending.

What is the Facebook Pixel?

The Facebook Pixel is a tool that helps you analyze the effectiveness of your Facebook ads by tracking the actions of visitors to your website.

In order to use the Facebook Pixel, you will need what is known as a pixel code. This code will track the actions of your website visitors and collect data that will help you refine your target audience when creating a Facebook ad.

The data collected using your pixel code can help you reach the right people by targeting website visitors who have taken particular actions—such as making a purchase—or by creating ‘lookalike audiences’ who exhibit similar browsing behavior to your best customer. Ultimately, this kind of targeted advertising will help you optimize your ads for better conversions because your ads will be reaching the people who have shown they are most likely to spend money on your site.

With the Facebook Pixel, you will also be able to track specific actions taken as a result of your ad. This will help you determine the effectiveness of your ads by analyzing information such as your conversions and sales.

Why is it Important for Remarketing?

The Facebook Pixel is an incredible tool for remarketing, sometimes called retargeting. Pixel codes are able to provide very specific details about your website visitors, so much so that you could create an ad about a specific product and have that ad be seen by a person who abandoned that product in their shopping cart on your site.

This degree of specificity ensures that your ads are seen by individuals who were already considering, or have already taken, a specific action, making it more likely that these individuals will follow through with the action being suggested by your Facebook ad.

In order for this remarketing strategy to be the most effective, it is also important that you add a pixel code to your website as soon as possible, even if you do not have an active ad campaign on the go, or don’t have immediate plans to purchase a Facebook ad. The more information you are able to collect the actions of your website visitors, the better.

It is even to your benefit to holding off on creating a Facebook ad until your pixel code has gathered enough information so that you will be using the remarketing capabilities from your very first ad.

How to Set it Up

Setting up a pixel is very simple, but you must have two things before beginning: a website, and the ability to update your website’s code.

To create a Facebook pixel, you must first go into Ads Manager in Facebook and then click on the Pixels tab. From this page, you click on the Create a Pixel button.

Once your code is created, you will have two installation options: install the code yourself, or email instruction to a web developer.

To install the code yourself, you must locate the header code for your website or find the <head> </head> tags in the webpage code. Once you’ve located this, copy and paste your pixel code at the bottom of the header section, above the closing head tag.

After inserting your code, you may now test whether it is working. Click the Send Test Traffic button, and if your status says ‘Active’ then your code has been installed correctly and you are ready to choose which actions to track.

What to Track

When it comes to choosing which visitor actions—also known as events—to track, you have two options: a set of nine standard events that are predefined by Facebook, or custom conversions that you will be able to set up yourself.

The predefined standard events that you can track are as follows:

  • View content
  • Search
  • Add to cart
  • Add to wishlist
  • Initiate checkout
  • Add payment info
  • Make purchase
  • Lead
  • Complete registration

However, if you’d like to collect more specific details with your pixel, then setting up custom conversions may be a better option for you. With custom conversions, for instance, instead of tracking the views across all content on your site, you can get data on views of a specific category.

For example, if you run an online clothing store, you would be able to determine whether a visitor is a male or female based on the specific categories (i.e. women’s shirts vs men’s shirts) they browse. Another helpful customer conversion could be to track when people have visited your site as opposed to what they were browsing. For instance, you could target customers who have visited your website in the last 24 hours.

To create a custom conversion, you must first go to your Business Manager and click the Custom Conversions section under Events Manager. Click Create Custom Conversion and add the URL that corresponds to the event you’d like to track (i.e. / women’s-clothing if you’d like to track the category of women’s clothing).

Select a category for your conversion and click next to give your custom conversion a name and description. If applicable, you will also be able to add a conversion value. Now click Create and you will be done setting up your custom conversion, which you may then select when creating a Facebook ad.

Using Facebook Pixel is an easy and effective way to ensure that your social ad spending produces the best conversion rates, all by making it easier to reach the right people for your product or service

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