In a previous post, we discussed the process of setting up your Facebook Ad account and gave you instructions for working with the Facebook Business Manager. Now, there is only one more thing left to do, before you can kick back and let your marketing agency do the rest of the work for you: Setting up your Facebook Pixel.
In today’s post we’ll discuss:
- The three functions of Facebook Pixels
- How do Facebook Pixels work?
- Creating a Facebook Pixel
- Setting up a Pixel on your website
- Setting up Events
When we say Pixel, we’re not talking about the tiny little picture elements that help you read this article on your screen. What we’re actually referring to, is a piece of code provided to you by Facebook through their Facebook Business platform.
Facebook says that a Pixel is simply an analytics tool, used to “measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions people take on your website.” But it does a lot more than that. It helps us, as an agency make sure that your social media ads are shown to the right people and informs us on any changes we need to make.
Have you ever been scrolling through your Instagram feed or Facebook and suddenly an ad popped up for something that you were thinking about buying on another website? It is not magic nor does Facebook have the ability to read your mind (at least not yet). It’s Facebook Pixels hard at work.
How does it work? Well, we’ll discuss that in detail in a moment. But simply put, you install that piece of code onto your website and it tracks the conversions, leads, traffic and any other data you want to track from your ad campaign. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know code to install or manage your Pixel! We promise, it’s not that complicated and you do not need a degree in computer science to do it.
The Three Functions of Facebook Pixels
You might have just gotten started with your ad campaigns but you can probably already see how this can be super helpful. Your Pixel will give you a lot of insight into how your ads are doing.
Here are some of the main benefits you’ll be getting from the correct use of your Facebook Pixel.
– Your Pixel enables conversion tracking.
A conversion is a completed action someone makes on your website. The Pixel, in this case, allows you to understand how visitors interact with your website after clicking on your Facebook or Instagram ad.
How do you know that you are making money from your ads? And how much ROI is your campaign delivering exactly? The Pixel will provide you with data needed to take steps for improvement, make changes to your ad copy or target audience.
What many people, some marketers included, do not know is that you can also track website visitors across devices. This informs you if people tend to first see your ads on their Facebook mobile app, but then wait until they get home to purchase on their desktop. Knowing this, you could adjust your Facebook Ad placements to drive more traffic to your site.
– Your Pixel allows optimisation for conversions.
Facebook can automatically improve your ads using its powerful targeting capabilities. Instead of creating your audience yourself, let Facebook do the heavy lifting. Your Pixel can work it out for you – it’s much better equipped to do so too.
The Pixel can help you build custom audiences based on your website visits or social media engagement. It also allows you to create lookalike audiences that’ll target people with similar interests and demographics to the people who are already interacting with your brand.
– Your Pixel allows you to create powerful Facebook retargeting ads.
Retargeting campaigns allow you to show ads to people who have previously browsed or made a purchase on your website, app, via Instagram or Facebook shopping or the Marketplace. Having a Pixel implemented on your website, you can target them based on specific actions they’ve taken, such as putting a product in the shopping cart and then abandoning the site, or looking at a particular page or product on your website.
Margot Whitney from Wordstream said it before, and we’ll gladly repeat it: “It was not fate, it was remarketing.” Remarketing is a power to be reckoned with:
- The click-through rate of a retargeted ad is about ten times higher than that of a typical display ad.
- Website visitors who’ve been retargeted are 70 per cent more likely to convert.
- They also spend about five times more than other website visitors.
How do Facebook Pixels work?
Once your Pixel has been added to your site, it’ll be triggered when someone takes a specified action. The Pixel then sends information about the user and the action taken to Facebook.
Each Facebook advertising account can only have one Pixel. This raises the question of how you can track different actions, possibly across platforms with only one Pixel. Facebook, of course, has come up with a solution for that, too.
The Pixel is really made up of two parts: The Pixel’s base code and an event code which may differ depending on what the action is you’d like to track.
Here is what the snippets of base and event code look like when added to your website:
- The original website code.
- The Facebook Pixel base code.
- The standard or custom event code. This particular event shows an “add to cart” event – a standard event.
Base Code identifies your Ad Account and contains your Pixel’s ID. It automatically tracks a single “Page View” conversion when someone lands on your website. With the base code set up, you can track conversions, create custom audiences and set up dynamic ads.
Events are actions that are taken on your website, either as a result of paid ads or organic, unpaid search. Standard events are defined by Facebook. There is a total of 17 you can track for, including: Add payment info, contact, find location, subscribe and view content. You can place these events on any page that matters to you.
You’ll have the option to set up standard events when you create your Pixel. If you choose not to set up events at that time, you can still add them afterwards. See the full list of events below!
Activating your Facebook Pixel
Now, how do you create and install a pixel on your website to optimise your ad delivery and run highly targeted campaigns?
First of all, you’re not actually ‘creating’ a Pixel. It’s already sitting in your Facebook Ads Manager, you just need to activate it. That includes giving it a name – usually you’d use your business name, and then accept Facebook’s terms and conditions.
Here is what that looks like step-by-step:
Assuming that you have set up your Facebook Business and Ad Manager account, you
- Visit the “Events Manager” tab in the left hand bar.
- Click on “Connect Data Sources” and select “Web”.
- Add the name of your Pixel. You should call it after your business’ name.
- Accept the terms and conditions.
- Click continue.
Yes, that’s it. Now you just need to install the Pixel base code on your site.
Installing your Pixel
This is where working with a social media marketing agency comes in handy. To install the Pixel to your website, you’ll usually just have to give your agency or their dev team access to your website. They can then paste the Pixel code for you.
To email the Pixel code to your agency or developer, simply do the following:
- Go back to the “Events Manager”.
- Select your Pixel.
- Click “Continue Pixel Setup” and choose “Email Instructions”.
- Enter the recipient’s email address.
- Click “Send”.
If you should choose to add the Pixel code yourself:
- Go back to the “Events Manager”.
- Select your Pixel.
- Click Continue “Pixel Setup:.
- Select “Install code manually”.
- Copy the Pixel base code.
- Open your website and locate the header, or find the header template in your CMS or web platform.
- Paste the Pixel base code at the bottom of the header section, above the closing head tag.
- Click Continue.
- Toggle on “Automatic Advanced Matching” to verify the customer information you want to send.
- Click Continue.
- Add events using the Event Setup Tool or by manually adding code to your website.
Setting up Events
You’re probably already wondering: But what about events? Don’t worry, we did not forget!
Once the Pixel base has been installed, you can use the Event Setup Tool to add events to your website. To access this tool:
- Go to “Events Manager” and select your Pixel.
- Click on “Settings” and scroll down to locate “Events Setup Tool”.
- Enter your website URL.
- Follow the prompts to walk you through the next steps.
- The tool will now suggest events to track. Click “Next” to open the little box below.
- Click “Review” if events are suggested in this box, then select “Confirm” or “Dismiss”.
- If (like in the example above) no events have been suggested, click on “Track a URL” and you’ll be given the previously mentioned list of 17 standard events to choose from.
- Alternatively, click “Track new button” and all CTA buttons on your site will be highlighted. Click to select a button and pick a standard event from the drop-down menu that pops up.
- When you are done setting up your events, click “Finish Setup” in the upper right corner of the Events Tool.
To view your events, go back to the Events Manager and your Pixel. To test that your events are sending through data correctly, select the “Test Events” tab and just follow the instructions.
In the right hands, Facebook Pixels are a very powerful tool. The information they gather allows you to engage with current customers, continue the conversation with visitors that have left your site and to find new leads.