Buzz is growing about Facebook ads. I’m sure you’ve seen some of it and have even heard of this thing called a “pixel.” If you are marketing and advertising on Facebook, the pixel is a MUST.

And it’s free!

That’s great and all but I’m sure you’re thinking ‘what is the darn thing?!’

Keep reading and I’ll explain it all.

What Is the Facebook Pixel?

A Facebook pixel is a web code generated through your ads manager and is unique to your account. Each ad account gets one default pixel to use. This code can be inserted on the back-end of your website to track visitors to your site and actions they take while visiting. Like all the codes that make up your website, the pixel is not visible to visitors. Unlike a lot of your website’s code, is it not complicated to install. If you are a DIY business owner, you can even apply the pixel to your website.

Why do I need a Pixel?

The Facebook Pixel serves three very important purposes.

  1. It tracks conversion.

A conversion is the completed action a visitor takes on your website, i.e. subscribing to your email list or making a purchase. For small businesses and startups, conversions are the most important piece of data in your analytics when it comes to paid advertising. This shows if you are making a profit and recouping your costs of your advertising.

  1. It allows Facebook to optimize conversions.

Using the data captured through the pixel, Facebook can then use its super intelligent algorithm to seek out a Look-alike audience. Users whose behavior online matches those who have taken the preferred action on your website. Therefore, putting you in front of more people like the customers you already have. Their goal is to give you more bang for your buck, especially since this is still a relatively new marketing platform.

  1. It re-targets.

Re-targeting or re-marketing is a powerful way to get back in front of the customers who’ve shown interest in your product or service. Maybe they spent more time than the average visitor, they put something in a shopping cart but didn’t buy- re-targeting shows your and to that person and reminds them about you. Check out this post to learn more about re-targeting and how effective it can be for your business.


So where do I get this crazy, awesome code?


First login to your Ads Manager account. If you do not know what this is, read this post first.

Once you are in, click the button with the three bars in the top left corner for the drop-down menu. At the bottom of this menu, choose All Tools. Under the 4th column called Assets, you’ll see the Pixels option. It’ll look like the picture above.

The good news is that from this point, it basically walks you through the process beginning with the big green button that says, “Create a Pixel.”

Once you click this button, you’ll be asked to name your pixel. It’s best if you name this pixel something that will not change, like your business name, your name, whatever you like.

Next, you be asked to choose an installation option.

Option 1: Use a tag manager if you’re using a third-party website that supports this integration, like Squarespace, LeadPages, or WordPress.

Option 2: copy and paste the pixel code manually.

Option 3: If you have a web developer or manager, you can email the code to directly to them without leaving ads manager. It will create an email template where you simply type in their email address and hit send.

If you choose Option 2 and manually install the code, pay close attention to the directions Facebook gives you. You cannot make any changes to the code. It will not work if you do.


Using Event Codes

As I mentioned earlier, though you only get one per account, the code can be slightly tweaked to monitor certain, specific activities. The code is made up of two main parts: a 

base code, that tracks all traffic to your site, and an event code, which can be added to different pages of your site to track specific actions.


Types of Event Codes

View Content– tracks views of a specific content, blog post, etc.

Search– If your site has a search feature, you can place this event code on a search results page on your site.

Add to Cart– Add this event code to the Add to Cart page on your website.

Initiate Checkout– Place this event code on the page where someone begins the checkout process on your website.

Add Payment– This code is activated when someone adds their payment information.

Add to Wishlist– If your site includes a Wishlist option for customers, put this event code on that page so you can track the items popularity.

Purchase– add this code on your confirmation page after someone makes a purchase.

Lead– If you are using an opt-in lead magnet, this code needs to be added to the confirmation page after people have opted into your email list.

Complete Registration– Track registrations to webinars, events, etc. by plugging this code into the registration completion page.

Custom– If you have any other options on your site, not covered by the above options, you can always create your own.

Once You’ve Installed the Pixel

After your pixel is set up, you can return to the Pixels page in Ads Manager the same place you found it to set it up. It will look different now. It will lead you to an analytics page to view the data collected by your pixel over the last 14 days. You can even see which device, mobile or desktop, visitors are using when they view your content.

Now that you know what a Facebook Pixel is and how you get one, get it added to your page. Even if you don’t plan to run ads now, you could still be missing out on value data about your visitors and losing out on opportunities.

If you are running ads on Facebook, the pixel is the only way to truly track ROI and measure the success of your advertising. Plus, the data can be used to create more effective ad campaigns in the future.

Your turn…

Do you plan to install the Facebook pixel yourself or have a developer do so for you? What did you learn from this article that you are most excited to gain from using the pixel?

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