Understanding the Facebook Pixel

The Facebook Pixel has helped bridge the gap in attribution for any business running certain ad types on Facebook. Taking advantage of the Pixel will allow you to track conversions, create remarketing campaigns and track how various audiences are interacting with your site. It’s important to install the Facebook Pixel sooner than later as the old Facebook conversion tracking codes will be getting deactivated by Facebook in the second half of 2016 so it’s necessary to have all clients over to the new Facebook pixel by the summer of 2016.

The Basics

  • The “Standard Objectives” that can be set in the pixel (Lead, Complete Registration etc.) are the 9 most requested actions.
  • Pixel improves cross-device tracking based on the user’s Facebook identity across desktop and mobile
  • 99% of people who saw a Facebook ad and purchased in-store never clicked on an ad at all.




Difference in Conversion Tracking Options

  • Standard Events: These are best when you want to pass back data (which action was performed on the site), when utilizing dynamic product ads and dynamic values for products, and ideal when access to the website’s back-end code is available.
    • Standard Events tracking is a stronger method of tracking conversions than Custom Conversion, so use this before Custom Conversions when possible.
      • In Page Event Tracking — Used when a person submits a form but a new page URL doesn’t load. “Standard events are going to be the best way to track that event if there is no specific URL you can use to create a rule.”
  • Custom Conversions: The best advantage of Custom Conversions are that they don’t need to have additional code added to the client’s website (other than the standard Facebook pixel), and allows for tracking of up to 20 separate conversions. This is great for when access to the client’s website back-end is unavailable. Custom Conversions can also be used to track users through the conversion funnel using the specific landing page URLs.
    • For example if you have your Facebook pixel placed on a client’s website and then in the future need to change conversion parameters or add new conversions, this allows you to track this by creating Custom Conversions which use the main Facebook Pixel and track based on the URL or a piece of the URL (i.e. Thank You page) as well as the category (ie. “purchase”). “It is a simple way to define new types of conversions.”


Examples of Uses for the Pixel

  • A college website wants to drive leads for people that wanted more info specifically on getting a Master’s Degree. Create a parameter that is a “Content Type” for the Master’s option, so that will say to Facebook this is a specific event (Master’s Degree) and allow Facebook to segment out this info specifically rather than tracking all leads as one conversion.
  • Add Standard Event tracking to a specific button on the website, which is great for a form fill or a client that doesn’t have a Thank You page to support conversion tracking. This involves a bit of a workaround, which is broken down in the Facebook Developers How To.


How to Make Sure the Facebook Pixel is Live

  • To double check if a Facebook Pixel is working, there is a tool called the Facebook Pixel Helper that is a Google Chrome widget, which can be used to check to see if there are any pixels on a specific page and if it is working. This is a widget I use all the time to check in on code installations quickly and easily, definitely recommend it.


Cross Device Conversions

  • A great experiment to run is to explore running mobile specific campaigns aimed at getting people to your website/driving brand awareness and running desktop specific campaigns aimed at driving people to pages for adding payment info and completing conversions.
    • Go into cross-device reports to see how much traffic and how many conversions are coming from which devices and go from there.




Taking Advantage of the Purchase Funnel (when available)

  • Move Optimization Event Up the Funnel — Rather than giving Facebook, say 200 pieces of data from final conversions to optimize a campaign, try moving the Optimization Event up to the initial checkout page where Facebook will now have, say 2,000 pieces of data to optimize for.



Segment Audiences Based on Site Usage

  • Segment Audiences based on how users interact with a website using 2 main options:
    • How Interested Are They and How Long Ago Did They Visit?
      • Someone who visited the website 1 day ago and did a search but did not add anything to their cart; try setting up a basic remarketing campaign, but if that audience doesn’t convert in another week or so they may not be worth it.
      • Someone who visited the website 7 days ago and made a high value purchase; create a Lookalike Audience of these users while also remarketing with additional complimentary products/items.
      • Someone who visited 30 days ago and is a member but has not returned, hit them with a re-engagement message (specific offer, promotion etc.), but they may be more likely to lapse as a customer.



Graphics and stats courtesy of Facebook. For a deeper dive, you can watch the Facebook Pixel Webinar here.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s