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What Is The Facebook Pixel?

What is the Facebook Pixel?

The Facebook Pixel is just a simple snippet of code you place on each page of your website, but its benefits can be extraordinary! What it does is collects data that helps you track conversions from Facebook advertisements, optimize ads, build targeted future audiences, and remarket to people who have already taken some kind of action on your website. It works by placing and triggering cookies on your visitor’s devices to track their interactions with various pages and features on your website.

If you plan on using Facebook ads I cannot stress enough that you need to be using the Facebook Pixel. It will help you get the most out of your budget and unlock some of the most advanced features that Facebook has spent millions of dollars to develop and offer to advertisers.

The Facebook Pixel is a snippet of code placed on a website that allows them to track every visitor that comes to their website from a Facebook ad and every action they take on their site thereafter. This can include things like purchases, email signups, leads, add to carts, etc.

Related: How to Choose the Right Ad Campaign Objective.


Why Do You Need to Setup the Facebook Pixel?

A Facebook Pixel is the only way you’ll be able to track sufficient data and ROI (Return on Investment) for your Facebook ads if you are in fact bringing people to your website.

How are you supposed to know if you’re ads are performing well if you don’t know if any purchases resulted from the ads and for how much.

Besides data tracking, installing a Facebook pixel on your site gives you access to a bunch of amazing features that will greatly improve your ads performance.


Use Facebook Conversion Tracking

The Facebook pixel allows you to see how people interact with your website after viewing your Facebook ad.

You can even track customers across their devices. This lets you see if people tend to see your ads on mobile but switch to a desktop before buying. Or, maybe it’s the other way around. This information can help you refine your ad strategy and calculate your return on investment.


Use Facebook Retargeting

It’s very common for people to have to engage with your brand multiple times before purchasing or signing up.

With the pixel installed you can show targeted ads to the exact people who’ve interacted with you before. Whether that’s a previous customer or just someone who’s visited your site.


Create Lookalike Audiences

After your pixel has enough recent data on your best customers it can begin using that to create multiple targetable audiences of 2+ million people that match your buyer personas interests, behaviors and demographics all without you having to find these people on your own.


Optimize Facebook Ads For Value

As Facebook collects more and more data on people visiting and buying from your site they can begin hand picking not just those who will buy from you but those who will place the largest orders with you.

One way you can optimize your ads is by using the most effective keywords you have at your disposal. Let us help you out with our post, All About Keyword Research [Key Strategies to Improve Your Rankings].


Gain Access to More Facebook Ad Tools & Metrics

Want to use web conversion campaigns, custom audiences from your website, or dynamic ads? You can only do so if you’ve installed the Facebook pixel. You also need the pixel to track metrics like cost per lead or cost per conversion.


How to Use The Facebook Pixel

Using the pixel properly involves tracking all the events that take place on your site that benefit your business. You will not only get a better understanding of ad performance and customer flow but will be given the option to optimize an ad campaign specifically for one of these tracked events.


Facebook Pixel Standard Events

Below is a list of all the standard events that Facebook already has tracking capabilities for. By simply adding the pixel to your site you can begin tracking any of these.

  • Purchase: Someone completes a purchase on your website.
  • Lead: Someone signs up for a trial or otherwise identifies themselves as a lead on your site.
  • Complete registration: Someone completes a registration form on your site, such as a subscription form.
  • Add payment info: Someone enters their payment information in the purchase process on your website.
  • Add to cart: Someone adds a product to their shopping cart on your site.
  • Add to wish list: Someone adds a product to a wish list on your site.
  • Initiate checkout: Someone starts the checkout process to buy something from your site.
  • Search: Someone uses the search function to look for something on your site.
  • View content: Someone lands on a specific page on your website.
  • Contact: Someone contacts your business.
  • Customize product: Someone selects a specific version of product, such as choosing a certain color.
  • Donate: Someone makes a donation to your cause.
  • Find location: Someone searches for your business’s physical location.
  • Schedule: Someone books an appointment at your business.
  • Start trial: Someone signs up for a free trial of your product.
  • Submit application: Someone applies for your product, service, or program, such as a credit card.
  • Subscribe: Someone subscribes to a paid product or service.

Facebook Pixel Custom Events

If there is something else you would like to track that isn’t a standard event you can create a custom event. This involves setting up URLs and rules for what to track.


How to Create a Facebook Pixel & Add It To Your Website

Here is your step-by-step guide from pixel creation to installation and event verification.

Step 1: Create Your Pixel

1. From your Facebook Ads Manager dashboard click the 3×3 dot grid in the top left and select Events Manager

Data Sources

2. Click the green plus sign labeled Connect Data Sources

Connect Data Sources

3. Select Web as the data source

Connect A New Data Source

4. Select Facebook Pixel as the connection method

Facebook Pixel

Step 2: Add Pixel Code to Your Website

1. Name your pixel and click continue. (Optional) enter site URL.

Add Pixel Code to Your Website

2. Select WordPress, Google Tag Manager or Another Integration that matches your website

Select A Partner Integration

3. Choose your partner integration

Select A Partner Integration

Facebook Pixel Installation Guide: Website Platforms

After following the steps above, each platform has it’s own unique installation to complete the Facebook pixel setup. We’ve made specific guides to help you out.

  • Install Facebook Pixel Shopify
  • Install Facebook Pixel WordPress
  • Install Facebook Pixel WooCommerce
  • Install Facebook Pixel Magento
  • Install Facebook Pixel BigCommerce

Step 3: Track the Right Events For Your Business

The next step is to make sure your are tracking the right events for your website.

One of the last few steps Facebook makes you complete is using the slider to turn on any event your would like to be tracked.

Track the Right Events For Your Business

How to Use The Facebook Event Setup Tool


Thanks to Facebook’s event setup tool you can can fully utilize the pixel without having to touch any code.

Track the Right Events For Your Business

Simply open the tool, enter your site’s URL and choose one of the two different functions to track either button clicks or URL visits to track the events you’d like.

Facebook Event Setup Tool

Track a New Button: This feature highlights every clickable element on the current page and allows you to track the amount of people who click it. You can name the event and even optimize for it in your ads.

Facebook Event Setup Tool - Track a New Button

Track an Event Using a URL: Tracking a specific URL works by triggering an event each time that URL is visited (page refreshed count again). You then can assign each URL an event time for tracking and optimization purposes.

Track an Event Using a URL

Create Custom Conversions

If you have a URL you’d like to track the doesn’t fall under any of Facebook’s default options you can create a custom conversion instead.

You can do this entering URLs and corresponding rules to make sure you are tracking exactly what you’d like.

Create A Custom Conversion

Step 4: Confirm Your Facebook Pixel is Working

The final step in setting up a Facebook pixel on your site is making sure it’s working properly.

Confirm Your Facebook Pixel is Working

There are two ways you’re going to want to accomplish this.

1. At the end of the setup process Facebook walks you through they’re going to make you send test traffic to your site.

This works by entering your site’s URL and then visiting your website. If the pixel was setup properly it will begin tracking all the actions you take on your site and displaying the data in your Events Manager.

Facebook Pixel Helper

2. Download the free chrome extension called Facebook Pixel Helper. It will let you know, when visiting and site including your own, if there is in fact a Facebook pixel on the site and what event you just triggered.

Add Pixel Notice to Your Website

Step 5: Add Pixel Notice to Your Website

To make sure you are following all online guidelines when it comes to users data and privacy it’s best to include a snippet in your policies mentioning the use of a Facebook pixel.

To get all the details, go to the Facebook Business Tools Terms and scroll down to point 3: Special Provisions Concerning the Use of Facebook Pixels and SDKs. Or, check out Facebook’s cookie consent guide for sites and apps.

Disclaimer: WebCitz, LLC does not warrant or make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the information found on this page or on any web sites linked to from this page. This blog article was written by Grant in his or her personal capacity. The opinion(s) expressed in this article are the author's own and may not reflect the opinion(s) of WebCitz, LLC.