What is A Facebook Pixel & How To Install It

WHAT IS A FACEBOOK PIXEL?

You’ve probably heard of the Facebook Pixel, but surprisingly few people actually know what it is, or what it does.

In a nutshell, your Pixel is just a snippet of code, placed in the header of your website, to help you track, record and optimize your ads based on customer behavior.

Facebook designed the Pixel with the following objectives:

  • To make sure your ads are being shown to the right people.
  • To help build advertising audiences.
  • As a key to unlock additional Facebook advertising tools.

Remember those song lyrics that go something like, “Every move you make, every step you take, I’ll be watching you.”

That’s the basic concept of Facebook’s Pixel code… just a lot less creepy!

The Pixel was designed with the purpose of recognizing vistor actions, such as specific pages being visited and/or actions taken on those pages. This data is collected to help you analyze your traffic and optimize custom scenarios that increase the likelihood of a conversion opportunity.

One of the big benefits of implementing Facebook’s tracking Pixel is the opportunity to create “Lookalike Audiences” (people similar to your current customers). The ability to launch your ad to an audience of highly targeted potential customers that closely resemble your current customers can dramatically decrease the cost of customer acquisition.

Facebook designed the Pixel to create the following benefits:

  • To help you reach the right people.
  • To help drive more sales.
  •  To measure the results of your ads.

HOW DO I SET UP AND INSTALL MY FACEBOOK PIXEL?

Set-up and installation is a piece of cake! All you’ll need to get going is access to your Facebook Business Manager, and access to your business website’s code.

To create your first Pixel:

  • Click on the Events Manager tab on the left sidebar.
  • Add new Data Source button / Facebook Pixel
  • Name your Pixel something descriptive (i.e. My Website – Conversions).
  • Connect Website Activity Using Pixel (Select the option that best fits your situation)
  • Assuming you are using Shopify, you would “Add Code Using Partner Integration.”
  • Select Shopify, then follow the on-screen instruction to connect the Pixel to your store.

PRO TIP: Shopify makes tracking so easy a caveman could do it! All you have to do to add your a Pixel to your Shopify store is to grab your Pixel ID (literally just a short string a numbers). Then jump into your online Shopify store and head over to “Preferences.” Then just paste the Pixel numbers into the Facebook Pixel field and you are good to go!

TESTING YOUR PIXEL
IMPORTANT: After setting up your Pixel, you need to confirm that it’s working. Use the “Test Events” tool to confirm that you set up your standard or custom events correctly. If you click on the Pixel you created, the tool can be found on the left side of the screen under Data Sources. This will allow you to test in real time to confirm that your Pixel is “firing” (i.e. the specified action is triggering the code to record the data).

(NOTE: If you see any unusual activity, you can also use the Test Events tool to debug your events.)

PRO TIP
Facebook has an awesome tool called Facebook Pixel Helper (details here: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/198406697184603).

This handy little application is a powerful troubleshooting tool to help you find out if your Pixel is working correctly. Pixel Helper is a free Chrome plugin that performs a variety of functions, such as checking to see if there’s a Facebook pixel installed on a website, checking for any potential errors, and help understanding the events that your pixel receives. If those weren’t enough reasons to download Pixel Helper, this handy little powerhouse can help offer valuable tips on how to improve your Pixel’s performance!

FACEBOOK RECOMMENDED BEST PRACTICES CHECKLIST FOR SETTING UP YOUR PIXEL

Follow this checklist to comply with Facebook’s recommended best practices and ensure that you successfully install your pixel and events.

During pixel setup

Confirm your base code is accurate. If you install a tracking Pixel on your website using code, you will need to manually confirm that all components between the <script> and </script> tags perfectly match your Pixel base code.

(NOTE: If your Pixel was installed using tag manager, the process will be slightly different. You will need to troubleshoot with your tag manager.)

Confirm that the event code has been added in the correct place. For example, if you were using the “Add to Cart” event, it might look something like this:

  • Your website’s original code.
  • Your pixel base code.
  • Your standard event code.

Confirm correct spelling has been used in your standard events! Events ARE case sensitive, so according to Facebook; “If you accidentally add fbq(‘track’, ‘viewcontent’); to one of your web pages instead of the correct standard event code fbq(‘track’, ‘ViewContent’); you’ll see an event called viewcontent show up as a custom event in the events table.” This tiny misstep can drive you CRAZY when troubleshooting. Don’t let it trip you up!

After pixel setup

REMEMBER: The “Test Events” tool can be your best friend! Use it to check standard or custom events, and if you discover any issues, you can even use it to debug those events.

The Diagnostics tab in Events Manager is another lifesaving tool when troubleshooting. Use it to find and resolve event setup-related problems. Facebook even offers recommendations within the tool.

Facebook Pixel Helper is a must-have tool for diagnosing  Pixel issues. If you have trouble accessing the Pixel, Pixel Helper offers a pop-up on the page to tell you what Pixels were found and if they are functioning correctly. Use it to test pages to confirm the Pixel is installed and firing.

This final step is provided courtesy of Facebook’s training guide: “Go to a web page where you’ve installed the entire pixel base code, including the page view event. The page view event is automatically included as part of your pixel base code. If your pixel is working correctly, it will send the page view event back to Facebook. The page view event will show up in the Facebook Pixel page in Events Manager. To get there, go to Events Manager > Data Sources > click on your pixel. Your pixel’s status will also be set to Active.”

Once you have confirmed that your Pixel is set up correctly, you’re ready to use the pixel for advertising!

If you’d like to binge on everything Pixel related, check out Facebook’s manual here: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/742478679120153