How To Use Facebook Pixel In Your Ads
Have you ever had a beautiful bag or a cheap essential oils diffuser you were looking at seem to “follow” you around the internet? Maybe you decided you shouldn’t purchase those products, but you keep seeing ads for them, and finally, you’re too tempted not to buy them.
You might think: “It’s so weird.” “I saw them on Facebook three times in the last two weeks, so I ordered them. I figured it must’ve been fate.” Well, it was not fate, it was remarketing.
And you have fallen victim to the power of remarketing through the Facebook Pixel.
If you’re already an adept at Facebook ads, or you’re about to use Facebook Ads in the future, the Facebook Pixel is the tool you need to use.
Hidden inside websites across the internet, the Facebook Pixel follows where we go and what we do online. Whether we’re reading politics, visiting websites that we should not, adding items to a shopping cart, or buying a ticket plane, the Facebook Pixel tallies our moves for prospective reference.
- what is a Facebook Pixel
- advantages of using a Facebook pixel
- what it’s used for
- how it works
- how to create your Pixel and add it to your website
- go beyond basics: how to use the Pixel to optimize your Facebook ads
After we’re done, you’ll know all facebook Pixel’s ins and outs! Including why you need to use it to optimize your Facebook advertising. Of course, you can also ask me to do it for you…
What is a Facebook pixel?
A Facebook pixel:
- is a code snippet
- is created by Facebook
- tracks conversions from Facebook ads
- optimizes ads based on aggregated data
- build targeted audiences for oncoming ads
- will be used to remarket qualified leads
- has to be embedded in your HTML website’s code
- links individuals’ onsite behavior to Facebook user profiles
In Facebook’s own words, the Facebook Pixel “is an analytics tool that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions people take on your landing page or web-site.”
The Pixel works by embedding cookies and triggering them to track customers and their interactions between your website page(s) and your Facebook ad(s).
I’m going to be dwelling into the technical details for a short moment. But you won’t feel the pain because there will be lots of pictures and not too much gibberish.
But if you already know what the Pixel is and want to go ahead to
- “How to Install a Facebook Pixel”
- “How to Target People With a Facebook Pixel”
Advantages of embedding a Facebook pixel
After the Pixel is embedded into your website’s code, it collects tons of data that you can use to clarify or fine-tune your Facebook advertising game plan.
The Facebook pixel helps you to measure how people interact with your landing page after clicking on your Facebook ad. In plain English, after your customers click on a Facebook ad, Facebook tallies how many times people go to your website and what they do on your landing page.
Thanks to the Pixel, you can track your customer’s interactions across all their devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop, etc.) to know, let’s say, if people first saw your ads on a smartphone but switched to a laptop, tablet or desktop before finishing their purchase—or the other way around. Powerful right?
This information will help you fine-tune your ad strategy and determine your ROI.
The tracked data allows you to know who saw your ads and retarget or remarket them. You can choose to really get into detailed or advanced research with this data. You can show people an ad for the same product they abandoned in a shopping cart or added to your website wishlist.
Create lookalike audiences
Facebook will use its targeting data to help you build a lookalike audience of people who have similar likes, interests, and demographics to people who are already interacting with your website. This will help you expand your potential customer base.
Run effective ads
Using a Facebook pixel can make your ads more effective by improving the quality of the ads you run, and by improving the targeting of the people who see them.
In addition to improving your ads based on tracking their effectiveness, you can use Facebook pixel data to ensure your ads are seen by the people who are most likely to take your desired action.
For some examples of companies using the Facebook pixel effectively, check out our post 5 Surprising Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Ads.
But since the pixel is an invisible snippet of code, we’ll need a visual to understand how this is working. To do so, I am using one of my websites: TheEssentialTools.Com.
What do I use the Facebook Pixel for
I start with a typical Facebook Ad:
This ad is leading to a Landing Page
Can you see something happening? Not really right? You wouldn’t believe this but, since the pixel is on that page, Facebook is going nuts.
Let’s see a video of what’s happening behind the scenes with Chrome’s “Developer Tools.” Of course, I have set up a filter for “Facebook,” to limit all the action to facebook Only. All of the code, URLs & cookies popping up on the right-hand side are only linked to Facebook.
Of course, whatever I am doing on this website, you can do it yourself, or I can do it in your website too… Even if your store is not selling millions of dollars per month, you can take advantage of the Facebook Pixel.
Let’s review the landing page with a still pic so you can have a better idea of what’s going on behind the scenes:
And Now Let’s Review How the Magical Facebook Pixel Works
Let’s say that I leave TheEssentialTools.Com without buying the nice bag. That’s what’s called an “Abandoned Cart,” and it’s a nightmare, not only for that particular website but for every ecommerce store, even the ones like Addidas, Nike or Amazon.
Here comes Facebook Pixel to the rescue!
Look at what happens the next time you go back to Facebook:
A moment later, just to make sure we remember:
Even one day later, and things get a bit less subtle:
TheEssentialTools.Com is using the notorious Facebook Pixel to trigger new ads:
The Facebook Pixel Loop
Of course, if you are not in the shoes of TheEssentialTools.Com’s ad creator, you don’t know what sort of targeting has been used to remarket the same product to you. For example, would you have seen so many ads if you hadn’t added these items to your carts? And maybe geography plays a role, too: Would these ads have appeared with the same intensity if you shopped from, say, Canada instead of the USA?
The Facebook campaign parameters that these companies are using:
- the rules
- the target groups
- the bids
- the time period
- the budget
- and so on – are entirely unknown.
Even so, you can see how the Facebook Pixel operates.
- a customer clicks on a Facebook ad
- arrives on a Landing Page
- looks at the bag
- maybe even adds one bag to their cart
- purchase the bag
- or decide to leave without buying
At the same time:
- the Facebook Pixel is waiting in the background
- silently taking notes on everything that happens
- syncs with the Facebook cookies residing in the visitor’s browser
- flags the account as part of certain target groups
Thanks to Facebook Pixel data, when that customer comes back to Facebook or Instagram, those platforms know what exactly
- what they’ve been doing
- which ads they should see
How Do You Install the Facebook Pixel?
If you have a Facebook Business account and a Website, it is very easy to install the Facebook Pixel.
As Facebook explains it:
- Set up the Facebook pixel by placing pixel code in the header of your website.
- When someone visits your website and takes any action (like completing a purchase), the Facebook pixel is triggered and reports this action.
Pretty straightforward, right?
How to create your Facebook pixel and add it your website
Now that you know what a Facebook Pixel will do for your business (hint: get more paying customers), it’s time to create your own pixel and put it to work on your website.
Step 1: Create your pixel
1. Open your Facebook Page, click the hamburger icon (≡) and click “All Tools”.
2. Go to Measure & report
3. Click on “Pixel”
4 On the Event Manager Page, click on “Set Up”
5. Click on “Manually install The Code Yourself”
6. Copy the Pixel Code (you don’t have to create anything, your Facebook Pixel # is already there)
Remember that you only get 1 pixel per each ad account.
Step 2: Embed the Pixel code to your website
To have the pixel working and gathering the right data on your website, you now need to install that snippet on your web pages. You have 2 ways to do this. It all depends on the tools you have on your website. I’ll use the copy-and-paste method because that’s the most technical. The other option is to use an integration or tag manager. Even if it sounds more complicated, it is actually much more easier.
1. From previous step #6, Click Copy & Paste the Pixel Code.
2. Copy and paste the pixel base code into the header code of your website. That means post it between theandtags. You need to paste it into every page that you want to be tracked. Unless you have a good reason not to do it, paste it on ALL pages and posts. The best way is to paste it into your template if you’re using one. When you’re finished, click Next.
There are many ways to include the Facebook Pixel into your website. If you use Instabuilder, go to script/code, click on head script and simply paste you code there.
You can also use a pluggin called “Facebook Conversion Pixel”.
But the best way is to embed your Facebook Pixel into the header of your theme. That way, you do only this job once and the Pixel will be included in all pages of your website.
Step 3: Confirm your Facebook pixel is working
Before you start using the data from your Facebook pixel, you need to confirm that it’s working correctly.
Here are the steps to do so:
1. From Google Chrome, Download the Facebook Pixel Helper extension.
2. Go to your website’s page where you have embedded your Facebook pixel.
If the Pixel Helper extension locates your pixel
- the </> icon will turn blue,
- a popup will indicate how many pixels are found on the page
- it will tell you if your pixel is working properly
- if not, the pixel will provide error information so you can make corrections.
How Do You Target People With the Facebook Pixel?
Actually, Contrary to everything that has been said about Facebook targeting you or selling your data to Marketers, if you don’t use you Pixel wisely, it will do nothing for you. In order for something to happen, Facebook is waiting for more instructions from you.
The Pixel is just the foundation for targeting, but it’s up to you to tell Facebook when, what, and how to target.
First, let’s take a look at another part from Facebook called Custom Audiences.
There, you can create “Custom Audiences” with rules ranging from super basic to fairly complex. Let’s take my “bag” page.
Thanks to the Facebook Pixel, I know that 1,000 Facebook customers have visited my page after they have seen the ad on Facebook.
You can use the Facebook Pixel to show Facebook ads only to people who have already converted. For instance, maybe you want to treat your best buyers with a discount code for their next purchase. You could do that by setting a URL rule for a post-conversion page, in general, a “Thank You page.”
You could flip that around and create a group of people who have been to your store but didn’t get to the Thank You page. That’s the dreaded “Cart Abandonment”. This is where it becomes VERY interesting.
Say 1,000 visited you landing page last week, but you only had 100 sales, thanks to the Facebook Pixel, you know who are the 1,000 people who visited you website and who are the 100 who purchased. So, you can set up a new ad (it can be a reminder, a bundle or even a discount) to the 900 people who have visited your page but did not completed the purchase.
You can even know who are the people who visited the page and did nothing and who are the people who visited the page, added the product into theirt cart and did not finish the transition.
So, let’s say you have the following data:
- 1,000 people visited your page
- 100 made a purchase
- 200 added the product to the cart but did not finish the transaction
- that left 700 who visited your page but did not do anything
You know this data is correct because it is coming from your Pixel. In that sense, you can show a different ad to each segment:
- send the 100 buyers an ad about an exciting new bundle
- send the 200 cart abandonment a reminder that they need to finish their purchase
- send the 700 passive customers a coupon, discount, BOGO, or whatever offer that might entice them to move to the “add to cart” section…
You can even create a Custom Audiences based on how much money people spent on your website. A “Heavy Spenders” audience might contain people you want to target with your more expensive items. (And you’ll know who the big spenders are thanks to the pixel.)
Go beyond basics with Facebook Pixel
Beyond the classic Facebook, Pixel lies what Facebook calls “events.”
Whenever someone lands on your page after clicking on an ad, an “event” happens. That “event” is simply a specified action that a visitor takes on your website.. Even when you customer does nothing at all, this is considered as an event, and it can be registered by Facebook.
There are 9 standard Facebook Pixel Events:
- Purchase: your prospect completes a purchase on your landing page
- Generate Lead: your prospect signs up for a trial or otherwise identifies themselves as a lead on your site.
- Complete Registration: your prospect completes a registration form on your landing page, such as for a subscription product.
- Add Payment Info: your prospect enters their payment information in the purchase process on your landing page.
- Add to Cart: your prospect adds a product to their shopping cart on your landing page.
- Add to Wishlist: your prospect adds a product to a wishlist on your landing page.
- Initiate Checkout: your prospect starts the checkout process to buy something from your landing page.
- Search: your prospect uses the search function to look for something on your landing page.
- View Content: your prospect views your landing page
This is a truism that’s always true: you can obtain the same results with different ways to do it. The same thing apply to facebook.
If you find it difficult to use the Standard Event Pixel, you could use Custom Conversion events instead. With Custom Conversion, you could even collect more details than Facebook pixel standard events can provide.
Say that again?
This is how it works.
With Custom Conversions, you don’t have to create a Pixel and Add it to your website. All the manipulation is done within Facebook… That’s because instead of Pixel, Facebook will use URL rules based on specific URLs or URL keywords. So, for example, you could use Facebook pixel tracking to record views of a specific category of merchandise on your website, instead of tracking views of all content using the “view content” standard event. If you have a garage, you could separate the Ford Owners from KIA owners. If you are a makeup store, you could have 2 categories: Brown Skin and Light Skin.
Creating Facebook Pixels, Segments, Conversions, Audiences, or Ads is a science of its own. Within marketing agencies, there is generally one specific department for Facebook marketing alone. Going beyond Pixel Events and Customs Conversion is beyond the scope of this article, so for now, I’ll leave it there.
But, that’s not to say you can do it yourself. Even the basic principle of the Facebook Pixel will greatly help you understand how to optimize your Facebook marketing. And if you ever find a hurdle, I’m always there to help.
You can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll always be there.