The Facebook Pixel is a free-to-use tool that every business owner should be using. If you own a business, and have any Facebook marketing goals – you need to understand what the Facebook Pixel is, how it works, and what it can do for you. In this article we'll explore the basics of what the Facebook Pixel is and why you need it!
What is the Facebook Pixel?
Simply put, the Facebook Pixel is a piece of code. Its created from your Facebook Ads Manager, and then copied and pasted into the coding of your website!
While the code is created in Ads Manager, there is no cost associated with using it. It's completely free to create and when you do, Facebook provides you with some easy to use installation steps.
What does the Facebook Pixel do?
The Pixel does 3 basic things. It tracks website visitors (allowing you to remarket effectively), optimizes advertising campaigns, and provides highly-relevant analytical data.
The Facebook Pixel allows you to create highly-targeted audiences based on your website visitors. You can target anyone who has visited your website, people who have visited one webpage but not another, or exclude people who have visited certain pages.
One example of leveraging Pixel effectively would be that a eCommerce company could target an Ad to an audience of people who have been to their website, but exclude people who have purchased within the past 30-days. By creating a custom audience of people who have visited the “thank-you” page and then excluding them from your Ad targeting, you'll ensure that you are not wasting impressions on people less likely to complete your desired action.
Another cool feature, is that you can create a custom audience of people who have visited your website… then create a Lookalike Audience based on that data to find people who look like your ideal audience!
When you have the Pixel installed correctly, you can optimize your Ads for your audience to take specific actions once they visit your website.
So, you can direct the traffic to one page – like a landing page or an opt-in page – and tell Facebook that what is really most important to you is that people hit a difference page – like the thank-you page, indicating that they made a purchase or provided lead information.
Often times, business owners want conversions – not just traffic – and Pixel is necessary to optimize for those actions!
Facebook analytics track in a unique way from Google Analytics – so using Google does not exempt you from using Facebook. Google analytics track with cookies – tracking cookies are use to monitor where traffic comes from, based on the “last click” the user makes. So, Google analytics can tell you what website a user was on before going to your website. This helps us to understand where traffic is coming from in an immediate sense.
Google analytics are limited to one device, and based on the last click. Facebook tracks completely differently – and in a way that allows their analytics to make connections across devices and with an attribution period of up to 28 days. For this reason, the data will never match – because they are tracking entirely different things.
The Facebook Pixel defaults to tracking 28 days after a user clicks on content, or 24 hours after a user sees content. Then, it is able to attribute actions you take across all devices in which you are signed into Facebook – so they know if you see something on your cell phone, then look it up later on your desktop!
This in-depth method of tracking provides a more comprehensive picture of your Return On Investment, because we know that not all conversions happen in one click, and often times, marketers need to “touch” a user 7+ times before they are influenced to take action.
If You're NOT Advertising on Facebook
Even if you are not currently advertising on Facebook, you do need to install the Facebook Pixel. The Pixel retains data for up to 6 months, and therefore it's just good planning to get it installed now. You want the Pixel installed and gathering data ASAP, so that if/when you are ready to dabble in some Facebook Ads, you have some warm data ready to access! Plus, you can use Facebook Analytics to gain a better understanding of your audience, even without advertising.
WordPress Site? Check out my article on PixelYourSite, the WordPress plugin that installs pixel with ease!
Troubleshooting Facebook Pixel – Learn about how to troubleshoot Pixel installation/issues with Facebook Pixel Helper.
Meg Brunson has been marketing to moms for over 7 years. She is the founder and CEO of EIEIO Marketing, a digital marketing agency focused on Facebook Marketing for family-focused businesses.
Meg is also a former Facebook employee with a passion for helping bootstrapped businesses figure out Facebook so that they can promote like the pros! She left the 9-5 in 2017, so that she could be the mom she wanted to be to her 4 young daughters.
After helping her daughter launch her first business, Storytime With Kiki, at the age of 10, Meg began hosting the FamilyPreneur Podcast: an interview-style podcast for parent entrepreneurs, raising entrepreneurial children.