What Is the Facebook Pixel and How Do I Use It?

Love it, hate it, or love to hate it, Facebook is a very big component of just about any Internet marketing strategy. With millions of users logging into the world’s largest social network each and every day, you have a tremendous opportunity to expand your audience, grow your business, and increase your profits. You just have to figure out Zuckerberg’s system.

While it is absolutely true that Facebook has significantly diminished organic reach, it also offers a wealth of useful business tools you can use to promote your content (at a cost). One of these tools is the suitably named Facebook Pixel.

The Pixel, by Facebook

The main idea behind the Facebook Pixel isn’t new, but it does combine the functionality of other tracking pixels together into just one snippet of code you can run across the entirety of your website. This is far more convenient and it brings all of that analytical data into one place. From there, you can optimize your campaigns accordingly.

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Taken at its most basic level, the Facebook Pixel can be used for two main purposes: creating custom audiences and tracking conversions.

When you’re putting together a Facebook ad, you likely want to target a specific audience. The more granular you can get, the more successful you can be. With the Facebook Pixel, you can target only people who have been to your website or only people who have viewed a specific page or any combination thereof. Maybe you want to target people who have visited your site but have not seen the promoted content. You can use exclusions too.

Conversion tracking works like any number of other tracking pixels. You can see who has gone through a successful conversion, like when someone sees the “thank you” page after a purchase or after signing up for your email newsletter. Using this data, you can then run your campaigns accordingly, optimizing your bids to improve your conversion statistics.

Just One Snippet of Java?

Of course, before you can do any of that, you need to install the code for the Facebook Pixel. You only get one pixel per adverts account, but it can be applied to as many of your web properties as you want. It just means you’ll need to organize your data so you know what the traffic looks like on each site.

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To add a Facebook Pixel, simply go to the corresponding page on Facebook with the ads manager. Accept the terms, choose your account (it should be pre-selected), and you’ll see a snippet of JavaScript like what you see above. Copy and paste this code between the <head> and </head> tags in your site’s header. This is easy enough to do in WordPress editor.

As soon as the code has been inserted, Facebook immediately goes to work tracking all the traffic that heads your way. This gets cross-referenced with Facebook already knows about each user and this data all get blended together so you can make your custom audiences.

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If you want to add conversion tracking, you’ll need to convert the code slightly in order to accommodate the event code. This is for what they call “standard events.” Some confusion arises, because if the basic Facebook Pixel code already appears on every page, how can you modify it for specific pages?

There are a number of methods you can utilize, but one of the simplest is to use a WordPress plugin like PixelYourSite. This plugin is also great for integrating with WooCommerce, if you’re already using that to power your online store.

Let the Data Analysis Begin

After you’ve installed the Facebook Pixel on your site and made any necessary adjustments for conversion tracking, you gain access to an amazing wealth of data. This is all accessible through the Ads Manager dashboard on Facebook.

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Naturally, you won’t see very much right away, but that Pixel will be hard at work behind the scenes 24/7. Ideally, you want to start with at least 30 days worth of data before you start utilizing custom audiences and tracking. Since it’s so quick and easy to put up the Facebook Pixel, you really should install it just in case you want to leverage the data in the future.

This is obviously a very basic guide to the system and there are all sorts of advanced strategies and features you can learn about. For now, just install the code. Your boosts and ads just got that much more powerful.

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News Reporter