What is Facebook Pixel and How to Optimize Facebook Ads for Conversion

how facebook pixel works

What is Facebook Pixel and How to Optimize Facebook Ads for Conversion

Over time, social media networks have become online platforms with the largest number of users in the world. A huge audience means huge business opportunities, making social media marketing common and desirable.  

When we talk about social networks, the first one that comes to mind is Facebook. This network has gained immense importance in the advertising world. As a result, their ad tool, Facebook Ads Manager, is always present in big and small business marketing strategies.

So, optimizing your Facebook Ads campaign means improving your brand image in the marketplace. 

By enabling easy ad creation and real-time tracking of results, Facebook has led to more and more companies to advertise their products and services on the platform. However, there are many advertisers who lose interest in the platform when their results do not meet their expectations. 

To help you improve the results of your Facebook ads, we have put together this post to help you understand how Facebook pixel can be used to optimize ads for conversions. This will help increase the return on your Facebook Ads investment.

First, you need to install the Facebook pixel, a small snippet of HTML code, on your site. Among its main functions are

  • Calculate the rate of conversions made from the campaign; 
  • Create a retargeting list, causing people who visit your site to be impacted by your Facebook ads; 
  • Create a similar audience list, known as Lookalike Audience, that will serve to expand the audience of your ads.

What is Facebook Pixel? 

Have you noticed that sometimes after you visit a website, the product or service you referred to appears in ad format on your Facebook newsfeed? This achieved using remarketing campaigns set up using Facebook Pixel.

Facebook pixel is a feature that lets you track conversions on a website and create audiences for Facebook ad campaigns. This lets you know how many sales, content views, or how many leads your business made with Facebook Ads. 

How to setup Facebook Pixel?

In order to set up Facebook Pixel on your website, expand the top menu of Facebook Ads Manager (or Business Manager) and you can find it listed in the Measure & Report section under Events Manager.

Pixels in Facebook Ads Manager

Click on Add New Data Source and it will open a dropdown menu with Facebook Pixel and walk you through the installation process.

How To Add Facebook Pixel

You will be asked to enter your website and will be given three different methods to install Pixel on you website.

Facebook Pixel set up

You can do this yourself or reach out to the person or agency handling your website.

Install Facebook Pixel

This is what Facebook Pixel code looks like. It is basically a JavaScript code that connects your website and Facebook Ads Manager.

Facebook Pixel code

Facebook pixel must be installed on every page of your website that you want to track. Once installed, it will start recording purchases, views, signups and send this data to your Facebook Ads Manager.   

How to measure conversions? 

When your pixel is active, it starts to measure what happens on your website. There are two ways of measuring conversions: 

  • Standard Events 
  • Custom Conversions 

Standard events and custom conversions allow you to more specifically track visitors on a website based on the actions they take.  

Standard Events 

standard events on Facebook Pixel

There are various standard (default) Facebook pixel events for you to choose from. To set these up you can simply copy and paste the default Facebook event code to your web pages. Now Facebook even allows you to set these up without installing code manually.  

Some of the available default events are summarized in the table below. 

Facebook Pixel default events list 

Custom Conversions  

A Custom Conversion works by using a URL, that is, you do not need to install code snippets like Standard Events. But note that you must have the pixel installed anyway. There are several options you can choose from when creating custom conversions. 

How to set up custom conversions on Facebook

You can add multiple rules, where each rule is a URL (web address) that you enter to track this conversion. You can choose URL contains, does not contain, or equals. 

Once you’ve selected your rule, give it a name and choose the category that most closely matches the conversion you want to track. You can optionally assign a monetary value for this conversion. 

How to do conversion tracking?  

Now that you know what they are and how to create standard events and custom conversions, it’s time to start tracking and optimizing your campaigns. The visibility gained from tracking your conversions gives you good campaign insights so that you can target the right people with the right offer at the right time.  

Once you have your default events and custom conversions created, you just have to tell Facebook which event you want to optimize your campaign for. 

Set up conversion campaign on Facebook

Setup a new ad campaign with conversion as the objective. Continue to the next step and you will have the option to choose between the standard events and custom conversions using the Pixel you setup, to optimize your campaign.  Now, continue setting up your ad campaign and launch it. Keep monitoring your ad campaign performance and results.

optimize custom conversions

Please be aware that some of these event metrics may not automatically appear in Ad Manager reports.  So, you need to customize your columns in Ads Manager dashboard and choose to display the custom events or conversions metrics you want to see in your reports. 

To do this, go to your Ad Manager, click Columns> Customize columns… 

In the window that opens, select any standard events or custom conversion metrics you want to see in reports.   

customize Facebook Ads manager columns

When creating your ad (in Ad view), make sure Conversion Tracking is enabled with your pixel. By default, it is already active but check it anyway.

Turn on conversion tracking

Why is it important to use Conversion Optimization? 

When running a conversion campaign, you need these custom events and conversions in place. Without them, you won’t be able to optimize your campaigns for any action (eg, registration, sale, lead), and will only be stuck with the basic events that Facebook delivers, such as site traffic, views, video views, and page / post interaction to keep track of what’s happening during the campaign. 

Not having conversion information is a big mistake. It’s like drifting in a boat, without direction. 

The great advantage of setting up custom events and conversions is that Facebook can use the information to show your ads to the kind of people who are most likely to interact with your ads or take action. In addition, you should optimize your campaigns so that people who are seeing your ads find them relevant, and take action, whether on Facebook (Like, Comment, etc.) or on your site (registration, purchase, page views, etc.). 

To conclude, if you don’t have the Facebook pixel installed, you are “leaving money on the table.” Without the pixel, it will be very difficult to optimize your campaigns for a certain type of action. And worse, you won’t know what actions people take after interacting with your ad. 

If you enjoyed reading this article, do check out our other article on Facebook Ads: I DARE YOU NOT TO USE FACEBOOK ADS!