68% of US adults use Facebook. For some businesses, the majority of your target audience could be on Facebook. I guess that’s why it controls 83% of social ad spending, according to EMarketer.
To gain more insight into consumer behavior, track results, and optimize their ads, marketers use Facebook conversion tracking using Facebook Pixel. Here’s your neck-deep guide for it all.
What is Facebook Conversion Tracking?
Let’s start with the basics. Facebook conversion tracking is a way for you to quantify the effectiveness of your ad campaigns . Want to know how many people who came from your ad ended up adding items to their wishlist, registering for a program or putting products in their cart? At its core, you’ll learn what portion of conversion-based brand lift is coming from your paid Facebook ads, and how to maximize your campaigns’ effectiveness.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to use your expertise to bring meaning to these metrics. Every business has different marketing objectives, so while one brand may focus on location searches, another may care more about lead generation.
Benefits of Facebook Conversion Tracking
If you want to take Facebook ads seriously, conversion tracking is necessary. The benefits run deep, including:
Transparent insight into a profitable space: No marketing platform will magically produce a stellar ROI. You have to put in the work and develop a strategy that serves you well. But with all its data-driven capacity, Facebook conversion tracking offers the insight you need to maximize the social media site’s advertising potential. When used in tandem with targeted and lookalike audiences, conversion metrics are a tool for storytelling.
A baseline for Facebook ad optimization: When you use the numbers given to you, you’re able to adjust your existing and future ad campaigns to improve your conversion metrics even further. The insights that Facebook conversion tracking provides you can be transformed into actionable advertisement tactics. In the end, this helps you stretch your marketing dollars further, reduce your overall ad spend and deliver a seriously targeted message to those who are most likely to receive it.
You Can’t Track Conversions on Facebook without Facebook Pixel
In order to track conversions on Facebook, you must have the Facebook Pixel installed. Here are the details on this powerful aid.
What is the Facebook Pixel?
The Facebook Pixel is a code you get from your ad manager that you place on your website. This code works tirelessly to collect consumer data, ultimately helping you track any conversions routed from your Facebook ads. These conversions can be broken down further into specific events, and you can tailor which actions you track based on your unique business goals.
In short, the Facebook Pixel is the strong arm of Facebook conversion tracking capabilities.
Why Is the Pixel Necessary for Facebook Conversion Tracking?
The Facebook Pixel is perfect for anyone who places a strong emphasis on Facebook ad campaigns. Without this code, there’d be no way to natively measure which conversions came from these ads, nor what specific moves those consumers took once on your website. If you want your marketing efforts to be efficient and sharp, this pixel is a necessary tool.
There are other types of pixels for tracking conversions on other websites (like Amazon Attribution), but the Facebook Pixel works exclusively for analyzing conversions on Facebook ads.
Other Facebook Pixel Features You’ll Want to Know About
Facebook Pixel works harder than you might realize. It goes beyond just determining the ways in which people interact with your content after viewing your ad.
In fact, you can use the pixel to collect retargeting data, which lets you show your ad to folks who’ve already viewed your website. Just be careful with this move, as some people get creeped out if their Facebook dashboard starts looking a little predatory. This is where an audience analysis comes in handy — everyone has a line they don’t want you to cross.
Targeting data gathered from your pixel can also help you craft lookalike audiences, which are audiences built around the demographics and psychographics of your existing engagers.
Learn about your cost per conversion, cost per lead and other valuable discoveries — all through your Facebook Pixel.
Here are the Conversions You Can Measure
Through Facebook Pixel, Facebook offers 17 different standard events that you can measure. (In this case, an “event” is simply a particular action a website visitor takes.) Of these 17 actions, you can choose which ones you want to focus on.
Note: You may not have access to all of these. Facebook limits access to some of these events for particular businesses.
If none of these are right for your business marketing goals, you can always set up custom events. To do so, you add extra code (AKA parameters) which lets you customize events based on the monetary value of the conversion, currency used, content type and cart contents. That way, you can get measurements that make the most sense for you.
How to Choose Which Events to Measure
With so many options to choose from, syncing up events with your business goals can stop a marketer in their tracks. Here’s how to figure out which events you should track:
- Lay your marketing goals out on the table (metaphorically or figuratively; your choice).
- Map out the journey your customer would take on your website to get to this point.
- Which of the 17 standard events intersects with this journey?
- Are there any other actions your customers take to help you reach your goal? If so, figure out what they are and see if it’s worth creating a custom event in lieu of a standard event.
Facebook recommends remaining consistent with which events you track. For example, if you’re analyzing customer behavior across channels — think a smartphone app, desktop site or offline behavior — you’ll want to measure the same actions. This helps you deliver reliable reports to your marketing team and see how channel crossing affects your key performance indicators (KPIs).
How to Install Facebook Pixel
To get started tracking conversions with Facebook Pixel, you’ll need to know how to install it. Let’s go through the process, including how to stay compliant for social media marketing law.
Create Your Facebook Pixel
Head to your Facebook Events Manager. Click the hamburger button in the top left corner and select Pixels.
You’ll see a green CTA button that reads Create a Pixel. Click it!
Label your pixel after your business, not a particular campaign. Do this because you only get one pixel per ad account (though you can make more in your Facebook Business Manager). Click the blue Create button to finish this step.
Add the Conversion Code to Your Website
The pixel must gather info from your website in order to provide you with those ever-so-valuable insights. That brings me to our next step: install the conversion code on your website. There are a few different ways to do this.
- Ecommerce websites (like Squarespace) and tag managers (like Google Tag Manager) are built with pixels in mind. You don’t even have to edit your website code manually. Just find the widget and install.
- Another option is to send the code to your web developer. In fact, there’s even a button that says Email Instructions to a Developer so you can have your right-hand person do the work for you.
- The other option is to add the code manually. Don’t worry…it’s not as intimidating as it sounds.
- Click the button that reads Manually Install the Code Yourself.
- C+P the pixel code into your web page’s header tag (between <head> and </head>). Do this for every page or within the template.
- If you want to use customer collected data (like email, phone number, name, geographical location and gender) and use it to remarket to a wider audience, head back over to Facebook and click Turn on Automatic Advanced Matching.
- C+P your website URL and click Send Test Traffic. After a few minutes, you’ll see that your status says Activity (if it takes more than 20 minutes, you probably installed your code into your website incorrectly). Once you have activity, click the blue Continue
Next, Choose Which Events You Want to Track
Use the criteria listed earlier in this blog to decide which events you want to track based on your business’ specific needs. Once you choose a standard event, you’ll need to decide between two options: Track event on page load or Track event on inline action. What’s the difference between them?
- Track event on page load works best for events that involve or lead to moving to a new page.
- Track event on inline action works best for actions that occur within a page and do not load a new page.
If you’re interested in tracking custom events, choose Custom Conversions from your Facebook Events Manager. Create a custom event based on your needs.
In addition to your pixel code, you’ll need to add the codes for each tracked event within your website code as well. You add it within the pixel code.
While You’re At It, Get the ‘Facebook Pixel Helper’ Chrome Browser Extension
After all that hard work, you want to make sure your Facebook Pixel is working properly tracking conversions. Facebook Pixel Helper is a Chrome browser extension that tests tracking accuracy, meaning you can better rely on your pixel’s gathered data.
Once you’ve installed the extension, go to the URL you’re tracking. You should see the extension icon turn blue, and then a popup dictating how many pixels it found on your site. You’ll see if your pixel is working properly or not whenever you visit the website.
Follow the Law: Add a Facebook Pixel Notice On Your Website
Last but not least, a little legality issue. Facebook terms (and the law in some locations) require that you notify your website visitors that you’re gathering data on them.
For your business, this will come in the form of a cookies notice for any new site visitors. They should be able to opt out of having their data collected if they want.
Point 3 on Facebook Business Tools Terms goes into detail regarding this issue.
Are There Any Caveats to Facebook Conversion Tracking?
Earlier this year, Facebook launched a vital — however underpromoted — feature for users across the globe. It’s called the Clear History tool.
When a user goes to their settings and clicks Off-Facebook Activity, they can see who is sharing their off-platform data. If they choose, they can clear their history, which undeniably affects marketers like you who are seeking in-depth data to better serve your customers.
But with such a personal platform comes the need for protections, so it makes sense that Facebook would want to implement something to increase the agency of its users.
All in all, you’ll want to keep the Clear History tool in mind when evaluating your conversions.
Facebook Conversion Tracking Success Stories IRL
Imperfect Foods is a business centered around reducing food waste by selling “ugly” produce that regular grocery stores huff over. They used Facebook measurement tools, including Facebook pixel, to boost their success. By the end of their two-part video ad campaign, they earned a 2.3X lift in subscriptions, which equates to about 7,000 new subscribers.
I should know. I was one of them.
Gold’s Gym may lift weights, but Facebook Pixel helped them lift leads by 2.2X (including 624 incremental leads). This came out to $32.39 per lead, which is lower than the average for their target age group of 25-34 year olds.
Parachute sells cozy bedding and bath linens. Throughout their campaign, pixel-based analytics were able to help them reach a 19-point lift in intent to purchase, as well as a 23% lift in purchases. Their average ad recall lifted by 29 points. Impressively, the process even helped them boost their return on ad spend by 5X.
Anyway, off to buy some new bedding.
Measurable Insight Means Everything In Facebook Marketing
In 2016, Facebook had 3 million active advertisers on the platform. Today, that number has grown to more than 7 million. With such wild growth comes a need for competing businesses to up the ante, and that means Facebook conversion tracking with Facebook Pixel.
Read your consumers’ behavior at a deep level, and optimize your advertisements to adhere to the results. In the end, the numbers will do the talking.