What you need to know about the "Facebook Conversion Pixel"

4/20/2015,
by Anna Umanenko, CMO
Facebook conversion pixel

 

Facebook has earned a reputation as a reliable traffic source generator. Its paid ad options offer a viable solution for businesses looking for new customers by using social media. But in real life it turns out that to get a good return on your advertising spend, it is not enough to just buy ads on Facebook and expect conversions to start happening on their own.

Even with a paid campaign, businesses may still be losing up to 58% of their sales. And here Facebook offers another way - which some people are not aware of - something called a "Conversion Pixel."  The conversion pixel allows you to track your advertising costs by ad to show you which ads are more effective in converting visitors to your objective. A conversion can mean many different things to the advertiser. It cam be defined as a visitor opts-in to your email list, they request more information on your product or they purchase your product.

 

Types of pixels used on Facebook

 

Advertising on Facebook has two types of pixels: a Conversion Pixel and a Website Custom Audience pixel. These are two different code-based tools which help gather metrics on ads, as well as see what kind of activity the visitor has done on your website.

A Conversion Pixel is a short JavaScript code provided by Facebook to be installed on a website to anonymously track visitors who click on the ad and convert on the website. All tracking information gathered through the Conversion Pixel is then made available via the Facebook Ads Manager Module and provides the actual numbers of clicks, conversions and estimated cost per conversion by ad.

 

create Facebook conversion pixel

 

The Website Custom Audience pixel is used for retargeting, which allows you to build an anonymous list of Facebook users that visited your website. Upon the first visit to a website, about 95-98% of users never take that next step and convert. With such a small percentage of people converting, it is important to be able to track the majority of visitors to "convert" them into paid customers and gently remind them to visit the website again. To help with this, Facebook has enabled something called "Website Custom Audiences" which allows advertisers to follow up with visitors, without having their contact information. Based on the information on the pages they visited, this tool shows the follow-up ad which reminds a visitor about the product or service seen on the website that they originally visited.

 

Facebook ads with Conversion Pixel

 

Why The Facebook Conversion Pixel matters

 

There are several ways through which the Conversion Pixel serves as a truly useful tool in measuring efficiency and return on investment for Facebook ads:

  • Evaluate your overall marketing efforts.

To be sure that your investment into a marketing campaign is effective, you need to keep track of the results. The Conversion Pixel on Facebook allows advertisers a tool which measures their overall ROI and conversions by ad.

  • Determine the most successful Facebook ad campaigns.

The conversion Pixel provides specific numbers which help you determine which of the ad campaigns are more effective than the others, how specifically effective they are and, thus, control your marketing strategy.

  • Optimize ads according to your goals.

The conversion Pixel provides meaningful information on a marketing campaign helping you optimize your Facebook ads for lead generation count and evaluation of results (such as sales or registrations).

 

Facebook's cross-device ad reporting

 

The Facebook Conversion Pixel can be inserted both into a website and applications. Facebook reporting specifies which ads are converting and the devices that are used. Facebook has recently proved that mobile serves as a strong driver for commerce. They have calculated that from those users that clicked on the ad on a mobile device, 32% of visitors converted into paid desktop customers in a month's time.

This may impact the way businesses invest into Internet advertising on mobile devices and the digital ad industry too, as it needs to learn to understand how mobile ads work with consumers. Specifically, mobile trends will push advertising into more sophistication which includes finding out how to wisely manage the amount and placement of desktops and mobile ads.

 

How to create a conversion pixel and be sure that it works

 

A conversion Pixel is created through Conversion tracking in Ads Manager on Facebook. At this stage you select the action that you would like to measure (this may include tracking leads, registrations or purchases). Once you click "Create pixel", Facebook will provide you the code which needs to be installed on a specific web page (only.)

 

Facebook Conversion Pixel code

 

The pixel you create is tied to a selected Facebook ad, so if the user clicks on the ad and gets to a "post-conversion" page on the website, the conversion pixel will track the visit and count a conversion for that ad. An example of how this works is installing the pixel on a "thank you" page which appears to the user only after a registration or a product purchase, so once the user gets to this page, the pixel counts the desired conversion.

Since mistakes while installing the code were reported often, Facebook has created "Pixel Helper", which is an extension for Chrome that validates the pixel code. Once you install the Helper and start browsing the website with the installed JavaScript code in Chrome, this tool will automatically determine if the pixel was inserted - when the Helper's pop-up icon turns blue, this means that the code works properly on a given page. In case there was an error, the tool will provide details on how to fix the problem. 

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