Perhaps you have heard people talking about ‘Facebook Pixels’ and you’ve no idea what they are talking about – or more likely, you have *some* idea what it is but you don’t really understand exactly how it works or more importantly – how you should be leveraging it.
So….What is Facebook Pixel?
This is a piece of code which is embedded into the back end of your website, once it has been installed, it opens up many avenues of opportunity.
- Retarget the traffic that visits your website (what is regarteting, I hear you cry!) This is when you create adverts that are only seen by specific people who visited specific pages within your website. So you look at a pair of shoes on a website, and then that pair of shoes follows you around you around the internet? That’s retargeting (also referred to as remarketing)
- If you have an E-commerce business or a business that takes payment on your website, the Pixel is a vital component to assist Facebook is tracking your return on ad spend (Known as “ROAS” in the industry) While Google Analytics will also track your conversions, GA works on a “last touch” basis – so if someone visits your website from a Facebook Ad, exits and then later returns to checkout using a direct link or search engine, GA will track this as a conversion made from that source and not Facebook.
- Track events on your website – there are a series of ‘Standard Events’ (View Content, Add To Cart, Purchases etc) but you can also add Custom Events (these require a little bit more work) but allow you to track specific actions on your website, such as people who have looked at Red Dresses.
- Machine Learning – ever noticed that you Google “double mattress” and suddenly, you’re served with ads on Facebook and Instagram for all types of different mattress products? This is Facebook using the Pixel to determine your intent (searching for a mattress to buy) to then serve you relevant adverts that you are likely to engage with.
How does the code get into the website?
For most business owners looking to DIY their own marketing, it is generally advisable to pay your web developer (or any web developer) a few quid to insert the code for you although if you want to try to do it yourself, there are some good free plugins for WordPress including ‘Insert Header and Footer’ and ‘Pixel Your Site’
Some points to mention about Facebook Pixel
There are a few notes or guidance we should point out about Facebook Pixel
- If you install your Pixel today, it will start tracking data from that moment but not before! Seems obvious but sometimes people forget that it cannot collect data from prior to installation!
- You can retarget people for 180 days (6 months) unless of course – they manually clear their cookies.
- Be careful when retargeting specific pages – if you have only had 100 visitors to a page during the period you’re retargeting, this is a very small audience and will result in each person seeing the ad many times, which can result in negative feedback.