Facebook Pixels 101

Everybody knows Facebook and everybody knows ads. Everybody knows Facebook ads are eerily accurate in what they advertise. You'd be right to wonder how they do it. Aside from us living in an Orwellian era where most everything we do is visible to almost anyone who cares to take a look, the way those ads are done is quite simple. Facebook pixels.

What is Facebook Pixels?

Simply put, Facebook Pixels is an analytical tool used to track a consumer's actions and behaviors while they visit your site. It helps determine the effectiveness of your Facebook ads. Once you put the code on your site, Facebook tracks consumer data and generates targeted audiences. I'll give you an example of how it works in real life. I was scrolling through my Facebook when I saw an ad for a dress. Ads for dresses and clothing are commonplace on Facebook, but this dress was somehow different to me. I had never purchased anything from this particular site before I saw that dress on Facebook. I don't usually click on Facebook ads, but this time I couldn't resist.

Clicking the link triggered a chain reaction. By clicking the link, and then later purchasing the dress, my actions were stored and reported to the Facebook Ads manager. My actions were desirable and thus worthy of attention. Because this action was seen as favorable, the site continued to send these types of ads my way because I became a part of their targeted audience.

Why Should You Use Pixels?

Facebook Pixels is used to optimize Facebook Ad Manager in the sense that, as mentioned, it tracks the effectiveness of your Facebook ads. Because of the effectiveness of the ad and my interaction with said ad was favorable, the ad manager continued to advertise to me on the basis that it was anticipated that I would have another favorable transaction. If I had kept scrolling past the ad, it would have been seen as ineffective by Pixels and they would have eliminated me as a targeted consumer from that particular site.

Pixels is basically a great way to develop your consumer database. It's helpful because you're able to find out who you're advertising to and, obviously, can help your bottom line.

Not only would Pixels help with your advertising campaign, but it can help your conversion rate. So if you're looking for more than just having link clicks, Pixels can help with that. If your goal is to have more purchases and signups, Pixels can help by ensuring that your ads are seen by consumers who are more likely to make high purchases, or purchases in general if I'm an indicator.

Is cart abandonment an issue for your site? Pixels can help with that too. Pixels can track the data of items that consumers abandon in their carts. In my example, I had never seen that dress before (which is not uncommon), but there are several instances of ads being sent to consumers based off of something they had seen or viewed before. One of my old journalism professors talked about some purple shoes that she had viewed on a website. At the time, she didn't purchase them. She decided, though they were nice, she didn't need them, and proceeded to exit the page. She later saw Facebook ads left and right about those shoes. She caved and purchased them. In addition to the other ways that you can avoid cart abandonment, Pixels is a surefire way to go.

Getting Started

Facebook Pixels is meant to work in conjunction with Facebook Ad manager, but if you haven't gotten around to setting up the Facebook Ads, don't worry. You can still set up Pixels and it will track the data until you do set it up. There will be plenty of information for it to have by then.

The first thing you'll want to do is open the Facebook Events Manager, click the hamburger, or menu, icon, and click "Pixels." You will then have the option to select "create new pixel." Then you'll want to name the pixel

After you've named your pixel, you'll need to decide how you want to integrate Pixels. There are three ways to do this. If you're using a platform or template, you can select that option and you'll be given step-by-step instructions on how to integrate Pixels onto your site's template. If you're using a site developer, you can email them the instructions and they will take care of the rest for you. If neither of these are an option, then you'll need to copy and paste the code directly to your website.

It's a fairly simple process. The code is given to you, you copy it and then paste it to the header of every page. If you're using a template, you can still select this option and copy and paste code to your template if you want.

Once everything is setup up, you'll need to run a test to make sure everything is installed correctly. If it is, then you can proceed to setting up your Pixels by selecting what data you're trying to track. Now you're done with the hard part and can carry on with snagging more consumers. You will, however, need to notify your consumers that you're tracking their date. A simple "This site uses cookies, etc." message ought to suffice. And now you're done. That's it!


Facebook and Google know the ins and outs of the internet. They are the gatekeepers, the game coders, the key holders and they are giving you the cheat codes. I beg you take them. It will make your life so much simpler, I promise. Because they tell you exactly what you need and how to improve, you cannot go wrong in trusting them. And it wouldn't hurt your bottom line to do so.

Tags: ecommerce, ecommerce tips, marketing, facebook