How Facebook’s Conversion Pixel Works : Everything You Need to Know

Facebook’s conversion tracking pixel is one of the most important tools you can utilize when you’re doing any kind of marketing using Facebook Ads. It makes sense that we have a lot of people asking us how Facebook’s conversion tracking pixel works.

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We’ve talked about Facebook’s conversion pixel a lot, including how to install it (which you can see here), but we’ve never gone into quite this much detail about how it works. So, we set out to compile everything you need to know about what the tracking pixel is and exactly how it works.

What Facebook’s Conversion Tracking Pixel Is

Facebook’s conversion tracking pixel is a piece of code—created specifically for you— that you can install on your website’s pages (it’s invisible to users, and only visible through your Facebook Ads manager). This pixel will track a visitor’s actions on your site when they come from a Facebook Ad, and let you know when conversions are made (hence the term conversion tracking pixel).

Instead of just knowing that a user clicked on your ad, you can actually track their actions for conversions. You can evaluate whether your ads were successful based on whatever conversions you seek, including views of a certain page, adds to cart, sales, leads, e-mail sign ups, or more.

how facebook's conversion tracking pixel works

This enables you to know how far along in the buying process your visitors get to. You can tell whether they view a product and click away, or if they add to a cart but don’t purchase.

Not only does this give you insight into your ad (maybe your targeting is close but not quite spot on), it gives you valuable insight into your site itself.

If you continually, over and over again, having users add to a cart but never purchase, you may be looking at an issue on your site. Maybe they need a nudge to complete that purchase, or maybe the checkout process is just too complicated. Maybe they don’t feel that your site looks credible or secure enough to put in their credit card number. Either way, if you’re noticing a trend in drop-offs at some point in the buying process, you can use that as a hint to start tracking down the problem.

This can also help you optimize your ads in the future. We’ve discussed this in an article about tracking ROI, and in another blog post here, where we talk about the most important tools to do so.

We consider Facebook’s conversion tracking pixel to be the single most important tool there is tracking your ROI and evaluating whether or not your ads are successful. Not only can you now determine whether they are successful, but you can determine to what extent they are, and how to make them more so.

How Facebook’s Conversion Pixel Works

This is the lesser known information: how Facebook’s conversion pixel works, in actuality.

The conversion tracking pixel is a snippet of JavaScript Code that you can install on the pages you want to track certain actions on. The code gets installed directly into the html code of those web pages. You create conversion tracking pixels for each type of conversion you want to track.

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For example, if you want to track checkouts that happen as a result of your ads, you would create a tracking pixel for checkouts and place it on the checkout confirmation page users see after completing their purchase.

You can do this for a variety of conversion actions you want to see taken. You could place a tracking pixel designed to track sign ups on the “Thanks for Subscribing!” page users see after subscribing to your newsletter, and you could place a pixel on key pages or products you want to have viewed. To get into some of the really technical stuff, you can view a Facebook help page here.

Whenever the pages with the code are loaded, the code bounces back to Facebook to let them know that a conversion has occurred. This is why creating multiple pixels is important—they track page loadings, not necessarily actions.
Using this information, Facebook is actually able to pair up the conversion event with those who viewed or clicked on the ad.

Facebook then compiles this information to help you evaluate success on your ad, make improvements for the future, and determine the ending ROI results of your particular ad campaign.

What This Means

Facebook’s conversion tracking pixel does a lot of work for you, and for free. It lets know whether or not your ads were actually effective, and if so, how effective they were.

This tracking pixel is the best and most accurate tool you can use to determine your fiscal ROI coming in from your ads. Everyone should be using it if they aren’t already.

Even if you have a hard time installing it (I know I struggle with even the basics of html), it’s worth it to get someone to do it for you, even if it means you hire someone to do so.

To learn more about how to get those conversions to track using Facebook Ads, you can sign up for our Facebook Ads Formula to boost ROIs.

FB Ads Formula

Our FB Ads Formula has helped businesses and entrepreneurs go so far as to quadruple their ROIs.

 

Have you installed the tracking pixels on your site? Has it helped you to increase the effectiveness of your ads? Leave us a comment and let us know!

  • Tyler Horvath

    Here is a more updated article on Facebook Pixels https://fissionads.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/how-to-use-the-facebook-pixel/

    • Ryan Shaw

      Thanks, we have to update this completely now very soon.

  • Phil Fisk

    Help! I’m running Facebook ads for a client. We’re tracking conversions. Note that I’ve created a custom pixel that registers when someone hits the confirmation page. My client just proved to me that anyone and everyone that hits that page fires the Facebook pixel. Is it possible for Facebook to register a conversion for anyone and everyone that hits the confirmation page?

    • @philfisk:disqus . You have to make sure you are using the new updated FB Pixel. It does a lot of tracking including conversions. You need to put an extra piece of code on the confirmation page. (The conversion snippet)

      Go to your FB Pixel in FB Ads and you should find what I’m talking about.

      If you need me to walk through it and how to use it best, feel free to book a time with me next week for a Skype call : http://ryanshaw.me/one-one-facebook-marketing-coaching/