I’ll be the first to admit this: Eight months ago, I had NO CLUE what a Facebook pixel was. And quite honestly, I didn’t know why I should care!
It wasn’t until a client asked me to install it on her website that I learned how invaluable it is and how you MUST have it installed on your website if you have any traffic going from your Facebook page to your website.
What the heck is a Facebook pixel?
Have you ever clicked on a link on a Facebook post and then you started to see that company’s ads appear in your Facebook newsfeed? That, my friend, was most likely the result of a Facebook pixel in action.
In very simple terms, a Facebook pixel is code that you place on your website and it works by placing and triggering cookies to track users as they interact with your website and your Facebook ads.
I know what you’re thinking: Big Brother! Yup. I agree that to some extent, it feels like your every move is being tracked. But for better or for worse, that’s the world we’re living in.
From a marketing perspective, this information allows you to spend your FB ads money wisely, as you have the ability to target ads directly to those visitors who have already shown an interest in your business or product.
But Donna…I Don’t Think I’ll Be Running FB Ads. Why Do I Need the Pixel?
Think of it as free market research! Once you install the FB pixel, it’s going to track visitors to your site through FB.
So even if it’s not a paid ad, you can create a custom audience based on blog post or page links you post on your Facebook page. You can track how many visitors went to that particular post, which is great intel to have!
And when you’re ready to start running ads, you’ll already have your warm audience ready to target!
First Things First
Before you can start using the data collected, you need to install the FB pixel code on your website.
Here’s what you need to do:
When you are logged into Facebook, go to the Ads Manager. As of this post date, it’s located on the left hand side when you’re logged into Facebook (you should do this from a tablet, laptop or desktop and not your phone). It will look like this:
Once you click on Ads Manager, next to the word Settings, click on the three little lines (also known as a hamburger icon!) and then select Pixels.
Click on Create a Pixel. You’ll give your pixel a name (in most cases, you’ll want to use your business name) and then Facebook will prompt you to hit next to accept the terms and conditions.
You then need to get the code that you’ll install on your website. When this screen appears, select Manually Install the Code Yourself (because you’re a rock star and I’m going to show you how below!) If you’d rather pass this on to your web developer, there’s another link below to Email Instructions to a Developer.
Copy all of the code in the middle section (make sure you grab it all). This code needs to be placed within the Header of your WordPress website.
Install the pixel code on your WordPress website.
If you know your way around code and you feel comfortable installing it in the Header.php file in WordPress, the code will go instead the head tags as follows:
But if you’re like many who are reading this post, and the thought of touching your site’s php files freaks you out a bit, don’t worry!
Test to see if the pixel code is working on your website. There are two ways you can do this.
You can go back to this screen within the Facebook Ads Manager and add your website URL:
Or you can install the Facebook Pixel Helper Chrome extension (click here for the link).
When you install the pixel helper extension, you can check that it’s installed by going to your website and looking in the browser to see it. If it is blue, that means that the pixel is correctly installed.
I’m not even sure that’s a real word, but I’m going with it anyway!
Once your FB Pixel is successfully installed, you’ll be able to start running targeted FB ads to people who visited your website.
And when you REALLY get into running ads, you’ll be able to do even more customized targeting based on visitors to specific pages on your site and all sorts of other cool stuff.
But that, my friend, is for another post!