If you’re a Facebook ads user, or you plan to use them in the future, there’s one key tool you
should start making use of right away.
The Facebook Pixel will help you get the most out of your
social ad budget. Here’s everything you need to
know about how it works.
What is the Facebook pixel?
The Facebook pixel is a code that when placed on your website, collects data that helps you track conversions from Facebook ads , optimize ads, build targeted audiences for future ads, and
remarket to people who have already taken some kind of action on your website.
It works by placing and triggering cookies to track users as they interact with your website and your Facebook ads.
There used to be a couple of different kinds of pixels:
-The Facebook conversion pixel and the
-Facebook custom audience pixel.
Facebook discontinued the conversion tracking pixel back
in 2017. If you were using the Facebook
conversion pixel, you’ll need to switch over. You
can learn how to do so in this Facebook
business help article. If you were using the old
custom audience pixel, these instructions explain
how to upgrade to the current pixel.
Why you need to set up the
The Facebook pixel provides important
information you can use to create better
Facebook ads, and better target your ads.
Facebook tracking pixel data helps ensure your
ads are seen by the people who are most likely
to take your desired action. This allows you to
improve your Facebook ad conversion rate and
get better ROI.
Even if you’re not using Facebook ads yet, you
should install the Facebook pixel now. It will
start collecting data right away so that you don’t
have to start from scratch when you’re ready to
create your first Facebook ad.
How can you use the Facebook pixel?
Here are just a few ways the pixel can help improve your Facebook marketing results.
Use Facebook conversion tracking
The Facebook pixel allows you to see how
people interact with your website after viewing
your Facebook ad.
You can even track customers across their
devices. This lets you see if people tend to see
your ads on mobile but switch to a desktop
before buying. Or, maybe it’s the other way
around. This information can help you refine your
ad strategy and calculate your return on
Use Facebook retargeting
Facebook retargeting pixel data and dynamic ads
allow you to show targeted ads to people who
have already visited your site. You can choose to
get really granular here. For example, you can
show people an ad for the exact product that
they abandoned in a shopping cart or added to a
wishlist on your website.
Create lookalike audiences
Facebook can use its targeting data to help you
build a lookalike audience of people who have
similar likes, interests, and demographics to
people who are already interacting with your
website. This can help expand your potential
Optimize Facebook ads for conversions
You can use Facebook tracking pixel data to
optimize your Facebook ads for specific
conversion events on your website. Without a
pixel, the only conversion you can optimize for is
link clicks. With the pixel, you can optimize for
conversions that align more closely with
business goals, like purchases and sign-ups.
Optimize Facebook ads for value
As Facebook collects data on who buys from
your site and how much they spend, it can help
optimize your ad audience based on value. That means it will automatically show your ads to the people who are most likely to make high-value purchases.
Want to use web conversion campaigns, custom
audiences from your website, or dynamic ads?
You can only do so if you’ve installed the
Facebook pixel. You also need the pixel to track
metrics like cost per lead or cost per
How to use the Facebook pixel
You can use the Facebook pixel to collect data
on two different kinds of events.
1. Facebook has predefined a set of 17
2. You can set up custom events yourself.
An “event” is simply a specified action that a
visitor takes on your website, like making a purchase.
Facebook pixel standard events
The 17 standard Facebook pixel events for which you can simply copy and paste.
Standard Facebook event code are:
- Purchase: Someone completes a purchase on your website.
- Lead: Someone signs up for a trial or otherwise identifies themselves as a lead on your site.
- Complete registration: Someone completes a registration form on your site, such as a subscription form.
- Add payment info : Someone enters their payment information in the purchase process on your website.
- Add to cart : Someone adds a product to their shopping cart on your site.
- Add to wishlist : Someone adds a product to a wishlist on your site.
- Initiate checkout : Someone starts the checkout process to buy something from your site.
- Search : Someone uses the search function to look for something on your site.
- View content: Someone lands on a specific page on your website.
- Contact : Someone contacts your business.
- Customize product : Someone selects a specific version of product, such as choosing a certain color.
- Donate : Someone makes a donation to your cause.
- Find location : Someone searches for your business’s physical location.
- Schedule: Someone books an appointment at your business.
- Start trial: Someone signs up for a free trial of your product.
- Submit application : Someone applies for your product, service, or program, such as a credit card.
- Subscribe : Someone subscribes to a paid product or service.
You can also add more details to standard
events using extra bits of code called parameters. These allow you to customize the standard events based on:
- How much a conversion event is worth
- Content type, or ID
- Basket contents
For example, you could use Facebook pixel
tracking to record views of a specific category
on your website, instead of tracking all views.
Perhaps you want to separate dog owners from
cat owners based on which sections of your pet
supply website they viewed.
Facebook pixel custom events
You can use custom events in place of standard
events, or to collect more details than Facebook
pixel standard events can provide.
Custom events use URL rules based on specific
URLS or URL keywords.
You can learn more about custom conversions in
this Facebook help article .
How to create a Facebook pixel
and add it your website
Now that you know what you can track, and why ppp0you would want to do so, it’s time to create your pixel and put it to work on your website.
Step 1: Create your pixel
1. From your Facebook Events Manager , click
the hamburger icon (≡) in the top lefts and
2. Click the green Create a Pixel button.
3. Name your pixel, enter your website URL, and click Create.
When choosing the pixel’s name, keep in mind that with Events Manager, you only get one pixel
for each ad account. The name should represent your business, rather than a specific campaign. If you want to use more than one pixel per ad account, you can do so using Facebook Business Manager .
Step 2: Add the pixel code to your website
To put the pixel to work gathering information on your website, you now need to install some code
on your web pages. There a few ways to do this
depending on what website platform you use.
If you use an e-commerce platform like
Squarespace or a tag manager like Google
Tag Manager, you can install your pixel
without having to edit your website code
directly. This Facebook Help article describes
how to install your pixel if you already use
one of those third-party tools.
If you work with a developer or someone else
who can help you edit your website code,
click Email Instructions to a Developer to
send your developer everything they need to
install the pixel.
If neither of the above options apply, you need
to insert the pixel code directly into your web
pages. That’s what we’ll walk you through in
1. Click Manually Install the Code Yourself .
2. Copy-and-paste the pixel code into the header code of your website. That is, post it after the
tag but before the tag. You
need to paste it into every single page, or into
your template if you’re using one.
3. Choose whether to use automatic advanced matching. This option matches hashed
customer data from your website to Facebook profiles. This lets you can track conversions
more accurately and create larger custom
4. Check whether you’ve installed the code
correctly by entering your website URL and
clicking Send Test Traffic .
Once your Facebook pixel is tracking activity,
click Continue .
Step 3: Track the right events for your business
Select which of the 17 standard events you’d like
to track using the toggle buttons . For each
event, you need to choose whether to track on
page load or on inline action.
Track event on page load : Use this to track
actions that involve going to a new page, like
a purchase complete or sign-up success
Track event on inline action : Use this to
track actions within a page, like clicking an
“add to cart” button that does not open a new
You can also set parameters for some events.
For example, maybe you specifically want to
track purchases over a set dollar value.
If you want to use Facebook pixel custom
events, head to your Facebook Events Manager.
Choose Custom Conversions from the top left
menu. Then, click Create Custom Conversion to
define your custom conversion event using URL
Step 4: Confirm your Facebook pixel is working
You already tested your Facebook Pixel installation by sending test traffic. But before you
start relying on the data from your Facebook
pixel, you should confirm that it’s also tracking
1. Add the Facebook Pixel Helper extension to
your Google Chrome browser. (It’s only
available for Chrome, so if you use a different
browser, you’ll need to install Chrome to use
the Pixel Helper.)
2. Visit the page where you have installed the
Facebook pixel. If the extension finds the
pixel, the extension icon will turn blue,
and a popup will indicate how many pixels it
finds on the page. The popup will also tell
you if your pixel is working properly. If not, it
will provide error information so you can
Step 5: Add pixel notice to your website
To comply with Facebook’s terms (and, in some
cases, the law), you need to make sure visitors
to your website know you’re collecting their
That means you need to provide clear notice that
you’re using the Facebook pixel and that their
information may be collected through cookies or
other methods. You also need to let users know
how they can opt out of having their data
To get all the details, go to the Facebook
Business Tools Terms and scroll down to point
3: Special Provisions Concerning the Use of
Facebook Pixels and SDKs. Or, check out
Facebook’s cookie consent guide for sites and
In October 2018, Facebook changed how it uses
cookies to track Facebook pixel data.
Advertisers can now use first-party cookies as
well as third-party cookies. Unless you want to
opt out of using first-party cookies, you don’t
need to do anything because of this change.
What does it mean? Basically, this change
allows advertisers to continue to track data on Safari and Firefox. Both of these browsers have
placed limits on third-party cookies.
Why would you want to opt out? Advertisers in
fields that have extensive privacy legislation—like
finance and health—may need to opt out for