You know that Facebook Ads can be a great tool in your business arsenal. You can get your work seen by the right people, let them know about your offerings, grow your list, and even make sales.
What you can’t do is figure out which ads work best for your business if you don’t have the Facebook Pixel in place from the get-go!
“What exactly is this Facebook Pixel you speak of?”
It’s so much more simple than it sounds. Basically you put a bit of code in the backend of your website JUST ONE TIME, and it helps you do two really cool things:
- Show ads to people who have visited your website in the past (also known as retargeting), and
- Track conversions with your Facebook ads.
First let’s think about what the “conversions” in your business are. For most online businesses, conversions are usually when a prospect converts to a customer. In other words, when someone buys something from you.
But you have a lot of other important conversions as well, such as:
- I sign up for your newsletter.
- Instead of just browsing your online store, I actually add something to my cart.
- I opt in to your free or reduced-price trial membership.
- After reading your blog post, I click over to check out the sales page of your product or service.
You get to set the conversions in your business, and usually you add them as “goals” in your Google Analytics account.
For your Facebook ads, however, it’s REALLY easy to see not only which ads are netting you the most conversions, but how much each one of those conversions is costing you.
So let’s get this pixel in place and then set up conversion tracking!
We’ll start in the Ads Manager, which you reach by visiting facebook.com/ads/manage. (This is assuming that you already have a Facebook advertising account connected to your regular profile. If you’ve ever boosted a post or run an ad, you have this account.)
Click on the little menu icon at the top left, then scroll over All Tools. You’ll see a larger menu pop out to the right. Look under Assets and click on Pixels.
Click on the green button that says Create a Pixel. Give it a name – I might call mine Facebook Pixel – ClairePells. Then click Create Pixel.
NOTE: if you don’t see the green Create a Pixel button, it means you’ve already created your Facebook Pixel. But to be certain you’ve installed it in the correct place, click on the button that says Actions and then on View Pixel code. Continue to follow the rest of these directions.
You’ll see a window with a bunch of code in it. Copy it and paste it into a doc on your computer for safekeeping.
Now you need to place it in the backend of your website. Below are instructions for WordPress sites.
If your site is on Squarespace, click here for instructions.
Important: if you use Leadpages, you must add this code to all of your Leadpages pages, even if you use the WordPress plugin. This code does not transfer from your site to any “external” pages like Leadpages, Click Funnels, or any other page creators.
Click here for instructions for Leadpages pages.
How to Place the Facebook Pixel on Your WordPress Site
- Go into the Plugins section of your WordPress site and download and install a plugin called Insert Headers and Footers.
- Then under Settings, click on Insert Headers and Footers.
- Copy that code again, either from the Ads Manager or from the doc that you saved on your computer, and paste it into the Scripts in Headers box.
- Click Save.
That’s it! Your Facebook pixel is installed. You do NOT need to install any event codes, unless you have hundreds of products for sale on your site.
To test it, install the free Chrome Pixel Helper extension and then visit your site.
(From now on, you’ll be able to see whether this pixel has been installed on any site. Makes me feel like MacGyver!)
How to Set Up Custom Conversions
Now that the pixel is in place, you want to make sure it can report info about people taking actions on your Facebook ads. The new way (as of late 2015) is with custom conversions).
Custom conversions are RIDICULOUSLY easy to set up:
1. Go back to the Ads Manager and click on the menu at the top left. Hover over All Tools and then select Custom Conversions.
2. Click on the blue Create Custom Conversion button.
3. Insert the url of whatever page on your site marks the conversion. Usually that means a “thank you” page that people see after signing up for your free content or buying your product. Then click Next.
4. Name your conversion something that’ll make sense to you a year from now. Don’t call it Webinar Sign Up – chances are you’ll host more than one webinar in the span of your business, right?
Skip the conversion value (unless you’re tracking purchases, in which case you should put the price of your product).
5. Click the Create button, and relax because you are DONE! You don’t have to install any other pieces of code; the Facebook Pixel covers everything.
How to Connect Your Custom Conversion to Your Facebook Ads
This is one thing I love about the new way to track conversions for your Facebook ads: it’s automatic! You don’t need to “connect” them like you did in the past.
Any and all custom conversions you’ve created will be tracked on every campaign you run so long as you leave this radio button selected when creating your ads:
You don’t even need to worry about that, though. It’s the default when creating your ads, regardless of the type of ad.
So that’s it! Let’s recap real quick:
- Create your Facebook Pixel in the Ads Manager one time only.
- Install it on your WordPress site one time only.
- Create custom conversions whenever you have a new thing that people can sign up for (like a cheatsheet, webinar, interest list, etc.) or product.
Why You MIGHT Want to Get Creative With Your Custom Conversions
Note: you do NOT need to do any of the following, but if you’re reeeeeeally into tracking stuff or you’re serving a client who likes lots of information about their campaigns, read on!
You can also create custom conversions for some more nuanced actions people take while visiting your website. One example is visiting an important page, like a sales page for your product or service. If you have an ecommerce store, another good conversion is adding a product to their cart.
So if you want to go deeper with your tracking, create a custom conversion with the category “View Content.”
Then you could run ads to a blog post of yours that ends with a pitch for your product. When looking at your reports, you could see:
- How many people clicked over to the blog post;
- How many of THOSE people clicked from the blog post to your sales page;
- How many people ended up buying your product as a result of your Facebook ads.
Adding more custom conversions allows you to see the different steps of your funnel, and to find out how many people are making it from one step to the next.
NOTE: remember that Facebook only lets you create 40 custom conversions per account. So once you’ve used up those 40 slots, you’ll have to go back and delete some in order to create more.