The Facebook Pixel for Beginners
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Facebook Advertising for Beginners

The Facebook Pixel

The Facebook pixel is a pirce of Javascript code that you place on your website, ecommerce store or app. Placing this code on your website let’s Facebook understand and track user activity on your website or app.

There are three reasons why this is so important:

  • Build custom audiences based on pages visited, events and frequency
  • Optimize ads to increase results by finding better audiences
  • Track conversions and attribute results for reporting

So yeah, it’s important! Without placing the pixel on your website, you can’t do any of this.

How to Set Up the Facebook Pixel

Setting up your pixel doesn’t need to be hard.

Find Your Pixel

To find your pixel, select “Ads Manager” and choose “Pixels”. See the last lesson on how to find it.

If you haven’t setup the pixel, walk through the setup process.


Facebook has improved the pixel setup process. You can choose between an integration or copying and pasting the code.

setting up facebook pixel

Integrations include Shopify, Google Tag manager, Magento, BigCommerce and Segment.

setup facebook pixel

If you don’t use one of these platforms, choose “Copy and Paste the Code”.

Facebook’s new instructions are incredibly helpful – we recommend following their instructions for pasting the code. Make sure to turn on Advanced Matching. This improves ad targeting and attribution

Here are some helpful tips:

Setup conversions immediatey. You should do this before running any campaigns.

If you run an eCommerce store, setup Add to Cart, Initiative Checkout, Add Payment Info and Purchase. If you collect email addresses, ensure you’d added lead pixels on each thank you page.

Add purchase value variables. You need to measure the the value of your product. If you don’t use one of the major ecommerce stores, follow the instructions on this page.

Add unique names to email conversion types. You can add unique names to each conversion based on the action someone takes. You would need to change the code on each conversion page.

variable lead naming

You can also set a custom event by adding the code ‘trackCustom’ and then adding the custom event name.

custom event tracking

Verify Your Pixel

Before running ads, you should verify your pixel works.

To do this, make sure the code is on your website. Then hit refresh. There are three ways to see if a pixel is firing properly.

1. Pixel Helper

At Online Advertising School, we use the Facebook Pixel Helper. It’s a very easy way to troubleshoot your pixel performance. Just download the code, refresh your page and see if the pixel has loaded successfully. You can also see how many pixels are firing.

facebook pixel helper

2. Ads Manager

Once you create an ad, you’ll be prompted to choose a conversion pixel. If the pixel is firing, it will be green. Otherwise it will be red.

facebook ads manager pixel selection

3. Pixel Review

The third option is to access your pixel through Ads Manager, scroll the the bottom of your screen and see if pixel events are firing.

facebook pixel firing

How to View Pixel Results

You can easily review your pixel results in Ads Manager. Go to Columns, select Customize Columns, select Websites adn choose the website actions you want to view.


Custom Conversions and When to Use Them

Custom Conversions are another way to track website conversions. Custom conversions are set at the website URL level – anyone who visits a specific URL will count as a conversion.

You can access Custom Conversions through the Ads Manager Selection.

facebook custom conversions

Create a Custom Conversion

Creating a custom conversion is easy. Go to the Custom Conversion section in Ads Manager and select Create Custom Conversion.

facebook custom conversion setup

You can choose between URL contains, URL equals and event. For our example, we’ve chosen URL contains. We’ve added any URL that contains thank-you. And finally we can choose a category.

Finally we must choose a name, add a description and if applicable, add a conversion value.


Using Custom Conversions

Custom Conversions are easier to setup, but that doesn’t mean you should always use them. There are two main reasons to use them:

  • You don’t have access to a website’s code
  • You only need to track a page URL

There are limits to custom conversions. These include:

  • Maximum of 40 different conversion types
  • No custom parameter tracking

We recommend sticking with standard conversion tracking.

Need Help?

Is any of this confusing? Send us an email at and we’d be happy to help.

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