The Facebook Pixel helper has become a fundamental tool for running successful Facebook Ads campaigns and for effectively monitoring everything that happens on your website. In this guide, I’ll explain how to configure it correctly and exploit all its enormous potential.
Facebook Pixel helper: What is it?
The Facebook Pixel helper is a small piece of code that allows you to collect various information about your users and what they do while browsing your website.
The pixel is also in constant communication with Facebook and this allows you, as we will see later, to use many advanced features of the advertising platform of the social network, or Facebook Ads.
Its operation is quite simple. Every time a user lands on a page of your website, the pixel code collects a certain number of information, associates it with the Facebook account of the person concerned, and sends it to the social servers for storage.
As you may have already understood, there are some conditions necessary for everything to work as it should:
- Desktop users must be logged into Facebook with the browser they are viewing your site from
- mobile users must be connected with the browser or must have installed the official Facebook app on their device and logged in. Note that if they have connected both ways but with two different accounts the app will take precedence.
For everything to go well, users must also:
- not having activated any type of blocking of advertising content
- do not browse a tab in incognito mode.
It sounds like a lot of conditions, but being tracked by the Facebook Pixel helper is much easier than you can imagine. And that is why it is so convenient to install it on your website.
Nonetheless, it’s amazing how many websites haven’t implemented it yet and how many others have done it incorrectly.
However, you have finally come to the right place. By reading this guide you will learn everything there is to know about the Facebook Pixel helper.
But let’s go in order.
How to create a Facebook Pixel helper
First, you need to know that the Facebook Pixel helper is tied to the ad account, so if you don’t have one open it now, it’s free.
Once you have activated the advertising account, access the Ads Manager and from there, click on the menu at the top left, move the mouse over All tools, and select Pixels in the Measurement and Report column.
We are almost done. If you don’t find any pixels in the list you just opened, just click on Add a data source at the top right and select Facebook Pixel helper from the drop-down menu.
At this point, you just need to choose a name and the pixel will be created.
The time has come to implement it on the website.
Install the Facebook Pixel helper on the website
Installing the Facebook Pixel helper on the website is not complicated, but it requires a minimum of attention.
There are several methods you can follow. In this guide, we review the most popular and used.
Before proceeding, however, you must understand a few principles.
The Facebook Pixel helper must be installed on all pages of the site, none excluded, in its basic form. This will allow you to track traffic, aka PageViews.
You will then need to insert additional portions of code to report to Facebook the noteworthy events that you decide you want to track. These portions of code will be inserted only in the target pages (for example if you want to track visitors to certain sections of the site) or performed when certain events occur (for example if you want to track clicks on the call to action of a landing page or sendings of a contact form).
Later we will see how to configure these last portions of code, while in the next paragraphs we will deal with installing the pixel in its basic version, however always necessary, on all pages of the site.
Manual code installation
Manual installation of the code is suitable for more experienced users who have access to all the files that make up the website they are about to get their hands on.
Before starting you must make a backup of all your files so that you can recover everything in case something goes wrong. You never know!
To get your code click on View the setup instructions next to the name of the pixel you just created. The following screen will open:
Select manual installation, then copy the code that will appear on the next screen.
As I told you a little while ago, the pixel must be inserted within all the pages of the website. In particular, you will have to paste it before closing the <head> tag or inside the template file of the CMS header in use.
If you are using WordPress, for example, you will need to paste the Facebook Pixel helper into the header.php file of the template you are using.
Installation with Google Tag Manager
If you have already installed Google Tag Manager or another tag management tool on your website, you can use it to insert the Facebook Pixel helper as well.
This option allows you to keep your ecosystem tidier and not to litter the site code with several portions of additional code.
The insertion process is very simple. Create a new Custom HTML type Tag, then paste the Facebook pixel code and set the All Pages trigger.
Of course, you can decide to postpone tag firing using DOM Ready or Window Loaded triggers, but this depends on your needs.
PixelYourSite Pro: the perfect plugin for WordPress and Woocommerce
If you used WordPress or Woocommerce to create your site, you have another option for installing the Facebook Pixel helper.
You can in fact decide to use a plugin. And if you have to do it, I would recommend PixelYourSite Pro, a real gem.
In addition to managing the insertion of the basic version of the Facebook Pixel helper, this plugin is perfectly optimized for the management of standard events and purchase actions on Woocommerce. A real shortcut that will save you some time.
We verify the correct installation
Finally, the basic version of the Facebook Pixel helper has been installed. Or at least, it should be!
In fact, I imagine you are asking yourself: did I do everything correctly? and if not, when will I notice?
Let’s start by saying that fortunately, Facebook’s reactivity on this front is quite high. If you’ve done everything correctly, the pixel should start collecting data right away.
However, empirical proof is not enough, and, also to test future implementations correctly, it will be good to equip ourselves with a tool, completely free, which allows us to verify in a few seconds the correctness of the implementation just performed.
To do this, you need to download a Chrome extension (already, unfortunately, it only exists for Chrome) called Facebook Pixel Helper.
Once installed, you will find its icon at the top right of the Chrome address bar. Now open a page on your website and wait for the upload to complete. Once done, left-click on the Facebook Pixel Helper icon.
the Facebook Pixel helper sent a Page View event and the green check next to the event testifies that everything went well.
In case you don’t have the green tick or you don’t see the Page View event it means that something went wrong during the installation process, so you have to roll up your sleeves and understand where you went wrong and what.
If, on the other hand, everything has gone smoothly so far, now is the time to talk about Standard Events and Custom Events. However, first, it is good to clarify the reasons that should make you consider this type of tracking essential!
Why track events?
We have seen how to install the Facebook Pixel helper on all pages of the website. But why is it necessary to go further and track the actions that users take during their visits?
There are at least two reasons, both of which are important.
First, tracing events is very important for analytical purposes. Only in this way, in fact, will you be able to evaluate the effectiveness of your pages, the changes you will make to them, and, ultimately, make decisions based on concrete data and not on subjective opinions.
You may argue that you’ve already set up Google Analytics for this purpose, and you’re partly right. In part, because in reality, thanks to complete tracking, you will be able to exploit the potential of Facebook Analytics, a complementary tool to Google Analytics that allows you to analyze some metrics otherwise not available.
But tracking events is especially important for optimizing Facebook Ads campaigns. Otherwise, it would not be possible to create conversion campaigns and, even less, set up remarketing activities.
I also talk about these things in my complete guide to Facebook Ads. If you are starting, I suggest you read it carefully.
Tracking the actions on the site: the Standard Events
Whenever a user acts on the website, the Facebook Pixel helper can register an event.
We have two categories of events available: standard and custom events.
The standard event is nine actions that, by default, you can draw on the website.
As you can see, they are quite common actions and generally accept different parameters (basically they are nothing more than functions that you will have to call in the code when certain events occur on the site).
On this page, you can find all the possible parameters for each standard event.
How to integrate the pixel with standard events?
Basically, you can proceed as you did for inserting the base pixel, but instead of calling your event function when each page loads, you will have to launch it when a certain event occurs.
In Google Tag Manager you will need to use Custom HTML type tags and a trigger based on the action you are trying to track.
You just have to pay attention to two details:
- do not recall the entire Facebook Pixel helper again, but only the fbq () function inherent to the event you need to track;
- make sure the event function is called after the base pixel script.
In case you have chosen PixelYourSite Pro you can follow the instructions of the plugin bearing in mind that Woocommerce is fully supported therefore you will not need to implement the standard actions on all purchase actions ( ViewContent, AddToCart, InitiateCheckout, and Checkout ).
Once you have finished adding the standard actions, check that everything went well using the Facebook Pixel Helper Chrome extension as seen above.
Track custom events
In many cases, especially for more complex funnels, standard events may not be enough to track the variety of user actions. It is, therefore, necessary to resort to custom events.
If you understand how to work with standard events, it will not be difficult for you to implement custom ones. In fact, we proceed in the same way but by modifying some parameters in the faq () function.
As for the standard events you can use the usual methods for the implementation on your website and also in this case you will have an easier life with PixelYourSite Pro since in the Events tab you can manage all the custom events without putting your hand to the code.
Create a conversion based on a Custom Event
If you have already worked with Standard Events, you will know that each of them is natively present in Facebook Ads among the possible conversions of campaigns.
This is not the case for Custom Events. If you want to create a campaign optimized for a custom action, you will need to create a Custom Conversion.
If you’ve never done this before, I refer you to my complete guide on creating custom conversions.
It is important to know that before you can create a custom conversion based on a custom event, this must occur at least once, otherwise, it will not appear in the list of available events. If despite everything you do not find it among the available actions I suggest you wait a few minutes, sometimes Facebook makes you want it!
The Facebook Pixel helper and remarketing audiences
We have arrived at the end of the configuration and now your pixel is ready to track everything that happens on the website. Among the many benefits that this entails, certainly, the most tempting possibility is to create remarketing audiences.
In fact, which users are most likely to convert? Probably those who have started the purchase process and have not completed it.
A small additional stimulus may be enough to make them lean towards conversion, so it is always good to invest in them.
I have made several insights into this. In particular, I would like to recommend two further guides (sorry, in this article I have already recommended several):
- guide to creating custom audiences
- Facebook remarketing guide
In particular, in the guide dedicated to custom audiences, I will explain how to create an audience based on events or custom conversions generated on the website. In the one on remarketing instead, I will explain the best techniques to complete this activity on Facebook Ads.
The Facebook Pixel helper after the GDPR
The Facebook Pixel helper, like many other tracking tools, falls under the shadow of the GDPR and the legislation on Cookies. This means that before releasing the Facebook Pixel helper on the website you must obtain the consent of the users.
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