What Is Meta Pixel and How Can It Help You Track Ad Conversions?

Published 30 June, 2023 Updated 20 July, 2023

Do you want to create personalized user experiences, run ads that drive conversions and expand your reach to more audiences? If you are active on Facebook, learning how to use Meta Pixel for business growth is important.

What Is Meta Pixel and How Can It Help You Track Ad Conversions?

Meta Pixel, formerly known as Facebook Pixel, is a tracking code embedded on a website for tracking user behavior and interaction on that site. This is a short answer to the what is Meta Pixel question, but while this technology might seem simple, it can be incredibly useful.

As a website owner looking to increase traffic or sales, your marketing strategy will likely involve running Facebook ads. Knowing how well your online advertising campaigns perform is crucial for maximizing your budget and resources. This is where the Facebook Pixel functionality proves useful.

With the help of the Pixel, you can measure the performance of your Facebook ads and gain valuable insights into your audience. Why is this important? In short, this is the quickest way to personalize ads that convert better. But how does Facebook Pixel work, what are its benefits, and how can you get started? Continue reading to find out. 

Key highlights

  • Meta Pixel is a code snippet that, when installed on a website, tracks web visitors’ activities to help businesses gain insights into their audiences’ needs, behaviors and preferences.
  • Businesses can leverage Facebook Pixel to reach a broader pool of potential customers and grow their customer base. 
  • With Facebook Pixel, you can create a custom audience of people who’ve demonstrated interest in what you sell and run targeted Facebook or Instagram ads to boost conversions. 

What is a Meta Pixel exactly? How Facebook Pixel turned into Meta Pixel

Meta Pixel is a line of code you embed on your website that tracks user activities and collects valuable data for measuring the performance of your Facebook ad campaigns. The data collected includes user actions such as page views, clicks, conversions and other trackable events. 

By utilizing Meta Pixels, advertisers can track conversions and gain insights into how effectively their ads perform, allowing them to allocate their budget and resources more efficiently.  

For example, let’s consider a sales-focused ad campaign for an online store. To ensure success, it is important to know how many sales are generated from your ad spend. Conveniently, by integrating Meta Pixel with your ad account, you can track users who make purchases through your ads and precisely calculate the value of each conversion. 

In the most basic sense, this helps you determine the profitability of your ads. By integrating the technology, you can determine whether you’re making money, losing money or breaking even. In turn, this can help you make smart business decisions to make improvements for future ads. 

Brief History of Meta Pixel

Facebook first rolled out Facebook Pixel in 2015. At the time, the company created the technology for advertisers to track their website visitors’ activities and measure the effectiveness of Facebook and Instagram ads. 

Today, Facebook Pixel is officially known as Meta Pixel after Facebook’s rebrand in late 2021. Even though Facebook Pixel changed its official name, it remains a powerful analytics tool for advertisers on the Meta Ads Manager (formerly Facebook Ads Manager) platform.

Of course, the Pixel has improved quite a bit. Over the years, Facebook has continuously updated and enhanced Pixel’s functionality, introducing features like, for example, automatic advanced matching, which helps match user data from multiple sources for more accurate targeting.

Most significant Facebook Pixel updates

  • Enhanced event tracking: Facebook expanded Pixel’s event-tracking capabilities, enabling businesses to collect granular data and track events, such as video views, form submissions, add-to-cart events and purchases.
  • Custom conversions: Facebook introduced the ability to create custom conversions based on specified URL rules or event parameters. By assigning a Facebook Pixel ID to a specific page or event, businesses can collect Pixel data tailored to their goals and objectives. 
  • Dynamic ads and product catalog integration: Facebook Pixel became integrated with dynamic ads and product catalogs, enabling businesses to automatically personalize and dynamically display ads to individuals based on their behavior and interests. 
  • Conversions API: Facebook introduced the Conversions API to allow businesses to send web events directly to Facebook servers, bypassing the need for Pixel-based tracking. This innovation provided an additional option for tracking events, particularly in scenarios where browser-based Pixel tracking, such as page scroll or conversion Pixel, might be limited.
  • Aggregated event measurement: In response to changes in user privacy preferences and browser restrictions, Facebook introduced Aggregated Event Measurement. With this feature, businesses could continue gathering performance data while respecting user privacy preferences and complying with evolving regulations.

How does Meta Pixel work?

To fully utilize the power of Pixel tracking, it helps to know how the technology works. Here’s a basic overview of how Meta Pixel works. 

  • Implementation: Generate a tracking Facebook Pixel code from Facebook Events Manager and integrate the code snippet into your website’s HTML. 
  • User interaction: Once visitors and customers visit your website and perform specific actions, Pixel tracking is activated.
  • Data collection: Pixel tracks user activities on your site and gathers relevant information about their demographics (e.g., age, gender, location), device type and browsing. 
  • Event and conversion tracking: Pixel records users’ activity on the site as events. When a user buys something or fills out a form on your website, the Facebook conversion tracking feature records it as a conversion event. You can also create custom events outside standard events like clicks, views and purchases.

It’s worth noting that changes to privacy policies on updated Apple devices with iOS 14.5 and above have restricted third-party tracking capabilities. However, Meta Pixel still provides valuable information to advertisers within the boundaries set by these changes.

3 top Meta Pixel benefits for small businesses

Let’s take a look at three specific ways in which Meta Pixel tracking can help your small business. 

Benefit #1: Create more personalized experiences

Meta Pixel follows user interactions on your website, giving you valuable insights into their needs, behaviors and preferences. You can then leverage this information to enhance the overall customer experience. 

For instance, if the Pixel shows that many visitors are leaving a page without taking any action, you can make an informed conclusion that there might be an issue with the user experience, product or website copy. Whatever the case, you can make adjustments to improve the outcome for future visitors. 

Moreover, when users visit a website that has the Meta Pixel integration, their demographic information, such as age and gender, as well as their location (based on their Facebook profile data) can be associated with their actions on the site. This can help you tailor content and products or services to specific customer segments to increase engagement. 

Benefit #2: Run ads that drive conversions

Pixel allows you to run personalized ads for people who have already demonstrated interest in what you sell, increasing the likelihood of conversions. 

You can group your site visitors into categories, such as those who added items to their carts, bought an item or viewed a product. This allows you to create a specific custom audience Pixel and launch targeted campaigns tailored to their preferences. 

For instance, you can offer discounts or free shipping to users who added items to their carts but didn’t complete the purchase on the checkout page. By targeting specific groups of customers, you can optimize your ad campaigns, focus your budget and resources, and increase your chances of conversions.

Benefit #3: Expand your reach to more people

One of the advantages of using Meta Pixel is that it enables you to more effectively reach and convert people who aren’t yet your customers. 

Let’s say you run a fitness apparel store. You can leverage Meta Pixel to identify your most valuable customers based on their purchasing behavior, website engagement and other key metrics. Knowing this, you can create a lookalike audience, which consists of Facebook users who share similar interests and traits with your loyal customers. 

You can then run targeted ads for this group, featuring your brand and highlighting your latest products, discounts or promotions. This will help you tap into a wider audience and expand your customer base.

How to set up a Meta Pixel code

One way to have Meta Pixel installed on your site is to manually add the Pixel code to your website code. Follow the steps below to do that, or refer to other installation methods.

  1. Log in to Meta Events Manager with your business account and click Connect data sources.
  2. Click Add Event Source and select Meta Pixel to create a new Pixel ID for your business.
  3. Set Pixel Name and enter the website URL where you want to install it.
  4. Select Install code manually to obtain the code snippet.
  5. Copy the generated code snippet.
  6. Locate the header code of your website and paste the pixel snippet just before the closing </head> tag on each of your website’s pages.
  7. Click Continue to save the changes to your website’s HTML.
  8. Configure Pixel events using the event setup tool. 

You can use the Meta Pixel Helper extension on a Chrome browser to ensure your snippet is installed correctly and working. The Pixel Helper makes it easy to test the tracking function, which is especially useful if you’ve installed the code on multiple domains. 

Adding the Facebook tracking Pixel to your website involves manually updating your website’s code. If the installation is incorrect, the Pixel may not work properly, and you risk causing technical problems that can negatively impact your website’s performance and user experience. 

Therefore, if you need help, do not be shy to seek assistance from an experienced professional so you can start driving targeted traffic and maximizing conversions ASAP. 

WAcademy Web Services: Meta Pixel integration

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How is this possible? Our main operation is training aspiring web designers. By working on real projects under the guidance of experienced professionals, our interns gain hands-on experience that helps kickstart their careers. Of course, we could not supply our hundreds of interns without working with real businesses.

To date, we have created well over 30,000 professional business websites that are successfully driving small and medium businesses forward. Simultaneously, hundreds of WAcademy interns have been able to build portfolios and start looking for professional employment or freelance opportunities.

In addition to our free web design services, our team can also help integrate numerous web services that can further increase the efficiency of any business website. Including integrations of an online booking system, live chat, social feed, pop-ups, under construction pages or automated invoicing system. Please note that this offer comes separately from the free web design services.

So, do you need help integrating Meta Pixel/Facebook Pixel? We can help you set everything up so you can start getting valuable insights and increase the effectiveness of your Facebook advertising campaigns right away. 

Contact sales@wacademy.io for more information about additional web services, and if you are yet to build a website, do not hesitate to register for your spot in the program. Our interns are ready to help you out!