Have you ever been driving on a highway, when it is raining very hard, and one of the wipers of your car is not working properly? You might feel a bit lost, not knowing if you are going on the right direction, right? We will talk about what a Facebook Pixel is and why you should have it installed on your website, even if you are not currently running Facebook ads at the moment.
Running Facebook ads, without having a Facebook Pixel installed is like advertising without a proper direction. You don't really know what is happening on your website if you are running ads that are promoting a product, a service or any other form of lead capture you might have on your website or your landing page.
But before we answer the questions about the pixel, in order to have a Facebook Pixel, you need to have an Ad Account. And in order to have an Ad Account, you first need to have a Facebook Page. We will explore the question Should you have a pixel? more in detail below.
What is a Facebook Pixel?
A Facebook pixel is simply a few lines of code that you place on your website. "The Facebook pixel is code that you place on your website. It 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." Hubspot blog.
The code looks like the one below:
You obtain this code from your Facebook Ad Account. You then place it in the header of your website, inside the <head> tags. If you are using a landing page, you would usually only require the pixel number, not all the lines of code. There are many ways to install the Facebook Pixel on your website. Facebook has different integrations: Joomla, WordPress, etc. My preferred way to install the pixel is by adding it as a custom tag in Google Tag Manager (GTM). I will write about GTM in another post.
How does a Facebook Pixel work?
Once you have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website, it will work by itself. Think about it as a counter, every time a visitor comes to your website, Facebook will count it as a visit. It will record the page visited and even the action taken. Some of the actions on your website would be to fill out a form, to click on "make an appointment", or to click on "buy product", depending on what type of website you have.
If you are not ready to run Facebook ads, but people are still visiting your website, you will be able to create targeting audiences on Facebook once you are ready to run ads. For example, you wrote a blog post and you promoted it to your email list. On that blog post you talk about a product you will be launching soon. With the Facebook Pixel you can then start a campaign and target all the people who visited your blog post page where you talk about the new product.
Should you have a Facebook Pixel installed?
Before we respond to this question, we need to ask ourselves if our potential clients are really on Facebook or Instagram. If that is the case, then we ask, is our website or landing page offering some sort of interaction with the visitors? Are we capturing leads (this could simply be a form to subscribe to our newsletter or to make an appointment, for example)? Or are we selling a product or a service? And the last question is, do you plan to run Facebook or Instagram ads? If you answered with yes to these questions, then you have your answer. You should definitely have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website, even if you are not yet ready to run ads.
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