5 tips to optimize your Facebook Pixel

The key to any digital marketing strategy involves testing, tracking and refining based on the data.

When it comes to Facebook and Instagram ads, you must incorporate the free-to-use Facebook Pixel to obtain the best data tied to your campaign performance.

The Facebook Pixel is essentially a piece of code that you input onto your website. Once installed, it collects data that enables you to track conversions from your Facebook or Instagram ads, optimize those ads, create target audiences and retarget those who’ve already performed an action of some kind on your website.

To accomplish this, the Facebook Pixel places and triggers cookies to track website visitors as they interact with your website.

For example, a user could add a product of yours to the shopping cart but then leave your website before purchasing. Your Facebook Pixel can then make it possible for you to serve related ads about that product to that user while they’re browsing Instagram Stories. This reflects its retargeting capabilities.

It’s a must-use tool.

In fact, about 5.3 million websites use the Facebook Pixel. And they use it not just because of its tracking features, but also because using it helps the overall return on investment (ROI) of their Facebook ad campaigns. It’s all about increased efficiency.

And you can easily install it yourself if you have access to your website’s code. If not, you can contact your website developer. If your website is powered by an eCommerce platform (such as Shopify), Facebook has partnerships that make the installation process easy, as well as the creation of a product catalog and the ability to run related ads.

You can find your Facebook Pixel (and functionality) in the Data Sources interface of your Facebook Events Manager.

The following are five tips to help you best use the Facebook Pixel for your digital marketing efforts.

Understand what the Facebook Pixel can track

The Facebook Pixel offers tracking for 17 standard “events” (aka actions that occur on your website):

  1. Lead, when a visitor submits their information in any way on your website
  2. Complete Registration, when a visitor completes a registration form on your website
  3. Start Trial, when a visitor signs up for a free trial on your website
  4. Customize Product, when a user selects a specific version of a product (by choosing a color, for example)
  5. Add To Cart, when a visitor adds a product to his or her shopping cart on your website
  6. Add Payment Information, when a visitor enters his or her payment information during the purchase process on your website
  7. Initiate Checkout, when a visitor begins the checkout process to buy something on your website
  8. Purchase, when a visitor makes a purchase of any kind on your website
  9. Schedule, when a visitor books an appointment for your business on your website
  10. Submit Application, when a visitor applies for your product, service or program (a credit card application, for example)
  11. Subscribe, when a visitor subscribes to a paid product or service on your website
  12. Donate, when a visitor makes a donation on your website
  13. Add To Wishlist, when a visitor adds a product to a wishlist on your website
  14. Search, when a visitor uses the search function on your website
  15. Find Location, when a visitor searches for your business’s physical location on your website
  16. View Content, when a visitor lands on a specific page of your website
  17. Contact, when a visitor contact your business through the website

Use parameters to add details to your tracking

You can go beyond the standard events that the Facebook Pixel can track by adding details. This can be done through extra pieces of code called parameters.

You can narrow in on such factors as:

  • Content type
  • Currency
  • How much a conversion event is worth
  • Predicted long-term value

This means that you can use the Facebook Pixel to track a specific area or category of your website. For example, a salon website can separate those interested in hair services from those interested in nail services based on which sections of the website were viewed.98\

Be aware of newer iOS tracking limits

While there’s nothing you can do about it, it is worthwhile to understand that due to third-party tracking changes beginning in iOS 14.5, some Facebook Pixel functionality is disabled in updated Apple devices.

This can feel disheartening in your targeting efforts, but know that only about 15 percent of mobile Facebook users access the platform using iOS devices.

Nonetheless, one consequence of this change is that advertisers can only set up a maximum of eight standard events and custom conversions for tracking.

Think about the full picture

Ultimately, your strategy and how you want to use the Facebook Pixel are up to you. That being said, it’s recommended to place the Pixel base code on every page of your website.

Doing so ensures that you:

  • Won’t miss any conversion events.
  • Have complete control over how and what you decide to track.

Consider the logic of what you want to track to best identify the events you choose. Think about your customer’s journey on your website and what matters most to your business. 

What are your company’s goals? What are the goals of your advertising campaign? If you’re not sure, check out our seven expert tips to set achievable marketing goals.

A few suggested strategies:

  • Retarget visitors with true interest by targeting anyone who stayed on your website for at least 45 seconds.
  • Use Advanced Matching features that help match your website visitors with their Facebook profiles when turned on. This improves conversion attribution and helps you reach more people.
  • Segment your audience by browsing behavior based on the products or website sections they engaged with. (You then could target them with specific ads containing related coupon codes, for example.)
  • Create Lookalike Audiences with your data to target users (who haven’t yet visited your website) with similar demographics and behavior as those who have visited your website.
  • Determine your audience’s intent through their URL activity as long as you have smart, clear URL structures.

Just know that you don’t have to wait to install your Facebook Pixel. Do so right away so that you can begin gathering insights as soon as possible.

Monitor the performance of your Facebook Pixel

Obviously, the Facebook Pixel offers you a wealth of information.

You can track your Facebook ad conversions across platforms and devices to better understand your customers’ journey and behavior, for example, and then use this information to refine your strategy as needed.

Just make sure to compare you’re comparing your ad clicks to actual traffic data. Not all clicks convert into a true landing page view. One reason for this is any loading speed issues your website might have.

Keeping an eye on your ad campaign performance and the insights it yields over time will help you pivot your overall strategy as needed.

See our seven tips to better target your Facebook ads.

Looking to level up your digital marketing process beyond the Facebook Pixel? Schedule your free demo of DailyStory today.

7 tips to better target your Facebook ads (and see more results)

Advertising on Facebook is a great way to reach a lot of people. 

It is the No. 1 social media network, after all, reaching about 59 percent of the world’s social networking population.

But just like with any advertising, Facebook ads are only as effective as your audience targeting. And while Facebook offers many ways to reach the audience most likely to engage with your ad, the strategy falls on you.

But the work is worth it. Facebook ads reach about 2.14 billion people. In addition, the average Facebook user clicks on 12 ads per month.

Check out our six tips to boost your Facebook marketing overall.

The following are seven tips to better target your ideal audience with Facebook ads so that you can boost your results and avoid burning ad dollars.

Start with the basics

When you’re creating Facebook ads, the first thing Facebook asks you to do is choose your target market by:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender

These are a great start, but they’re still just the beginning. Leaving your audience demographics at these three parameters is far too broad to ensure effective targeting (and results). When the audience is too large, the performance of your Facebook ads suffers.

Of course, on the flip side, you don’t want to ignore these selections either. Be sure that you’re selecting a geographic area that makes sense and an age range that you’ve thought through. For example, just because everyone between the ages of 18 and 65 could use your product and/or service doesn’t mean that’s who you should be targeting. 

When it comes to gender, maybe your ad could appeal to either choice. However, it’s always worth considering tailoring your ad creative to each and running two different ads that are that much more specific. In other words, don’t be afraid to think outside the box as you drill down into the most specific message for the most specific target audience.

Identify your audience’s interests

Facebook offers thousands of interests to choose from when narrowing your target audience for your Facebook ad.

It’s easy to get lost in the weeds.

We recommend brainstorming specific topics and even people whom only the most avid fans you’re looking for would be interested in. For example, let’s say you’re looking to target people who like boxing. George Foreman is a popular boxer, but many people know who he is (and may only like him for his grills). You’d fare far better with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez as an interest to get to avid boxing fans.

Once you have some key interests identified, you can go into the ad settings and click on the “Interests” section. Take note that as you type in interests, Facebook will auto-populate some suggestions for you as well. You’ll see a description of the interest and how many people on the platform currently have it.

Definitely select multiple interests. Again, going too broad won’t help your Facebook ad or your advertising goals.

If you’re only looking to target one interest, be sure to cross that with additional demographic filters so that you’re narrowing your audience as much as possible.

Find who is already looking to buy your product (or service)

Facebook collects a lot of data, so the platform generally knows if you’ve been searching online to potentially buy something.

There’s a lot of potential for audience targeting there since about 73 percent of consumers research a product online before making a purchase.

So, even if these consumers haven’t heard of your business before but are searching on your competitors’ websites, you have the opportunity to target them with your Facebook ads (and hopefully convince them to purchase from you, not your competitors).

To do this, there is a “Behaviors” section in the Facebook ad settings.

There are many folders to choose from (and even more sub-folders within those), including “purchase behavior.” 

We recommend browsing through the available behaviors to choose what is most applicable to the type of person you’re hoping to reach.

Get creative with your demographics

Filter by income level

Facebook has shifted how you can target your audience by income level, but it’s still an option (and definitely an option you should consider).

By clicking on the “Demographics” section in your ad settings, you’ll now see options tied to “top percentage” based on household income. Of course this data is inferred by Facebook through publicly available data, but narrowing your audience by general income level can also help boost your ad performance (particularly if you’re seeking individuals with more disposable income).

Look for your target audience’s profession

When thinking about your target audience’s interests and behaviors, you likely have an idea of ideal professions or workplaces for that potential customer.

Navigate to “work” within the “Demographics” section of your ad audience settings to make your targeting selections.

You can select by “Employers,” “Industries,” “Job Titles” and so on.

Choose an education level

Whether it relates to the product and/or service you’re selling or just the type of voice and message you’re using in your Facebook ad, you can filter by education level.

You’ll find the education-level filters under the “Demographics” section.

In addition, you can narrow your audience down by “field of study,” “school attended” or “undergrad years.”

Know that about 82 percent of college graduates are on Facebook.

Identify parents

The great thing about the Facebook ad parent filter in audience targeting is that not only can you target parents, but you can target them with children of a certain age.

This is important because how you might connect with a parent of a toddler is a bit different that what you might say to a parent of an older teenager.

You’ll find “All Parents” under the “Demographics” section and can narrow your search from there using the options within it.

Life events can be an effective targeting filter

Whether someone just began a new relationship, is coming up on an anniversary, started a new job, have a birthday coming, know someone with a birthday coming up (and so on), these are pivotal life events where you can get your message to key potential customers at just the right moment.

There are a number of “Life Event” filters under the “Demographics” section that you can choose from.

Likely, one of these could inspire an all-new ad for you to create.

Think outside the box with behaviors

Narrow down with politics

Depending on the goal of your Facebook ad, finding those who are likely to engage with political content could be ideal.

You can find the “Politics” filter under the “Behaviors” section.

Looking for gamers?

If your Facebook is trying to connect with gamers, you’re in luck.

Under “Digital Activities” within the “Behaviors” section, you can filter your audience by type of gamer and more.

Filter by the device used

Whether someone is on Facebook through a mobile device or not, may or may not matter to your business. 

But it definitely could if you’re promoting an app download or something else tied to a smartphone.

You can narrow this down by going to the “Behaviors” section and then “Mobile Device User” and/or “Mobile Device User/Device Use Time.” 

Just keep in mind that when you’re specifically advertising to mobile users only, you want to make extra sure that your Facebook ad is eye-catching even on a small screen.

Find frequent travelers

Depending on who you’re trying to reach, traveling might be an identifying hobby or activity for them.

Whether it’s frequent travelers or simply those who commute, you can locate the “Travel” filter under the “Behaviors” section.

Not sure why you would factor in traveling unless your in the travel industry specifically? Thank about commuters. They have a lot of passive time to kill and would be a great target for the promotion of a new podcast, for example.

Remember, you’re identifying the interests, behaviors and demographics that will get you in front of the people most likely to engage with your Facebook ad and potentially convert into a customer.

Exclude whoever you don’t need to reach as well

Almost as powerful as targeting key audiences is the ability to exclude those you don’t want or need to reach as well. 

This can work in a number of ways, depending on your goals. You’ll see the “Exclude” option in your ad settings.

Consider using different types of audiences

Custom Audiences

Custom Audiences on Facebook ads are an advanced feature where you can use Facebook to reach your existing contacts.

You may want to do this to reinforce your brand and brand loyalty among your customers. Of course, you can exclude your existing customers from being shown your Facebook ad as well.

Lookalike Audiences

Whether you have a Custom Audience to build a Lookalike Audience off of or not, you can also create one by using a Facebook tracking pixel on your website.

Either way, Facebook does the work by creating a similar audience based on the data available. You have the option to expand or shrink that audience in terms of broadening the search or not (similarity versus reach).

Want to learn more? Facebook actually offers free courses on how businesses (like yours) can best use their ad targeting options.

As you’re diving more into Facebook ads, it’s good to refresh yourself on the overall opportunities and challenges of Facebook for your business as well.

Plus, dive deeper into how to identify your target audience.

Looking to level up your digital marketing process beyond Facebook? Schedule your free demo of DailyStory today.