You’ve probably seen the warnings, and if you haven’t then it’s about time someone told you.
Facebook’s Conversion Pixels are going extinct in mid 2016.
What does this mean? Anything you’re tracking with them will stop working.
It’s ok, really. The new system is confusing at first, but it’s actually a lot better. You no longer have a confusing mess of pixels, where one tracks your website visitors (Custom Audience Pixel) and a bunch of others track your conversions (Conversion Pixel).
Now you only need ONE pixel to do everything– the Facebook Pixel.
Now don’t be lazy and add more Conversion Pixels to your site next time you need to track. Adopt the new system and evolve. In fact, while you’re at it, replace all your old Conversion Pixels with the new Facebook Pixel.
Before you get ahead of yourself and drop it site-wide, read the rest of this post first. You’ll be happy you did.
Here’s what will be covered:
- Standard Events (tracking option #1)
- Custom Conversions (tracking option #2)
- Adding the Facebook to your site
There are now TWO options for conversion tracking.
Standard Events & Custom Conversions– both are built upon the Facebook Pixel, and both require using it for their functionality.
Ready to come on a magical journey through present-day conversion tracking options?! Well you have no choice, so let’s do it!
First up, Standard Events.
These are what I use 99% of the time.
Here are the nine website actions that you can track.
It’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it. To implement one, all you do is you manually add a line of code to your Facebook Pixel on a particular page.
For example, if you were tracking program sales, then you’d add the “Make purchase” code into the Facebook Pixel on the confirmation page URL. If it’s for leads, then you’d add the “Lead” code into the Facebook Pixel on the thank you page URL.
Looking at all the website action types provided, you might be getting some ideas about how these could be used. I’ll go over a more advanced strategy I call “Breadcrumbing” later on in this post.
Next, onto Custom Conversions.
This is the newest method of tracking, and is the simplest to implement. You simply blast your out-of-the-box Facebook Pixel out to every page of your website without any modifications. Then all the tracking is defined within Facebook, meaning you never have to touch any code.
It works basically the same way as creating a Website Custom Audience. You need to define the URL and choose the type of conversion.
While it’s super easy, there are some major downsides:
- You can’t edit the tracking URL after a Custom Conversion has been created.
- You can’t delete them.
- You’re limited to 20 per account for now.
That means if you put in the wrong URL, then the useless Custom Conversion will forever sit in your account reminding you of your failure. FAILURE. Sad…
I’ve found they’re really good for when you’re managing someone else’s Facebook ad campaigns, and you don’t have easy access to their site. You can use Custom Conversions to setup conversion tracking on the fly.
You can use them together.
It’s possible to use Custom Conversions on top of Standard Events if you wanted to track purchases over $50 or other more detailed actions. Here’s a guide on how to do that.
This is a strategy I developed back when Conversion Pixels were cool, and has become even more useful with Standard Events. Instead of only tracking purchases or leads, why not track key page views, or even a series of them?
Sales are not binary (aka buy or not buy). Companies like ClickFunnels exist because marketers want to understand where the drop-off is in their sales processes, when normally they only know how many people visit the site and how many of those purchase.
For instance, what if the call to action on your landing page is to click for pricing, and then on the pricing page they can purchase? If you’re only tracking purchases, then you don’t know when one ad convinces more people to click through to the purchase page than all the others. With that knowledge you can start to optimize.
It’s one thing to know that someone who saw or clicked your ad purchased, but it’s another to know that another ten people made it to the last step of your funnel and DIDN’T purchase.
Adding the Facebook Pixel to your site
I’m only touching on this briefly because it’s not the point of this post, and there’s actually some really great documentation for doing this
- Create the pixel (if you haven’t already).
- Copy and paste it between the <head> </head> tags on any page you want to track.
WordPress Plugin: Per Page Add to Head
If your theme doesn’t have built-in functionality for adding code to the head, use a plugin. It’s really important that it has the ability to add to each individual page, as opposed to only site-wide. The one above is super simple and works great.
Squarespace: Code Injection
They’ve got it built into the platform, so use it.
Knowing if you added it correctly.
It’s really easy. There’s a plugin for Chrome (download it here) that detects when there’s a Facebook Pixel on any URL you have open. Facebook has a guide on using it, but I’ll cover the basics here since there’s not much to it.
Once it’s installed, you’ll see a little blue button in your browser. If you’re on a site with a pixels, it will show a green number.
The site you’re seeing below is on a thank you page people see after registering for a webinar, so it’s also tracking a “Complete Registration” Standard Event. More on that below..
That wasn’t so bad, was it?
I suggest you start using Standard Events immediately. Put aside some time in your calendar to replace all your old Conversion Pixels. Easy peasy. If it gets to mid-2016 and your tracking stops working in the middle of a campaign, you’re going to be upset.
In the comments, let’s see who’s racked up the most garbage Custom Conversions. I think I’m sitting at 3. Anyone have me beat??