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The ultimate guide to the Facebook Pixel

[Updated on: 02/12/2019] Facebook ads are a must in any well-designed social media strategy. The network offers some incredibly powerful possibilities right from the start. However, the repertoire for advertising companies only becomes really complete with the use of the Facebook pixel. We'll show you what the Facebook Pixel can do in this ultimate guide to the little code that can change your world. Starting with the basic questions about the implementation up to advanced target groups and advertising formats, everything is covered. Lots of extremely high quality input for lukewarm. It's only available in the media by nature blog! #werisebyliftingothers

Table of Contents

What actually is the Facebook Pixel?

The Facebook Pixel is a JavaScript codewhich enables you to create and track Facebook and Instagram advertisements at the "next level".

If it is properly integrated, you can use it not only for yours Determine target groups more precisely and thus develop more effective advertisements, but also measure the success of the advertisements very precisely.

The code looks like this in the basic version:

No magic for a programmer, for someone without an IT background it is certainly a book with seven seals. But that doesn't matter. You don't have to understand exactly which line of code does what.

It is important to understand the possibilities of this little snippet and to use it for your purposes. It is also important that this is “only” the basic code.

In the course of this article, this basic code will be expanded to include events that give Facebook Pixels even more tracking functions. We'll get to that later 😄

Facebook advertising without Facebook pixels? Please do not!

Again and again we observe that Facebook ads appear in the news feed that are poorly targeted or link to a website on which no Facebook pixel is implemented. That can only really wanted in absolutely crazy cases be. Namely if you:

  • For maximum effectiveness Retargeting want to do without
  • Don't want to know whether the traffic converts
  • No interest in that optimization Of your advertisements

And certainly a few more absurd cases 😜 In short: Ignoring the Facebook Pixel and its possibilities can only happen out of ignorance.

This is exactly why we have written this ultimate Facebook Pixel Guide, which deals with all questions about the Facebook Pixel and provides all the answers. .

We start with the basics:

  1. How does the Facebook Pixel basically help me to create better advertisements?
  2. What exactly can I do with the Facebook Pixel?
  3. How do I implement the Facebook Pixel and how do I check whether it is tracking website visitors?

Our guarantee: if you've read this article, it won't keep you in your chair for all the opportunities you have missed so far.

How the Facebook Pixel helps to precisely determine the target group

Let's see which ones Options for target group definitionand retargeting the Facebook Pixel enables.

  • Basically: The Facebook Pixel records your website visitors and enables you to reach exactly these visitors again with advertisements (retargeting). The pixel therefore knows when a website visitor is also a Facebook or Instagram user at the same time.
  • Of course, you will not receive the names of these people - that would be even better 😆 Instead, you will receive an anonymized group of people, which should be at least 100 people (so you need appropriate website traffic) in order to place meaningful ads for exactly this group. This is a so-called "Custom Audience", in other words, a target group that consists exclusively of your website visitors.
  • You can use appropriate Facebook and Instagram advertisements for these people. Since these people have already been to your website, a conversion is much easier to achieve because part of the sales cycle (awareness and consideration) is already behind them.
  • In addition, you can choose from this group of people (now it MUST be at least 100 people) a so-called Create "Lookalike Audience", i.e. statistical twins, that are very similar to your original target group (the Custom Audience) in your profile. The result: New, fresh target groups who have similar interests as your website visitors and are therefore more likely to convert.
  • A Lookalike audience turns a custom audience with just a few people into a target group that 300,000 people strong is! Even greater range is also possible, but more on that later.

Already the two options of creating custom and lookalike audiences make the use of Facebook pixels for professional advertising mandatory!

Oh, one more thing: A social media agency that suggests targeting you without checking the possibility of data-based targeting should fire you directly ...

Measure success and create even better Facebook advertising - with the Facebook Pixel

Let's go one step further. In addition to the retargeting options, the Facebook Pixel helps you to evaluate and optimize your advertising campaigns:

Measure conversions

By using the Facebook pixel and defining corresponding events on the website, you can see the results of the Facebook or Instagram advertising campaign directly in the Ads Manager.

This not only applies to reach or clicks, but also and above all to the measurement of KPIs that correspond to your business goals. For example, leads or sales in the online shop (including conversion value, i.e. the value of the purchase in euros).

Traceability across multiple devices

The first visit came via the smartphone, but was the purchase made via desktop? You can even track cross-device tracking thanks to the Facebook pixel and assign individual ads.

Ad delivery based on actions (retargeting)

You can not only create targeted target groups, but also deliver advertisements to target groups who have taken certain actions or not. The classic is to specifically address shopping cart abandoners, for example.

Statistics on your website visitors

You will also receive a lot of valuable insights about your target group, which will help you to optimize the website ("When do most visitors start buying?") and create even more effective ads.

In a nutshell: If you don't use the Facebook Pixel, you will always have the (absolutely correct) feeling that the ads should actually perform much better - but you never knew exactly why.

Now you know

Create Facebook Pixel and integrate it on the website

Now it should be clear why you should definitely use the Facebook Pixel. That's why we're now taking care of them Creation of the Facebook pixel and integration on the website.

Create Facebook Pixel

  1. Call up your company settings via the Facebook Business Manager
  2. Click on the "Data Sources" tab
  3. Select "Create Pixel"
  4. Give the pixel a name (for example "[Company Name] Pixel")
  5. Click Create Pixels


You have now created a Facebook pixel. Now it goes on.

Integrate Facebook pixels on the website

You have now two possibilities. If you are working on your website yourself and have access to the source code (and are familiar with it!), Click on "Install Pixel Now". You will now see the Facebook Pixel Code, which you must copy to your clipboard and implement on the website.

If you have a developer or web admin on hand, the Pixel is yours Also send the code by email.



The code for the Facebook Pixel is in the <head>Your website. If you use WordPress, you can do that too "Header / Footer" Install the plug-in and insert the code. That definitely saves a lot of work.

Note: The pixel code is therefore implemented in the of your website so that it is active on all, really all, (sub) pages. In technical jargon one also says: “The pixel fires”.

Did it work? How to check whether the Facebook Pixel is implemented correctly

To see if the Integration of the Facebook Pixel worked you should first of all in the ad manager look up. If it says “active” next to your pixel and the lamp is green, that is a good sign.

Additionally we recommend all Chrome users to install the so-called "Facebook Pixel Helper", a small add-on for the Google browser that shows when you visit the website whether a Facebook pixel is active. You can find the Pixel Helper here:Pixel help from Facebook.

The nice thing about the Pixel Helper: Why don't you visit the websites of your competitors to see whether they also use the Facebook Pixel and which events they are tracking.

With that we have had an important part of the Facebook Pixel Guide. You now know why you have to use the pixel if you want to seriously do social media advertising, what the Facebook pixel can do and how to properly integrate it on your website. However, that's only the tip of the iceberg.

Now let's take care of other important steps to take your ads on Facebook and Instagram to the next level! Ready? Then read on now!

Create a website custom audience using the Facebook pixel

Now it's getting really exciting! You now know the theory that you can create high-quality audiences from Facebook Pixel data.

Now let's look at each other step by step how to create custom audiences and lookalike audiences in the Facebook ad manager.

But first again for sharpening: By integrating the Facebook pixel Facebook collects data from visitors to your website at random. It doesn't matter which sub-pages are visited or which actions are carried out. So that you can now use this data for your advertising strategy, you now need this mountain of data Cut into useful individual parts.

So let's start by creating specific audiences, the Custom Audiences, from Facebook pixel data:

  1. Go to Facebook's Business Manager.
  2. Select “Target groups / Audiences” in the menu under Assets.
  3. Click on the “Create Audience” button and select “Custom Audience”.
  4. You now have various options for creating a custom audience. Since we want to create a target group from the website visitors, click on “Website Traffic”.
  5. You now have further options for narrowing down the target group even further:
    1. You can determine whether you want to collect all users on all (sub) pages of your website or only those who have accessed certain pages.
    2. Since calling up certain pages is primarily of interest for conversion tracking (we will come to that later), let's first take the users who have called up all pages in the last 30 days.
  6. Now give the Custom Audience a unique name, for example “WCA_30d_any” and click on “Create”

And with that you would have created your first Custom Audience (WCA) website! It now takes a little time for the pixel to collect the data and transfer it to your advertising account.

You will receive a notification as soon as the target group is ready.

This WCA now also forms the starting point for creating your first lookalike audience.

Create a lookalike audience using the Facebook pixel

Depending on how much website traffic you have, your custom audience is correspondingly large or small. Ads that you create for this Custom Audience will reach exactly these people.

Usually the ads are very effective as it is retargeting. So they are people you already know and thus react much faster to further advertising messages.

In order to reach new target groups, the website Custom Audiences cannot of course be used - this is what so-called lookalike audiences are for.

You already know what a lookalike audience is (static twins very similar to your custom audience). And how to create a lookalike audience:

  1. In the drop-down menu, choose "Lookalike audience" out.
  2. As Source give the just created custom audience an - this is your source, i.e. the data set from which the lookalike audience is created. Since this is a global WCA, you can find this Custom Audience under the "Other Sources" tab and not under “Value-Based Sources”.
  3. Select the location of the lookalike audience. If you want a German target group, select Germany as the country.
  4. Now there is still that Audience size to specify:
    1. You can choose between a size of 1 percent to 10 percent of all Facebook users in Germany - i.e. from 326,000 to 3,260,000 people.
    2. The larger the target group, the less precise the match between custom audience and lookalike audience becomes. You are to start with with that 1 percent lookalike well served.
  5. Click on “Create Audience”

The lookalike audience is set up - with just a few clicks you have created a very large lookalike audience from a small custom audience, which consists of users who are statistically very similar to your website visitors. Fresh, high-performance range from nowhere!

The nice thing about it: You let the now extremely strong Facebook algorithm work for you, which ensures that you actually reach static twins. And in most cases they convert much better.

Excursus: Create further custom audiences with or without Facebook pixel data

In addition to the possibility of creating a custom audience based on your website visitors, there are other advanced target groups that you should definitely know:

CRM data

You have the option of your Data records from your CRM as CSV upload it and compare it with the login data of the Facebook user. Typically one pulls E-mail addresses and demographic user data approach. The better your CRM is segmented, the more valuable the custom audiences (and then lookalike audiences) will be. Using CRM as a data source is not only the strongest form of audience education, but unfortunately also the most difficult to reconcile with the GDPR.

App Activity

Do you have one native iOS or Android appthat you want to advertise via Facebook and Instagram, you can use the so-called Integrate Facebook SDK. Something like the counterpart to the Facebook Pixel on the website. All user actions can be measured within the app and used as a basis for custom audiences (and then lookalike audiences).


Meanwhile, too Engagement target groups a fixture in the Facebook and Instagram advertising cosmos. You can create Custom Audience for people who have interacted with the following formats:

For the Custom Audiences from points 1 & 3 is not a Facebook pixel necessary because it is either your own CRM data or assets from Facebook (see illustration).

You are also welcome to test the engagement target groups, whereby we can say from experience that the website Custom Audience (together with the CRM Audiences, which are not entirely harmless for data protection reasons) are the strongest target groups for companies based on your website data.

So, your setup always looks better! You know the Facebook Pixel and its possibilities, have implemented it on the website and now know how to create the most important target groups.

All of this is important because compared to what's coming up, this was just a warm-up. Now we take care of it real performance marketing with the help of the Facebook pixel to operate! One key word is crucial for this: Conversion tracking.

And we'll take care of that now!

Conversion? What does that mean anyway?

Now that we have created all the important prerequisites, we can now take care of Track conversions and display these conversions directly in the ad managerto optimize the ads for this goal.

From one Conversion you always speak when it comes to a concrete action that goes beyond simply visiting the website. For example with:

  • one purchase in the online shop
  • Products included in the shopping cart were laid
  • one Registration on the website
  • when registering for Newsletter
  • Etc.

The Measuring the success of a campaign is based on these essential KPIs:

  • Conversion rate: The Facebook ad manager measures how many people have seen the ad and how many have taken the corresponding action.
  • Cost per lead (CPL): How much did a lead cost you?
  • Cost per Order (CPO): How many euros did a purchase in your shop cost you?
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): How much revenue did you get from your ads based on the advertising budget. The formula is: sales / advertising budget used * 100
Does your Facebook marketing make a measurable contribution to your company's success? Used correctly, Facebook can become the heart of your marketing success - provided the right strategy and proper tracking are used. Contact us today so that we can take your marketing to a new level.
Contact now!

Track conversions on your website or in the online shop with the Facebook Pixel

With the integration of the Facebook pixels, i.e. the basic code, we now have the first basic requirement created to measure success. However, in order for the desired actions to be displayed in the ad manager (conversion tracking), the actual settings must now be made.

To track conversions, you have two possibilities:

  1. Custom conversions
  2. Standard events

Conversion tracking with custom conversions

For the measurement of Conversions that happen on a specific subpage of your website (e.g. a thank you page) there is the possibility custom conversions to create.

Using the mask shown, you tell the system according to which criterion a conversion should be triggered. An easy Example: You have a landing page with a contact form for subscribing to a newsletter. If your website visitor signs in successfully, he or she will be directed to a thank you page (at least that is how it should be). You define this thank you page, e.g. www.website.de/dankesseite, as a custom conversion using the following mask. From that point on, everyone will Thank you page views counted as a conversion.

  1. You can find custom conversions in the Business manager menu under the point “Measurement and reports” and there in the Events Manager.
  2. Now switch to in the top menu “Custom conversions/ Custom Conversions ”.
  3. Click on “Create Custom Conversion”.

  4. Now a window will open.
  5. Select yours from the dropdown previously created pixels
  6. For Website Event, leave it at “All”
  7. Now enter the URL that users will only reach when the conversion is triggered:
    1. This can be the exact URL, for example “www.onlineshop.de/einkauferverbindlich”, ie the checkout page or a thank you page when registering for a newsletter or, or, or.
    2. If the URL is not always exactly the same, but the root is, then it is important that you select “contains” in the drop-down menu in front of the URL input field.
    3. For example, if every checkout page (and ONLY the checkout page) contains “www.onlineshop.de/einkauferverbindlich” and is expanded by one number per user or sale, ie “www.onlineshop.de/einkauferverbindlich_123”, then the conversion will still be in Ad manager tracked.
  8. Now put the category firmly.
  9. You can also enter a conversion value. This is rather difficult with user-defined conversions, because in most cases there are different prices for different products in online shops, and a subscription to the newsletter or a contact request do not have a fixed value. Feel free to enter a value there if it makes sense for your case.

With the creation of this custom conversion, the Facebook Pixel now tracks all visits to this exact page that were triggered by one of your Facebook / Instagram ads.

In short: You can now trace back the action you have defined to your ads in Facebook Adsmanager.

Conversion tracking with standard events

So, custom conversions make perfect sense in simple cases. The more complex the URL structure is or the more diverse the conversion and / or the number of products the sooner they come Standard events in the game.

The use of standard events is a little more complicated because the Facebook Pixel Code expanded to include the events you want to track must become.

Overall, you can 17 standard events integrate into the pixel code:

Depending on which subpage you want to track a certain event, the basic code with the event snippet must be inserted there.

And why all the work? Very easily:

  • Standard events work globally on the website - You don't have to create a custom conversion for every conversion URL.
  • You can use the gUnderstand the exact shopping cart or checkout value and thus evaluate your ROAS, ROI and KUR - for this, the value within the standard event “Purchase” must be expanded again separately with a placeholder. Further information can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/392174274295227
  • You have by defining standard events the possibility of building funnels, for example “calling up the landing page → calling up the product detail page → shopping cart → checkout” and can thus map, evaluate and, if necessary, optimize the entire route.

The Results go straight to your ad manager as a number and become exactly the assigned to the respective advertisement, which was the cause. So you can see in real time how your campaigns are performing.


If you have now integrated the standard events into your advertising strategy, you are already a huge step further than the competition. But even the best setup is of no use to you if you don't also create ads that target conversions.

So let's tackle this point as well.

Create and optimize advertisements with the marketing goal of “conversions”

You already know that from us. We'll guide you now Step by step through the process of creating an ad that targets conversions.

Since a conversion can mean many different actions, we will show the following process using the example of an online shop. For that you should The following three standard events are defined in advance in the code of the Facebook pixel to have:

  1. Content View = Go to a product detail page
  2. Add to Cart = Products have been added to the shopping cart
  3. Purchase = Products have been purchased, the checkout has been made

In the perfect world, these are the three consecutive steps your customer goes through from first contact to purchase.

Create a conversion campaign using the Facebook Pixel

  1. Go to the ad manager and create a new campaign
  2. Under the item Conversion you will find the same name Marketing goal “Conversions”.
  3. Then give it a name.
  4. You should know the next window if you have already created an ad. The key here is that you precisely define two points:
    1. Selection of the pixel: Normally, the pixel assigned to the advertising account should already be preselected (i.e. the pixel you created at the very beginning and probably named it after your company).
    2. Choosing your conversion: The conversion created in the previous step (custom conversion or standard event) can now be selected here. In our example we select the standard event “Purchase” because we want to optimize for purchases.
  5. The rest is old hat. Choose your target group off - keep in mind that we have already done so in advance Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences have created. Make sure to use this also and especially for your conversion campaign.
  6. You can also create the advertisement yourself with appropriate texts, images and links.

That's it. As soon as the ad starts, the algorithm goes into full force and optimizes for people who are more likely to make a purchase.

Optimize conversion campaigns with the help of the Facebook Pixel

However, the moment you go live with the ad, work begins. Now you have to optimize, optimize, optimize. Think about it in advance and lay down 10 percent to 15 percent of the media budget for testing back:

  • Test different target groups: Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences in different sizes (1%, 1-2%, 2-5%) and, if you need high reach, also interest target groups.
  • Try different creatives: In our experience, a bad creative can drive conversions down when everything else is perfect!
  • Optimize call to action: Here, too, you have various options - the call to action should activate the user. The better it is, the more conversions you will get.

And now one more important piece of information: In order for the Facebook algorithm to work perfectly, the Facebook Pixel should at least 50 conversions per week measure up.

If you achieve fewer conversions per week, the algorithm has too little data to work properly.

However, all is by no means lost. You must have taken our advice, including them upstream steps in the user journey as a standard event to define followed right?

Because this is exactly what we will fall back on:

  • Is the number of sales under 50 sales per week?
  • Then optimize on "Add to Cart"!
  • Is the number of Add to cart conversions also under 50 per week?
  • Then optimize for Content view!

As soon as you achieve a corresponding number of conversions in the previous step, optimize again for the next step, etc.

In this way, you give the algorithm a valid database in order to build on it to achieve the highest possible conversion rate, which means that you gradually see how the sales in the ad manager (and on your company account) roll in. Nice feeling right? 😌


The ultimate Facebook Pixel Guide in V1 - it can always be better, more precisely, even faster!

With this ultimate Facebook Pixel Guide, you've learned the majority of the possibilities that the Facebook Pixel offers you. And the nice thing about it: Facebook is constantly expanding the possibilities!

This means: Be sure to save this article in your favorites and sign up for our newsletter, because: This article is constantly being expanded - to include additional topics and advanced measures to get the most out of your Facebook and Instagram ads.

And of course, the same applies as always: If you have any questions about Facebook Pixel and how your ads can be made even more effective, give us a call or send us an email!

Posted in Social MediaTagged Facebook, Ads