Starting February 15, 2017, Facebook is changing its pixel game. You’ll no longer be able to create Facebook ads or track conversions with the conversion tracking pixel. While it takes a little doing to get set up with the new Facebook pixel, we think this is absolutely a change for the better – custom conversions and advance tracking – ooh la la!
To make sure you have all the information you need to navigate this transition, we put together a complete guide for surviving the conversion tracking pixel deprecation and embracing the Facebook pixel!
The Facebook Pixel vs. Past Pixels
All advertisers should already be using or be in the process of migrating to the Facebook pixel in order to continue receiving the same conversion stats. In addition to keeping the conversion stats previously available, there are quite a few upgrades with the new Facebook pixel, of which you’ll want to take advantage:
- Conversion tracking across devices: See how your customers are interacting on different devices before they convert.
- Optimized delivery to those who are likely to convert: Show ads to people most likely to take your actions, like purchasing or filling out a registration form.
- Automatically built audiences for website retargeting: Create Custom Audiences for people who take specific actions on your website, like visited a product page, added to cart, or purchased a product.
- Lookalike Audiences: Know who your best customers are? Find more people who match their qualities.
- Dynamic Ads: Automatically serve relevant and timely ads on Facebook based on user behavior, like the products people visited on your website.
- Audience Insights: View rich insights (like demographic, lifestyle and purchase information) about the people visiting your website so you can create content that will resonate with them.
If we do a side-by-side comparison chart between the three Facebook pixels, you get the most power from the Facebook pixel with the least amount of code on your website.
How To Migrate to the Facebook Pixel
In five steps, you can migrate your conversion tracking over to the Facebook pixel. Here’s how:
Step 1: Create Your Facebook Pixel
(You can only have one Facebook pixel in your account so if you’ve already created your Facebook pixel, skip this step and proceed to step 2.)
In your Ads Manager, you’ll see a Facebook Pixel tab where you can click Create a Pixel.
Note: You can have only one pixel per ad account, so name the pixel in a way that represents your business (though you can change the name of the pixel at any time from the Facebook Pixel tab). Once you accept the terms, you can create the pixel.
Step 2: Implement Your Facebook Pixel
The Facebook pixel code has two main elements:
- Pixel base code: Must be added on every page of your website to track activity or events on your website.
- Event code: Tracks any paid (Facebook ads) or unpaid (organic reach) actions that happen on your website, so you can use that data for advertising
There are nine predefined or standard events for which Facebook automatically tracks and optimizes your ads. Previously, you had a unique conversion pixel ID per action, like a purchase. Now, you’ll only need one ID per account and you can differentiate between actions with different event codes. Using the table below, place the appropriate standard event code anywhere you had previously used the conversion tracking pixel:
Step 3: Check Your Implementation
After you’ve mapped your events, double-check these areas to make sure everything is tracking correctly on your Facebook dashboard, and cross reference with your conversion tracking pixel data:
- Is your Facebook pixel active and sending traffic consistently?
- Is the overall volume of traffic from your conversion tracking pixels about the same as that of your Facebook pixel for the same time period?
- Is the volume of conversions for each of your types of conversion tracking pixels the same as the volume of conversions for each corresponding standard event?
- Use the Facebook Pixel Helper to help you validate that your Conversion Tracking and Custom Audience Pixels have been installed on your website correctly.
Step 4: Transition Your Ads Tracking
Once you’ve verified that the Facebook pixel is accurately tracking volume, it’s time to migrate your ads over. To transition your existing ad sets to tracking with a Facebook pixel only, go to Ads Manager or Power Editor and locate the ads you wish to update. When you’re in the edit view, go to the Pixel Tracking section and select “Track all conversions from my Facebook pixel” — don’t forget to save and close.
In addition, you’ll want to modify your existing ad sets’ optimization to use the Facebook pixel. Facebook recommends shifting only a small portion of your budget into a new ad set optimizing through the Facebook pixel to start. These ad sets can gather the necessary data for successful full-scale Facebook pixel optimization and as you build up data and feel more comfortable and confident, modify the rest of your existing ad sets.
Go to your Ads Manager or Power Editor and find the ad sets you wish to edit. In the “Optimize For a Conversion” section in the editing window, click the X in the “Conversion Event” field and choose a new Facebook pixel conversion from the dropdown — don’t forget to click Save and Close.
Step 5: Remove Your Conversion Tracking Pixel Code
Once you’ve implemented the Facebook pixel code and transitioned your ads and ad sets to the Facebook pixel, you can remove the conversion pixel code from your website. However, make sure your conversion tracking pixel isn’t being used for optimization or tracking for any active campaigns before you do this.
*Note: the Facebook Conversion Tracking Pixel will no longer be supported on February 15, 2017 so don’t delay on these updates. Happy advertising!
Hannah is a content marketer, strategist, and mountaineer. A former actress with an MBA in the works, she’s all about creative, engaging content – no ifs, ands or buts! Follow her at @hlennett
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