Facebook Ads Conversion Tracking: How to Create an Offsite Pixel

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Dennis Yu wrote a terrific post that opened my eyes about Facebook advertising conversion tracking. If you haven’t already, make sure you read it first.

The Most Amazing Thing You’ve Never Heard Of On Facebook, If You’re a Direct Marketer

I’ve labeled 2013 as The Year for Tracking Success, and this new tool from Facebook needs to be added to your arsenal.

First, let me be clear: You will initially be overwhelmed and confused when you read about Conversion Tracking.

Second: It’s actually not that complicated.

Sure, there are some advanced ways that you can apply Offsite Pixels that include Google Analytics. At that point, it does get a bit more complicated.

But the actual creation and application of an Offsite Pixel is actually quite basic. I’m convinced that anyone can do it. Read the following steps or watch my video tutorial at the bottom to learn how and create your own Offsite Pixel today!

The Who, What and Why of Offsite Pixels


Before I get to how you can create your own Offsite Pixel, it’s necessary to take a step back and provide a little background.

Conversion Tracking, per Facebook:

Conversion tracking helps businesses measure the return on investment of their Facebook Ads by reporting on the actions people take after viewing those ads. Advertisers can create pixels that track conversions, add them to the pages of their website where the conversions will happen, and then track these conversions back to ads they are running on Facebook. Conversion tracking also helps businesses leverage optimized cost per impressions (oCPM) to show ads to people who are more likely to convert off Facebook.

Conversions, per Facebook:

A conversion is an action that a person takes on your website such as checking out, registering, adding an item to the shopping cart, or viewing a particular page. Virtually any page on your website can represent a conversion, and you can create and add the conversion tracking code on any page of your website.

In a Nutshell: With the help of a piece of code (Offsite Pixel) that Facebook provides and you place on specific pages of your site, you can track much more than simple clicks to your Facebook ads. You can now track conversions.

Additionally, with the help of Optimized CPM, Facebook will show your ad to people most likely to perform the desired actions (checkouts, registrations, leads, key page views, adds to cart or other website conversions). Finally, you will be able to track the success or failure of your campaign based on actual results.

Based on early returns, costs of such conversions have been cut by 40%. Did I hear someone say “ROI?”

1. Use Power Editor


Don’t be scared. It’s a simple and free tool, a Chrome plugin used instead of the self-serve ad tool to create and edit your Facebook ads. If you’ve never used Power Editor before, go here first for a quick tutorial.

You currently need to use Power Editor (or a third party tool that uses the Facebook ads API) to create an Offsite Pixel, though you can technically use the self-serve tool to select Offsite Pixels for your ads later. But this tutorial will be focused entirely around Power Editor to keep it as simple as possible.

2. Create an Offsite Pixel


Within Power Editor, click on “Conversion Tracking” at the top right. Then click “Create Conversion Pixel.”

From there, simply name your pixel whatever you want (make it something that is relevant to what you’re tracking) and then select one of the following categories:

  • Checkouts
  • Registrations
  • Leads
  • Key Page Views
  • Adds to Cart
  • Other Website Conversions

After selecting a category, click the “Create Pixel” button.

Here is a screen grab for reference.

facebook power editor offsite pixel Facebook Ads Conversion Tracking: How to Create an Offsite Pixel

3. Select the Code


You will now see a message indicating that your Conversion Pixel has been created.

facebook conversion pixel created Facebook Ads Conversion Tracking: How to Create an Offsite Pixel

Click the “View Pixel Code” button. You will then be presented with some code that looks like this…

configure facebook conversion pixel code Facebook Ads Conversion Tracking: How to Create an Offsite Pixel

Select all of the code within the box and Copy it.

4. Paste the Code


After copying and closing the code box from the step above, you’ll notice that the pixel status is “Unverified.” That’s because the code needs to be placed on the page of your website that would indicate a conversion.

This should all start to make sense now. When you run an ad that drives people to a product page, for example, you want Facebook to be able to report when that ad resulted in a purchase. You do this by placing the Offsite Pixel code on the page that would be displayed immediately after purchase.

This is an important distinction. It will go between the < HEAD >< /HEAD > tags on the page that indicates success. It shouldn’t go onto all pages or even the landing page for your product. It should go on the page that would be shown when the transaction is complete.

Where this is done will depend on your CMS. My website is built on WordPress, and more specifically on the Genesis Framework. At the bottom of my Theme SEO Settings for an individual page or blog post, I have a box for Custom Tracking/Conversion Code. I also build landing pages with Premise. There, too, there is a box for Header Scripts.

Essentially, your theme or CMS should allow you to edit header scripts. This is where you paste the Offsite Pixel that Facebook gave you in the step above.

Once you’ve added the pixel, refresh the page that has the Facebook code in it. Then go back to the Conversion Tracking area of Power Editor to confirm that your pixel is now Active. You may need to refresh Power Editor.

conversion pixel active Facebook Ads Conversion Tracking: How to Create an Offsite Pixel

5. Create Your Ad


Now you create your ad as you typically would, either within Power Editor or the self-serve ad tool (I’m going to assume you are creating your ad in Power Editor).

From the Creative tab of the ad create flow, the final option will be to select an Offsite Pixel. Simply check the box and select the appropriate pixel for this ad.

facebook power editor select offsite conversion pixel Facebook Ads Conversion Tracking: How to Create an Offsite Pixel

6. Monitor the Results


Now when you view the performance of your ad within the self-serve ad tool, the “Actions” will actually represent conversions, giving you a much clearer picture of success and making it easier to measure ROI.

Your Turn


Now go try it. Create your own Offsite Pixel and track conversions of your ads. Let me know how it goes in the comments below!

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About Jon Loomer

Jon Loomer is a digital marketing consultant with a unique perspective on social media. He was introduced to Facebook in 2007 while with the NBA (back before Pages) and has been using Facebook for business ever since. Stay in touch by liking his Facebook Page (Jon Loomer Digital).

  • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

    Jon– solid post! Soon we’ll have to talk about revenue and lead attribution, which is the next logical step.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/247mktg Steve Cameron

    Hi Jon,

    I’ve been using Google’s URL Builder to manually tag my facebook destination url’s – and in this way I can track the specific ads that lead to conversions on my site. Is this any different or is it just fb’s own way of doing the same? I’m trying to spot the difference here… it sounds like it’s working within its own bubble. If I then have to do more work to integrate it within Google Analytics, what’s the point?

    • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

      Steve– you’ll have to deal with multiple tracking tags. Not ideal, but each engine does have its own conversion optimizer. If this is a big deal for you, there are companies that specialize in enterprise tag management.

    • Marcel R

      Hey Steve, I was thinking of exactly the same question. I think that the FB Conversion Pixel is just a way to optimize the FB tracking within itself, GA can surely be used to track people down that come through a specific AD placed on FB (via UTM), so the FB Pixel just offers you better reports for the power editor / ads manager imho.

      • Steve Cameron

        That makes sense….

        • Rychellon

          Hey Steve, good discussion but.. How will you differentiate purchases that originated by the FB Ads of the purchases of your organic traffic?

          Do you know about the visitors, but don’t know about the conversions…

  • Alyssa_Riley

    Thanks for the tips. I like the posts like this because it has spotted on the topic rather than going around it. I found another blog and that is also like this. If interested just go and see. http://www.seo-vantage.co.uk/blog/social-media/

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  • http://www.facebook.com/sam.abbitt Sam Abbitt

    Pretty cool stuff. Now that I have the pixels set up, I wonder if Facebook will allow us to view conversion metrics for unpaid posts as well. It would be nice to know how many conversions I get from a standard ole’ fashioned unpaid post.

  • dirkboz

    Nice post. I just set this up and created a couple ads to test it out. It will be interesting to see whether the conversion optimized bidding outperforms manual CPC bidding.

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  • http://assistsocialmedia.com/ elizabeth Maness

    woohoo loving this!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/christian.carriger.3 Christian Carriger

    Great info Jon! I’m setting this up for one of my sites now! Thanks for all the effort you put into these posts, you’re one of the few social media blogs I actually read instead of just skimming!

  • http://bschoolforcoaches.com/ Adrian McIntyre, PhD

    Conversion tracking pixels can be created with the regular ol’ Facebook Ads Manager now, not just with the Power Editor. I just implemented ‘em today, so I don’t have any data yet.

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  • Jason Chang

    Hello Jon,

    Thank you for your wonderful post!

    I have a question, I build my landing page with Blogger, how and where could I paste the code into a specific blog post ( my squeeze page )? Thanks.

  • Grama

    Thanks! Useful video!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/LindaJJoseph Linda Joseph

    The page I want to track is a WordPress page. How do I add the script to the head area of that specific page?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Hi, Linda. Did you watch the video? My instructions are for WordPress.

  • Eric

    Hey Jon, I’m curious – if someone clicks my ad, then opts in, and say they’re dropped to a video and they come back and watch it again, will FB pick that up as another conversion?

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  • Cecilia

    Hi Jon! Quick question: Can I use the same pixel for multiple ads or do I have to create one for each ad?

    • http://www.lawrencetam.net/ Lawrence Tam

      if all ads are looking for the same “goal” then yes. you can then determine which of the ads is performing the “goal” better

  • Chris McBride

    I’m very confused with my tracking pixel it becomes active sometimes when i have a sale on my website however, i have never had a conversation being displayed on my reports?? I have had the ad running for over 1 month now and i’m sure it has bought in some revenue. Can anyone help?

    http://www.image-to-canvas.co.uk/

  • Grant Perry

    The optimize by conversion is starting to work really well for me now after initially being too expensive. I just wish they’d allow us to exclude converters (as Google does) so we’re not reaching people who have already taken the desired action. Sure, we could use a custom audience list but that’s not dynamic and requires regular updating.

    And I’d love if they allowed us to enter a desired CPA (also like Google) to help them find conversions at the right price.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Agreed, Grant!

  • Kenneth

    Would you use the same pixel on another landing page, if measuring the same / similar thing?

    I just set it up to track Leads (when someone fills out enquiry form, the pixel is on the Thank you page after they hit submit) on our main website. We have some separate product-specific mini-websites / landing pages, would you set the same pixel on those Thank you pages as well? Or a different one for each site?

  • http://www.mktdojo.com/ Tommy Tan

    Hi,

    I’ve created the pixel and the status is active. I also created an ad and made sure the conversion pixel box is checked. However, I still don’t see the conversion tracking data in my Ad Manager reports. Any advice on how to view the data?

  • http://www.empreendedor-digital.com/ Bruno M. Picinini

    Hi – good post mate! Thanks!

    Do u know if it’s possible to use 2 conversion pixels on the same page?

  • David

    Hey Jon Loomer- I am not using either: the Genesis Framework or build landing pages with Premise. I am using Optimize Press themes. I notice depending on the type of page selected to be used I noticed a tracking code… I would assume it would go in there all the same?

    This is exciting to use, being that I won’t need anything like Tracker202 or Hypertracking… Crossing my fingers are this that I am correct. If you fail to response then I would assume I’m correct?

    -Dave

  • raj

    Hi,
    I really like your post.
    Thanks for sharing such great information. It is very informative and provides knowledge of facebook advertising

  • Damian

    hi great post – how do I track 2 conversions from 1 ad ? Conversion 1 – Optin to List then Conversioon 2 – Purchase??

  • Hannes

    Thanks for a great post!
    I’m using dark-page-posts and want to track conversions. Do i need to implement the full script or is it enough to use the noscript-part?
    Thanks!

  • Clare Burgess

    Hi Jon
    Is there any way to track whether a document has been downloaded? I’m sending people to a page with a form which they need to download (don’t even talk to me about online forms – a step too far for the particular department). I’d like to know whether any of the heaps of people who seem to have clicked through to the page have actually completed the action.
    Thanks

  • Kate Hutchinson

    Is there a way to use conversion pixels from a Facebook page, such as a custom tab, instead of from an ad?

  • Carlos Vazquez

    If I have 3 ads with different custom audiences and have 3 conversion tracking scripts (so i know which ad converts best), can I simply paste one conversion script after another or does that not work?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      You only need one conversion pixel, not three.

  • Selena

    Thanks – great article.
    FYI I’m getting a 502 Bad gateway error when I click on the links for “You may also like…” (above)

  • Brandon

    How long is the delay for Facebook when looking for conversion tracking stats?

    I have a pixel setup and it is verified but the lead & action numbers are not matching my autoresponder. I am assuming there must be a delay in reporting or something is wrong.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      I don’t think there is much/any delay. Couldn’t you get sales that weren’t the result of your ad?

  • Themos

    Great post. Is there a way to add a tracking pixel to a menu button rather than a page. The button redirects to an external source and I would like to track that conversion.

    • Penuel

      one easy way could be to create an intermediate page. When someone clicks on the menu button it will take the user to the intermediate page and then redirect the user to actual page instantly. on this intermediate you page you can ad your tracking pixel to track conversions.

  • http://deepenning.wordpress.com/ Deepa

    Dear Jon, How are you doing?
    Please please please reply!!
    My colleague tried all of what you have posted above. His concern is – he is unable to track conversions specific from Facebook ads as it clashing with conversions from Google Ads and organic search.
    Is the only solution is we create separate landing page for each of the campaigns for FB and Google?
    Any pointers? Please please please and thank you!

  • Courtney

    Hi,

    I was wondering if you can give any insight into how the pixel actually tracks the conversion? Will the pixel work if you have a landing page and a final purchase page (under a different domain) can it record the conversions even though it has changed domains twice?

  • http://www.theslantedlens.com Hector

    Thanks for the run down. Great info.

  • http://www.techmaish.com/ Bilal Ahmad

    Hi Jon.

    Do we need separate pixels for every campaign OR 1 pixel for “Checkout” can be used on several pages to track conversion from each pages?

    I am specifically asking about Teespring campaigns. For example if have 4 different campaigns running for 4 different tshirts, do I need 1 pixel code for “checkout” to add on all the pages or separate pixels will be required.

  • Paola

    Hey, does facebook consider view-through conversions in CPC campaigns? GA is reporting traffic coming from my ads but 0 conversions till now, facebook instead is showing 3 conversions already. I’m running a “clicks-to-website” campaign and I’m bidding in a cpc scheme

  • Ryan

    Hi Jon, is this something that can be used in ShortStack? I need to track successful submission of promotion forms. If yes, would you please tell me how?

    • Perry

      I would love to know this too!

  • Mari

    If I run 2 same ads for 2 different audiences at the same time with the same objective to the same landing page, do I need to create and place on the landing page 2 different tracking pixels or do I use just one and the same pixel for both ads?

  • Mari

    Why you don’t recommend to place a conversion pixel for the entire website and place it on a particular page instead? For example, in case if my goal is to see how many people got to my website as a result of FB ad.

  • Adrian

    Hi Jon! I’m currently running a like campaign. My objective is to get fans to my page and then see how many conversions can I get of these fans. I would like to track conversions but for a “like ad” not for a conversion tracking ad. I cannot see any option to choose my tracking pixel in a “like ad”. If I add a column in the reports section for “Conversions” and the ad is a “like ad” Will I see the conversions or not? Is redirecting people to my website the only option to track conversions? Thanks, great blog :D

  • juraj

    We had problem to track conversion. We have created pixel, placed the code in order confirmationa page. The problem was, the pixel was “called” from any conversion (including organic, adwords, direct) – not just FB.
    So if somebody has purchased from adwords – FB claimed it as “his customer”.

    But it was on begingn of conversion tracking… maybe more then year ago.

    Does anyone also experience it?

  • Ruben Aguirre

    Thank you for this post! I has using the tracking code incorrectly. I manage a WP site and placed it in the of the site, but that puts the code in EVERY page, not just the conversion page!

  • Thomas

    you da man jon!!!!!

  • alex pieri

    does it count only conversions generated by facebook or all conversions, making it unreliable?

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