How to Set Up Facebook Ads Conversion Tracking

Published December 15, 2016
When social media marketing first started, it was often seen as a way to merely “be present” or to help spread awareness about a brand by being a part of the conversation.
As social media platforms have evolved, so too have the opportunities to grow a business and produce revenue as a result of social media-related efforts. While social content may continue to be a mixture of interesting tidbits, attention getters and demonstrations of culture, other posts, and paid ads in particular, can provide strong calls to action and drive new business.
Facebook has also become an increasingly valuable platform for reaching target consumers outside of standard search and display advertising. The ability to layer demographic targeting criteria like age, gender, interests, occupations and income has allowed for incredible granularity in getting your message to potential customers.
This combination of features gives us the chance to equate our Facebook activity with actual income. But only if we’re measuring it properly.
In proving the effectiveness of advertising on Facebook (as with any other channel), the bottom line of success often comes down to conversions. Ultimately, you want to look at which campaigns, ad sets, and ads were the most effective in motivating people to download resources, submit contact information or make a purchase.
Thankfully, the Facebook Pixel offers a clear solution for tracking these results. This code snippet is a one-stop solution that, once installed, allows you to create remarketing audiences and track multiple conversion points across your site.
In this article, we’ll review how to set up the Facebook Pixel on your site and configure conversion tracking within the Facebook Ads interface.


Facebook Pixel for Tracking Conversion in Facebook Ads


Creating & Placing the Facebook Pixel

To create your Facebook Pixel, navigate to Pixels under the navigation dropdown at the top of the Ads Manager screen - as shown ablove. If you haven’t yet created a Pixel, you’ll see a prompt to create one; if you’ve previously created one, you can access the code by going to Actions > View Pixel Code.


Viewing the Facebook Pixel Code


Once you walk through the process of creating or viewing the pixel, you’ll see a snippet of code to copy and paste. Don’t worry, you don’t need to possess any coding skills to add this to most sites! You can either send this off to a web developer or add it yourself. If you’re adding the code yourself, Google Tag Manager provides a simple solution for placement.

If you’re not familiar with Google Tag Manager (GTM), this tool allows you to place a single code on your site from which to deploy multiple tracking codes. Tag Manager greatly simplifies the process of setting up tracking for analytics and various ad platforms, reducing required back-and-forth with web developers or coding proficiency. If you are using Wordpress, there are many available plugins for installing GTM. See these article on our blog for some more information about setting up and configuring Google Tag Manager.

Within your website’s Google Tag Manager workspace, select “Tags” and choose “New” to begin creating your Facebook tag. Give your tag a descriptive name (we used “FB Pixel”).

Next, choose a tag type of Custom HTML and paste your pixel code into the box provided.


Install Facebook Pixel Using Google Tag Manager


Under Triggering, choose to fire the tag on “All Pages.” You’ll specify pages for the conversion tracking portion later. Save the tag and publish your container and you’re done getting the pixel in place. You can verify your pixel installation using the Facebook Pixel Helper Chrome extension.

Setting Up Conversion Tracking

Once the code is in place, you can move to setting up specific conversion points. Think about the online goals you want to track after people visit your site. Here are a few possibilities:

  • Submitting a service request form
  • Scheduling an appointment
  • Registering for a software demo
  • Downloading an ebook
  • Adding an item to a shopping cart
  • Completing a purchase

Depending on how your site is setup, you can choose one of two methods for defining conversions. If you want to measure hits to unique page URLs (for instance, if forms go to unique thank you page URLs upon completion), you can track them using the Custom Conversions feature directly in the Facebook interface. If forms submit within a page without going to a different URL, you can use Events for tracking.

Using Custom Conversions

Within the Facebook Ads Manager top navigation section, go to Custom Conversions. From this screen, select “Create Custom Conversion.”


Creating Custom Conversions in Facebook Ads Manager


Now, insert the URL(s) that should count as a conversion. For example, if a form goes to upon submission, you can choose “URL Contains” and insert “/thank-you” in the text field.

Click “Next” for a prompt to enter a name for your Custom Conversion. Finally, you can set an optional value for your conversion if you can associate a dollar amount with it.

Using Events

If you need to track conversions outside of a hit to a Thank You page, like a form that submits without changing the page URL, use Custom Events. This setup entails firing an extra snippet of code upon completion of a conversion.

You can add events in 10 categories:

  • Search
  • View Content
  • Add to Cart
  • Add to Wishlist
  • Initiate Checkout
  • Add Payment Info
  • Purchase
  • Lead
  • Complete Registration
  • Custom Event

For more details, see this help article; in this example, we’ll cover adding a Lead event code via Google Tag Manager for a form submission.

First, create a new tag utilizing the Custom HTML type, as before. Paste in the Lead event tracking code supplied by Facebook.


Facebook Lead Tag for Tracking Conversions


The next step will vary based on your website’s setup, but we’ll cover an example of a common method to track form submissions. Create a new Trigger using the Form Submission type. Check the “Wait for Tags” and “Check Validation” boxes.


Using Facebook Pixel to Creating a Trigger to Track Conversions


Next, specify the criteria for where you’ll enable the trigger. In this example, we want to fire the trigger only on the /request-service page, so we use that URL in the text box. We need to save the trigger to associate it with the tag and then save the tag. The last step is to publish the container to make the changes live on the website.

Correlating Conversions with Ads

Once you’ve set up conversion tracking, you’ll need to correlate conversions with any new ads you set up. When creating an ad, you’ll see an option to track conversions. Select “Track all conversions from my Facebook pixel” to automatically count any conversions that happen as a result of people viewing or clicking on your ad.


Connecting the Facebook Pixel to Your Facebook Ads


Viewing Conversion Results

Once your ad campaigns have begun running and you want to review performance, look at “Website Actions” to see conversion data. You may need to add this via the Columns dropdown if it’s not already in place. You can also add additional metrics like Cost Per Website Action, as well as metrics specific to each conversion point. Look at these on the campaign, ad set and ad level when evaluating performance.


Facebook Ads - View Website Actions



The Facebook Pixel offers an accessible way to better track conversions from your Facebook ads. When combined with Google Tag Manager, you can easily get started setting up the pixel code and configuring conversions.

If you’re not yet tracking conversions in your Facebook ads, start today. Set up the pixel and watch the data come through!


When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:



It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
Digital marketers spend a lot of time focused on PPC and SEO campaigns in order to drive desirable traffic to a website. The phrases we’re ranking for and bidding on get meticulous attention, so much so that we often forget about some of the other ways that visitors find us.

We put a tremendous amount of the effort we put into reviewing organic search data and PPC campaign performance in analytics. But how closely do we monitor referral reports?

If that’s not a channel you review regularly, you may be missing out on seeing traffic that is coming directly from links you’ve obtained around the web, local business listings, news mentions, and more. Many times, links are only considered as a means to an end, a metric that Google uses in determining how to rank sites in the SERPs (search engine results pages). But the fact is, many of a site’s links may be directly contributing to its traffic.

In this article, we’ll review how to look at referral reports in Google Analytics, and some of the many ways to use that data to better inform your web marketing decisions.


Remember how your mom told you not to stand too close to the television because it might hurt your eyes?

The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.

Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.