The Facebook pixel. If you’re using Facebook and/or Instagram ads, you should already be familiar with this tool. If you have no idea what we’re talking about, make sure to read this guide and set up your pixel straight away: it’s a key tool in getting the most out of your social advertising budget!
Even if you’re not using Facebook ads yet, you should install your pixel now: this will ensure you won’t have to start from scratch when you’re ready to create your first ad.
What is the Facebook pixel?
The Facebook pixel is a piece of code for your website. When you place this piece of code on your website, it will collect data that helps you track conversions from your ads on Facebook, optimise your ads, build targeted audiences for future ads and remarket to people who visit your website.
How does it work?
The pixel works by tracking users when they interact with your business. This interaction could be on Facebook, Instagram, or any other online place. The tracking is done via placing and triggering cookies based on your actions.
Without getting too technical, it might be best to give you a simple example here – because I’m sure you’ve all experienced the magic of Facebook pixels.
Let’s say you’re searching for a certain product on Google – a pair of sunglasses. You click on a website and browse through the models, but decide to leave the website and put your phone down to do something else. The next time you grab your phone and open up your social media, your Facebook and Instagram are filled with ads of sunglasses from the website you were browsing earlier!
This is the Facebook pixel at work. In this example, it’s used for retargeting (a form of advertising based on consumer’s previous behaviour, used to keep your brand front and centre for longer). This is just one of the many functions of the Facebook pixel.
Recent changes to iOS 14 affecting the Facebook pixel
As you may be aware, there have been a few changes with regards to third-party tracking in Apple’s iOS 14. This will affect the effectiveness of the Facebook pixel: users now receive a clear notification and need to opt-in to allow data tracking, as opposed to manually finding a way to opt-out. This will result in your audience to collect data from shrinking quite significantly. You can read more about the Apple iOS 14 release and how it will affect your ads and reporting on Facebook here.
Despite the recent updates, the Facebook pixel is still an incredibly useful tool that should be installed for your real estate business.
Why you should install the Facebook pixel
1. Increase your ROI on Facebook ads
Most importantly, using the pixel will allow you to increase the return on investment on your Facebook ad spend. It does so via ensuring your ads are shown to the people who are most likely to take the desired action – thereby improving your conversion rate.
2. Use Facebook retargeting
As we mentioned, the Facebook pixel allows you to show targeted ads to people who have already interacted with your website. This helps you keep your brand front and centre for longer.
Whilst retargeting will become more complicated and the audience will shrink due to the iOS 14 update, it is still an incredibly valuable way of advertising for the remaining audience.
3. Use Facebook conversion tracking
Installing the pixel will allow you to track how people are interacting with your website after they’ve seen your ad on Facebook. You’ll be able to see if they have taken your desired action, such as purchasing an item or filling out a lead form.
4. Create lookalike audiences
The Facebook pixel will help you collect data that defines your audience. This data can be used to expand your potential customer base via creating a ‘lookalike audience’ on Facebook. A lookalike audience is an audience of people who have similar interests, likes, and demographics to people who are already interacting with your audience.
How to set up your Facebook pixel
Now you know why you need a Facebook pixel, it’s time to install it on your website and set it all up. There are a few different ways of doing so, depending on what applies to your business and website situation.
1. Creating your Facebook pixel
This step is the same for everyone – you have to create your Facebook pixel first. You can do so via going to your Business Manager (Suite). From there, select ‘More Tools’ in the sidebar menu and click on ‘Events Manager’.
Once you’re in Events Manager, go to the left-hand menu and click on ‘Connect data sources’.
From there, you have the option to select Web, App or Offline. Select Web and click on Get Started.
Then, select Facebook Pixel and click Connect.
You will now have the option to enter your URL and give your pixel a name. When you name your pixel, it’s best to simply use your real estate business name: you will normally only create one Facebook pixel per ad account.
2. Adding your Facebook pixel to your website
Now you’ve created your pixel, it’s time to add it to your website. There are three different ways to do this:
- Manually add the pixel code to your website
- Use a Partner Integration (e.g. WordPress or Squarespace)
- Email instructions to your web developer
Manually add the pixel code to your website
This is the most ‘technical’ option out of the 3, as you are required to work with the code. It is however fairly easy to set up, as you only need to copy and paste.
Once you’ve selected this option, Facebook will provide you with the copy: simply click on the Copy Code button.
Now, head to your website and paste the code into the global header of your website (<head> </head>). Paste the code in the middle of the header code, after <head> and before </head>. This way, you won’t have to add the code to every single page.
Use a Partner Integration
You can select this option if you use a CMS like WordPress or Squarespace to host your website. You won’t have to use any code when you use the partner integration – Facebook will take you through the steps when selecting this option.
Email instructions to your web developer
If your website is maintained by a website developer, Facebook allows you to easily email instructions and code to them. Select the ‘Email Instructions’ option and enter your developer’s email address.
Targeting people with the Facebook pixel
So, you’ve installed the pixel – now it’s time to use it and start targeting people through it. To do so, you can create Custom Audiences in Ads Manager. You can get there via selecting More Tools in the sidebar menu in Business Suite, then clicking on Audiences.
When you create a custom audience, you set rules – these can vary from simple, basic rules to very complex ones. Let’s go through a few examples for your real estate business.
Targeting people who have visited your ‘Sell’ page
When you create a custom audience, you can include everyone who visited a specific web page. If you want to target people who have visited your ‘sell’ page, simply use the URL for this page. You can set a timeframe for this as well, such as people who have visited this page in the last 30 days. Once you’ve created this audience, you can create an ad that will only be shown to people who have visited your ‘sell’ page in the last 30 days.
Targeting people who have converted
You can also target people who have already converted, for example by filling out a free appraisal form. The key to doing so is having ‘thank you’ pages on your website – if people fill out a form, they should be redirected to the thank you page. This will help you with tracking conversions and retargeting those visitors.
To set a custom audience with people who have already converted, set a URL rule. Set it up so that the URL has to contain ‘thank-you’ (if your thank you pages contain /thank-you at the end of the URL). Now, you’ll be able to create ads specifically for people who have already taken a certain action on your website, such as filling out a form.
Targeting people who haven’t converted
Just like you can target people who have already converted, you can target people who visited your website but did not fill out any form. To do so, simply create a custom audience via flipping around the previous rule: you’ll now target people where the URL of visited web pages does not contain ‘thank-you’.
Hopefully you now have all the information you need to get started and set up the Facebook pixel if you hadn’t already done so. If you need help with setting up your Facebook pixel, make sure to check out our Digital Basics package. As part of this package, we’ll install your Facebook pixel along with setting up a range of other digital assets.
If you would like help with not only setting up your pixel, but the entire digital marketing side of things, including running ads, it’s time to book a no-obligation, free consultation with our digital marketing team via the button below.