If you’ve gotten very far into the world of Facebook ads, you’ve probably heard about pixels. Pixels for retargeting. Pixels to track conversions. Pixels to create a custom audience.
It’s a lot to take in, and Facebook recently complicated things with the rollout of the new Facebook Pixel “to rule them all”. (I dive into the how-tos of that in my $10 ads class, but I won’t get into logistics here, this is about a cool tool that can help with any error messages you might get on your pixels.)
Firstly, what is a pixel anyways?
To keep it simple, a pixel is just a little bit of code that goes onto your page. (No one can see it, it’s just “hidden” in the code in the header area.) It’s the way that Facebook tracks when people are landing on certain pages of your website. This can be used to retarget site visitors or to track conversions (actions people take) on your site.
In this post, we’re going to focus on how can you tell if pixels are properly installed and what to do about it if you’re receiving errors after set-up.
The Facebook Pixel Helper is a tool that helps you get some important info on your Facebook Pixel. Using this tool you can:
- Verify your pixel works properly
- Troubleshoot common errors
- Learn how to improve performance
Whenever you first create a pixel, you need to activate it. And to do this, you actually embed the code onto the desired page and then visit that page to get the red dot next to the pixel to go from red (no activity yet) to green (active) in your ads dashboard.
Sometimes, however, you do this and the status indicator stays red (no activity yet), or you might notice something “off” about your reports and wonder if something isn’t working properly after an ad has run.
When that happens, you need a way of troubleshooting what’s going on with your pixel and that’s where the pixel checker tool comes in.
This tool is only available in Google Chrome, but if you’re using Power Editor you should be using that as your browser already. (Power Editor, my preferred means of creating Facebook ads, only works in Chrome.)
The first step is to install the tool, which you can do by clicking the “Download Now” button on this page: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/facebook-pixel/pixel-helper
Once you have it installed, you’ll see this icon like this </> in your browser window (top right corner of Chrome, by the URL bar).
When a page has a Facebook Pixel installed the </> icon turns blue and a number appears telling you how many pixels were found on the page. If the icon does not turn blue, then there are no Facebook pixels installed on this page.
Click the </> icon and a popup box appears with information about your pixel(s) – sort of an event log. If there are any errors, you can click to learn more about the issue and how to fix it.
For a deep dive into troubleshooting common issues with pixels, visit the Facebook help section here.
What’s your experience been like with pixels? Share your victory and stories in the comments!