Conversion Tracking: The Key to Measuring Your Results on Facebook

Whether you own an ecommerce store, service based business or bricks and mortar store, Facebook Conversion tracking is key to measuring the impact of your Facebook advertising activity. It is also fundamental to the running of website conversion campaigns on Facebook

Facebook conversion tracking enables you to measure the volume of specific actions taking place off of Facebook, on your own website or within an application. They can also track the value of those actions, identifying for example the value of sales resulting from an advertising click.

By tracking the number of actions taking place on your website or application, and relating to those back to money spent on advertising, it is possible to identify your ‘cost per acquisition’ or CPA, the average amount of money spent to achieve those outcomes.

Implementing conversion tracking also enables the use of Facebook Website Conversion Campaigns as a Facebook Advertising Objective. These campaigns allow you to run campaigns with a specific objective of achieving an action on your website, optimising your results to achieve that outcome for the lowest spend.

How do Facebook Conversions work?

They work by triggering a snippet of code on your website or within an application at the point when a specific action occurs, sending that data back to Facebook for inclusion in Facebook reports.

conversion3The code is made up of a ‘standard event’ chosen from a predefined list of Facebook events, which include options for; lead, purchase, initiate checkout and complete registration, among others, and a set of variables that can be customised to send additional information back to Facebook.

Information within the variables can add information that helps identify different types of purchases or other actions on your site, as well as options to include sales values or currency used.

Through Facebook Custom Conversions you can opt to segments these results and display the data that matters within your Facebook Advertising Reports.

Deciding what conversions to track

There is no limit on the overall number of conversions that can be tracked on your website or application; however, there are limits that apply to the number of custom conversions that can be added to any one advertising account.

It is worth a little bit of effort up-front to consider what actions are worth tracking to ensure that you capture the ones you need, and avoid time implementing ones of no real value.

It is usually best to draw up an Excel spreadsheet with columns for the location URL (where the event takes place), the action to track (for example, when someone clicks add to basket), the standard event to fire, any variables that need to be included from the data layer (sales value, number of items, currency etc) and any content names or other information that might help you separate different types of conversion.

Installing the code on your website

There are multiple methods to install conversion tracking on your website, determined by the action you wish to track, the nature of how your website is built, and the presence of third party tracking systems such as Google Tag Manager.

In all cases, installation requires two elements to be added to function properly; the Facebook Base Code and the Standard Event.

The Facebook Base Code includes information that identifies the advertising account that the event relates to, including the Pixel ID of that account – it is installed on all pages of the website regardless of any conversions that may or may not take place on those pages. This code also enables the building of audiences from those visiting the website, or specific pages of the website, for remarketing purposes.

The Standard Event is an additional snippet of code that is ‘fired’ only at the point where a desired action or ‘event’ takes place.

Testing that the code is working correctly

Once you have installed the two elements of code throughout your site it is important that you test they are working as planned.

Facebook provides a tool, the Facebook Pixel Helper, as an add-on for Chrome. You can download and add this tool to your Chrome Browser here.

The Pixel Helper should glow blue on pages where a pixel is present. The green number displayed relates to the number of events ‘fired’ on that page. For pages where only the base code is operational (or prior to an action being completed) that number should show as ‘1’, after an action is fired the number should increase in line with that action. Clicking the icon will display information on the code fired, including the standard event and any variables included.

Using the information in your reports

Following successful installation of your Conversions you will be able to view the total number of standard events taking place within your Adverts Manager. Where no advertising is active you can view the overall number of actions taking place under ‘Pixel’ in the menu.

In order to separate out different conversions by their content name, or other variable, you will need to employ the Custom Conversions, also available within Adverts Manager.

Help Installing Your Conversion Tracking

It can be difficult to specify, install, test and analyse your Conversions without the help of a Facebook Advertising expert, online marketing consultant or web developer – in some cases all three!

We can work with you and your business to ensure that you are tracking the right conversions, that your ads manager is correctly setup to receive and analyse the data, and to help build appropriate audiences from the data for remarketing purposes. To arrange a free initial consultation please complete the contact form, or call Aren on 07598 242212.


About the Author

I’m fascinated by how a company or organisation can change its fortunes and even undergo a transformation by looking at a challenge in a different way and by behaving in different ways.

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