Transcript: Demystifying the Facebook Pixel

June 8, 2017

AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there, welcome back to another  episode  of  the  Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield. Today we are talking all things pixels and Facebook ad retargeting. 

I could never, ever do this episode alone so I have my good friend and sidekick when it comes to Facebook ads, Rick Mulready. How you doing Rick? 

RICK: I’m doing great. How are you? We’re a little punchy today. 

AMY: I’m good. We’re a little punchy today. Before we get on these podcast episodes we talk for a good half hour to plan out what we want to teach and all that good stuff. I’m in a little bit of a punchy mood and so is Rick. 

This might be an extra good episode. 

RICK: I said once we got on here let’s get real and talk about what’s been going on. We are a little bit fired up but, hey, this is normal stuff, right? 

AMY: I said, “Rick, what do you mean fired up?” You said… 

RICK: We’ve got a lot going on and we’re a little overwhelmed right now. We have a lot to do and we’re trying to figure out how to get it all done and have a life at the same time. 

AMY: Exactly. Not to mention you have a three-day event starting tomorrow morning. 

RICK: Yes, exactly. When we’re recording this I’m going into a three-day event. That’s three days all day. 

AMY: That’s a lot of work, a lot of work. 

RICK: It’s amazing but what I don’t know if a lot of people know that I’m quite an introvert. I love to teach. It is my passion and I love doing it in person but I do have to recover after that, especially with three straight days. I will recover after that. 

AMY: You’re going to have to take some time off. I’m always telling Rick after a live event, “You need to take some time off,” and then he always tells me, “I will but I have this one thing.” 

Where are you flying to on Sunday morning? 

RICK: Well, I’m going up to Northern California to deal with some family stuff. 

AMY: So you are going to support family, which is a great thing. But you’re still always on the go. Hopefully when you get back from Northern Cal you will take some time off. 

RICK: Amy and I are leaving on May 31… 

AMY: His wife, not me. 

RICK: To go to Europe. Yes, that’s true. My wife, Amy. We’re going to Europe on May 31. We’re going to Amsterdam, Paris, London for a few days, and then back to Paris. 

AMY: So fun. 

RICK: For about three weeks. Yes, that vacation is coming up in June. 

AMY: That will be great. That’s really fun. I forgot to tell you, I haven’t even told you this, guess what’s new in my life? You guys are probably thinking, “Let’s get to it guys,” but this is good. 

RICK: I don’t even know what this is. What is it? 

AMY: Hobie and I just bought a 1970 Scout. 

RICK: I was just going to ask if you got a Scout. 

AMY: I forgot I told you we were looking. 

RICK: You did? 

AMY: Yes, we were looking for a long time. We really wanted a vintage car and we really love Scouts and we did. It’s gold. But it is an amazing color of gold. 

RICK: I thought you meant gold as in “awesome.” 

AMY: It’s very awesome. 

RICK: You mean it is literally gold, like the color gold. 

AMY: Yes! 

RICK: I can’t wait to see this. 

AMY:  I know. When I showed it I actually can’t believe I didn’t show it to you. I’ll post it on Instagram soon so if you follow me on Instagram you’ll see it. I showed James Wedmore because he’s got a vintage car. What is it? It’s the bus? 

RICK: Yeah, he’s got a VW bus. 

AMY: VW bus, that’s right. So I knew he’d appreciate it so I showed it to him. He said, “I cannot believe you and Hobie have a gold car. That’s so amazing.” I know! 

RICK: When did you get this? I cannot believe I’m learning about this on the podcast. 

AMY: I know, I haven’t talked to you in a few days. We just got it two days ago. It needs some mechanical work so Hobie is literally taking it to the mechanic right now. We knew that was the case but it’s Instagram worthy. It’s pretty sexy. I cannot wait to show it to you. 

RICK: Instagram worthy. 

AMY: It’s really just a weekend cruiser. 

RICK: I was going to ask who drives this now? 

AMY: I really want to drive it and it’s an automatic. But, it’s really tough to drive so Hobie says he needs to whip it into shape before I’m going to be driving it because it’s not comfortable yet. 

RICK: Like no power steering kind of thing? 

AMY: Right. 

RICK: You just have to crank on the steering wheel. 

AMY: Yes, and you’ve got to really push on the brakes and that scares me. So we need to get this in a little bit better order. But, I’m very excited. It’s just a fun thing and I feel like I haven’t been doing a lot of fun stuff lately. 

I’ve been all about work, work, work. I know you can relate and that many people listening right now can relate. You put your head down and you get into it. Then I realized this isn’t feeling really fun right now. 

Hobie and I have been talking about this Scout forever and then I started to do some research because I am a master researcher. Of course, I found one right away. We got it on eBay. 

RICK: A little bit of a control freak too. 

AMY: Okay. Maybe so. But you can just keep that out of the conversation. 

RICK: I can’t wait to see the Scout. I’m so excited about this. I love it. 

AMY: I’m really excited. I forgot to tell you that so I guess I just shared it with everyone and I haven’t even put it on social media yet so you all are hearing it…except for the first time in a long time I am way ahead of myself so we’re recording this way in advance so it’s not coming out for a few weeks. 

By the time this comes out many people will have already seen it. 

RICK: They are going to be like, “This is old news, Amy. I saw this a couple of weeks ago.” 

AMY: Been there, done that. I’ll hold off for a few weeks thought. 

RICK: Gee thanks, Amy. 

AMY: I know, that wasn’t as fun, I guess. I didn’t even think. See, this is why you shouldn’t batch, right? 

RICK: No, we should batch. We should. 

AMY: Dang it. So here we go. We’re going to get to it. We’re talking pixels and retargeting. Rick and I have put a really nice outline together so we can ease into all of this. I’m going to tell you guys right now that pixels are not my favorite topic. 

Rick does a good job of explaining pixels. At the end we’re going to give you a link to a really great article that he’s prepared around pixels. But first I want you to hear him talk about it. 

We’re just going to ease into this conversation because it can get really confusing. At least it does in my mind. Are you ready Rick? 

RICK: Ready. Let’s do it. 

AMY: Alright. My first question, for those of you who know pixels, stay with us. We’re going to get into a lot of questions that people have actually sent us in advance. We’re going to get into everything related to this whole pixel conversation and retargeting. 

But we’re going to start at the top. Number one, what is the Facebook pixel and what is its purpose? 

RICK:  I think the proper question, as somebody put it, what the heck is a Facebook pixel? 

AMY: Laura, in my group, actually said, “What the hell is a pixel?” So I said, “Rick, maybe we should say heck,” but I guess I just said it. 

RICK: We’ll keep it clean. I’m glad you caveated this, Amy, by telling guys if they know pixels already that we are going to be talking about a variety of things when it comes to the pixel today. 

We’ll start with the foundational stuff and then kind of move through. The Facebook pixel is a piece of JavaScript code that Facebook gives you. It’s not something you have to come up with yourself or generate or anything like that. 

It’s within your Facebook account and you can go to the pixel section in Ads Manager and you have a Facebook pixel assigned to your Facebook account. That’s the first thing. 

We have some questions a little bit down further about the difference between a Facebook pixel and a conversion pixel. It’s just one pixel now. Facebook phased out the conversion pixel in mid February. 

It used to be there were two pixels. One built retargeting audiences and one was used to track conversions. Facebook now has one pixel. They have actually had this for a while, over a year, but officially, I forget the exact date in February, 2017, they phased out the conversion pixel. 

There’s only one pixel and you get one Facebook pixel per Facebook account. The purpose of this pixel is to basically track the actions that people are taking on your website or on your landing page and also to track conversions. 

This is where it allows you to build retargeting audiences based on where people are going on your website, what visitors are coming to a landing page you have set up, but it also allows you to track conversions, people who are coming to your registration page or sales page or opt-in page and actually getting to the next page on that thank-you page. 

The pixel can track whatever the action is that counts as a conversion for you. 

AMY: Okay. That was really good. You made it sound easier than it feels. 

RICK: Are we done? 

AMY: We’re done. Let’s jump off. 

RICK: Drop the mike. 

AMY: The next question for you is how do you set up the Facebook pixel? 

RICK: We want to go into Ads Manager. We will go into our Facebook account and into our Ads Manager. Then we want to go to the little, Facebook calls it, and apparently it’s a design term, the three lines in the upper left-hand corner of Ads Manager is called a hamburger. 

AMY:  Let me tell you guys something really fast. Rick told me this already. But I think this is one of your favorite things, Rick. You love that it’s called a hamburger. 

RICK: Do you hear how giddy I get when I talk about it now? 

AMY: You do because I think it’s a Facebook insider thing and I think you feel cool with this information. 

RICK: I did a one-day event two weeks ago at Laguna Beach and I talked about. This girl goes, “Yeah, it’s a designer term.” She wasn’t snarky but she was just like, “no, no, it’s a designer term.” 

I was like, “Okay, I love it.” 

AMY: It was news to me so just to make sure if you guys missed what we are talking about, when you go into the Power Editor upper left-hand corner, there are three lines. That’s a hamburger. 

RICK: Ads Manager, Power Editor, they have the three lines. They call it the hamburger. Anyway, that’s your menu. If you click on it and go to All Tools you will have a whole bunch of options there. You will see a pixels option. 

When you click into the pixels option you can view your pixel code and grab it to copy it. From there, as far as how you set it up, let’s start with your website. It will go in your website theme. 

It’s going to go in the header tag section. If you have no idea what I’m talking about here, if you use WordPress, there are some WordPress themes that will help you do this. You can simply Google “WordPress conversion tracking plugins” or something like that. 

You could even do “WordPress Facebook pixel plugins” and you will get all kinds of free ones there. They are super easy to use. It will show you exactly where it goes in your website’s theme. It goes into the header section of your theme. 

When you do that, it is now covering every page on your website. That’s only step one though. The pixel placed is step one. The next step you’ve got to do when you want to be set up retargeting audiences is to actually go into Ads Manager and set those audiences up. 

If you want to build an audience of people of anybody visiting your website in the past 30 days. Great, you can set that audience up. Now you can say that you want to build an audience of anybody coming to your Complete Guide to the Facebook Ad Pixel article. 

You can grab the URL and build a retargeting audience of people coming to that specific page. 

Step one is getting the pixel placed. Step two, which a lot of people miss, they think the pixel is placed and that’s all they have to do and then they are building retargeting audiences. That’s not the case. 

Step two is super important. You’ve got to create those audiences next. That’s retargeting. The other part of this is how you use the pixel for conversion tracking. 

Again, the pixel is going to go on whatever page marks the conversion for you. In very simple terms, for example, if we are running a webinar and we have our webinar registration page. After somebody opts in they usually land on the next page and get a “Thank you for registering.” 

AMY: Right. 

RICK: That’s where you want to make sure the Facebook pixel is on that thank-you page. You are going to want it on both pages. But to mark the conversion it’s got to be on the thank-you page. 

Again, Step one is to put the pixel on the page. Step two is to set up the conversion. From there you have two different options. You have a custom conversion and then standard events. I think that’s the next thing we are going to be talking about here. 

The custom conversion is the easiest to set up. You’re limited right now to 40 of them. But for a custom conversion all you need to do once that pixel is placed, in simple terms, you can grab the URL of the thank-you page and as you’re setting up the custom conversion (you’ll see custom conversions, by the way in the hamburger, the menu) you click on the menu to set up the custom conversion and it will walk you through it. 

It actually looks a lot like setting up a retargeting audience. You would just grab the URL of the thank-you page (we can put a screen shot of this if you want in the show notes page to make it a little bit easier for a visual aspect of it) and then that’s how you create the custom conversion. 

You can even put a value on it if you want to. Just say this conversion is worth $97. You can put a value in there. That’s the custom conversion. It’s the easiest one to do. For most people out there for basic stuff the custom conversion is going to be very ample to track conversions. 

The next way is a little bit more advanced, it is using the standard events. You get the different standard events that Facebook gives you like checkout, registration, a lead, and that sort of thing. 

You have different standard event codes. For the webinar registration you might grab the registration standard event. It is a little snippet of code. You would take that and insert it into the pixel on the thank-you page. 

I can now see people listening to this asking what the heck I just said. Again, this is a little bit more advanced when it comes to tracking conversions. But it’s really not. It’s really not that bad as it may sound as we are explaining this. 

All you do is grab the corresponding standard event code, again, if you are tracking a webinar registration you would grab the registration code and take the snippet of code, insert it into the pixel (Facebook tells you where it goes), and again, that goes on the thank-you page. 

You then give it a name and you are good to go. That’s the two different ways to track conversions. We just talked about what the pixel is, what the purpose is, how you set it up, and then the two functions it’s doing as far as conversions go with custom conversions and standard events. 

Before we talked, and I’ll stop talking here in a second, Amy… 

AMY: No, this is good. I swear. I cannot explain it as good as you. You are on fire. 

RICK: We talked about this as we got going here. We are recording, is it okay to say when we’re recording this? 

AMY: Yes. 

RICK: I don’t know if it’s a secret or anything. We are recording this on May  17. Facebook has just recently announced they are making a change to the Facebook pixel. It is going into effect on May 20, three days from now. 

AMY: Okay, but everyone hold your horses because it’s not what you think. 

RICK: It’s not as bad as we think. Facebook hasn’t really released a whole lot of information about this other than…I’m actually going to read exactly what they sent me about this. 

Basically, they are enhancing the pixel. They are trying to make the pixel smarter to improve the results of your ads and the delivery of your ads. That’s a good thing. I think this update will be all on the back end. 

I really don’t feel like it’s going to be a whole lot that we have to do. My caveat right now, Amy, if you’re cool with it, if any kind of big changes come up that we need to go back and talk about we will do another episode on it. 

AMY: I agree. 

RICK: We’ll talk about the changes. 

AMY: If it’s bigger than we think we’ll just redo this episode. You guys won’t be hearing this if it’s bigger but we don’t think it’s going to be that. 

RICK: We really don’t. The reason for that is that Facebook has not really released a whole lot of information. Whenever they’ve made a big update to the pixel they have let you know months in advance. 

This has just recently started to trickle out and they are being really vague about it. I really think it’s not going to be that big of a deal. They are just saying the Facebook pixel is going to start sending more contextual (I’m reading from what they sent me) information from your website to better understand and categorize the actions people take on your site. 

It will optimize for ads delivery. All that means is that they are working in the back end to make the pixel smarter to get you better results. Then, one more thing they say is, this additional information sent through the pixel is going to include actions on your page like if you have an add-to cart button or the purchase button. 

It’s going to be reading the pages. Again, I don’t want to get too technical here but it’s going to be reading the page’s metadata to learn more what type of actions people are taking on your page. 

Again, I really don’t think this is going to be anything we have to really do on our end. Maybe if we are using standard events for add to cart we don’t have to do that. Again, this is more advanced for if we are tracking those type of things. 

A lot of eCommerce businesses are doing this sort of thing. It is more advanced stuff. Outside of that, I don’t think we are going to see a big change on our end. It’s going to be a back end change that they are making some changes to the pixel to make it smarter. 

This functionality is going into effect on May 20, two or three days from when we are recording this. 

AMY: I know, I feel like I get ahead with my batching and then we heard something like that. But again, I always have you guys covered. If we need to change anything or edit this out, by the time you hear it, it will be solid one way or the other so don’t you worry. 

RICK: I think the important thing is the foundations of what we’re talking about are not changing. Understanding the fundamentals and what we’re talking about in the foundation is what’s going to help you with your Facebook ads. 

AMY: I think that’s what’s most important. Rick and I were talking about this before I hit record. I want my audience, all of you, to really understand what a pixel does, what it’s about, and why you need one. 

Basically, that’s everything we started with in this conversation when Rick started to really get on fire. I want you to understand the foundation so that when Facebook ads change in any way, because they do a lot, you have that solid understanding so you can ebb and flow with the changes versus feeling like you’re so incredibly confused. 

RICK: Yes, I was just having this conversation with somebody earlier today. We were talking about what we think is most important for people to understand when it comes to setting up Facebook ads. 

I said, hands down, understand the fundamentals of what they are doing. When a tab moves five inches on the screen or a button looks a little bit different they can click on it and figure out and understand what it’s doing. 

It may be called something different or might look a little bit different but you will get it because once you’ve clicked on it, it will make sense to you because you understand the foundation. And that’s what we’re talking about here with the pixel. 

AMY: Definitely. As I mentioned, I collected a bunch of questions from those of my students that are in some of my groups. We kind of alluded to the fact that Laura was asking what the heck a pixel is. 

Then she asked, “When does one use a pixel?” You already talked about that. “How does one use a pixel?” We talked about how to set that up. Then she asks, “How does one measure efficiency of said pixel?” 

RICK: I love it. Yes, that’s a great question. Once you’ve set the pixel up and you’ve got the conversions…in this case here she’s asking, as far as conversions go, how you measure the efficiency of conversions. That’s how I’m reading her question here. 

I think Part 2 of this question is retargeting. To measure those conversions and the efficiency of the pixel firing you need to go into the Ads Manager and then into the Customize Columns for reporting. 

You will click the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the Ads Manager and go to Customize Columns. That way you can select all the different data points you want to see in your Ads Manager reporting. 

I am actually pulling up Ads Manager on my end right now. I should have had this up. You go to Customize Columns and then go to Conversions. Under Conversions, on the left-hand column, you will see Website. This is where you will see all of the pixel stuff. 

Depending on if you did the Custom Conversion or are using Standard Events you will see it here in the list. All you do is check the box next to the option you want to see and then click Apply and it will be in your report. That’s how you see. 

Again, I’m oversimplifying it but essentially, because we’re not talking about a specific action that we’re tracking, you want to go into Customize Columns, in the Conversion Section click on Website, and then there are things like Facebook Pixel, Cost Per Website Lead, or Conversion Value. 

It depends on what you’ve set up, that’s what you select. Then there is a section for custom conversions. In Custom Conversions it lists out all of the custom conversions you may have set up by name. 

For example, for me, purchase of FB Advantage. I can check that box and it will show up in my report. You want to use the reporting feature. 

AMY: Nice. This is good stuff. So, before we get to a bunch of other questions that were sent in, I want to stay with the upper level. 

We talked about pixels, just Pixels 101. Remember guys, at the end I’m going to give you a link so that you can check out an entire Pixel 101 article that Rick has been working on. 

But, before we get there, let’s talk about retargeting. This episode is about pixels and retargeting in the sense of how it relates to pixels. First, before we get there, what is retargeting? 

RICK: Retargeting, in the easiest sense, is if you were showing an ad to somebody who’s already looked at a specific piece of content. If you go to Amazon and look at a purchasing a Kindle but you don’t buy it and then you’re surfing the net later that day and see a very nice ad for a Kindle, not on Amazon, that’s retargeting. 

They are showing you that ad. It’s relevant to you because you were looking at that specific piece of content earlier. 

AMY: That reminds me. There’s an episode that Rick and I did. We’ll link to it in the show notes at Rick and I did an episode about retargeting. I don’t know if you remember this, Rick, but it was one of my favorite episodes because we talked about retargeting and what it was all about. 

We got into the specifics and then you and I started riffing off all of these different ways we were retargeting. 

RICK: Yep. 

AMY: We didn’t even plan that but we kept saying, “I’ve tried this,” and “I’ve tried that.” I thought it was really valuable for all of my listeners. I’ll make sure to link to that because we can get into this even deeper but we already have on another episode. 

RICK: Yeah. That’s why the simplest form of explaining retargeting is that you are just showing a relevant ad to somebody who’s already viewed a piece of content of yours. 

AMY: That leads me to when pixels and retargeting go together. 

RICK: Well, you can’t retarget a piece of content or your website or a landing page (people who visited one of those things) without the pixel. The pixel has to be in place because Facebook has to be able to know that. 

Somebody visited your website and now they are going to  retarget  them  on Facebook. The pixel is what allows them to know that they visited your opt-in page or your website or that sort of thing. 

AMY: So when you want to retarget somebody that has come to a specific blog post or specific show notes for your podcast or they went to your opt-in page to sign up for your webinar but never opted in and you want to get out in front of them again to invite them back to sign up for your webinar, that’s when your Facebook pixel comes into play. 

You set it up in advance and then you can track where they are actually landing on your assets. You can’t retarget somebody else’s website traffic or somebody else’s opt- in page. We’re just talking about yours specifically. 

I got that question recently so I wanted to make that clear. This is different than retargeting people that have viewed a video of yours on Facebook. We’re going to get to that in a moment. 

That’s a question somebody asked. That’s a different type of retargeting that actually doesn’t include pixels. We are going to get there so just stay with us here and we’ll dive in. 

RICK: I was just going to say that so I’m glad we’re going to talk about that here in a minute. I know that people are probably saying that you just mentioned targeting people who landed on your webinar registration page but didn’t register or landed on the opt-in page but didn’t opt in. 

Basically, you want the pixel on both pages, your opt in and registration pages, and then on the thank-you page. Then what you can do is build an audience of people landing on the registration page and also an audience who are coming to your thank- you page. 

You can then target your ad to the audience of people coming to your registration page but exclude the audience that landed on the thank-you page. By doing that you are targeting people who went to your registration page but didn’t register. They didn’t make it to the thank-you page. 

AMY: I know you’ve said this already but let’s say it again. Tell them where they do that set up. 

RICK: Got you. Let’s just say we’re using Lead Pages and we want to make sure we grab the pixel from Ads Manager in the pixel section. There are a few different ways you can grab the pixel, by the way, it doesn’t have to be in the pixel section. 

Grab the pixel from your Ads Manager. You would place the pixel in the header section of your Lead Pages registration page (in this example) and also your thank-you page. Great! We’ve placed our pixel. 

Now we have to make sure we go back into Ads Manager in Audiences and create the retargeting audiences for people visiting each of those pages. There is an option that says, “People visiting a specific page but not another.” 

All you have to do is grab the URL of your registration page and include people who visit that page. Then exclude the audience, the URL of the thank-you page. 

AMY: Really quickly, let’s say you’re in the Power Editor. Go to the hamburger and you are looking for Audiences. Then in there that’s where you are setting up what I call “Rules”. Is that what they are called? 

RICK: Essentially. 

AMY: I just wanted to move people back there because they are wondering where the heck they are doing all this. 

Now that you’ve done an amazing job of setting up the foundation of pixels and retargeting as they relate to pixels, let’s get into some of the specific questions that were asked. 

RICK: Now let’s build a house. 

AMY: Let’s build a house. 

RICK: We’ve laid the foundation. 

AMY: Number 1 is from Donna. Donna says, “I get confused about putting a pixel on a specific page when I already have added it to my website. I know how to add it to the page itself but I’m not clear on why I’m doing it or what it accomplishes when I do it.” 

RICK: That’s a great question. It depends on what the goal is. I’m assuming from reading this question that what Donna’s talking about is tracking the conversion. She’s hearing that she needs to make sure the pixel is on a specific page. 

There are a few different scenarios here. I don’t know the full context of Donna’s question but she gets confused about putting a pixel on a specific page when she already has it added to her website. 

Great, if you’ve got the pixel in your website’s theme it covers all the pages in your site. That’s Step 1, as I mentioned before. You then have to go in and create the audiences that you want to target and build. 

You might have 500 different audiences or you might have five. The basic is that you want to build an audience of anybody coming to your website in the past 30 days. Or, if there is a specific blog post and you want to build an audience of people coming to that you have the Fill-It-Up Formula. Isn’t that what you call it? 

AMY: Right. 

RICK: You are saying you want to run an ad to a specific blog post on your website so that you can retarget those people with a registration or opt-in offer after that. Great. The pixel is already on your site but now you need to create the audience of the blog post page that you want to build a retargeting audience for. 

AMY: That’s where I’m saying you’re creating a rule. Anytime somebody visits this URL (your specific blog post) then put them into this special targeting group. 

RICK: Exactly. 

AMY: That is an audience. 

RICK: Exactly. Then you can target your ads to that audience once you build up some people in the audience. The second part of her question is, “I know how to add it to the page itself but I’m not clear on why I’m doing it or what it accomplishes when I do it.” 

We just covered that from a retargeting standpoint. Now let’s talk about it from a conversion standpoint. 

If the thank-you page of the conversion is within your website and you’re using a custom conversion to track that conversion, all you need at that point is the URL of the thank-you page. That’s all you need because you’ve already placed the pixel on your website and now it’s covering all of the pages on your site. 

Does that make sense? 

AMY: It does. 

RICK: The other way to think about it is that if you have your pixel on your website but are also using Lead Pages, for example, you will still have to place the pixel on those Lead Pages. 

AMY: Every page, guys. Every time you make a new Lead Page, whether it’s a webinar replay page, a thank-you page, an opt-in page, each of those pages must have a manually added Facebook pixel in the header tag. 

RICK: Yes, because they are separate. That’s separate from your website. I think that answers Donna’s question. 

AMY: It does. And let’s jump to Michelle’s question because we were just talking about adding it to Lead Pages. I know this is a little more of an advanced question, so if this is a little bit over your head and you’re just starting out use ear muffs. Don’t worry about this just yet because I don’t want to overwhelm anyone. 

Michelle asks, “Why does my Facebook conversion stat differ a lot from my Lead Pages notification from the same campaign?” 

She is seeing different numbers in Facebook’s Power Editor and Lead Pages. 

RICK: We all do. 

AMY: Why is that? 

RICK: This is a very common thing. The first thing to understand, and this is going to be sort of maddening to hear, but the numbers are always going to be different. There will always be a variance. 

This goes way back. I have been in online advertising for 17 years. I remember years and years ago there used to be a clause in the contracts that we were doing for these ad campaigns. I think I want to say there was a 20 percent variance in the numbers. It was baked into a contract. 

The numbers you see will probably be different from the numbers that are actually showing up in our report. This stuff is no different. 

When you’re using Lead Pages, Lead Pages will have a stat. You will see Facebook stats and you will see a different number. Hopefully it won’t be way off. But in your active campaign or MailChimp or Infusionsoft the numbers will always have a discrepancy. 

Hopefully the numbers aren’t way off. A couple of reasons they will be off include they are all different systems and each system is independent. Facebook stats are going to be their own stats. Hopefully, like I said, the other systems are fairly similar and there aren’t massive discrepancies. 

I have heard form lots of people, not super recently but over the past couple of months, there was a time period where Facebook was making some updates in the back end and the discrepancies were really big. I heard this a lot in condensed period of time. 

Understand there will always be a discrepancy. Hopefully it’s not too much. The second part of this, and I do want to kind of throw it in, right now it’s been this way for a little while, the stats you read in Power Editor are going to be different than in Ads Manager. 

What I’ve seen, and this is simply a bug, I would trust the numbers in Ads Manager. 

AMY: Interesting. Okay. 

RICK: Just to be clear on that. There are a couple of other reasons as far as why there will be a discrepancy. When Facebook is reading the conversion and when that is being reported there is a little bit of a delay in Facebook’s reporting from when the conversion is being marked as opposed to when that person joins your email list or comes through Lead Pages. 

That is going to show up in their stats right away so there will be a little bit of a lag. What was the other thing? I just went blank. 

AMY: Oh no. 

RICK: The other reason is if somebody reloads a page or visits a page multiple times… Let’s just say somebody lands on the thank-you page after registering for the webinar and there is a little video welcoming somebody. It has a couple of tips. 

Someone can’t watch the video right now so they plan to come back to the page later to revisit it. Because you are coming from the Facebook ad, I don’t want to get too into the weeds, if it’s still within the attribution window of reporting Facebook could double count that when you’re coming back. 

That person did come from the Facebook ad originally and convert from the Facebook ad. So, if they’re coming back to the page multiple times Facebook might see that as multiple conversions because they are visiting that page multiple times. Actually, in fact, it is the same person. 

AMY: I don’t love that. 

RICK: Did I totally just lose you? 

AMY: A little bit but I’m just going to say, “Let’s move on to the next one.” What do you think? 

RICK: Yes, let’s do it. 

AMY: Do you have anything else to say about that? I’m kind of just joking. I’m with you here. Are we good? 

RICK: Yeah. It is such a great question. Michelle, this happens all the time. I hear about it from my students on a daily basis. It is frustrating. Hopefully, again, the discrepancy isn’t too bad. If the discrepancy is really, really big I would actually reach out to Facebook directly. You can go to their resources page and chat with them or email them. 

Let them know after you have checked that the pixel is placed correctly. Amy, we haven’t even talked about the Facebook pixel helper. We need to talk about that. 

AMY: That’s great advice to Michelle and whoever is listening. If it’s a really big discrepancy I would go directly to Facebook and ask. But, here’s another thing you can do on top of that. Talk about the Facebook pixel helper. 

RICK: This is a Chrome extension for the Chrome browser. It’s totally free. You can just Google Facebook Pixel Helper. 

AMY: I’m going to link to it in the show notes but you can Google what? 

RICK: Google Facebook Pixel Helper. It will be the first result there. Download it and add it to your Chrome browser. It’s a little grey box. I’m not a techy person but it is like an HTML code type of thing. It’s a little tiny box. 

When you’re on a page that has the Facebook pixel on it and it’s loading correctly it will light up to tell you there’s a pixel there. You can click the box and it will tell you whether it’s good to go, whether it’s set up correctly, or if there is an issue. It will help troubleshoot what the issue is. 

This is an awesome little tool that is totally free. Once you check to make sure the pixel is working correctly, it is firing, you can see it on there, everything is good to go. If conversions are happening but your numbers are way out of whack, then I would actually reach out to Facebook directly. 

AMY: Cool. 

RICK: Can I add one quick tip for the pixel helper? 

AMY: Yeah! 

RICK: I did this for leading up to when I launched  my  Ad  Manager  program.  For people who registered for the webinar I gave this tip in an email. I got more responses on this than I’ve ever gotten from a quick tip like this. 

If you’re looking to manage ads for other businesses, a great “in” with them is to have the Facebook Pixel Helper go to their site. If they don’t have a Facebook pixel on their site you can tell. You will be able to tell from the pixel helper. 

You can then go to them and tell them they are missing a massive opportunity by not pixeling their site. You can then use everything we’re talking about here today, all of the opportunities they have that they are missing out on. 

AMY: Nice little tip there. I like it. It’s a little moneymaker. Very good. 

RICK: I had people tell me they used the tip and within a couple of days they had clients. 

AMY: What? That’s golden. I love it. 

RICK: But not as gold as the Scout. 

AMY: Very true. There is nothing golden like that Scout. Just wait to see it. 

The next question is from Daisy, can you get an even cuter name than that? Daisy says, “What’s the difference between a Facebook account pixel and a conversion pixel?” Then she asks how to create the conversion pixel, where do you place it on your website, and how do you use it for retargeting? 

We already just talked about all of that, Daisy. So you should be really happy there. But, what’s the difference between a Facebook pixel and a conversion pixel? 

RICK: The difference is there are no longer two different pixels. We talked in the very beginning that there is just one Facebook pixel per Facebook ads account. It used to be that we had a custom audience pixel, a retargeting pixel, and a conversion pixel. No longer. 

The conversion pixel went away in February, 2017. We just have one pixel. Then we have already covered how to create it, where to place it, and so forth. 

AMY: Good stuff. Moving on to Natalie’s question. “Is there a significant difference between the Facebook pixel and Google remarketing?” 

RICK: Natalie, I love it. We’re getting a little more advanced here. 

AMY: I don’t actually know what Google remarketing is. 

RICK: Google has its own pixel. You would place that pixel, for example, on your website in the theme. You can do the same kind of retargeting around the net rather than just on Facebook. 

AMY: Oh, I did know this because I’ve done this before. This is good. 

RICK: This is where you can get into banner retargeting, search retargeting, YouTube retargeting. You can do all different types of stuff. With the scope of Google, the concept of retargeting that we’re talking about on Facebook can also be done within Google’s network. 

They call it GEN or Google Display Network. That’s essentially what Amazon is doing when we’re talking about the example before. They show you another display ad. You can do the same thing. If somebody comes to your webinar registration page you can go ahead and retarget them with a banner ad around the internet for your webinar registration. 

Is there a significant difference between the Facebook pixel and Google remarketing? They are two different pixels. They are two different types of retargeting. But it’s really fun and, again, this is way more advanced stuff here when you can really do  a complete picture where you’re doing Facebook advertising. 

You are retargeting on Facebook and all that fun stuff while also taking advantage of Google’s remarketing. Now you’re using different channels for your online advertising. 

AMY: Perfect. Let’s see here. We have Donna, Daisy; we did Natalie, Michelle, Rhonda… Janis. Janis says, “I put a Facebook pixel on my site. Where can I see the data?” You did answer this but let’s remind them one more time. 

RICK: Just to make sure and clarify, Janis, we want to make sure you place the pixel on the site perfect. Don’t forget to create the audiences, set up the conversion tracking if that’s what you want to be doing. Step 1 is to place the pixel. Step 2 is to set up the audiences and set up the conversion tracking. 

As far as where to see the data, that’s going to be in the Ads Manager under your Columns drop down. Go to Customize Columns. That’s where you can pull up the reporting that you will see in Ads Manager. As far as conversions and stuff like that, there is a conversions section in the Customize Columns area. Go to Website and you would then scroll through and find whichever one you set up, whether it’s a custom conversion or a standard event or that sort of thing. 

AMY: Do you think it’s safe to say when we’re talking Facebook pixels, I know you started this conversation with Step 1 to actually place the pixel. But, Step 2 is that you need to set up what I call your “rules”. That means what you want to happen so that you can create special audiences to target. 

RICK: Correct. Keep in mind though that when you are doing conversions you have to set up to be able to track those conversions. It’s a little bit of a different rule. Correct me if I’m wrong, but when I’m thinking about what you’re talking about, Amy, as far as rules go I’m thinking about building the retargeting audiences. 

AMY: I’m so glad you brought that up. This is where I know how to do it but it still gets confusing in my mind when I talk about it. I’m so glad we mentioned this. I was talking about setting up the different audiences. But then you also have to set up what you’re talking about. Explain that third thing. 

RICK: As far as tracking conversions? 

AMY: Yeah. 

RICK: That’s where it comes down to whether you want to use a custom conversion to track the conversions or a standard event to track conversions. Either way the first step is placing the pixel on your thank-you page (the conversion page). 

AMY: The page that says, “Yes, you accomplished what you wanted to accomplish.” 

RICK: Exactly. 

AMY: You got the lead or whatever. In most cases, for my students, it’s that you got a brand new lead. 

RICK: I think it would be a disservice to this episode not to talk about this but we can go in a whole different technical direction on this. But I will say, I talk about this all the time, the Facebook algorithm. 

The pixel is designed to get you results. It wants to learn the type of people that are converting on your page and find you more of those people. This is all going on in the background. This is what we were talking about before as far as the updates. The pixel is becoming smarter. 

When people convert it’s learning what type of people are converting. Does that make sense? 

AMY: It does. 

RICK: Your ad set on the Ad Set level for the pixel needs to have between roughly 15 and 25 conversions or so per week for Facebook’s algorithm to really learn what type of people are converting. Again, this really comes down to the more data you can give Facebook to work with the smarter your ads are going to get and the better results you are going to get. 

This is often why you see, when you’re running a conversions campaign (again, I don’t want to go too far down the rabbit hole here) you will see great results right at first and then you will often times see a little bit of a dive. Then, over a longer term you start to see the costs go down and the results get better. 

The reason for that is that the pixel is learning. It’s getting smarter because you are getting more conversions against it. You do really want to shoot for that 15-25 conversions per week for Facebook’s algorithm to get smarter and to learn where to show your ads and get you better results. 

AMY: Nice. That’s good stuff. 

RICK: That could be a whole episode in itself. But I do think it would be a real disservice to this conversation not to talk about it. 

AMY: Perfect. We’re moving on to retargeting. Are you ready? 

RICK: Wait, we missed one. 

AMY: Angela. You’re right. 

RICK: I have it right here so I’ll read it. Is that cool? 

AMY: Hit it. 

Rick: “Do you have to keep making new pixels for every Facebook ad you do?” No, this goes back to the fact there is only one pixel per Facebook ads account. But, for every campaign you set up, whether it’s tracking new conversions and stuff like that, then yes, you will set up new conversions for whatever campaign you are running. As long as it’s not restarting an old campaign, everything’s set, you’re good to go. 

This is not a case of creating new pixels for every ad you do. 

AMY: Perfect. Okay now we are getting into retargeting, which fewer questions came in around this topic. But I wanted to make the connection between pixels and retargeting. We talked about that from the very beginning. But do you think this is Raquel? 

RICK: Ra-shawl? 

AMY: I think you might be right. I’m terrible at the name thing. 

RICK: We apologize. 

AMY: One of those is right so we’re just going to go with one of those. Retargeting. She says, “How to really nail them. I need to know the essentials of running an effective retargeting ad.” 

When Rick and I were going through this I told Rick I think she needs some key principles here. 

RICK: The way I like to describe retargeting is how to move people further along our sales funnel. 

AMY: That’s nice. Okay. 

RICK: If our sales funnel is starting with our Facebook ad…where do we want to send people, a blog post or opt-in page? 

AMY: Initially, let’s send them to a blog post. 

RICK: Okay, cool. Our funnel, starting with the ad is sending people to a blog post. Part of the strategy is that we want to give people the free content to warm them up and then we want to retarget those people with some form of offer. 

By offer, that could be a free opt in where they have to give you their name and email address to download that cheat sheet PDF or whatever it might be, it might be a webinar registration or that sort of thing. 

Retargeting, since the pixel’s on our website and we’re building an audience of those people coming to that specific blog post, now we can build an audience of those people so we can turn around and retarget them. 

In that case, very like, most of us on our blog post pages have some sort of opt in. We can build an audience of people and say that we want to target people who came to the blog post but exclude people who landed on the thank-you page of the opt in. Does that make sense? 

AMY: It does, yep. 

RICK: Cool. Because now we know these are people that went to our blog post and didn’t opt in when they were there. Now we want to retarget them with some sort of offer. We are using retargeting to move them further along our funnel. 

Our sales strategy here is Facebook ad to the blog post, retarget them, get them into a webinar (for example), and a webinar into a sale. It is a very simple strategy we’re talking about. 

You could also set up the retargeting for people who land on your webinar registration page but don’t make it to the thank-you page again. They didn’t register. Just because somebody lands on one of our pages and doesn’t take the action it doesn’t mean they’re not interested. 

The phone may have rung or somebody came to the door or the kid was crying or the dog was going crazy. Maybe they weren’t interested. Or, maybe one of these other million things that happens in our lives happened. That’s why retargeting comes into play as far as a principle of why we’re using retargeting. 

We’re using retargeting to move people further along in our sales funnel. 

AMY: Got you. I like it. I think that’s a great way to explain it. Moving on to the next question. Angela asks, “How can I use retargeting for people who watch my live videos?” 

RICK: Yes, awesome. 

AMY: We hinted at this question earlier on. 

RICK: This is another perfect example of what we were just talking about with that previous discussion of how we might use retargeting. Just make sure you get this. When it comes to retargeting people who watch your video there is no pixel involved. Yay, right? 

AMY: Yay! I love a conversation with no pixels. 

RICK: No pixel. All you have to do is once you have your video you’ve got  your Facebook video ad or Facebook Live or whatever it is. You can go into Audiences and then you go into Custom. I’m actually going to look at it right now. Is that cool? 

AMY: Start at the hamburger. 

RICK: Hamburger, Audiences, Create Audience, Custom Audience. The bottom option is Engagement on Facebook. The top option right now is Video. You go into Video and it says, “Engagement” and has a field that says, “Choose a content type”. 

Now you’ve got six different options including people who viewed at least three seconds of your video, people who viewed at least 10 seconds, and then it moves into percentages, people who viewed 25%, people who watched 50%, people who watched 75%, and people who watched 95%. 

Here you can set these audiences up based on how long people are watching your video. I would suggest you be really diligent about testing different lengths of time. We would think that somebody who watches 75% of our video would be our best performing audience because they are watching ¾ of the video. That is a pretty engaged person. 

I was just talking to somebody the other day. Their best performing audience was a lookalike of the three-second video view. 

AMY: WHAT!!?? 

RICK: That doesn’t make any sense. They said they had tested them all and this was the best performing one. That’s another reason we want to be testing this stuff. 

AMY: That is incredible. I think I’ve said this before on another episode but I recently did a promotion and the best Facebook ads, the most successful, highest –converting Facebook ads, were all using the retargeting audience from our Facebook Lives. I am a huge fan of this strategy. 

RICK: It is sort of the one-two punch. Facebook loves when we do Facebook Live. Our reach is that much higher and it’s a lot more engaging. We have a lot of engagement on it. The second part of the one-two punch is that Facebook really likes it when we give them money to promote that Facebook Live we did on our page. 

It’s an opportunity to build a whole other list, if you will, to target very quickly. You can do a video, boom, in a few minutes. Right away you can start building that engagement audience based on how ever long you want to set that up for. 

Again, just as a quick tip, I would be setting up  multiple  audiences  when  you’re setting up that engagement. It’s very easy to do. No pixel involved. You just have to do the video and, boom, away you go. 

AMY: And then you’re out. I like it. 

RICK: Again, this is another rabbit hole that we can go down as far as how to retarget people based on how long they watch your video. Again, it really comes down to testing. Logically we would think that if somebody is watching only 25% of the video they probably need some more warming up. 

Maybe they weren’t into the content or aren’t into us. That’s an opportunity for us to retarget them with more free content, for example, versus if somebody is watching 75% or 95% of our video then we would think they are very engaged and are very likely to take the next action, which might be a webinar registration or inexpensive sale or something like that. 

Again, this comes down to different strategies that we want to test out for how we want to retarget based on how long people watch a video. 

AMY: That actually reminds me of something we were going to talk about and I almost forgot. I know we haven’t done a lot with this, you and I haven’t yet, but there is a new feature where you can retarget the activity on your Facebook page. 

Talk to me a little bit about that. We won’t go down to far. We could do a whole different show. 

RICK: That could be a whole episode right there. 

AMY: We’re coming up with all these different episodes for you guys so don’t worry. We’ll do some of these. But talk to me about that. 

RICK: In the audiences section, just like we’re going to video engagement, one of the options is called “Page”. This is where you can build audiences of people who are engaging with your Facebook page. Anybody who visited your page, people who engage with any post or an ad…I’m just looking at it because I just pulled it up here. 

People who click any call-to-action button, people who sent a message to your page, people who saved your page, or saved any post can be targeted. This whole trend of engagement that Facebook is focusing on engagement has really been building over the past several months. 

This is a really big focus for them. Over the last few years the engagement on our page has dropped. Our content doesn’t reach as many people unless we’re doing Facebook Live and video and so forth. This is another opportunity for us to leverage getting content on our Facebook page and getting people to see it. 

Again, we can build audiences of people who are engaging with our content. Again, if we’re doing Facebook Live this is another opportunity to build these engagement audiences. This is all retargeting. 

Because people visited our Facebook page we can turn around and show them an ad that’s relevant to our content. 

AMY: Again, with no pixel needed. 

RICK: Exactly. 

AMY: Bonus! 

RICK: Always better with no pixel. 

AMY: Always a bonus. It kind of reminds me of high school and college. I thought that anything that didn’t include math was the greatest strategy in the whole world. I feel like pixels remind me of how I feel about math. It’s not my favorite topic. 

RICK: Really? 

AMY: No, and Hobie and Cade are math whizzes and I am not. 

RICK: Can I share something you don’t know about me? 

AMY: Tell me now! 

RICK: I bought this book on Amazon last year… 

AMY: I’m embarrassed for you already. 

RICK: Amy, my wife was like, “Wait, is that real? Did you really just do that?” 

AMY: What? 

RICK: I bought an Algebra I textbook. 

AMY: Why in the world would you ever want to do that? 

RICK: I love that stuff. I love it. 

AMY: This is where we really differ. 

RICK: It’s good for my brain. Now granted, people were like, Rick, you keep saying you’re not a technical person. I am not a technical person. I am not a techy person but when it comes to algebra or physics I love that stuff. 

AMY: Stop talking. I might stop being your friend. 

RICK: Next time we get together I’m going to bring the textbook with me. 

AMY: Please don’t. Let’s all try to get Rick a life. 

RICK: Moving on. I have a big “L” on my forehead right now. 

AMY: Seriously. I cannot believe you right now. The final question is from Erin. Erin says, “After someone views a blog post with the pixel how long do you have to target them with an ad?” 

RICK: You have up to 180 days, essentially. You get to set these audiences up. When you go in and set the retargeting audience up you get to put how many days that audience is for. By that, I mean that you can do one day up to 180 days. 

Let’s just say we have a seven-day audience. Think of it as a rolling seven days. It’s always in the most recent seven days. If I set up a retargeting audience today and put seven days in there, once my pixel is placed and the audience starts building I am retargeting people who have visited my blog post within the past seven days. 

It’s always within the most recent number of days. I would recommend people set up multiple audiences. Again, this is going to differ depending on what type of business you have and the amount of traffic you’re getting. But, I like to do a seven-day, a 14- day, a 30-day, maybe a 60-day audience. 

Create these different audiences so that you can test out which one is converting the best for you. As far as how long you have to target them with an ad, you set that up when you’re setting up your retargeting audience, up to 180 days. 

AMY: Perfect. Holy cow, we just covered a lot. 

RICK: We talked a lot. 

AMY: This is one of my longest episodes. Good thing it is full of tons of value. Before we wrap up, we don’t have a freebie for this episode because I wanted to send you to a very specific article that Rick has continuously updated as Facebook pixels have changed. 

It’s called The  Complete  Guide  to  the  Facebook  Ads  Pixel. I’m going to link to it in the show notes. If you go to it will link you directly to this awesome article and it’s been recently updated. It is fantastic. You’re going to want to bookmark it. Rick, thanks so much for creating it. 

RICK: Absolutely. I am still updating it, actually, because Facebook is updating so quickly. I’m literally still in the process of it. If you go in there and you think something has just changed recently, it’s getting updated. 

Full transparency, I’m building a retargeting audience of that article. I have been for a few years now. 

AMY: Nice. Very smart. 

RICK: Yep. 

AMY: Rick, tell people where they can find out more about you beyond The Complete Guide to the Facebook Ads Pixel. 

RICK: The Art of Paid Traffic podcast and my website. I have so much fun with the podcast. We talk about all things online advertising and paid traffic and how to grow your business using paid traffic. Of course, we cover a lot, I would say a good 75% of the content is Facebook ads related in some way. 

We cover all kinds of other things like YouTube ads, copywriting, Instagram, and everything else when it comes to paid traffic. We cover it on The Art of Paid Traffic and also on, my website. 

Shortly after this episode comes out the new redesign and rebrand of my website will be live. 

AMY: So exciting. Rick and I used the same person to rebrand ourselves and that’s really cool, Rick, because for Episode #160 I did a whole thing about how I rebranded and redid my website. We talked about these huge mistakes I made along the way. 

I give a huge shout out to Jessica Rea, who we both totally love. She did our website. You guys can learn more about that in Episode #160 and hopefully, will they see your new website in about three weeks, Rick? 

RICK: Maybe not. 

AMY: Give it a little more time. 

RICK: Shortly after that. 

AMY: Perfect. Well, thanks again for being here, Rick. I truly appreciate it. I can’t wait to hear you come back on the show again. 

RICK: Absolutely. It’s always a blast. Thank you so much. 

AMY: Bye guys, take care. 

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