What matters most to the vast popular of digital marketers is the ability to see direct effects & tie advertising costs back to these efforts. Simple enough right? Well, within the previous year, FB as a marketing platform has begun arguably the most complex & sophisticated way to track specific actions & target individuals based on Split Test Monkey .
In this post, I will show you not only how to properly track results in FB, but to leverage FB’s complex interface to cater to your whole marketing funnel.
The FB Pixel
If you are thinking about driving direct effects using paid media, your first thought could be on setting yourself up for the best possible achievement. This may sound like common sense, but you would be surprised how people cast their line out miles into the ocean, ignoring all of the fish right near their boat.
That is where Facebook’s universal tracking pixel comes in – officially known as the FB Pixel. It is a snippet of HTML code that can be generated from each advertiser’s Business Manager. The reason it is called “universal” is the same cause why your television remote that operates several different things carries the same name. The plan is to place the pixel throughout each page of your website & use it “universally” for conversion tracking & audience building.
How Does the FB Pixel Work?
Let’s imagine for a second that your website is a bar in the middle of a city. At the front entrance, people flow in & out periodically throughout the night. If your website is the bar & the potential customers entering & exiting are the site traffic, the FB pixel would be a wristband or hand stamp that they’re instantly required to wear upon entering. When they leave the bar at any point, they’ll more than likely continue wearing that wrist band or stamp (unless they actively remove it). Once they’re back wandering the street (let’s assume it is a strip of bars & restaurants), you can target these people back to your bar throughout the night with specific offers (free shots!).
What I just explained through that analogy was not only the plan of remarketing, but also the basic usage of the FB pixel for that purpose (tracking cookies).
There’re several methods, however, to fully utilize this pixel, so now we will outline the most effective ways to fully incorporate them into your plan.
Step 1: Remarketing customers
Remarketing is the first step for setting up a proper FB Ads foundation.
Let’s assume that you have your FB pixel placed throughout your website at this point, you can start building customers in a variety of different ways.
To make a remarketing audience of visitors who visited your website, go to the “Cutomers” section of Business Manager:
Once there, go to “Create Audience” & select “Custom Audience”:
Then choose “Website Traffic”:
You could then be given the ability to build a number of remarketing audiences to cater to your desired strategy.
One of my favored plans is based on how recently the audience visited your website. It is very basic, but can be extremely effective because it easily correlate
You will want to have a healthy volume of traffic to do this in an effective way. Luckily for us, we’re able to segment for 30-, 60-, and 90-day remarketing sections based on the high volume of overall website traffic we receive.
If your daily volume of traffic is currently low or you only set the pixel up recently, make the date range as long as needed to build a large enough audiences.
In addition to the timeframe in which the audiences visited your website, you can also segment pages or groups of specific pages based on their URLs:
You also specify that the URL be either equal to or contain a variation of what you submit:
An effective way to leverage this plan is if you have a number of blog posts or products related to one specific topic or customers segment that fits into a different category than others.
For instance, let’s say you sell pet products. You can make a custom audience of people who visited your web pages related to dog products & repeat the process for cat-related product pages. You’ll then be able to serve specifically tailored ads to those potentially very different customers.
Number of Visits/ Duration
Another good way to segment your web traffic is using frequency & duration as indicators of intent and brand recognition.
When thinking about the people you are reaching with your ads it is necessary to take both of the factors into consideration. If someone has gone to your website once for less than a second, they are probably less familiar with you than someone who reads your blog each day for several minutes at a time.
You can make an audience based on frequency by selecting “Custom Combination”:
Then by specifying the page (or number of pages) & then including the “at least” or “at most” number of times they’ve visited the page(s):
To make an audience based on time spent on web pages, choose the “Based on time spent on your website” option:
Once there, you have the option to select your most active site users, whether they are within the top 5%, 10%, or 25%.
Creating & testing these options against each other can potentially unveil some hidden insights into the level of engagement & their capacity to convert. Unfortunately, this option is not currently available for specific URLs, but if you really needed to, you can make audiences of the web pages you DON’T need to include & choose to exclude those from your ad set. I will explain further…
Step 2: Excluding Web Audiences
Any audience that you make using the universal tracking pixel can be used as an exclusionary user.
For example, if you are creating an ad set & want to target a 90-day remarketing customer but also want to exclude the 61-day segment, you would do the following within the ad set creation.
Choose the 90-day customer:
Now select “Exclude”:
Find the customer you want to exclude:
Be wary of the customer definition meter, because if you do not have a large enough base customer or the one that you’re excluding is a majority of that audience, you could run into the problem of making an audience that is too specific. Luckily, that was not the case for this instance:
‘Custom’ Conversion Tracking
An essential part in all of this pixel work and the reason you are marketing on FB, is to drive results or conversions. The fastest & most efficient way to track conversions is – you guessed it – the FB pixel.
Going back to the assumption that you have the FB pixel placed on ALL of your web pages, you can easily make conversion events using URLs.
In your Business Manager menu, choose “Custom Conversions”:
Once there, choose “Create Custom Conversion”:
Here you’re brought to a very similar menu as before:
The idea behind using URLs to track conversions works only if individuals are gotten to a “confirmation” page after completing the desired action. An instance of this would be if someone filled out a form on your website & submitted it. Upon submitting the form, they would be taken to a page saying “Thank You!” For that exact conversion, you’d place that “Thank you” page as the custom change URL. This tells FB that once people reach that page, they have converted.
URL Contains: You could use this is you had multiple promotions with the same conversion value. You have content downloads & they all use the same form information – the URL can “contain” the important parameters that all of these pages share & they can all have a unified conversion event for the sake of simplicity.
URL Equals: If your change event is unique & specific – use this.
Event: Event is related to the coded pixel that is actually placed on your site, as opposed to URL limits. For the sake of not diving too far down the rabbit hole, you could learn more about these here.
Once your custom changes are created, you can view their performance through the conversions dashboard or directly in your plans.
You can also make conversion events for other actions. The plan behind this would be to see the impact that your paid advertising expertions have on what happens on your site. This creating would I refer to as a “view-through” change event. This could be as simple as a site visit, but it’ll give you increased visibility. People can see your ads & not act on them, but search for you later & visit your site. Setting this up would let you to see that.
How to Optimise for the Conversions You Want
When you are building campaigns intended to drive conversions, it is extremely necessary to do it correctly. Make definite that when you get started, you select the “Website Conversions” objective:
When you get to the advertisement set creation, you can select which conversion you want to optimize for:
This will allow the FB algorithm to properly serve in favor of your desired conversion.
How to Build a Lead Nurture Funnel
Conversion customers: Once you begin receiving conversions you can build usable customers out of them using either their URLs or their standard events:
This element is used best in two different ways:
- Nurture – You can nurture the current conversion customers with further promotions / move them downthe sales funnel. You can make extremely tailored messaging for these individuals that increase the probability of another action in the future.
- Exclusionary – Just like any other custom customers, you can exclude these change events from your ad sets. A good example of this would be to exclude people who have already converted from seeing your advertisement again (and thus wasting your spend):
In this instance, I’m targeting a remarketing audience & the goal of the campaign is to drive content downloads. I have excluded “Downloaded Content” so that when users convert, they are removed from the audience.
Using the Right Tools
Keep in mind that FB & Google AdWords are basically marketing tool boxes. Inside each are the individual tools important to create & build a brand, strong business, and customer base. If you know how to make these tools, the entire process becomes a lot easier.
Setting up proper tracking is an important tool to ensure that you are being smart about who you are reaching with your ads. The easiest way to waste money in FB is to advertise to those who are not going to convert.