How to Install The Facebook Pixel – And Why You Need It

by Toby

October 1, 2017

facebook mobile

In this post, we outline what the Facebook pixel is, why you need, how to install it, and some examples of how you can use it to greatly improve your Facebook advertising success.

What is the Facebook Pixel

The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that gets installed on your website that allows Facebook to track the people that come to your site from Facebook. It allows Facebook to learn about the behavior of people on your site, in addition to understanding what are the demographics, interests, and behavior characteristics of these people which are used to further improve the delivery and performance of your ads.

Although you can run ads without having the Facebook pixel installed on your site, having it installed on your site has many benefits to you as an advertiser and will allow you to improve the performance of your ads, in addition to developing Custom Audiences of past site visitor or retarget people that have previously interacted with your ads or your website.

Optimizing your Facebook campaigns to increase conversions

Facebook’s powerful targeting tools can help you reach the right audiences for your ads. The Facebook pixel can look at the actions people take on your website to make your Facebook campaigns more effective and efficient. It can also help improve targeting by identifying new customers. When the pixel is installed on your website, Facebook is better equipped to deliver ads to the people that are most likely to take actions that matter to you, whether that’s calling you, signing up for a service or visiting your place of business.

Creating custom audiences

On Facebook, you can create ads using Core Audiences (using information that people share in their profiles and the behaviors they exhibit online). You can also target Custom Audiences, for example, your email list of your current customers (you can load these email lists of customers into Facebook and Facebook will match them to profiles). Finally, you can use Look Alike Audiences. These audiences are based on sophisticated modeling that identifies people who share similar likes, interests, or characteristics of your current audiences and creates a new audience that looks alike with the assumption that ads to these new groups of people will perform just as well – for example, you can create a look alike audience based on all the people that have visited your website. But in order to do this, you will need the Facebook Pixel active on your site.

How to get the Facebook pixel

The Facebook pixel is created in Ads Manager.
At the top left next to Ads Manager, click on the menu lines. That will open the drop down. Click on All Tools at the bottom.


The Full menu of options will open. You will see Pixels under the category Assets. Click on it.


Depending on whether or not you’ve tried to click on Create a Pixel before you will get one of two screens labeled “a” or “b” below.


Both buttons “Create a Pixel” and “Set Up Pixel” will take you to the same place.
Click on Create a Pixel and then on Create.



Facebook will create the code


And you will see this screen next:


If you’re a technical person and you know how to navigate behind the scenes on your website, then you can click on Manually Install the Code Yourself, or if you know how to use Google Tag Manager and it’s installed on your site then you can follow those instructions.

For most people, getting the code to their webmaster is the right approach. So click on the 3rd box that says Email Instructions to a Developer.
Add the email recipient at the top:


Scroll down and click send.

Once your webmaster or web developer installs the code you should be able to see the Active Status of the pixel.

How to Check Pixel Status

Go to Facebook Ads Manager and pull the drop-down menu next to Facebook Ads. Then Click on All Tools at the bottom. Now select Pixels from the Assets category. If the status is Active, your pixel has been installed correctly. It may take up to 20 minutes for your pixel status to change after installing it.


If the status is Active, your pixel has been installed correctly. It may take up to 20 minutes for your pixel status to change after installing it.


If the pixel is not installed correctly you will see that no events have been recorded and you will be shown a message to finish setting up your pixel:


Once your pixel is installed you can create your first custom audience.

Go to Facebook Ads Manager and pull the drop-down menu next to Facebook Ads. Then Click on All Tools at the bottom. Now select Pixels from the Assets category the same way you did before.


Now click on Create Custom Audience button.


The first custom audience you should create is All Website Visitors. This is the default in the drop-down menu and it also defaults to 30 days. You can change that to 60 days or even 180 days if your website does not have a lot of visitors. If you’re not sure, then choose 180 days. This means that once a visitor comes to your website, they will be included in this custom audience for 180 days. Now name your audience – you can call it “All website visitors” which anyone that visits any page of your website will be added to this list, then click on Create Audience, and click on Done.


After creating the custom audience you will be able to select this audience when creating ads. As you create your ad, you will see the field for Custom Audience right above the Locations field.
When you click on the Custom Audience Field, a drop down with all the audiences you’ve created will open. If this is your first custom audience, then you will only see “all website visitors”. As time goes by, this audience will grow in size as more and the more people that visit your site are added to the audience.


Now you can continue building your ad by selecting additional filters, such as geographic location, interests, etc.

Being able to build a custom audience based on website visitors is just one way to use the Facebook pixel. Whether you use the pixel or not immediately, it is a best practice to have the pixel installed regardless because it will be gathering data in the background until you’re ready to use it.

Great Applications Of The Facebook Pixel

There are so many great ways to leverage the Facebook pixel – segmentation of your website visitors into related audiences and promoting related content, products, or services is one them.

Promote Related Content:

For example, on our blog, we write content for many different industries, one of which is real estate.

By using the pixel, I am now able to create a Custom Audience of only those people that have visited one of our blog posts for the real estate industry. We sell a course on Facebook Ads For Realtors so by using the pixel, I can promote this course only to those site visitors.

Or, I recently wrote a new blog post for realtors about how to grow seller listing leads – I created a Facebook ad and cross-promoted this new content to all the past visitors of the other real estate blog posts we’ve created.

Target People That Did Not Convert The First Time

Perhaps your goal is a conversion event of some type, such as a form submission or request for an appointment from your website. With the pixel installed, you could promote a special offer to any of those past site visitors that didn’t convert by excluding all those that did convert already.

Retargeting And The Sales Cycle – Maintaining Brand Awareness

And remember, the sales cycle for any product or service can vary greatly, from 1 day to months. With the Facebook pixel installed, you can retarget these past site visitors ongoing with your ads helping to maintain awareness with your target audience with your company’s products or services and bringing them back at a later date to convert them.

Cross Marketing Across Different Marketing Channels

And one of my favorite uses for having the Facebook pixel installed, is that if you’re marketing in any other digital or traditional marketing channels, you just extended the life of that ad into Facebook. For example, if you are doing direct mail or print marketing of some sort, if people that see the ad go to your website, they just ended up in your retargeting campaign where they can stay for up to 6 months! Imagine that, a postcard campaign that potentially cost you thousands of dollars was just extended into the digital space for another 6 months – that’s greatly increasing your mileage.

Or if you’re running Google Adwords campaigns, if someone ends up on the site from a Google PPC campaign, they too will end up in the custom audience of Facebook.

So get the Facebook pixel installed now!

Got questions or have a comment – we appreciate the feedback. Please leave a comment below.

About the author 

Toby is the co-founder of 39 Celsius. He has over 20 years of digital marketing experience and has started several companies throughout his career. He's an expert in SEO, Social Media Ads, Google Ads, Marketing Automation, and more. He has a BA in Chemistry/Biochemistry from UC San Diego and an MBA from SDSU.

  • Jordan Brown says:

    I have a Placester account through my Broker and the Pixel is easy to access. However, it remained in “No Events Received” status for over twenty minutes. I am going to try to use the code 🙁

    • Hi Jordan,
      Are you saying Placester provides a place to put the Facebook pixel in Placester and within Facebook Ad Mgr, it is still not recognizing the pixel? Can you see the pixel on the website if “view source” code within the browser?

      • Jordan Brown says:

        It permits it in the Placester. Placester says that it would generated the code. FB Ad Mgr is not recognizing the pixel. I cannot seem to find Placester’s code for my page.
        ( Placester is sort of a pain in my side because it is difficult for me to find the code. I have the idea that it is to add the code to my 7 pages. )

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