Facebook Pixel Basics

Karen Ercoli
4 min readFeb 19, 2021


Here is a bit of practical info if you're new to Pixels

Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

First of all, what exactly are Pixels?

Pixels are pieces of code that exist for different platforms like google, Facebook and LinkedIn. These code snippets allow you to track users´ behaviour on your digital assets and are incredibly useful in marketing.

In this article, we’ll be discovering Facebook Pixels because, besides being more widely used, they tend to be more effective for B2C (For b2b maybe LinkedIn could be more effective) which is what most SMEs work with nowadays.

What are Pixels used for?

Pixels are extremely important elements in a brand’s marketing strategy. Why is this? Marketing strategies are largely based on target audiences, markets and personas. This translates into the fact that determinign the target for a company includes analyzing a large amount of data to fine tune the strategy as much as possible.

Pixels are used to track users´behavior and and they are placed on the client´s ( read comapany´s) assets. Please note that when I talk about a client I am referring to a business owner who contacts a freelance marketer or a digital agency to request help with the marketing strategy.

What types of Pixels are there?

Pixels come in different types and things on Facebook are rapidly changing as I write. In this article I will explain what happens now, also keeping an eye open for what will happen in the very near future.

Pixel types are generally two:

  • Base Pixel: It’s a piece of code that you put everywhere on the client's assets in order to track customer behavior on them
  • Event Pixel: It’s a pixel that can track different kinds of events. These kinds of pixels are all different and they are used to track specific actions that customers might take on the client’s assets. These pixels can be added to the Base Pixel.
    Usually, an event will trigger with a page visit.
  • Custom Pixel

What do Pixels do?

Now that we know the Pixel is a piece of code we put on our client's website and that we use it to track conversions/what people do and how they interact with our content off the platform, we’ll see what functions Pixels have with a little more detail.
- Tracking: Pixels allow us to know if the marketing campaign we developed for our client is working and if the desired conversion is taking place. Thanks to Facebook reporting we are able to pull the data that will have to be shown to clients to demonstrate that their money is well spent.
- Retargeting: After we place our ad and our pixel, Facebook takes the data and optimizes Ads based on our instructions and setup. According to how customers act online, we can place them into different categories and retarget them in different ways based on the actions they take.
- Optimization: Analyze behavior in combination with traits. It takes facebook’s data and it combines it with data from the pixels and cooks up the perfect mix to optimize ads
Lookalike audiences: Without a Pixel, you cannot create lookalike audiences

How to set up Pixels:

The code for Facebook Pixels once generated, is pasted into the headline tags of the webpage and, since it automatically gets copied to every page, you have the basic tracking already embedded into your website.

For Event Pixels and other pixels, things are different and in the case of Standard Event Pixels, Facebook offers a selection of events (currently 17), that can trigger a Pixel to count.

The pixel works by tracking a user on the net through cookies and will continue to work until a user deletes cookies on their browser.

The news:

With time and with new developments to come, we will be able to track only 8 Events per Facebook Ad account so marketers are already speculating on which ones are the best ones to monitor. The answer to this question is that the events to track with pixels on a client’s web assets are the ones towards which we are optimizing.

The interest of every campaign is the final conversion. If I choose to optimize by conversions and I don’t generate at least 50 per month, Facebook will not be able to pull any data for reporting. This means that I’ll have to move further up in my funnel ( further towards the entry point) to have a significant value worth tracking and that Facebook can report on.

The seasoning effect:

As far as I know there is commonly one pixel per Facebook Ad account. Every ad will have a slightly different piece of coding and one pixel is to be used for one type of product corresponding to a certain target. If you keep using the same pixel for a long time, the pixel will take the info it has been fed and if you decide to use that for another thing, you should think about creating a different pixel (one per Ideal Customer Avatar).



Karen Ercoli

Marketing, Mom, Businesswoman