If you don’t know, now you(‘ll) know
In a previous article, we discussed how Facebook Pixels are set up for you to be able to track the people coming into your website.
By installing the pixel on your site, you get access to specific URLs or pages being visited which can already tell you a lot about the actions being taken on your website.
A great thing about the pixel code is that you can add in just a bit more lines which you can just copy and paste to the existing pixel code to help you mark and track the specific actions being taken. These actions are called events and in this article, we’ll discuss the Facebook Standard Events and how to set them up.
What Are Standard Events?
Facebook has pre-defined 9 standard events which are part of the overall customer journey. These events include:
- View Content
- Add To Cart
- Add To Wishlist
- Initiate Checkout
- Add Payment Info
- Make Purchase
- Complete Registration
A purpose of these standard events is for you, as an advertiser, to be able to track how many people take those specific actions on site.
Below is an example of one of our client’s online store. Notice how we have standard event tracking in place.
This helps us see how each of our ad campaigns are performing.
It also helps us see where there is a drop-off so we can make improvements. In the data above, we see the biggest drop-off from View Content (which is triggered when a person views a product) to Add To Cart. This tells us that our product pages need more work in terms of getting customers to add it in their carts.
The other use of standard events is for optimization.
When a person takes the action which triggers a standard event, like making a purchase for example, Facebook gets the data of that person. It then collects the data of all the people who take that action as well.
When creating your ad campaign with conversions as the objective, you can choose to select particular events to optimize for. In this case, we can make our ad set optimize for the Purchase event.
What happens then is in addition to whatever targeting you set at the ad set level, Facebook will find people who are most like the people who have already taken that action before.
So basically, if you have event tracking in place, you can tell Facebook what action to optimize your ads for.
I hope that was clear because now, we’ll discuss how to set this baby up.
How To Set Up Standard Event Tracking
Before we set up event tracking, the assumption is that you already have the basic Facebook Pixel installed already. If you haven’t done so, I recommend you go ahead and do that. You can get instructions on how to do that in this article.
The first step to setting this up is identifying the standard events you want to track.
If you have an eCommerce store, you can opt to track as many events as you like just like what I showed you in the data above. You may also just have a standard lead generation funnel where all you’ll want to track is the number of leads you are getting.
Don’t overthink it. It will just boil down to which actions do you want to track?
Once you decide on the events you will be tracking, take note of the URLs which should trigger the event.
For example, we want the Lead event to trigger after someone opts in for your free eBook. In that case, the URL which will trigger the lead event would be the thank you page.
Or for an online store, your purchase confirmation page is the URL which will trigger the Purchase event.
Sometimes, the event you want to track is not triggered by a pageview. For example, when a user adds something to their cart, they are usually not brought to a new page where you can track the event using a URL. We will discuss these types of event tracking in a separate article where we will discuss advanced uses for event tracking implementation. So stay tuned for that and let’s get the basics down first.
Now that you’ve identified the events and the URL which will trigger them, it’s time to edit the pixel code on those pages.
The table below shows the 9 standard events and their corresponding event codes. You can copy them at https://www.facebook.com/business/help/952192354843755.
Photo taken from Facebook
Once you copy the corresponding code of your event, it’s time to paste it into the pixel.
In the pixel, look for the line which says fbq(‘track’, ‘PageView’};
The event snippet is pasted right after that line.
Photo taken from Facebook
And that’s it!
To make sure that tracking is in place, you can check out the URL you pasted the snippet on and check Facebook Pixel Helper. You should see the PageView event along with the event(s) you put into the pixel.
And there you have it, you now have event tracking in place.
To help you monitor these actions for your ad campaigns, make sure to create a customized reporting view including the events.
To do this, head over to Ads Manager and click on the ‘Columns’ button. From the drop down, select ‘Customize Columns’.
You will be brought to a pop-up which has all the metrics you can track. From there, search for the event you want to track and click on the checkbox to include it in your reporting.
On the right side of the window, you can reorganize how it will appear on ads manager.
If you’re happy with the reporting format, click on the blue ‘Apply’ button.
And finally, so that you don’t need to keep doing this in the future, click on the Column’s button again, look for ‘Custom’ in the dropdown menu and click on ‘Save’ beside it.
Now every time you want to revisit these statistics, all you have to do is click on that.
These are the basics of standard event tracking and they are comprehensive enough for most business owners to get a grasp of the actions being taken by their users on their website. However, some businesses may require more advanced ways to track the actions their users are taking. For these, we will have 2 more articles talking about more advanced ideas on standard event tracking and what we call custom conversions. So stay tuned for those.
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