What is a Tracking Pixel and How Does it Work? 

A tracking pixel is an analytics tool that consists of a snippet of code, allowing you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions visiting users take on your website.

Pixels are common across most of the advertising platforms available. They are used to drop a cookie that would then keep tabs on visitors on the website so that you could advertise to them later on and track their behavior while browsing. 

This ultimately leads to gaining more insight about your audience in order to send targeted messages to users who are already familiar with your brand and track the performance and effectiveness of your paid social media campaigns.

Conversion Tracking 

The information provided by tracking pixels is invaluable when it comes to improving your ads in terms of content and targeting. Tracking data, such as Facebook tracking pixels, ensure that ads are seen by the desired users who would most likely complete the suggested action. 

Whenever users complete an action - visit a site, view a digital ad, etc. - a request is sent to the server to download the tracking pixel assigned to the content they are interacting with. The URL allocated to the tracking pixel is the memory location on the server. 

This whole process is registered and noted in the server's log files. Various user information is also transferred during this method, which, in combination with JavaScript, could lead to collecting additional data such as user's operating system, device or browser type. 

Javascript vs Image Tracking Pixels (Facebook Pixel)

In most cases, installing the whole JavaScript version of the tracking pixel will result in an improved performance for your conversion tracking. For Facebook & LinkedIn image tracking versions are also available.

The whole JavaScript code:

  • Runs asynchronously so it doesn't block your page load or slow down your website from loading;
  • Automatically adapts for http and https pages so the pixel fires correctly across secure and non-secure pages;
  • Includes a cache buster to reduce the risk of browser caching preventing the pixel from loading;
  • Will automatically fall back to image tags if someone's browser can't load JavaScript.

In some cases it may be necessary to use only the image tag of the Facebook  pixel, such as when you're piggybacking off existing container tags (ex: DFA, Atlas). If so, you should use the PageView image tag on every page of your site, then create another image tag for the standard events on specific pages. 

1: The Facebook pixel code: We recommend using this entire code.

2: The image tag: Please make sure you don't copy the <noscript> tag as well.

Information source here

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