This very word has made most of us in the marketing and advertising world tremble — or at least lose some sleep.
The reason for our pixel frustrations is simply because often so much rides on them. And when they misfire or don’t fire at all, it can throw everything off… the wrong data is gathered, ad-spends go too quickly, campaign results are sometimes weep-worthy.
There was a day when one of the most important campaigns of my career was about to launch…
I was convinced that everything was ready to go.
Detailed research… done.
Facebook ads… all in perfect order.
Landing pages and all other pieces of the funnel… beautiful.
So we went live… full boar at the end of the day.
The next day, I jumped into Facebook Ads Manager and was shocked at what I found. More than 300 conversions?! Could it be possible that our campaign did WAY better than we had expected?
Sadly enough, I discovered things weren’t as exciting as I had hoped. Instead of more than 300 conversions, there were about 125. The pixel had misfired and our data was completely off. After running through thousands of dollars in ad-spend to start, Facebook had been optimizing my campaign off faulty data.
I was then tasked to figure out why…
After doing a lot of research, I discovered that the following are common causes for excess conversions/pixel misfires:
#1 – Accidentally installing the FB pixel more than once on a single page or not having the pixel set up at all.
#2 – Conflicting apps or add-ons. It’s easy to install 3rd party apps, extensions, and add-ons such as Pixel Perfect to help you manage Facebook pixels. If you both manually install pixel code and use an app, a pixel will fire twice.
And yes, it was as easy as 1-2-3 to fix my problem, but this was after getting down on myself and my lack of REALLY digging in to make sure I had my pixel setup correctly.
I had a conflicting app installed, while also pasting the FB pixel code within my website’s header.
Honestly, it took me quite some time to get over the fact that I had made my mistake, but I did learn a handful of valuable lessons along the way.
Test, Test & Test Again
It’s important to test multiple times to make sure that everything is working well. Never assume that because you’ve installed many pixels, your implementation skills are flawless.
Just like me, you’re a human prone to mistakes and forgetting exactly what you’ve done. In my case, I completely forgot that I had installed and used Pixel Perfect in the past.
Use Facebook Pixel Helper to Find Errors
In order to help me discover my error, I used Facebook Pixel Helper. It’s a Google Chrome extension that works like a charm.
Once installed, I visited my website and clicked on the “Facebook Pixel Helper” icon like so:
I then went to a few product pages, used Pixel Helper, and discovered that I definitely had been using a plugin that was causing the pixel to fire twice.
Make Sure You Have the Right Tracking Parameters Set
Sometimes, we think we’re tracking the right action, but we’re off. In my case, I was tracking conversions rather than leads, clicks, add to cart, or page views.
In my case, I needed to make sure the Facebook Pixel fired at the time of purchase. This was set, as planned, but I promise you that when I discovered my pixel was firing more than once, I considered the fact that I may have set the wrong tracking parameter.
Never Launch a Campaign at the End of the Day without Monitoring
I was overly confident we had it right… and so I let it ride. This was a huge mistake.
Don’t Get Too Down on Yourself
One of the things I’ve learned over the years is to learn from my errors and move on. Harboring your frustrations only stunts your growth and kills your creativity.
After making my pixel error, I remedied the situation and did everything I could to leverage my data to make solid decisions.
I also took tons and tons of time to learn more about Facebook pixels and how to best use them. If you have any questions whatsoever about creating pixels, setting them up, and best using them, this video will help:
We’d love to hear your thoughts on Facebook pixels. Have you had any challenges with them lately? Please head to the AdLeaks Facebook group and share away!
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