Why Should I Install the Facebook Pixel?

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Analytics, Conversion Optimization, Facebook Advertising

I got a question from a reader recently of this post, The #1 Reason Your Facebook Ads Aren’t Converting.

Why do I need conversion tracking installed? All this is going to do is track if the user went to my site via FB right? How is knowing this information going to lead to a conversion?

Okay, I’ve wasted money on FB ads and gotten nothing in return other than clicks on interested, likes and comments but no one converts to a sale.

My response:

The answer to your question is at 1 minute in, in my video, in that post you sent your question from.

You’re not alone. This is a common mistaken assumption. But your assumption is incorrect. The pixel not just for tracking.

The Facebook pixel gives the FB ad system the data it needs to do its job for you. The display algorithm is “smart.” It needs the FB pixel data to run properly. If you don’t give Facebook the information it needs, the ads can’t run well. It can’t put you in front of people who are likely to convert.

When you use the pixel to define a conversion, it can run as a conversion ad, it can put your ad in front of people who convert, and this helps you get more conversions.

I’ve seen even website developers refuse to place the FB pixel because “we already have Google Analytics.” When I explain that the FB ad system is artificially intelligent and needs the data directly to help optimize the results, then they place the pixel for us.

If you don’t have the pixel set up and you haven’t assigned a conversion event to your website conversion ad, it can’t function as a website conversion ad. It doesn’t know who to show the ad to. It will function as a website clicks ad, and only get you traffic, not leads or sales.


Just as importantly, if you choose the wrong ad type, you won’t get the results you want.

  • If you want leads or sales, you must
    • Install the Facebook pixel,
    • Create either a custom conversion (or use standard event code in the pixel), and
    • Choose the “website conversion” ad type (from within the ad manager or power editor), or you won’t get leads or sales.
      If you don’t do this, you might get one or two conversions per 1,000 visitors, but you won’t get many.
      If you do set it up properly, you can get great conversion rates and cost per actions, because the ads are shown to people who FB knows have converted in the past.
  • Lead ads are the only other lead type that converts a lot- they’re shown to people who FB knows have filled out forms and converted.
  • Website click ads don’t convert much- they’re shown to people who click on links but don’t convert.
  • Boosted posts or promoted post ads don’t convert much- they’re shown to people who typically only engage with posts.


What most people who fail at Facebook ads don’t realize is that there are two levels of targeting, not just one:

  1. The targeting everyone knows about, and
  2. The ad goal, which the display algorithm uses to choose which of your target audience to show to first- based on your goal.

Typically, you target up to 2 million people with a Facebook ad, and FB can’t show your ad to all of them at once. Often, budgets are so small you’ll only reach a small % of them on a daily basis. So who should FB show them to first? The ones that are most likely to fulfill the ad goal you chose!


Not everybody behaves the same on Facebook. Within your target audience there are people who:

  • Engage a lot, but don’t convert much (boosted or promoted posts)
  • Click on links a lot but don’t convert much (website click ads, for traffic)
  • Click on links and convert either as a lead or sale on your website or landing page (website conversion ads)
  • Fill out lead forms on FB (lead ads)

If you want your ads to be seen by converters, the ones who’ll become leads or sales on your website, you have to choose the website conversion ad type and use the FB pixel.

That’s how it works!