Author’s Note: If you’re using BigCommerce instead of Shopify, go to this post instead: link to bigcommerce facebook pixel audit
There are multiple ways your Facebook pixel can have issues. And it all leads to the frustrating consequence of being unable to read or analyze your KPIs.
This facebook pixel audit should help cover fix the most common issues marketers and shop owners face: incomplete data (e.g. no AddToCart event, no InitiateCheckout event) and the issue of conflicting data (e.g. multiple AddToCart events from different sources).
If you have a different issue, such as a loading error (events don’t show up) or a product ID error (the AddToCart event isn’t linked to a Shopify Product ID), I suggest you look into this guide on the most common facebook pixel errors.
If data isn’t showing up or it’s conflicting, stay here. This is the right audit for you.
This is how the article is structured:
- Where to Place the Facebook Pixel in Shopify: The First Thing you need to Get Right
- How to download and use the Facebook Pixel Helper Tool to dig for errors
- How to Spot Facebook Pixel Conflicts Caused by Third Party Applications
- How to Track Purchase Conversion Value and Cost Per Purchase
Once you have gone through the process and have run ads consistently, your Facebook Ads Manager should look like this:
Just with Cost per Purchase and Purchase Conversion Value Data, you’ll see if a campaign is working for your store or not.
Using one of my client’s data above, we now know that each purchase gives us $114 and it costs $10 per purchase. That means an 11:1 Ad ROI. That’s sweet!
Now that you understand the implications let’s get right to it.
Where to Place the Facebook Pixel in Shopify: The First Thing you need to Get Right
First, go to your Facebook Business Manager.
Next, click on Business Manager and go to “Pixels.”
At the right-hand column of the interface, you’ll see your Pixel ID right below the account name.
Copy that number and keep it in a text editor.
Next, let’s go to your Shopify site and log in there.
Go to “Online Store” > “Preferences.” Scroll down until you see “Facebook Pixel ID.”
Enter or update the Facebook Pixel ID with the number that you’ve saved.
Now you’ve updated your shopify store to have the right Facebook Pixel ID…
… if you just did that and you STILL have issues, let’s move on to phase 2:
How to Download and Use the Facebook Pixel Helper to Find Errors
Next, we’ll check if the right tracking pixels are firing on the right pages (product page, add to cart, initiate checkout, and purchase).
Once that’s installed, go to your Shopify e-commerce site.
Go to your site, and proceed to the product page.
Click on the Facebook Pixel Helper icon in your browser, and you should see something called ViewContent on your product page. The pixel you installed in Shopify should automatically trigger the ViewContent event on all product pages.
This is how the helper icon looks like:
And this is how the ViewContent pixel should appear:
Next, click on the “Add to Cart” button, then click on the Facebook Pixel Icon again.
This time, you’ll see the “AddToCart” pixel fired with the help of the Facebook Pixel Helper.
If you see the exclamation point right before your AddToCart pixel, don’t panic.
This does not in any way affect your tracking at all.
The warning is only for use in Dynamic Product Ad campaigns customized by you. We can automate this away with the use of 3rd party plugins in Shopify. If you need Dynamic Product Ads, then go to section 2 (Product ID Errors) in this facebook pixel errors guide.
That said, for most folks, this yellow exclamation point should NOT harm your default tracking at all.
Now, go to your cart and click on checkout.
Once you click on checkout, for non-Shopify Plus stores, you should be directed to a page with checkout.shopify.com in it. There, the helper should show an “InitiateCheckout” pixel.
Once you purchase an item, then you’ll see the “Purchase” pixel fired through the help of the Pixel Helper.
Through that process, you’ve discovered the five standard Facebook events that Shopify provides:
- PageView (any page in your site)
- ViewContent (product page)
If you’ve been running Facebook Ads for a while and you’ve added a conversion pixel before, you may encounter a situation where you have multiple tracking pixels firing at the same time.
If you know exactly why there are multiple pixels and what each is one is for, then you’re fine.
But if you’re like most marketers shop owners, this presents a problem: you don’t know which ones are from plugins and which ones are truly yours. There are plugins that use Facebook pixels which are not yours, which can potentially complicate your KPI analysis.
Let’s figure out and differentiate the plugin pixels vs your pixels now…
How to Spot Facebook Pixel Conflicts Caused by Third Party Applications
Using the pixel helper, go to any product page on your site. Next, click the pixel helper and see anything which has a Brand Name in it.
For example, you might get pixel names like this:
These are related to the Shoelace Plugin and the Vantage Plugin.
Sometimes, you’ll need to click on the pixel name itself and check the content_id. This is how it looks like in the case of AdRoll:
Once you’ve identified all the third party applications that actively track data, you then need to put them all into one spreadsheet.
Yes, while it does sound time-consuming; but if you intend to keep the plug-in, this is necessary for you to get a handle on your ROI of your paid acquisition campaigns. The way I would normally track sites with multiple pixels is by having the standard KPIs as the rows then the apps as the columns.
So far, you know how and where the tracking pixels are triggered, and you know where all the potential sources of tracking are. Now it’s time to format your Facebook Ads Reporting to help you check Purchase Conversion Value and Cost per Purchase.
How to Track Purchase Conversion Value and Cost Per Purchase
Now that you’re familiar with all the places where your Facebook metrics are tracked, now it’s time to see all the data in action.
To see your metrics, go to Business Manager then Ads Reporting.
Then click on “Create Report” then “Columns” and finally “Customize Columns…”
Then search then enter the KPIs that you need. I suggest using these:
- Purchase (Facebook Pixel)
- Cost per Purchase (Facebook Pixel)
- Cost per Click
Once you’ve set that, you’ll have more clarity on what campaigns are working for your business based on ROI. If you had issues with your tracking earlier, then most likely this will be empty (or the data will be wrong). But if you’ve followed this guide closely, you’ll have a better view of your business after 2 weeks of running tracked campaigns.