Beginner Guide To Facebook Pixel Events in 2021

Have you installed the Facebook Pixel to your website already? Even if your answer is yes, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are done with the technical work related to Facebook Pixel. If you want to take advantage of Facebook Pixel to the fullest, you have to set up the correct Pixel Events as well.

If you are not a Facebook Events expert yet, don’t worry, in this beginner guide, we will share the most important things you have to know about Facebook Pixel Events:

  • What are Facebook Pixel Events
  • What types of Pixel Events do we differentiate?
  • Difference between Standard Events, Custom Events and Custom Conversions
  • How to create and set up new Facebook Pixel Events?
  • How to test the implementation of Pixel Events to see if they send in the right data to Facebook?

At the end of this article, we will also answer the most frequently asked questions related to Facebook Pixel Events.

What is a Facebook Pixel Event?

Facebook Pixel Events are user actions on a website that fire the Facebook Pixel and then via the Pixel they send the event data to Facebook. For example, when someone purchases something on your website, Pixel sends into Facebook that a Purchase event has occurred with other parameters, like the value of the transaction, the currency, etc.

When you only set up the Facebook Pixel with the base code that only contains the general PageView event, you are literally leaving money on the table. You won’t be able to track, measure any other user actions on the website that will not only result in poor tracking and measurement but as a consequence of that also in poorer FB ad performance.

Why are FB Pixel Events important?

Facebook Pixel Events are not only important so you can track what user actions occur on your website. Facebook Pixel Events are important to set up because:

  • then you can optimize for the Facebook events when you are running a conversion-optimized Facebook ad campaign
  • you can make Custom Uudiences from Events data, so e.g. users who viewed or added to the cart a product but didn’t check out
  • Facebook ad algorithm uses the data of Facebook Pixel events to optimize the performances of your campaigns
  • Pixel Events data is used in the reports of Facebook Analytics
  • You can better measure the performance of your Facebook ad campaigns and use that data to optimize your FB campaigns.

You can watch a great introduction to Facebook Pixel here:

Types of Facebook Events

There are two categories of Facebook Pixel Events, one of them are predefined by Facebook, called Facebook Standard Events, the others can be defined by anyone in a customized way that is why they are called Facebook Custom Events. Let’s get into some more details.

Standard Events on Facebook

Facebook Standard Event Example

The Standard Events are predefined by Facebook and they are the most frequent user actions on a website that are related to conversion-related user activities.

Standard events also support parameters that allow you to not only log that a standard event has fired but also send in important parameter values with the Event to Facebook.

Currently, there are 17 standard events on Facebook which are the following:

  • AddPaymentInfo
  • AddToCart
  • AddToWishlist
  • CompleteRegistration
  • Contact
  • CustomizeProduct
  • Donate
  • FindLocation
  • InitiateCheckout
  • Lead
  • PageView
  • Purchase
  • Schedule
  • Search
  • StartTrial
  • SubmitApplication
  • Subscribe
  • ViewContent

If you want to learn more about Standard Events, check out our in-depth article where we go in-depth about all 17 of these Facebook Standard Events and how you can set them up.

Facebook Custom Events

Facebook Custom Events are Facebook Pixel Events that are not predefined by Facebook, but advertisers can create and customize for user actions that are not covered by Standard Pixel Events.

So if you want to track a user activity on Facebook, but you don’t see it among the 17 standard events we have listed out above, you can create Custom Events for them.

Facebook Custom Events unlike Standard Events can’t be used for optimizing Facebook ad campaigns. If you want to optimize for a Custom Event, first you have to create a Custom Conversion out of it. Custom Events also support parameters, so you can send more data in with your Custom Events as well.

Custom Events can be used to create Custom Audiences out of them, so you can create Lookalike and retargeting audiences out of the source audience that is defined by a Custom Event.

We also have a separate in-depth guide on Custom Events, where we share what kind of Facebook Custom Events we usually set up and how to create Custom Events.

Facebook Custom Conversions

Facebook Custom Conversions

A Facebook Custom Conversion is a special conversion type of Facebook that you can use to measure more specific conversions on your website. Using Facebook Custom Conversions you can create rules for standard and custom events and for All URL Traffic.

Let’s say, you have a specific URL where someone lands after they subscribe to a certain lead form, you can create this lead form submission as a custom conversion by creating a URL rule.  This way you can also optimize a campaign to this custom conversion from now on, so Facebook will try to find people who are more likely to fill out this particular lead form.

But the more powerful application of Custom Conversions is when you can filter standard and custom based on an Event parameter. Fo instance, you could create a Custom Conversion for purchases where the order value is higher than 200 USD. Using this

If you want to learn more about Facebook custom conversions, you can read more about them in our beginner guide to Facebook Custom Conversions or if you are interested in how you can create Custom Conversions, we also have a separate guide for that.

How to create and set up Pixel Events?

There are basically three ways how you can create, set up, and customize Facebook Pixel Events. You can use Partner Integrations, Facebook’s Event Setup Tool, and also do it with Google Tag Manager.

If you don’t want to deal with this at all, you can contact us here and we will do it for you, or you can also tell your developer to set this up. (if he knows what you are talking about).

Create Pixel Events with Partner Integration

If you are using a popular e-commerce platform or content management system, you have the option to use Partner Integration to set up the Facebook Pixel and some Pixel Events.

The great thing about using Partner Integration that it is super easy, you don’t have to know anything about the technical aspects of the Pixel for setting it up.

The big disadvantage of using Partner Integrations is that you stuck with what they give to you. Your Facebook Pixel will be a black box, you won’t have any control over it. So if you have an Event that hasn’t been set up, you can’t really set it up if you can’t code. If there is a bug in the implementation, you can’t really fix it unless you have access to the code and know how to fix the bug.

Here you can see the Partner Integrations, Facebook currently supports.

Facebook Pixel Events - Supported Partner Integrations

Create Events with Event Setup tool

We would recommend this solution only if you can’t use Partner integration or you want at least a little bit of customization or you don’t know anything about Google Tag Manager.

This works by clicking on the Facebook Pixel you want to set up then going to the Settings tab and scroll down to the Event Setup section and then click on Open Event Setup Tool.

Event Setup Tool In Facebook Event Manager

It is important to add that this method won’t install the base code on your website. So, before you can use this method to set up Facebook Events, make sure that your Pixel base code has already been installed. You will get a message similar to this if you haven’t installed it yet:

Facebook Set Up Facebook Pixel Events

If you have already installed your Pixel base code, you can go on, add your website and you can start setting the Pixel Events you will need.

We have a comprehensive article on how to use the Facebook Pixel Event Setup Tool, so we would urge you to read that if you want to know the step by step of using the Event Setup Tool.

But as we said, we only recommend this method, only when you absolutely have no idea about Google Tag Manager, you don’t have a developer, and you don’t have a partner integration solution to work with.

As using the Event Setup Tool on Facebook can be relatively easy but it also has the highest probability of causing tracking issues that will mess up all the things we mentioned why Facebook Pixel Events are important to track the right way.

Create Pixel Events with Google Tag Manager

The third option you have and the one we would actually recommend you to use is to set up the Facebook Pixel Events with Google Tag Manager.

In this case, you have full control over all parts of the Pixel Events implementation, you can create any kind of custom events and easily add parameter values to your events. If something is not working correctly, you can easily go to your Google Tag Manager and use the preview and debug mode to see why a certain event does not send the right data in.

The disadvantage of using Google Tag Manager to set up Facebook Pixel Events is that you have to know how Google Tag Manager works and you have to have a good dataLayer setup so you can capture the events.

If you want to go the pro way to get the most accurate and detailed data to your Facebook ad account but you need help in setting up your Facebook Pixel tracking with Google Tag Manager, you can contact us here to see if we can help you out.

Testing and troubleshooting Facebook Pixel Events

When you have set up your Standard and Custom Events and Custom Conversions, it is a best practice to always test them if they are firing the right way by the user action and if they send the right data to Facebook.

These tools we are going to show can also be used when you experienced a bug or an error with one of your Pixel Events as they will also share information if they see that event is not set up correctly.

Events Manager Overview and Diagnostics Tab

When you go to Events Manager, the default Overview Tab will give you a quick overview of your currently active Pixel Events and whether they have any issues. In the example below, you can see that the Add to Cart events might have a measurement or performance issue.

You can also compare the Pixel Events data with another sitewide tracking software like Google Analytics. If both of them have around the same Pageview counts, you can be a little bit more sure that the implementation of your Pageview event is correct.

You can also go to the Diagnostics tab where you can get more information about tracking issues of certain Pixel Events:

Facebook Event Manager - Diagnostics Tab

Here you can see what the tracking issue is caused by and you can mark it as resolved if the automatic error detection is wrong, see affected URLs, or send the issue to a Developer.

If you want to learn more about Facebook Events Manager and see all the functionalities it provides and how you can use them, check out our article about it.

Test Events on Facebook Event Manager

The second option you have in Facebook Event Manager is to test events on your website live. You can do this by going to the Test Events tab, plug in your website and test the Pixel Events you want to test.:

Facebook Event Manager - Test Pixel Events

Once you open the website, trigger the Pixel Events you want to test and Facebook will log them to Event Tester and you can see all of the Pixel Events that have been fired in your test.

You can also click into the Events and see what parameters and values they sent in and if there were any errors with the Events and what are those errors exactly.

Facebook Events Manager - Tested Pixel Events

Facebook Pixel Helper

Our favorite tool of choice is the Facebook Pixel Helper Chrome Extension. It can be easily installed on any computer and will tell you real-time what Pixel Events are fired and what data they send in to.

They will also be informative about the errors, bugs, and wrong implementation of Facebook Events as they experience it. For example, in the following example, you can see that Facebook Pixel Helper identified an error with the AddToCart parameters sent in to Facebook.

Facebook Pixel Helper - Add to Cart event with warning

You can easily see from the Facebook Pixel Helper that the value is not sent in with the right format that is what is causing the error that you should fix as soon as possible.

If you want to learn more about the Facebook Pixel Helper, be sure to check out our article about Pixel Helper, where we go deep on how you can use the Chrome Extension to test and debug Pixel Events.

Facebook Pixel Events Summary

As you have learned having Facebook Pixel Events set up correctly is a must-have for successful Facebook advertising. If you want to learn more about this topic, definitely also check out the articles below to get a more detailed explanation of:

Facebook Standard Events:

  • Facebook Standard Events – A Beginner Guide
  • 17 Facebook Standard Events Explained in depth
  • How to create Facebook Standard Events

Facebook Custom Events:

  • Facebook Custom Events – a Beginner Guider
  • How to create Facebook Custom Events
  • 10 Examples of Facebook Custom Events

Facebook Custom Conversions

Facebook Pixel Events – Frequently Asked Questions

How to create Pixel Events on Facebook?

You basically have three options to create and set up Facebook Pixel Events. You can rely on Partner Integration if you see your e-com platform or CMS in the Partner Integration list. You can manually install the base code and then you the Event Setup Tool in Facebook. But the best solution we would recommend is to use Google Tag Manager to implement the Facebook Pixel and set up the necessary Pixel Events.

Hot delete Facebook Pixel events?

It will depend on how you created and implemented the Pixel Events. If you did it through Event Setup Tool you can delete the Events in Events Manager. If you did it via Google Tag Manager you can delete the specific Tag Manager Tag that fires the Pixel event.

My Facebook pixel event is not working, what can I do?

You have basically three options to troubleshoot why your Pixel is not firing or not sending the right data in to Facebook.
1. You can use Facebook Event Manager’s Test Event tool that will enable you to test the Pixel events on your website and will list out all the events you have fired during your test and you can get information what errors or issues Facebook has detected.
2. You can go to the Diagnostics Tab of your Event Manager where all the active Pixel issues will be listed. You can mark the issues as resolved or send the reports to a developer as well
3. You can use the Facebook Pixel Helper Chrome Extension.

When will Facebook Pixel Events fire on my website?

If you set them up the right way, they will send in the Events data every time a user is in your website. So, they not only send in the data when you are sending traffic to your website with Facebook ads or organic traffic, bit they always send in Pixel Events data when someone visits your website.

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