If you are someone who utilizes Facebook as an advertising medium, you could benefit from the Pixel Helper extension. As one who uses Facebook in your advertising, you may be aware of the Facebook Pixel and its various purposes. Or you might be new to social media advertising services and wish to use Facebook in your advertising. Maybe, in that case, this is the first time you have heard of the Facebook Pixel.
Regardless of how familiar you are with it, you will come to learn that it can be difficult to manage properly. It is complex and, if not handled correctly, can result in malfunction. So unless you are well-versed in coding and computer technology, you may encounter problems. Luckily, Facebook has developed something to help those who don’t have degrees in Computer Science work the Facebook Pixel. That wonderful Google Chrome extension is the Facebook Pixel Helper. This article is intended to help you understand more about what the Pixel Helper is, the purposes it serves, and both why and how you should use it.
Overview of the Facebook Pixel
Before we get ahead of ourselves, it is necessary to establish some background by briefly reviewing the Facebook Pixel. The pixel, put simply, is a string of code placed on a site that aids in your Facebook marketing efforts. This code performs a variety of functions through collecting visitor data. By collecting and monitoring such data, the pixel can help determine the effectiveness of your Facebook advertising and marketing campaigns. In addition, the pixel also works for Instagram, since it is owned by Facebook.
Any e-commerce site, especially those that utilize digital shopping carts, will benefit from the pixel. But with complex technology often comes complex troubleshooting. If your pixel is not working properly, you could be missing out on a lot of key marketing opportunities. That is why capitalizing on the Pixel Helper tool is so important.
The Facebook Pixel Helper Chrome Extension
The Facebook Pixel Helper is a Google Chrome extension that you download right onto your browser. It is a nifty IT bot whose only job is to ensure the smooth operation of your pixel. It runs in the background, without any effort on your part, to detect the presence of the Facebook Pixel on a website. If a presence is detected, it runs diagnostics and will alert you to potential issues or problems that the pixel is experiencing.
How to Install the Helper
Before anything else, ensure that you are using the Google Chrome browser. This plug-in is incompatible with other browsers like FireFox or Microsoft Edge. In the search bar, type “Chrome Store” to pull up Google Chrome’s web store. Here is where you can purchase and download various extensions, themes, and tools for your browser. Within the search box, type in “Facebook Pixel Helper” and hit enter. This will pull up a list of results, with the Pixel Helper extension at the top. Select that entry and then click “Add to Chrome” to download the extension onto your browser.
How to Use the Helper
After you have downloaded the Facebook Pixel Helper Chrome extension, you can use it to check the pixel on any site that uses it. You will notice an icon near your search bar that looks like angle brackets being divided by a forward slash (</>). You may need to pin it to your favorites, and disable ad-blockers for the plug-in to function properly. Once installed, the icon will remain gray until you visit a site with detectable pixels. When it detects pixels, the icon will turn blue.
Once blue, you can click on the icon to reveal information about detectable pixels. Pixel ID numbers will be displayed, including what the pixel is tracking. By clicking on the down arrows next to pixel information, you can get in-depth information and the status of the pixel. This will show possible issues where troubleshooting is necessary.
What Can the Helper Detect?
There are dozens of potential errors that the plug-in can detect. The most common will be touched upon here:
- Invalid Pixel ID: This means the Pixel ID that is listed on your site doesn’t match any established Pixel ID. Essentially, no data is being collected whatsoever. This is important to fix immediately.
- Encoded Characters: This error indicates that the pixel has encountered double-encoded characters. This is usually due to characters being encoded more than once, not security issues. You will want to double-check this error, but it can sometimes be a false alarm.
- Pixel Did Not Load: Your helper pulls this error when it detects what it perceives as pixel code, but no HTTP call is made. This often results from an error within the code itself, or if the pixel fires on a dynamic event. If it is caused by the dynamic event, the error will go away when the event has been initiated (such as clicking a button).
- Resembles a Standard Event: You may see this error if you tend to input a lot of custom events into your pixel. The Pixel Helper might see a custom event code that looks similar to a standard event code and think it is a mistake. However, if you meant to use that specific custom code, you can ignore this error.
The helper doesn’t only detect errors. It is also hard at work to bring you suggestions that could improve the pixel’s performance. These can range from implementing product catalogs to the placement of the pixel on the web page. These “errors” you encounter don’t necessarily need to be fixed for your pixel to work. However, following the suggestions can have an impact on the effectiveness of your pixel. Because the Pixel Helper doesn’t make a clear distinction between errors and suggestions, it is important to go through each message to determine which is which.
Should I Use the Facebook Pixel Helper?
Though the set-up, installation, and use of the extension are easy, you may be wondering if it is worth it. Honestly, it is completely up to you and your skills with the Facebook Pixel. There are surely benefits to using the helper, but the Pixel can function without it. The plug-in only identifies possible issues with site pixels, but it doesn’t fix said issues. Those issues will have to be fixed on the pixel itself through the Facebook Events Manager. So, if you feel comfortable identifying these issues on your own, you may not need the helper.
On the other hand, there are up-sides to the extension to consider, whether you are skilled in coding or not:
- It saves you time. Rather than spending hours combing through rows of code, you can let a bot do it for you. It keeps you from having to worry about identifying possible issues in the code all by yourself. What might take you two hours or more will take the extension less than a second.
- It removes the risk of human error that comes with code combing. People just aren’t consistent with their ability to focus. This can result in things being overlooked, which is common in coding. In the end, without the helper, you still might end up missing something and be frustrated that your pixel isn’t working properly even though you spent a lot of effort working the code.
- It can help you achieve your marketing goals. With the suggestions feature, the helper may offer pixel insights that you never would have thought of on your own. You might even consider it a form of free marketing advice. With this advice, your pixel will run more efficiently and will play a bigger role in your digital marketing campaign.
Using the Facebook Pixel Helper
In the end, it is up to you whether or not you feel the Pixel Helper is right for you. The benefits of it are outstanding, and there are next to no downsides to having it. It is simple to install, simple to use, and can make a significant difference in your Facebook marketing efforts. It can serve as a powerful tool if it is used regularly and efficiently. If you have any questions regarding the Pixel Helper, or if you need help with other marketing and SEO services, we are here to help. Reach out to our team at SEO Design Chicago for a free consultation.
- What does the Facebook Pixel Helper do?
- How do I install the Facebook Pixel Helper?
- What are the benefits of using the Facebook Pixel Helper?
- How does the Facebook Pixel gather data?
- What can the Facebook Pixel Helper detect?