Pixel tracking is a simple and reliable way to track conversions, which is something you probably know, if you are in the affiliate marketing business. Simply copy and paste the pre-made tracking pixel code into the “thank you” page or offer page, and the conversion pixel will fire every time the page is displayed.
Why would anyone want to get rid of this technology, you may ask?
In this blog post, we will try and explain what pixel tracking is, as well as its advantages, disadvantages and future use. We will also explain why giant companies such as Facebook are leaning away from pixel tracking.
So, let’s dive right in!
Are all tracking pixels made equal?
While there is a universal term “tracking pixel,” which you get to hear a lot, not all pixel tracking is the same. As for the implementation, all types of pixels work identically, but the technology behind them is different.
Pixels are generally classified into four types:
- Image pixel – is used as a 1x1px image on the site’s landing page.
- iFrame pixel is placed on the site’s landing page as a built-in frame.
- S2S postback – is currently the most secure and reliable way to track online conversions, which is what we use here at Scaleo to track conversions.
Pixels are used for statistics and conversion counting, but you may also track and pass parameters along with a conversion.
How do tracking pixels work?
Pixel tracking is not a challenging task. In reality, it’s an “old” technology similar to banner impression tracking, if you are old enough to remember it. An image is hosted on a server, and the image’s HTML code is pasted into a page or post, which needs to be tracked.
Every time the website loads, the image loads together with it (or “fires,” as the industry moguls call it). Depending on how you use it, every impression of the pixel image will be logged as a “conversion,” or a lead.
On a standard landing page, it is invisible to the human eye due to its size and location.
But, as we have already mentioned, it can do so much more than just track conversions. For example:
- Variables from your shopping cart or affiliate networks, such as ‘Conversion Name’ or ‘Conversion Amount’, can be passed along.
- In the pixel tracking code, you may additionally supply a unique ‘conversion ID’ to avoid duplicate pixel impressions from being recorded as sales.
- The built-in cookie and tracking mechanism for any affiliate marketing software, such as Scaleo, provides you with the sale’s geo-location (IP Address), the referring traffic source, the name of the campaign or sub-campaign, and much more.
Pixel Tracking vs. Cookie Tracking
Tracking pixels are intended for client tracking and operating in conjunction with cookies. A cookie saves information about a user’s session once they click on a tracking link. When the conversion occurs, the pixel shows this information collected from the tracking link from the browser for authentication.
Those who have worked with traffic sources such as Facebook and Google AdWords have almost definitely dealt with pixels.
The pixel will be treated in the manner mentioned above when converting (using a cookie). While tracking pixels and tracking cookies are sometimes referred to as the same thing, they are, in fact, two separate things on the server, each performing a separate task.
Pixel tracking for affiliates
Affiliate networks and affiliates choose pixel tracking to save time because it is straightforward to set up. All you need to do is copy the pixel, paste it into the appropriate page and get on with your life, the conversions will start tracking in the background.
A pixel tracker is required whether to work with an affiliate network or directly with offers.
Why is Scaleo a good choice for tracking conversions?
Scaleo is a good choice for conversion tracking because the platform’s flexibility allows you to employ any type of pixel. Scaleo offers pre-made pixel templates that can be simply copied and pasted onto a landing page, offer, or affiliate network, if you choose to work with pixels.
When a conversion occurs, the pixel fires, and the conversion is recorded in Scaleo. Our software allows you to display all of the data for this conversion, so you can analyze your data any way you want. Statistics and details can be viewed by all conversions together or individually, as well as filtered and sorted by other parameters (for example, by traffic source or by affiliate network).
You cannot utilize the pixel of a traffic source such as AdWords or Facebook if you operate directly with affiliate networks or offers because you do not have your own site. However, this is not the case with Scaleo. The solution to the problem is really easy.
To track the conversion, the advertiser should place a tracking pixel on the conversion page. This is a piece of code that is added to the page source text before the tag.
When a user opens the target page, it loads the pixel. It looks for a session ID in the user’s browser cookie and record the conversion for that session.
Although you can use cookie-based conversion tracking in cases where postback conversion tracking is not available, there are some drawbacks:
- Cookies depend heavily on users’ preferences. If they reject cookies in the browser, you will not be able to track them.
- Cookies have a certain lifespan. When they expire, it affects the ability to perform a conversion.
- Many users use ad blockers in their browsers that delete the cookies. You cannot reach them with the cookie-based conversion tracking method.
Cookie-based pixel tracking with Scaleo
The pixel tracking method stores a Scaleo session ID in the user’s browser cookies – small text files that store information about the user’s activities. To track conversion, the advertiser should place a tracking pixel on the conversion page – the page that is displayed to the user after he has completed a conversion. For example, he completed registration or made a purchase. Most likely, this is a “thank you” page or a “your order is completed” page.
A tracking pixel is a 1×1 pixel HTML container that contains the conversion link of an offer. It is usually inserted into the source code of the page before the tag. When a user loads the pixel, it looks for a session ID in the user’s browser cookie and records a conversion for that session.
Pixel tracking depends on other factors such as ad blockers. When cookies are deleted, they affect your results. Learn more about cookie-based pixel tracking.
At Scaleo, we recommend the postback tracking method because it is server-side and does not depend on the user’s browser. This makes it an ideal choice for offers that involve other platforms, such as mobile app store pages, installed pixel tracking software and click-to-call communications. In cases where cookies cannot be tracked (such as in-app stores), postback tracking is required.
Each advertiser and partner may require different attribution methods. Regardless of the method you choose, you should make sure that your advertiser supports this method. If the advertiser requires a specific method, you should use that method when running a specific offer.
Facebook Pixel is gone in 2022
Facebook has been moving away from pixel tracking strategy for the past almost 2 years now. It’s alarming to learn that it’s going away, but it may not be as shocking as it appears on the surface.
Facebook employs a tool known as the Facebook pixel, which is a piece of code that is included in the code of your website and allows Facebook to monitor traffic flow between your website and their platform. This tool aids in the creation of adverts, the development of look-alike audiences, and the monitoring of audience metrics and traffic.
Since the beginning of 2021, Facebook has been gradually and quietly removing functionality that uses the pixel. They have now declared that all analytical features will be phased out by June 2021, and the pixel will be phased out by 2022. So, at the time of reading this post, it’s likely that Facebook pixel is already gone.
Effects of Data Collection
With Facebook and Google continually in the news for privacy issues, the typical individual is becoming more conscious of their personal data and the ease with which it can be accessed on these and other sites. This anxiety is beginning to manifest itself in action.
The European Union imposed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on websites in 2018. When you visit a website, you are frequently prompted to allow cookies, deny cookies, or alter cookie settings.
Cookies are not new; nevertheless, they have always operated in the background, and many users were unaware of their function or existence. They are text files containing data identifying you as a user, your IP address, and other information such as your gender and age. Websites collect this data and utilize it to infer information about their users and track them by re-targeting advertising.
Google and Apple are starting to protect more of their users’ privacy and are phasing out monitoring data from third-party applications. Some assume that Facebook’s decision was prompted by Apple’s latest iOS 14 release. Unless the user opts in, the new iOS version will prohibit certain types of data collection.
Pixel tracking is often used in conjunction with other tracking technologies, such as cookies. Together, these technologies can provide a wealth of information about users, allowing businesses to gain a better understanding of their customers and tailor their products and services to meet their needs.
Overall, pixel tracking is a useful tool for businesses that want to track the actions of their website or app visitors. It can provide valuable insights into user behavior and help businesses improve their products and services.
Compared to alternative conversion tracking methods like Sub ID tracking or postback URL tracking, pixel tracking codes are more common and are employed in some way or another by everyone from Google to re-marketing sites. However, more and more companies are moving away from the classic tracking pixel such as 1px image.
Pixel tracking is a method of tracking the actions of users on a website or app. It involves adding a small, transparent image (called a “pixel”) to a webpage or app. When a user visits the page or app, the pixel sends information back to the company’s server, allowing them to track the user’s actions.
Pixel tracking is commonly used by businesses to collect data on their website or app visitors. This data can be used for a variety of purposes, including tracking user behavior, measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, and personalizing the user experience.
It is difficult to predict the future of pixel tracking with certainty, as it will depend on a variety of factors, such as changes in technology and user behavior. However, it is likely that pixel tracking will continue to be a widely used tool for businesses in the coming years.
One potential development in the future of pixel tracking is the increasing use of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze the data collected through pixel tracking. By using these technologies, businesses will be able to gain even greater insights into user behavior and use this information to improve their products and services.
Overall, it is likely that pixel tracking will continue to be an important tool for businesses in the coming years. It will help businesses gain a better understanding of their customers and improve their products and services to better meet their needs.
Facebook’s pixel tracking allows the company to collect information on the actions of users on its platform, such as the pages they visit, the ads they click on, and the products they purchase. This information is used to help businesses target their advertising on the platform and measure the effectiveness of their ads.
In addition to using pixel tracking, Facebook also uses other tracking technologies, such as cookies and web beacons, to collect data on its users. These technologies allow Facebook to gain a comprehensive understanding of user behavior on its platform, which can be used to improve the user experience and tailor advertising to users’ interests.
Facebook has been slowly and quietly removing features that use the pixel since early 2021