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Why am I Getting this Ad?

By Aaron H. Estrada, Over 15 years of software and web development in the digital advertising industry.

By Veda K. Ford, Over 15 years of experience with digital advertising.

Create Date: 2022/06/21

5-10 minute read.

Let's say I'm in a mall, I stopped by the shoe store, and I gaze upon a pair of shoes. I snap a picture like I usually do to find a better deal online when I get home.

A shoe of interest.

So I get home and research the same shoes and other shoes like it on the internet, but I don't buy just yet.

Online bargain shopping.

So later on that day, I start scrolling through Facebook just to see what everyone's doing. And in between my friends posts is a "Sponsored Ad" and there I see it. . . What do you know, the exact same shoe I was just looking at, at the mall.

My first thought is, how? Well first let's talk about how Facebook algorithms know what ads are relevant to show you and how advertising agencies use them. Here is a list below of few advertising tactics:

Let's say, I see the product on a Facebook ad sponsored by the same website I was just on.

This tactic is called a
Retargeting Ad.

Let's say, a competitor of the shoe I was interested in displayed an ad, and they're advertising the same shoe.

This tactic is called
conquesting from the competitors.

Let's say I see an ad that shows a bunch of gold shoes on sale.

Showing an ad to people who shopped for or ready to buy, this tactic is called

So we are all wondering, how does Facebook know what we are researching on websites? There’s this little thing called the pixel, a piece of code, many platforms have them such as Google, TikTok, Twitter just to name a few. But in this case, the Facebook Pixel.

The Facebook Pixel, like many others, records users behavior on websites. Basically, let's say a business owner wants to start putting ad dollars to Facebook to sell their products and/or services. It would be very beneficial for them to add the Facebook pixel to the website, so their customers on Facebook will be reminded of the product they were just looking at through their news feed in between friends posts.

Facebook Pixel in Depth

Let's talk about the Facebook Pixel more in depth. First, I want to introduce a developer tool called the “Facebook Pixel Helper”. This tool is widely used among javascript developers to make sure they are pulling the right behavioral data to send to Facebook. Download The Facebook Pixel Helper.

Below is an example of an attorney services pixel. This pixel is very basic which let's Facebook know that the user is interested in legal services by the page view and button click.

Here is an example of a Car Dealership. This one happens to be a bit more detailed showing what kind of cars the user is looking at on the website such as year, make, model, trim, price, vin, exterior color, etc. Just imagine how this data can be used!

If the pixel records detailed behavior, then that means it will know what the car shoppers are interested in like, new or used condition, make, model, exterior and interior color, mileage and most importantly the price range.

Here’s another example of a retail website. It’s the same concept of the detailed dealership pixel but in retail. Like knowing color preference and price range.

Retail advertising with the Pixel also allows you to track actions and advertise based on those actions like viewing the product, adding to cart and retarget abandoned carts.

In Conclusion

Most websites that advertise on Facebook have a Pixel code, the Pixel learns from the behavior of consumers and can predict what you buy next. And now you have it guys, you have learned what a pixel is and how advertising agencies use it.

Contact Us

If you're a business owner who may already have an ad agency, we can audit your advertising and audit if your pixel is working top-notch. You may be happy with how your ads are going, and the agency will not work to continually improve, but what if your ad agency could do better? Let us audit your strategy and advertising campaign for no obligation.

At Ford Huntington, we believe every business should have an ad agency they trust to grow your business. As you grow, we GROW!

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