At Cox Media, we know how critical it is to track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. In today’s world, knowing your marketing ROI is now more important than ever. One way we can do that is through what we call pixel tracking. We created this Q&A to help address frequently asked questions regarding website pixels. Read on to find out more about how this works and what you need to know to track key metrics for your digital campaigns.

Q: What is a pixel and what does it track?

A pixel or sometimes called a “tag” is a short piece of code placed on your website to collect information about visitors and how they behave on your site. For each digital marketing tactic that you run, you can generally place a pixel that will tell you how the website traffic you are driving from that tactic is performing on your site. Let’s look at an example:

pixel blog image

Q: Why are pixels important?

Knowing what visitors are doing after clicking on your ad is critical to know how effective your advertising is. For example, if we can track sales generated on your website from a specific ad, that will help us calculate a return on ad spend and give you a clearer picture of how effective your ad dollars are being spent. This is also the benefit of digital marketing. With a digital storefront (your website), we can track what users are doing. This is a bigger challenge with traditional advertising. Unfortunately, we can’t put a tracking pixel on users when they walk around your physical storefront, but we can online!

Q: How does a pixel get implemented on your website?

For every marketing tactic where we will use a pixel, Cox Media will generate the code for you and ask that you place it on our behalf. Typically, a pixel is placed directly in the code of your website on each of the pages where you want to track activity. If you have a website developer, the developer can easily place the code for you. If you do not have a web developer, you will need to copy and paste the code provided to you by Cox Media into the header of your website. Usually, the platform that your site is managed through will have a plug-in or a setting where you can add the pixel. For example, if you have a SquareSpace site, there is a setting called “code injection.” At Cox Media, we cannot place pixels for you, but we can help walk you through the process and have informational resources to help. Check out our Tag Management Pixel Template. The easier way to implement a pixel is through a centralized tag manager platform.

Q: What is a tag manager and do I need one?

A tag manager such as Google Tag Manager is a user-friendly, web-based tool that simplifies the process of working with pixels. With a tag manager platform, you're able to add, edit, and disable pixels without having to touch the source code of your website. Having a tag manager makes adding and removing tags easier without needing assistance from your web developer.  If you have a complicated website, several marketing pixels and want to track multiple different types of activities, then a tag management platform would make sense for you. We recommend Google Tag Manager, because it is free and easy to set up.

Q: Will adding pixels slow my website down?

It depends. Anytime you add new code to your website, it could slow down page loading times. That’s why it is important to ensure you only have pixels on your site for current activity you want to track. If you end your relationship with Cox Media or any other marketing partner, it’s important to remove old pixels right away. This will also ensure that marketing partners you no longer work with lose access to your data.

Q: How can Cox Media support you in this process?

Cox Media is here to help you troubleshoot any issues or questions you run into when placing a pixel. We provide clear instructions on how to place your pixels and can offer support when you run into errors but cannot place the pixels for you.

As always, we are here to support your marketing efforts to ensure you are successful.