Conversion tracking is an essential part of successful PPC campaigns.
Since the only way to track conversions is by using conversion tracking pixels/code on your site, it is reasonable to wonder what effect these codes have on site performance.
In this month’s Ask PPC, Ralph from Deventer asks:
“Does Meta-pixel (Facebook) have a negative effect on website performance (eg loading speed)?”
To answer Ralph’s question, we’ll look at the following issues:
- What are conversion tracking pixels?
- How does it affect site speed?
- What strategies can advertisers use to mitigate site performance risks?
While the question was about Meta pixel, we’ll look at most major ad networks tracking, as the lessons can often spill over to all ad networks.
With that said, if we’ve missed a web and you have additional questions, please let us know and we’ll update the post.
What is a conversion tracking pixel?
Conversion tracking pixels are snippets of code that help communicate what happens on a site after a click.
Advertisers only need to install them once per domain, subject to individual conversion actions in the ad network.
Depending on the ad network, you may decide to use Google Analytics conversion tracking events or the local ad network conversion tracking pixel.
The benefit of using conversion events in Google Analytics is that they are the same source of truth your SEO team will use, eliminating the risk of inconsistencies.
Keep in mind that some ad networks will need to track their conversion anyway for network-specific actions (calls, local actions, etc.).
How does pixels affect site speed?
The actual effect of individual pixels on site speed is negligible.
Problems arise when redundant pixels are added or installed incorrectly.
Encrypted pixels tend to slow down site speed more than those in Google Tag Manager (GTM).
study by analytics Found that sites loaded 10% Faster by using GTM to retain tracking pixels than precisely encoded ones.
By adding pixels to GTM, you ensure more control over when pixels are fired and retain greater visibility of what is pinned.
While it is true that some tracking pixels may need to be shot immediately, most of them can be traced back to a later load.
Strategies to mitigate site speed risks
The biggest risk is redundant tracking pixels, which can drag site speed and potentially cause data collection disruptions.
It is critical to set up regular tracking pixel audits, ideally once a month or quarterly.
The most important things to check are:
- Duplicate signs from old sellers.
- Tags from channels are no longer used.
- Redundant containers or labels.
Brands may choose to send all paid traffic to a subdomain, which often allows for easier site speed management.
Achieve this with more strategic fire tracking calls.
While site verification does not directly affect site speed, failure to do so can result in unusable pixels.
Check pixels within the first few weeks of account setup to avoid the vicious cycle of installs and uninstalls.
The final takeaway
Tracking pixels don’t really affect site speed on a noticeable level.
Human error can cause problems. However, you can mitigate most of the problems with GTM.
Do you have a question about PPC? Submit via this form or tweet me at @navahf using the hashtag #AskPPC. See you next month!
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Featured Image: Paolo Bobita/Search Engine Magazine