What is tracking pixel?
In short, it is just what it sounds like. A tiny, invisible-to-the eye, pixel-sized image that allows for companies to track website visits, advertising impressions, email tracking, sales conversions and other types of activity on the web. Tracking pixels are the darlings of the web analytic crowd and can also go by other common names like web bug, beacon, tracking bug, page tag and more.
Tracking pixel example:
What is tracking pixel technology most used for?
Tracking pixel technology allows services like Google Analytics to tell companies how many people have visited their site. In the advertising world, tracking pixels are used so that advertisers know how many people have seen their digital ad, or visited a company website. For example, whenever a potential customer visits a site, a tracking pixel is downloaded onto the user’s server to create and http transaction. The sending of the pixel and recording of the action in the server logs is an invisible process to the user, but it can provide valuable data including:
• Better ad targeting
• The ability to synchronize cookies across domains for better data collecting
• Improved web personalization and more
Employing tracking pixels allows you to get more information than you thought possible. For example, by using tracking pixels on a shopping site a company can compare how many people visited the site versus how many people actually made purchase. That can help improve marketing efforts to improve conversion over the long run.
What is tracking pixel best practice?
There are some key strategies to responsible use of tracking pixels, however. First, it’s important to be as intentional as possible with pixel use and realize that you do not need fire pixels at every single user or for every page visit on a site. You should instead be precise with firing tracking pixels and follow a few best practices:
1. Put a cap on tracking pixel frequency to reduce end use latency
2. If you have a targeted campaign—like one for young males of a certain age—then don’t waste tracking pixels by firing them at older women, etc.
3. Respect privacy practices and “Do Not Track” requests
4. Allow customers to opt out of tracking
5. Employ start and end dates that are in sync with the campaign that is running
The future in pixel tracking and analytic
If you were to ask what is tracking pixel technology’s future, most experts would say that the answer lies in smarter technology, better performance and the ability to seamlessly integrate with future services. As tracking pixel technology evolves, the ability for a company to see different metrics and better analytics will evolve as well.