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Pixel Placement & Troubleshooting

In This Pixel Guide, you will find information on: - Pixel Placement Information and common pitfalls - How to verify/confirm pixel placement without AdCellerant - Pixel Placement as a Service


The “Pixel”, or snippet of Javascript code, is a vital component in any digital marketing campaign. When the advertiser correctly places the pixel in their site, they unlock the ability to retarget site visitors and track conversion metrics that would otherwise be unavailable. Site Retargeting and Conversion Tracking have shown to increase retention rates and improve overall performance of digital marketing efforts.
The process of placing the pixel has often been the source of frustration for advertisers, and can often lead to delays in launching a digital campaign. This guide is meant to help guide the pixel placement process, call out common pitfalls, give tools on how a partner or advertiser can check for themselves, and finally, a new service to place the pixel on behalf of the advertiser/partner.

Part 1: Pixel Placement

When a pixel is requested, AdCellerant will give partners the option to have the operations
team place the pixel within the client’s Google Tag Manager instance OR provide the pixel for the client to place directly on their site.
While placement instructions can vary across products/platforms, the level of assistance should be consistent across the operations team. Below is an example of our current process/communication if the client wishes to place the pixel themselves:
We recommend the client place the pixel anywhere that will get pushed to every subpage of a URL. The footer template is usually constant across all pages which allows the pixel togather the most data.
   E.g. <footer>
           Pixel Code
            . . .
The pixel may also be placed in a Google Tag Manager by selecting Custom HTML as the tag type, and setting the firing triggers to All Pages.
Once the partner is confident the pixel has been placed, the operations team will take a number of steps internally to make sure everything is firing properly. If the pixel is not collecting data and/or not placed on noted pages, we will update the partner with this information.
Occasionally a universal pixel may not work correctly due to a variety of factors, so please review the following as you work on placing the pixel:
  • 3rd party websites (such as ticketing or submission from vendors) will generally need a static image pixel in place of a universal pixel. In these cases, we will provide a universal pixel to be placed on the client’s site and a static image pixel to be placed on the 3rd party website. This should give us the opportunity to gather data from both sites.
  • Websites that do not support javascript will not be able to utilize a universal pixel. In those cases, we will provide a static image pixel instead.
  • Website addresses ending in .aspx will almost always require a static image pixel.
  • Websites that do support javascript, but are based on custom-built websites (instead of templated sites such as WordPress, etc) may not be compatible with the universal pixel. In those cases, a static pixel often resolves the issue.
  • For WordPress and other templated sites, the advertiser may have placed the pixel, but did not push the new code to their site, so it's best practice to confirm with them that they performed that last step (very easy to forget!)
It’s important to remember that pixel placement requests and troubleshooting steps are not uniform due to platform differences, site uniqueness, etc. We are not able to go in and place or adjust any code on the site on behalf of the advertiser. We will do our best in walking every partner through the outlined steps (above) and provide articles that may assist during the pixel placement process. If there is concern that a pixel cannot be placed directly on the client's site, the operations team highly recommends working within Google Tag Manager and will suggest this during the troubleshooting process.
Before submitting a pixel request, please note that pixel implementation, testing, and the confirmation period can run from two days to several weeks based on elements both in and out of our control. We always recommend that you try and have the pixel placed, tested, and confirmed a few days prior to the start of any campaign. Lastly, we rely on the client/client’s web developer to place the pixel and troubleshoot where necessary.

Part 2: Pixel Troubleshooting

How To Check for Universal Pixel Placement Using Ghostery

  1. Download Ghostery if you haven’t already added it as a program on your Chrome browser. Ensure the iconScreen_Shot_2021-02-23_at_2.38.59_PM.png is appearing as an extension in your Chrome browser’s top toolbar. If its not appearing, you should be able to click the Screen_Shot_2021-02-23_at_2.39.53_PM.png icon and pin the Ghostery icon to your Chrome toolbar from the menu that pops up.
  2. Open each of your client’s requested conversion URLs as separate tabs on your Chrome browser. For this example, we will use the conversion URLs listed below:
  3. Once you have opened each of the conversion URLs into separate tabs on your browser, you will click on the Screen_Shot_2021-02-23_at_2.38.59_PM.png icon extension in your Chrome browser’s top toolbar at the top of each page. For this example, we are only viewing the https://locations.website.com/us/eagan-mn page. Please see the screenshot below:Screen_Shot_2021-02-23_at_2.43.46_PM.png
  4. You will see once you’ve clicked the Screen_Shot_2021-02-23_at_2.38.59_PM.png icon, that a list of trackers appears under “Advertising” (you may have to click “Trust Site” inside Ghostery for the list of trackers to come up). These “trackers” are all the pixels that are currently placed on this site page (conversion URL). You will scroll through this list of trackers until you find “TradeDesk”. If “TradeDesk” is listed among the trackers in the list that appears, we assume that the pixel has indeed been placed on this particular page (conversion URL).
  5. You will repeat this process for each of the site pages (conversion URLs) the client wants to track on the campaign

How To Check for Universal Pixel Placement Not Using Ghostery (Recommended)

  1. Open each of your client’s requested conversion URLs as separate tabs on your Chrome browser. For this example, we will use the conversion URLs listed below:
  2. Once you have opened each of the conversion URLs into separate tabs on your browser, you will right-click anywhere on each of the site pages. It’s best to choose an empty space of the site page that doesn’t have a picture or content listed anywhere.
  3. After right-clicking, you will see a menu of options appear - click “Inspect”.
  4. You will then see the page’s code load to the right-hand side of your browser window. On your keyboard, type CTRL+F or COMMAND+F to be able to “Find” inside this code.
  5. After keying CTRL+F or COMMAND+F, you will then see a box come up at the bottom of the page code you’re inspecting. Inside this box is where you will add the pixel’s specific identifying code to search for it on the site page. This specific identifying code can be found inside the Universal Pixel txt file your campaign manager sends to you in the IO. An example of this specific pixel code is outlined in red in the screenshot included here:
  6. You will copy only this bit of code (only the 9dzh6im in this example) and paste this into the “Find” box where you’re searching for the pixel code on the client’s site page.
  7. If the pixel has been placed on this site page (conversion URL) you will see it appear after following these steps and searching for it this way. The same https://locations.website.com/us/eagan-mn page example screenshot is included here after completing these steps: 
    Screen_Shot_2021-02-23_at_2.50.06_PM.pngThe red-outlined box in the screenshot above is the search box where you will add the specific pixel code (in this example, the 9dzh6im). The green-outlined box in the screenshot above is the Universal Pixel placed on the client’s site page (that specific conversion URL). In this case, the https://locations.website.com/us/eagan-mn page.
  8. You will repeat this process for each of the site pages (conversion URLs) the client wants to track on the campaign.

Part 3: Pixel Placement as a Service

AdCellerant’s Web Development team is now offering a closed Beta service to carry out pixel
placement on behalf of our partners, should the advertiser need assistance with this process.
Please reach out to your Account Manager for more details on participation and pricing.