What is Tracking Pixel?

Coby McKinley Profile image

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Updated January 5, 2023

Internet users concerned with consumer privacy and intrusive ads across platforms should understand how conversion pixels work. Advertising platforms use pixel tracking to refine their marketing efforts and increase conversion actions. Understanding how tracking pixels log user behaviors can help you avoid unnecessary mobile ads and marketing campaigns. So, stick around to learn what is pixel tracking and what it means for the common user experience.


  • Pixel trackers are invisible 1×1 images on websites and advertisements that log visitor actions like submission forms and sales conversions.
  • Website owners and advertisers place conversion tracking pixels throughout the entire user experience from the first visit to hitting the purchase button.
  • The information from email campaigns and pixel trackers allows business owners to refine their advertising and website layout.

For more information, read up on conversion tracking pixels, the difference between Facebook pixels vs Facebook analytics, and third-party tracking pixels.

Insider Tip

Adjust your user privacy settings to block email tracking pixels from logging information from your PC or mobile device.

What is a 1×1 Tracking Pixel?

Tracking pixels, also called marketing pixels, are translucent 1×1-pixel graphics that log visitor actions with Javascript. The invisible conversion tracking pixel contains a snippet of code that collect customer actions along a digital ad campaign or the navigation paths on a sales page. Conversion tracking pixels exist on spam emails, social media platforms, and most major websites.

How Do Conversion Pixels Work?

Programmers make tracking pixel code from JavaScript, designed to run when certain pages and ads load. Tracking pixels send information back to an advertiser’s conversion pixel server when a visitor clicks an ad, views a page, completes a submission form, or sees a post-purchase “Thank You” page.


Do not share your email address with untrusted sources because they can sell your data to nefarious actors.

Why is Pixel Tracking Important?

Tracking pixels offer considerable insights into a business owner’s marketing strategy by tracking the behavior of users on the web pages. Modern content management platforms feature analysis tools to handle high-volume campaigns, making it easy for advertisers to stress-test key strategies. Then, advertisers can adjust the campaign with their target audience in mind and increase conversion actions.

STAT: A 2019 Pew Research Center poll showed that 64% of Americans had seen ads or solicitations based on their personal data. (source)

What is Pixel Tracking FAQs

Are tracking pixels legal?

Tracking pixels and internet cookies can collect information without a user’s knowledge, an obvious issue with privacy advocates. Data privacy regulations like the GDPR and CCPA require advertisers to gain a user’s consent before collecting their browsing data. Additionally, these regulations provide guidelines on how advertisers can use the data and the duration they can store the tracking information.

Can I avoid pixel tracking?

It’s difficult to avoid the entire conversion tracking process, but you can minimize the issue with a few simple changes. Go to the advanced user settings in your browser and customize your cookie settings. Additionally, multiple browser extensions make tracking pixels visible and block them. Lastly, adjust your email settings to block pixel trackers, and limit which sites have your email address.

Should I clear my internet browser cookies?

Clearing your cookies keeps your browser cache clean, which can increase system performance. That said, your browser uses cookies across domains to ensure a smooth and personalized web experience. Clearing all of the cookies will delete auto-fill information and saved website preferences. You can refine your cookie setting options to block certain trackers and
Coby McKinley Profile image