Data Warehouse: Tracking Pixel

Illustration by Giorgia Lupi

What is a Tracking Pixel?

The term “pixel” is short for “Picture Element”, the images on the computer display contain these tiny dots. Then, Tracking pixels are 1x1 pixel large, usually transparent graphics that are integrated into the respective website.

Tracking pixels helps marketers to collect user data for web, mobile & email marketing. By installing an HTML or Javascript code snippet, can track different events when the visitor acts. Marketers may use these actions to track user activities, conversion tracking, and behavioral retargeting.

When users take a certain action, such as visiting a site, opening emails, viewing your digital ad, etc. they send a request to the server to download the tracking pixel attached to the content they’re interacting with. It’s an invisible process to the user but the data collected will help marketers create better digital ad and content experiences for consumers.

A tracking pixel can collect any information about users and how they interact with your site. Some data points that can be collected include:

  • Which pages they view
  • Operating system
  • Device information
  • Screen resolution
  • What time they visited
  • Activities during a session
  • Their IP addresses
  • and more…

How does Tracking Pixel work?

Tracking Pixels
Illustration by Seobility

Let’s say that we have a website such having implemented a tracking script called “pixel.js” whose code is expected to insert a tracking pixel on the page. The tracking script can access and generating requests using the data available on the page as well as setting different cookies that can be used as identifiers.

These data usually consist of data available within the HTML, within the URL, within the data layer, cookies, or accessed through an event listener or an API request. The tracking script will make different types of requests to pass that information to the tracking pixel.

Criticism of Tracking Pixels

Using pixels too often can cause your site to slow down and create a poor user experience. If your site takes too long to load, you can lose customers. Determine which pages will supply you with the best data and concentrate your efforts there first.


By that, I mean, tracking pixels may be a teeny-tiny, practically invisible piece of technology, but they play a huge role in our current and future digital marketing landscape.

More articles coming soon…



Back-end Developer at Vedrai Spa | Founder at and | 25y — Milan, Italy | Passions: 👨🏻‍🍳 ✈️ 🎭 👨🏻‍💻 🕺🔭 🏔

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Francesco Sessa

Back-end Developer at Vedrai Spa | Founder at and | 25y — Milan, Italy | Passions: 👨🏻‍🍳 ✈️ 🎭 👨🏻‍💻 🕺🔭 🏔