A Guide to Tracking Facebook Ads in Google Analytics

Tracking Facebook Ads in Google Analytics

Facebook Ads can be a great digital marketing platform, but Facebook Insights limits you to only tracking things that happen on Facebook itself. So, if you want to know what happens after a Facebook user clicks on one of your ads you'll have to go elsewhere to pick up the data trail.

 

Tracking Facebook marketing campaigns in Google Analytics is a simple solution to this problem. Not only that, using Google Analytics will give you a fuller range of metrics so that you can get a really clear picture of what users are doing after they click on one of your ads.

 

Here's a quick step-by step guide to getting started.

 

1. Set up UTM parameters in Facebook Ads


UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module and essentially it's a way of identifying a marketing campaign that sends traffic to your website. It's basically a big website url and there are three UTM Parameters you'll want to use:

 

  • utm_source - the site the web traffic came from (also called the referrer site)
  • utm_medium - the campaign medium you're using (paid Facebook ad campaigns or cpc, for example)
  • utm_campaign - the campaign name


The other two parameters are:

  • utm_term - identifies search terms
  • utm_content - identifies what was clicked (e.g. a text link or a banner ad)

 

Getting the parameters right is essential so it's probably best to use Google's URL builders as your campaign url builder so that the syntax is correct. There's also a Chrome extension you can use if you prefer.

 

Once you have your URLs, copy them into the URL Parameters field when you create a new Facebook ad in Ads Manager.

 

2. Start tracking!


Now you'll be able to track Facebook ads in Google Analytics. Once you login to your Google Analytics account, go to Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns and search for your campaign name. Alternatively, in the Acquisition drop-down menu, click Source/Medium and then select Facebook Ads. Both will show you Google Analytics data derived from your Facebook traffic.

 

You'll see a much more comprehensive set of analytics data (as compared to Facebook Ads Manager) to measure your ad performance. Importantly, you can begin to easily assess overall campaign performance, how successful Facebook advertising is as a traffic source and how it affects your conversion rate, landing page performance, and whether your Facebook campaigns are helping you achieve your business goals.

 

You'll also be able to easily compare Google Ads performance with Facebook Ads performance and track how changes in ad content affect link clicks and everything down the line.

 

Alternatively, use DashThis


Another easy way to track Facebook Ads is by using DashThis.

 

It lets you pull data from Facebook and other social media sites, Google Analytics or over 30 other digital marketing tools.

 

DashThis also takes care of the data visualization so you'll always have easy to interpret data, whether you want to track conversions, cost-per-click or anything in between.

 

You're also able to pull together data from different platforms so you can see how they're working off each other.

 

Both Google Analytics and DashThis give you solid ways to track Facebook ad performance. But for ease of use and great functionality, you can't beat DashThis.

 

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