It doesn’t matter whether your Facebook Ads budget is £1 a day or £1000 a day, you still want to know that you’re spending that budget wisely, right? Whilst Facebook Ads Manager is a great tool for tracking the results from your ads, there’s still quite a lot it doesn’t actually tell. Like how many people clicked on your ad but then bounced from your site, what pages on your website people did spend time on or what products they went on to buy or whether they’d already been to your site before. Thankfully, Google Analytics has the answer to all these questions.

The first step to tracking your Facebook Ads performance in Google Analytics is getting the two to talk to each other in a language they both understand, utm parameters. UTM parameters are little snippets of code that sit on the end of your website URL in your Facebook ads and send information through to Google Analytics each time someone visits.

For example here’s a website link without any utm parameters and one with:

Without
https://www.platypusmedia.co.uk

With
https://www.platypusmedia.co.uk/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Campaign1&utm_content=AdName1

Whilst this looks a little messy, it’s likely that your visitors won’t even notice it as Facebook doesn’t show it in your ads visibly. Instead, it sits behind the scenes and is only visible in the url bar on your visitors browser once they’re on your site.

Through these genius utm parameters you can send all sorts of information through to Google Analytics but the most important details are:

Campaign Name

Ad Set Name

Ad Name

These will share the details of the exact campaign, ad set and ad that your website visitor clicked. These gems will let you know more than just how many people clicked ads or made a transaction. You’ll be able to see how long these people spend on site, what pages they visit and even take a look at things like whether they’ve visited your site before.

There are three essential parameters that you have to add, source, medium and name, but I recommend that you also add content.

Source: this is where your traffic has come from i.e. Facebook / Instagram

Medium: this is the type of traffic and is usually cpc (cost per click) or cpm (cost per mille/thousand). In the Optimisation & Delivery section of your ad set, you’ll find how you’re being charged for your ads, usually either by Link Click (cpc) or by Impression. If it’s link clicks, use cpc. If it’s impressions, go with cpm.

Name: this should be the name of your campaign

Content: this gives you an opportunity add in the name of your ad set and ad too

Now that you know what to put for each parameter, the next step is to add these parameters to your ads…..and there’s a really simple way to do it!

When creating or editing your ad, scroll down to the very bottom section, Tracking.

Select the option, Build a URL Parameter and Facebook will do all the heavy lifting for you by letting you select your parameters and popping them in the right format for you.

In campaign source, enter either Facebook or Instagram, whichever platform your campaign is targeting.

In campaign medium, pop in either cpc or cpm based on how you’re getting charged by Facebook (per click or per impression).

In campaign name, from the drop down list select {{campaign.name}} and this will use the name you’ve created for your campaign. It’s important to note here, if you change the campaign name at a later date, it will remain the same for tracking if you use this option. For bonus points, pop in the adset name in here too.

In campaign content you want to select {{ad.name}} from the drop down list.

Hit Apply and you’re done! All your lovely information will now be sent to Google Analytics, yay!

If you want to go one step further and separate your Facebook Ads traffic in Google Analytics from your organic Facebook traffic (people that come to your website from your Facebook Page or from a link shared by friends) keep reading!

In Google Analytics we’re going to set up a new channel, Paid Social. 

In Google Analytics, head to the admin section by selecting the settings cog at the bottom left of your screen.

From the View menu on the right, select Channel Settings > Channel Grouping. We’re going to edit your Default Channel Grouping.

Here you’ll see a list of all the different channels you have automatically set up and how they’re defined. Let’s create a new one by selecting Define a new channel at the top of the list.

Call your channel Paid Social and pop in the following rules:

Source/medium contains Facebook / cpc

Source/medium contains Instagram / cpc

Source/medium contains Facebook / cpm

Source/medium contains Instagram / cpm

If you advertise on other social media platforms like LinkedIn or Pinterest, feel free to add in more rules to include those too.

Choose a colour for your channel then hit Done and Save (at the bottom of the page in blue).

Google Analytics suggests it can take up to 24 hours for your new settings to take effect and it’s important to note that this will only record Paid Social as the channel for new traffic coming through. Any previous data already in Google Analytics won’t be updated. So if someone clicked on your ad last week and came through Google Analytics as Social traffic, that will remain the same. However if that same person clicks on your ad tomorrow, it will then show in Google Analytics under Paid Social.

Now you’ll be able to analyse your Facebook Ads activity in Google Analytics and get a better understanding of how people are responding to your ads 🙌