How Paid Facebook Traffic Is Really Tracked in Google Analytics

track paid FacebookRunning paid Facebook ads is a key component to producing a worthwhile online marking strategy. However, this powerful strategy for driving traffic to your website is only as good as the marketer’s ability to track its performance in Google Analytics. How can you make sure these paid ads are being tracked correctly? Let’s take a look.

Tracking Facebook Ads Correctly

Adding Facebook URL tracking parameters to your Facebook ads allows you to differentiate between organic and paid Facebook traffic in Google Analytics. By doing this, you are able to see analytics for individual Facebook ad campaigns that you run.

How to Add a URL Parameter

To do this, build a tracking URL parameter through Google’s Campaign URL Builder. These URL parameters help you as a marketer understand the effectiveness of your ads. Simply follow these steps on the Campaign URL Builder form and Facebook to find success!

  1. Type in the website URL
  2. Choose Facebook as your Campaign Source
  3. Choose a Campaign Medium, with “CPC” recommended
  4. Give your campaign a unique Campaign Name, potentially incorporating the date
  5. Insert Campaign Terms and Campaign Content (optional)
  6. Click on Generate URL – This will give you a tracking parameter for the URL
    Here is an example:
  7. Copy the portion of the URL after the “?” (in Power Editor interface)
  8. Go to the Facebook Ad Page where you build the campaign
  9. Click on the “show advanced” option
  10. Where it says URL parameters, paste the copied URL from Step 7
  11. Save the ad

Now that you have a tracking parameter connected with your Facebook ad, you can track the performance of the ad in Google Analytics.

What Does This Do?

These parameters are highly useful for marketers, as they can:

  • Identify the source of your ad traffic
  • Determine which ads help drive a conversion
  • Show you which ads were not successful, saving you time and money in future efforts

URL parameters are also ideal for ads that link to destinations off of Facebook, such as your website, or to another promoted Facebook post. When you go into Google Analytics follow these steps:

  1. Go to Acquisitions > Overview
  2. Click on “All Traffic”
  3. Click on “Source/Medium”

You should see “Facebook/CPC” or a similar title, like so:fb cpc

This is important because the big catch with Google Analytics is that if you don’t use tracking parameters, your Facebook traffic will tend to look like organic traffic or possibly social traffic. This could lead to you not being able to note the difference in your paid campaign.

  • Now, with the CPC parameters, you can click on the field “Facebook/CPC” and look at the metrics
  • You can add multiple campaigns into this and see multiple Facebook ads that you have run and compare the differences in traffic and conversions

Track PPC Goals Using Google Analytics

Did you know that you can set up goal tracking in your Google Analytics profile to further track the success of your campaign? Here are the two most common goals you can track:

  1. Destination Goal – If you are sending your ads to a specific landing page, and if that page has a form on it, be sure to have your form redirect to a thank you page. This way, you can track conversions from your ads.
  2. Event Goal – If you are unable to add a thank you page, explore your analytics account to see if any events take place when a form is filled out. You can also use events to track things such as phone calls, LiveChat, PDF downloads, and more.

For further details on how to set up goals, head over to our informative blog post.

Quick Win Paid Marketing Tips

If you are just getting started with online advertising, or looking for ways to revamp a struggling campaign, here are a few things to consider:

  • Are you running ads on weekends? Be sure to check your data and see if you are getting conversions during those times. If not, you can save some budget by only running them during the week. It can go the opposite way as well!
  • Are your ads running at all times of the day? Given that most people are asleep from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m., make sure you aren’t wasting your money keeping ads running during this period, unless there is a good reason.
  • Where are you targeting? Sometimes when you go too broad, or too specific, you can be targeting the wrong audience based on location alone. It might be a good experiment to segment your campaigns based on location to see which performs the best.
  • What metrics are you having your audience meet? Whether it’s remarketing, based on interest, or more, if you compare your data a couple months out, it could show you that your current audience isn’t bringing the best quality leads.

Need Help with Facebook Advertising?

We have experience helping a variety of business types, including colleges, home services, entertainment, and more, to reach their goals by running creative and tailored ads through Facebook.

Our team would be happy to talk with you on what you are looking to accomplish through pay-per-click marketing and how we can provide expertise to help.

Want to Learn More?

We hope this overview can help you find success in running your Facebook ad campaigns. For more information, check out Facebook Business to further your insights on implementing successful Facebook ad campaigns.

In the meantime, here are some other helpful blog posts about Facebook, PPC, and more:

Stay in the Know on All Things Digital Marketing

And as always, reach out to your favorite digital marketing specialists here at Sixth City Marketing if you have any questions. Also, be sure to sign up for our email newsletter to get helpful posts like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Steve DiMatteo

About the Author

Steve DiMatteo

Steve DiMatteo is our Senior SEO Strategist and Content Manager and has been working in marketing since 2010 on accounts ranging in legal, SaaS, and more. His past experience also includes writing for the Associated Press. Over the years, he has been featured in the Washington Post, Variety, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and numerous other publications.

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