Track Facebook ads more effectively in Google Analytics and attribute sales revenue to your campaigns, both online and offline.
Facebook is one of the most popular social networks worldwide, with roughly 2.85 billion monthly active users.
With that figure in mind, it’s no surprise that marketers are leveraging the opportunities of Facebook advertising to increase exposure and drive qualified leads.
As any marketer will tell you, it’s important to understand how your Facebook ads are impacting and influencing your customer acquisition and marketing ROI.
By following this guide, you will learn how to track the performance of your Facebook ads and will become better equipped to attribute your sales revenue back to your most valuable campaigns.
For this article, we’ll discuss:
💡 Pro Tip
Is your Google Analytics and Facebook reporting different results? Download our guide to reveal the most common reasons that lead to data inconsistencies between Facebook and Google Analytics, plus gain techniques to help improve the quality of your reporting.
How to solve the disconnect between Facebook and Google Analytics
Tracking your Facebook campaigns in Google Analytics is essential as it shows you how users are interacting with your website and provides a bigger picture of your customer journeys.
While you can get some basic information from Facebook about your website, it’s nowhere near as extensive as Google Analytics.
Facebook attribution does a great job at telling you how many people saw and clicked on your ad but loses complete visibility of those individuals once they navigate away from the platform.
With Google Analytics, however, you can gather valuable demographic data from your Facebook ad campaigns and track customer behaviour, device functionality and more once a user lands on your site.
Also, with the latest iOS 14 update and the recent changes to the attribution settings, advertisers can now expect to see up to a 40% reduction of reported conversions in Facebook Ads Manager.
Thankfully, Google Analytics can deliver a lot of information on conversions, clicks and sessions to help improve the performance of your campaigns.
💡 Pro Tip
Marketers have struggled to match data in Google Analytics and Facebook Ad Manager long before iOS 14 update.
Ruler acts as a bridge between Facebook and Analytics. It allows you to capture all interactions throughout a customer journey and provides a single source of truth about which ads, campaigns and landing are generating the most value.
Book a demo a Ruler Analytics to learn more
Let’s take a look at how to track Facebook ads in Google Analytics. Tracking your Facebook ads is straightforward. Get started with the step-by-step guide below:
The first step to tracking your Facebook activity in Google Analytics is to generate a URL parameter for your ads.
(If you’re already aware of URL parameters, then you can jump on ahead to the next section.)
In short, URL parameters provide more context and are the most useful method to measure and track your performance.
The best way to build your URL parameter is with Google Campaign URL builder.
We’ve decided not to go into too much detail on how to build the perfect URL parameters, as there are a lot of useful guides that do a great job of explaining the process already.
Instead, we’ve added a couple of our favourite guides below so that you can optimise your URL parameters for better reporting:
Once you’ve built your trackable link, you’ll need to create your ad on Facebook so that you can start measuring your performance once a user clicks on your creative.
Go to Ad Manager and create your ad. If you’re reading this article, it’s likely you know how to do this already.
Although, just in case, I’ve added a few guides below which you can follow to set up an ad on Facebook:
Once you’ve created your Facebook campaign and set the targeting for your ad set, you’ll be asked to create your ad.
There are two ways you can go about this:
a. The most common option is to copy and paste your whole URL in the “Website URL field”
b. Or, you can copy and paste into “URL Parameters”
c. If you want to include your link in your ad copy then you can convert your URL into a short link using a tool like Bitly.
Once you’ve shortened your link, it should look something like this:
Before you move onto the next stage, open a new tab and ensure that there are no errors when your webpage loads.
Login into your Google Analytics and use the following steps:
Acquisition Report > All Traffic > Source/Medium.
If you’ve set up your UTMs correctly, then you should see that Google Analytics has attributed traffic and conversions to your Facebook channel and medium that you used when you set up your UTM parameter.
To drill down into your campaign and content performance, click on “Other” and select the parameter you want to analyse in the Acquisition report.
💡 Pro Tip
Send marketing source data to your CRM and enrich your Google Analytics with web form, phone call and live chat activity to understand which marketing sources generate the most revenue, both online and offline.
Learn how to unlock marketing revenue in Google Analytics
Now, you’ll need to start thinking about how you’re going to prove the ROI of your advertising campaigns.
If you run an eCommerce business, then Google Analytics does a great job of correlating your sales data with website activity.
With the use of code embedded within your shopping cart, you can understand which of your marketing tactics are driving the most sales.
However, when it comes to the B2B sector, most buyers yearn for that personal touch and will often call to enquire or complete a purchase.
And, this is where Google Analytics falls short.
Google Analytics doesn’t provide call tracking.
So, if you have a number on your website, and use Google Analytics exclusively, then you have no way to collect data about your offline conversions.
Ruler is a marketing attribution solution that aligns revenue from your CRM with Facebook conversion data.
Its closed-loop functionality tracks your visitor’s multiple touchpoints to measure and attribute value accurately across the entire customer journey.
“Since the iOS changes, we’ve been relying on the data we get from Ruler way more. Lately, we aren’t getting the right data from Facebook ads portal, so I’m starting to use Ruler to make sure I’m not turning off ads that are actually working (an actual thing that’s happening). For businesses with high value/low quantity leads, this is so key,” Kurt Dunphy, Growth Manager at Rally.
How it works:
💡 Pro Tip
Want to learn more about Ruler but not ready to book a demo? Download this guide on why you need Ruler and see how it can help boost the quality of your marketing reports.
Download the eBook on how Ruler works
Below is a use case to demonstrate just how important it is to feed sales revenue into your Google Analytics dashboard.
In the screenshot below, you can see that Ruler has fed online and offline revenue data into the acquisition report and Google Analytics has attributed it accordingly.
Note: By default, Google Analytics uses non-direct last-click attribution. You can easily change this, and we have a guide on Google Attribution which can help you get started.
As you can see in the screenshot above, Facebook drove the most conversions and revenue. Although, if you compare Instagram and Twitter, you can see that Twitter had significantly fewer conversions but drove 6x more revenue than Instagram.
Without that revenue data, you’d likely invest more time and resources into Instagram, but it’s pretty evident that Twitter is more valuable.
If you want to learn more, then we have a guide dedicated on how to integrate CRM data with Google Analytics for closed-loop reporting.
To get the best results, you need to ensure that your Google Analytics and Facebook accounts work together so that you can gain a better understanding of your marketing and advertising campaigns.
And, with a tool like Ruler, you can go beyond goal tracking in Google Analytics and attribute revenue directly to your Facebook ads.
Which, in turn, will help you prove–and improve–marketing’s impact on business and will allow you to manage and scale budget into the areas that have the potential to drive more revenue.
Learn more on how Ruler attributes revenue to your marketing or book a demo and see it in action for yourself.
This was originally published on the September 30th 2020 and updated January 21st 2022 for freshness.