Do you use Facebook ads to drive more traffic and conversions? For this article, we show you how to track Facebook ads more effectively in Google Analytics, and as a bonus, help you attribute your sales revenue to your campaigns, both online and offline.
Facebook had 2.7 billion monthly users as of June 2020.
It’s no surprise that marketers are leveraging the opportunities of Facebook advertising to increase exposure and generate high-quality leads.
Like any other marketing channel, it’s important to understand how your Facebook ads impact your performance so that you can improve marketing strategies, customer acquisition, and more importantly, increase ROI.
By following this guide, you will learn how to track the performance of your Facebook ads within minutes and will become better equipped to attribute your sales revenue back to your most valuable campaigns.
For this article, we’ll discuss:
- Why you should track Facebook ads in Google Analytics
- The inconsistencies between Facebook and Google Analytics
- How to track your Facebook Ads in Google Analytics
- How to attribute sales revenue to your Facebook Ads
Without further ado, let’s jump right into.
Table of Contents
Why Track your Facebook ads in Google Analytics?
Facebook can only tell you what happened before an ad was clicked, whereas Google Analytics can show you what takes place once a user engages with an ad and lands on your website.
Tracking your Facebook campaigns in Google Analytics is essential as it provides you with a bigger picture of your customer journey, and allows you to calculate your return on spend.
With that said, there are common inconsistencies between the data you see on Facebook and Google Analytics, as both platforms track data differently.
Before you track your Facebook ads in Google Analytics, you must take the time to understand these discrepancies so that you don’t jump to the wrong conclusions when it comes to measuring the performance of your advertising campaigns.
Note: We have an article that explains the inconsistencies between Facebook and Google Analytics. We recommend you give that a read so that you fully recognise the differences between both platforms. You can find that here.
Here are some notable discrepancies between Google Analytics and Facebook:
- Facebook ad clicks and Google Analytics sessions are different metrics: Facebook offers the metrics “Clicks” and “Link Clicks”. Clicks are when a user engages with an ad and can include a share, like or comment. Whereas, “Link Clicks” is when a user clicks on a URL. Link Clicks counts all clicks, even duplicates. So let’s say, for example, a user clicked the same ad three times in 30-minutes, Facebook would record all these engagements, whereas Google Analytics sessions would only report this as one click.
- Google Analytics tracking code didn’t fire: Let’s say you had a Facebook ad with a URL pointing towards a landing page on your website. If the Google Analytics tracking code doesn’t fire, the session will not report, causing a discrepancy between your Facebook and Google Analytics.
- Attribution differences between Facebook and Google Analytics: Facebook will attribute any conversion to itself whether the user either clicked or viewed the ad. Although, by default, Google Analytics uses the non-direct last-click attribution model. Let’s say a user clicked on a Facebook ad and landed on your website. They didn’t make a conversion on their initial but came back later that day using an organic search to make a purchase. In this scenario, Google Analytics would attribute this sale to organic search, whereas Facebook would attribute it to itself.
Again, these are just a handful of reasons why your Facebook and Google Analytics data doesn’t match. We do recommend you research these discrepancies in more depth before you optimise the performance of your ads.
How to track Facebook ads in Google Analytics
Now that we’ve got the important stuff out of the way, let’s take a look at how to track Facebook ads in Google Analytics.
Tracking your Facebook ads is straightforward, and you can get started by following this step-by-step guide below.
Step 1: Create a Trackable Link
The first step to tracking your Facebook activity in Google Analytics is to generate a URL parameter for your ads.
Now, if you’re already aware of URL parameters, then you can jump on ahead to the next section.
If not, make sure you stick around.
In short, URL parameters provide a bigger picture of your ad campaigns in Google Analytics and is 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:
- UTM Parameters: What They Are, Why You Need Them, and How to Use Them
- How To Add Facebook Ad Url Parameters [The Right Way]
- UTM Tags and Your Facebook Campaigns
Step 2: Create your Facebook ad
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:
- How to Advertise on Facebook in 2020: The Definitive Facebook Ads Guide
- The Complete Guide to Getting Start with Facebook Ads
- How to run Facebook ads: A Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising 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.
Step 4: Track Performance in Google Analytics
Login into your Google Analytics and use the following steps:
Acqusition Report > All Traffic > Source/Medium.
If you’ve setup 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 setup 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.
How to Attribute Sales Revenue to Your Facebook ads with Ruler Analytics
Once you’re tracking your Facebook ads in Google Analytics, you’ll need to start thinking about how you’re going to evidence the ROI of your advertising campaigns.
If you run an eCommerce website, then Google Analytics does a great job of correlating sales data with website activity. With the use of code embedded within your shopping cart, you can understand which of your marketing initiatives are driving the most sales.
That said, when it comes to high-value purchases or a professional service, most customers still crave that personal touch and are more likely to call a business to complete a sale.
And, this is where Google Analytics falls short.
Google Analytics doesn’t provide call tracking. So, in other words, 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 or sales.
It’s for this reason why we came up with our solution to help advertisers track their marketing revenue in Google Analytics.
Ruler Analytics is a marketing attribution solution which aligns revenue from your CRM with marketing data in Google Analytics so that it can track your visitor’s multiple touchpoints to measure and attribute value accurately across the entire sales cycle.
Here’s how we would track Facebook ads revenue using Ruler Analytics:
1. Track anonymous visitors over multiple sessions and traffic sources
Anonymous users engage with your marketing campaigns and ultimately land on your website. Ruler Analytics tracks each anonymous visitor individually, and records how that user found your site and tracks any subsequent visits to or interactions with other marketing channels and campaigns.
2. Send conversion data to the CRM
Whenever a visitor converts via phone call or form fill, we send that conversion data to our CRM.
This populates the sales team’s system with all marketing data, which helps our salespeople learn more about prospects’ interests before reaching out to them.
3. Send sales revenue back to Ruler Analytics
When sales teams convert marketing-generated leads and enter the sales amounts into your CRM, it feeds that data back to the Ruler Analytics dashboard.
This gives marketers a complete view of how many conversions they’re generating and exactly how much revenue those conversions brought in. You can see exactly how much revenue different channels and campaigns generate.
4. Send Data to Google Analytics reporting suite
Ruler is an official Google Analytics partner. You can connect data from your Ruler Analytics account into your Google Analytics, CRM, and social media monitoring platforms and view all of that data within those applications.
For example, as you can see below, any sales that are attributed to Facebook in Ruler Analytics have been sent into Google Analytics.
Download our eBook for more information on how to close the loop between your marketing and sales.
Importance of Measuring Revenue, and Not Just Leads
Below I’ve added 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 Analytics 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 resource 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 track marketing revenue in Google Analytics.
Don’t expect your Facebook reporting to perform in the same way as Google Analytics.
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 Analytics, 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.
If so, download our handbook on closed-loop marketing attribution or book a call with one of our sales representatives and start focusing on the revenue impact of your marketing initiatives today.