How To Implement Google Analytics Tracking for Facebook Ads

Using Google Analytics Tracking

Tracking Facebook Ads in Google Analytics

One of the primary benefits of online marketing is the easy accessibility of data. The when, where, who and how of our marketing efforts is everything. Yet sometimes with so many different platforms and marketing campaigns going on, tracking it all can be quite daunting.

Most website owners use some form of analytics to see how their web traffic is doing. About 95% of those people use Google analytics. In this post we will go through how to set up google analytics to easily track your Facebook ad traffic.

It starts with the URL

Use google URL builder for your ads, especially if you have multiple channels pointing to the same landing page and you need to see where the traffic is coming from.

A good way to do this is using UTM tags in your urls. When you create a new Facebook ad and you paste in your landing page URL you can customize that URL with UTM tags that will give you all kinds of tracking information for exactly where that user came from.

This way you can have different UTM tags for Facebook ads, twitter ads, Google Adwords, or any other tracking source. This way all of these different sources can point to the same landing page.

Now UTM tags are not something that is automatically generated, you have to create them using something like Google URL builder.​

For a awesome break down of how to use Google UTM tracking check out this awesome video from Bryan Harris and Kissmetrics:

As Bryan goes into in the video about you can also use them for the internal links you have inside your own site pointing to your landing page.

This is a great way to easily track your internal CTA's without have to dive into weird depths of Google Analytics content flow maps!​

The Basic Social Referral Report In GA is Lacking

When you look at your traffic acquisitions report in google analytics there is a option for Social traffic. This segments all traffic that comes to your site from sites like twitter, facebook, instagram, pinterest, ect.

However this is all traffic. You could go into Social > Facebook > Landing Pages and see the traffic that Facebook sent to your landing page, but this is inefficient 

If instead you set up your UTM tracking, you can go through the campaigns report instead of the social report.

This lets you filter your traffic from the campaign, source, and medium level. If you set up your UTM’s with as much info as possible it is going to make it a much more valuable report.

The next step is taking the link traffic tracking to conversion tracking.

It starts with Goals In Google Analytics

Everything you want in life starts with a goal right? Well all the real meat and potatoes data you want in Google Analytics comes from setting up goals.

We need to set up an easy to see report on our Google analytics dashboard that shows us all the information we need to know about the ad traffic conversions we are paying so handsomely for.

Goals are customization funnels you can create inside of GA. You can piece together a string of pages that lead to a Conversion. You can also create goals for time on page, events like playing a video, all sorts of things.

With all the different types of data sets you can create with goals it can get a little overwhelming, but we will start with a simple opt-in goal.

The whole key to us getting reliable data from GA about our Facebook ADs is correctly setting up goals inside the analytics dashboard.

Lets dive into the screenshots to take a look at how we would create this step by step.

Step 1. Go to the Admin tab at the top of your GA screen.

Google Analytics goals

Step 2.  Click on goals in the half way down on the third column of options

tracking Facebook Ads in Google Analytics

Step 3.  Select the red button that says New Goal

adding a goal in google analytics

You are now in the goal setup screen. You will see Google has given you some templates to work with the create common goal types.

Most of the time we are going to go with the simple “sign up” template. This is what we would use to track opt-ins to a lead magnet.

So on the next screen name your goal and select Destination as your goal type, as we want to track people who land on our confirmation page.

Tracking Facebook Conversions in Google Analytics

This is very similar to setting up custom conversions with the Facebook Ads pixel.

In the Destinations screen you want to add in the page url for your optin confirmation page. IE: /confirmation-page - use if you have been following along and made UTMs for your tracking, you will want to use “Begins With” on your landing pages. However for your confirmation page, you should be fine with “equals” as long as your site does not have dynamic URLS.

For more information on these goal parameters check out this link:

Now you will see you can verify the goal and GA will go back and see how many goal conversions you would have recorded over the last week. If this is a new landing page and campaign obviously this won’t work.

Make sure if you are tracking the value of your leads, you specify what that value is in the value field. For example if you know that every lead is worth $5 to you, add $5 in the Values field.

I know, pretty straightforward right?

As for funnels, this won’t really be necessary to set up unless you have a multi-step, multi-page process the user needs to navigate through to complete your conversions, IE: checkout process.

For a simple Landing page > Thank You page setup you do not need to use the Funnel options.

Once you save the goal you know have a simple conversion tracking report you can view in your google analytics.

From here what I like to do is add the goal conversion report to my main dashboard, this way I can see this information quickly without  having to always scroll down to the conversions menu.

Also do the same thing for your UTM tracking.  Go to campaigns, click All Campaigns, and then select add to dashboard.

For my new site I have created a dashboard that will track my main key metrics, conversions, campaign tracking, and sales.  Once I finish my sales funnel I will be able to see in a quick view all my conversions for my lead magnet, and sales.

You Can't Optimize What You Don't Track​

With Facebook Ads it is all about tracking, testing and optimizing, you need to use the data to your advantage. The power editor inside Facebook gives you a lot of great info, however Google Analytics is still very useful for tracking not just the effectiveness of your Facebook campaigns but also your Instagram, Twitter, Adwords, and organic lead funnels.

I urge you to take some time TODAY to go and set up these UTM urls and goal conversions so you can have a better grasp on your ad spend and marketing campaigns.

Jay Broyer

Hi I'm Jay the founder of , I been involved with small business web design and brick and mortar digital marketing since 2009. I cut my teeth in online marketing promoting my solo music career and brought those skills to my 9-5. Now I want to help other small businesses get ahead using paid traffic strategies.

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