Complete Guide to Google Analytics for Facebook

Tracking Facebook ad campaigns in Google Analytics

In order to track the performance of various Facebook ad campaigns in Google Analytics, add following UTM parameters at the end of the destination URL of each Facebook ad:

utm_source

Use this parameter to specify traffic source.

For example: utm_source= facebook

Note: utm_source is a required parameter.

utm_medium

Use this parameter to specify traffic medium.

For example: utm_medium= social

Note: utm_medium is a required parameter.

utm_content

Use this parameter to differentiate various Facebook ads or links that point to the same destination page.

For example: utm_content=ad1

utm_campaign

Use this parameter to specify the name of the Facebook campaign.

For example: utm_campaign= pdf-book-campaign

Note: utm_campaign is a required parameter.

Following is an example of Facebook ad URL which contains UTM parameters:

https://www.optimizesmart.com/book-maths-and-stats-for-web-analytics-conversion-optimization/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=ad1&utm_campaign=pdf-book-campaign

facebook ad utm

Always use Google URL builder to add UTM parameters to the destination URL of your Facebook ads.

Always use Facebook Power Editor to create and manage Facebook ads.

Many people use Facebook boost post to create and publish ads.

While it is easy to create ads via the boost post feature, it lacks many advanced features, like adding UTM parameters to the Ads’ URLs.

Without adding the UTM parameters to the ads’ URLs, you won’t be able to measure the performance of various Facebook ad campaigns in Google Analytics.

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Understanding how Facebook traffic moves through the checkout process

One of the best ways to analyse Facebook traffic data in Google Analytics, is through filtered view.

If you use filtered view, you will never forget to segment the data and segmenting the data is very important in order to get better understanding of the Facebook traffic. 

If you use advanced segment (to filter out Facebook traffic), then you need to consciously remember to use this segment each time, before you begin your analysis. Moreover, Google Analytics does not let you apply advanced segments on the funnel visualization report and multi-channel reports. So you would never know, how Facebook traffic moves through the checkout process or complete a goal conversion.

Create a new view in Google Analytics and apply following filter to it:

facebook filter

This filter will include only the Facebook traffic.

Determining top traffic generating web pages shared on Facebook

You can determine top shared web pages (in terms of driving traffic to your website) on Facebook through ‘Network referrals’ report in Google Analytics. Navigate to Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals in your GA view and then click on the ‘Facebook’ link:

network referrals

You can now see the website usage data of top shared web pages on Facebook:

top shared url

Tracking assisted and last click conversions from Facebook

Facebook, just like any other marketing channel, not only helps in completing conversions but also help in assisting conversions. So while evaluating its overall performance as a marketing channel, we need to look beyond the last click. Through ‘social conversions‘ report you can track the overall performance of Facebook by analysing the following metrics:

  1. Assisted Conversions
  2. Assisted Conversion Value
  3. Last Click or Direct Conversions
  4. Last Click or Direct Conversions Value
  5. Assisted / Last Click or Direct Conversions

If you are not sure what these metrics mean, then read this article: Google Analytics Attribution Modeling – Beginners Guide

Navigate to Acquisition > Social > Conversions in your GA view and then look at the data row for Facebook:

facebook assisted conversions

From the report above we can conclude following:

  1. Facebook helped in generating 557 conversions of value $28,233.40 in the last one month.
  2. Facebook directly completed 556 conversions of value $24,890.30 in the last one month.
  3. The assisted / last click or direct conversions is 1. What that means, Facebook is equally good in both assisting conversions and directly completing conversions.

So for Attribution modelling, the  ‘social conversions‘ report in extremely important.

Understanding Facebook users flow

Through ‘Social Users Flow’ report in Google Analytics, you can determine the paths users took through your website, from Facebook. Basically, you can determine how users browsed your website, after finding you on Facebook. This is a good report to understand the behaviour of Facebook users on your website.

Navigate to Acquisition > Social > Users flow in your GA view, click on the Facebook white box and then select ‘View only this segment‘:view only this segment

You can then see the Facebook users flow on your website:

facebook user flow

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Himanshu Sharma

Certified web analyst and founder of OptimizeSmart.com

My name is Himanshu Sharma and I help businesses find and fix their Google Analytics and conversion issues. If you have any questions or comments please contact me.

  • Over twelve years' experience in SEO, PPC and web analytics
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  • Nominated for Digital Analytics Association Award for Excellence
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