How To: Track Social Goals with Facebook & Google Analytics Part 2
Published: September 16, 2013
Author: Zach Greenberger
Read Part 1 here.
Last week, I wrote about the basic process for connecting your Facebook ads to Google Analytics to get a complete picture of your campaign performance. Whatever analytics platform you use, it’s important to tie each ad spend to the revenue generating events it drives. Until this reporting loop is closed, it’s impossible to identify and scale your profitable campaigns.
Using a few advanced techniques, we can expose even more data:
1. Customize your Google Analytics Reports
As we saw last week, it takes a number of clicks to navigate to your goal conversion reports. To save time, and get quickly to the data you need, take a few minutes to create a custom report. Click the Customization tab at the top of the page to build a report specific to your paid campaigns. I like to display columns for Visitors, Visits, Page Views, Conversions and Conversion Rate, then enable drilldowns from Source/Medium to Campaign to Ad Content.
Using this report, I can track how many goal conversions we receive from sources like FBPPC.com.
2. E-Commerce Tracking
Google Analytics offers different types of goal measurement. One of the most useful is E-Commerce Tracking. If you run an e-commerce store, you can configure your Google Analytics to track each purchase, down to the individual product level. This Google Support article details how to setup E-Commerce Tracking.
The same UTM codes we use for measuring simple goals can be used to measure E-Commerce Sales. This gives us direct insight into return on ad-spend.
You can customize your goal report to display Transactions and Revenue collected by the Google Analytics tracking code. Correlating that to your advertising spend gives you complete insight into your return on ad spend.
3. Internal Analytics
It’s not always possible to expose all the data you collect to Facebook or Google Analytics. Many advertisers have homegrown analytics systems that track things like lifetime value and retention. To integrate these types of systems into our Facebook and Google Analytics strategy, it can be as simple as including the utm_content code into your internal analytics. Anytime a user visits your site with that parameter, save its value into the customer’s record. You’ll then be able to match customers back to the original ad campaign that acquired them, and tie them to the data collected in Google Analytics.
4. Newsfeed Ads with URL Tags
If you’re running Facebook page post newsfeed ads, you won’t be able to customize your destination link for each ad you create. For a single newsfeed post, you can create multiple ads, targeting the post to different audiences. Each of these ads will use the destination URL that’s configured in the page post. So how do you track the performance of individual ads? To solve this problem, Facebook gives you a URL Tag field. URL parameters you configure here get appended to the destination link for your ad when a user clicks. For example, your organic page post might use a destination link like this:
You can configure URL Tags for each ad targeting a different audience:
When your campaign runs, you’ll see traffic in Google Analytics coming from all three utm_codes: “organic” from the original page post, and “men” and “women” from your ads. Keep in mind that running your paid campaign will boost the organic distribution of your page post. This makes it difficult to measure the true value of a paid campaign, but we can also measure the performance of a paid campaign against a page post that is not promoted.
With the powerful combination of Facebook Ads and Google Analytics, advertisers get a complete picture of their social campaign return. With a few minutes of configuration, and sensible tagging of your campaigns, you can see which campaigns deliver the best performance at the largest scale.