Conversion tracking is how we separate success from failure. While I would strongly recommend setting up conversion tracking through Facebook, I like to safeguard my own tracking through Google Analytics. If you aren’t using Google Analytics with Facebook, you should be! You may not have noticed, but the reporting in Facebook can be challenging to navigate. Below are the top three most common ways that I use Google Analytics to analyze Facebook performance:

Goals, Segments, & ROAS

The first and most basic way to use Analytics is as a secondary form of conversion tracking. As long as the URL tracking is set up correctly, I can see which campaigns or ads are receiving the most conversions or goal completions. This will especially be useful with campaigns that have multiple actions that could constitute as a conversion. For example, a whitepaper download and a form completion are both considered a conversion in this account, but the form completion is more valuable. Google Analytics will be able to differentiate which conversion type is typical of the Facebook visitor.

Segmenting is a quick way to compare different ads or campaigns against each other. In order to view conversions at the ad level, segment by content to view how each individual ad performs.

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If ROAS (return-on-ad-spend) and revenue are more important metrics than goal completions, Google Analytics has those numbers available with the same options for segmentation.

Assisted Conversions

An assisted conversion is the number of times that one channel assists in a conversion that happened through a different channel. The account represented below has a typically short path length. Most visitors convert within the first visit or not at all. However, even in accounts similar to these, assisted conversions can be beneficial. It is important to know, if certain ads or campaigns are important step in the conversion process. Knowing the Facebook campaign’s overall contribution to the other channels will result in educated decisions for optimization that will help the business overall.

Comparisons are already there…

Google Analytics has performance from all channels in one place. This saves time when analyzing how important Facebook is when compared to other channels. The graph below is found in the Acquisition tab and is comparing all traffic from paid search:

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The majority of our paid search traffic comes from Google AdWords, but the next most important channel is Facebook. These basic and quick comparisons are beneficial when requesting additional budget from a client or comparing contribution year-over-year.

Conclusion

I find Google Analytics beneficial for reviewing performance, and the setup is easy. Use the optional tags offered in the editor or use the Google Analytics URL builder and input the tracking within the ad’s destination URLs. I use “Campaign Content” to tell my ads apart in Google Analytics when using segments.

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Conversion tracking is essential, and Google Analytics can offer additional insights that cannot easily be found in Facebook reporting. How do you use Google Analytics to assess your Facebook campaigns?

1 Comment

  1. Assaf October 25th, 2014

    You may consider using the Chrome extension for URL tagging. much better and with a lot of features inside:
    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/gaidpiakchgkapdgbnoglpnbccdepnpk

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Kristina McLane
Kristina McLane is an expert PPC Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing, where in addition to AdWords account management she specializes in social advertising and audience modeling, drawing on her background in anthropology to explore human behavior and insights.