Facebook Ads – one of the most popular advertisement methods on the market today. Being introduced as a social network in 2006, Facebook quickly gained the audience’s appreciation and popularity. Reaching 1.59 billion active users daily, Facebook became a perfect marketplace that gathers millions of people of various interests and demographics all around the world. 

And not only using Facebook Ads is an outstanding way to find and reach your target audience, but also to reach it at the most convenient time – at people’s leisure. According to the latest research, people are more likely to spend money when they are relaxed, which is exactly why people scroll down their Facebook newsfeed in the first place. 

And now that we’ve disclosed what are Facebook Ads and why it is so popular, let’s find out what is required to measure Facebook Ads’ effectiveness.

To find out how effective your chosen method of advertisement is, we need to look at some stats. And what’s a better way to track cost across Facebook Ads than to connect your Facebook Ads to the informational giant of the 21st century – Google Analytics? 

This is why we created this beautiful Facebook Ads guide which explains how to track Facebook Ads in Google Analytics step-by-step.

Step 1. Send conversions from website to Facebook

This step will focus on setting up the right platforms to receive information and send it to the corresponding entities. You can do so using Google Tag Manager (GTM) or manually, using the instructions described below. 

a. Set up Facebook Pixel

Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that allows you to see users’ activity on your website. 

Say you have a Facebook campaign that leads users to sign up for a newsletter. Facebook Pixel allows you to see how many people went to the destination URL and actually performed your desired action.

To track cost across Facebook Ads using Facebook Pixel all you have to do is:

Go to your Website’s CMS > Template > Copy the code above </head>.Then Facebook Ads Manager > Menu > All Tools > Assets: Pixels > Set up Pixel  

b. Set up the Facebook Pixel Event Code

Facebook Pixel Event Codes allow you to monitor the behaviour of your users coming from the Facebook ads on the chosen pages of your website.

All you have to do is select the event code you want to track like in the example below and copy it. Then place the event code you’ve selected on the previously chosen webpages.

c. Make sure it’s working

After you’ve installed your Facebook pixels it’ crucial to make sure they’re working – otherwise what is all of this hustle for? To do that go to your Google Analytics dashboard > Events > Status. When under the Status it shows Active, you’re ready to move to step 2.    

Step 2. Track Facebook visits & conversions in Google Analytics

Okay, so now that our Facebook pixels are in place, let’s figure out how to track our Facebook Ads conversions in Google Analytics. Just like in the section above, this step will divide into smaller points.  

a. Create a Google Analytics goal

Let’s start with creating our Google Analytica goal that will display the desired purpose for our Facebook Ads campaign. To do so go to your Google Analytics dashboard > Admin > Goals > +New Goal

Now we will set up our goal, which will be, say, reaching a certain page on your website, by going to Custom > Destination > Equals to > Insert page URL.

b. Create Custom Conversion in Facebook Ads

Since Facebook Ads Manager helps you drive not only followers to your Facebook page, but also actual website visitors, it has a function made specifically for that. For example, after people subscribe to your services or buy a certain product from the Facebook campaign, they will be directed to a special “Thank you” page. 

Then, in this case, our custom conversion is the number of people who performed a macro action and got to the “Thank you” page. To track them, go to Facebook Ads Manager > Menu > All Tools > Measure & Report > Custom Conversions

After you feel in all the blanks, choose “Lead” for the category and “Facebook Pixel” as a source, click “Next” and name your new custom conversion. Make sure to choose “Conversions” as your objective when setting up your Facebook Ads campaign.

c. Create Campaign UTM Links

If you’ve heard anything about Social Media advertisement before, you should have heard something about UTM links, too. UTM, or Urchin Tracking Module, is a special type of a long-long link that contains info on your campaign and how users interact with it. 

To create one all you have to do is go to a free Campaign URL Builder made by Google and fill out the info on your upcoming Facebook Ads campaign. After you’re done, place freshly-created links in your Facebook Ad posts and collect them in a separate table or a Google Sheet to keep track of all the campaign URLs you’ve created.

Campaign URL Builder screenshot

Step 3. Send Facebook Ads cost to Google Analytics     

Now that we’ve found out how your Facebook leads behave on your web pages let’s figure out how much it costs. When it comes to Google Ads there is, of course, a native, pain-free way to import all of your data. 

But if you want to track cost across Facebook Ads in Google Analytics – not so much luck. Although there are 4 ways to transfer the cost data from one platform to another one, which we will review here:

a. Import data manually using Google Analytics interface

To track Facebook Ads in Google Analytics, go to your Google Analytics dashboard > Admin panel > Data Import > Create > Cost Data > Continue. 

Choose the parameters you’d like to import and save your changes. Once this is done you’ll have to prepare a CSV file, filled with all the Facebook cost data needed, using the instructions here

Now, all there is left to do is to upload your newly-created CSV file. To do so go to your Google Analytics dashboard > Data Import > Upload File. When everything was prepared correctly, you will see “Completed” under the Status box. If that’s not the case, please refer to this article

b. Use a special add-on for Google Sheets

Now, this method is quite easy to execute, but it only works if you’ve already collected the desired Facebook Ads cost into your Google Sheets. In this case, all you have to do is use a free, native Google Sheet add-on right here.

This God-sent tool will not only transfer the Facebook Ads cost to your Google Analytics directly but will also point to any mistakes in the imported data if there are any.

To start, all you have to do is open your Facebook Ads cost table, then go to Add-ons > OWOX BI Data Upload > Upload data > Fill the required data fields > Verify & Upload.

c. Use API and Google Apps Script

Because we love you, we are going to be honest – this is not the easiest, fastest and not even the most accurate option. But it is a way to import your Facebook Ads cost data to your Google Analytics dashboard, so we’ll talk about it.

For this method to work, you’ll have to create a data set in Google Analytics like in the option a. and a Google Sheet table like in option b. and then use the Google Apps Script to combine both. 

There are many downsides to this option on top of the ones we’ve just mentioned, but if you’re feeling adventerous please use this article to guide you along this scary, unpredictable, and a tiny bit reckless way.   

d. Other services

The mysterious “other” option comes in handy if others do not really apply to you. There are paid services that transfer all of your data including Facebook Ads cost to Google Analytics automatically. 

For example, this service called OWOX BI allows you to import cost data from Twitter, Instagram, Yahoo, BingAds, YandexDirect, and many others including Facebook into your Google Analytics directly.

Conclusion     

Congratulations! You’ve got to the end of the article and now you know how to track Facebook Ads in Google Analytics in 3 steps. Yes, it requires some time, work and in some cases – money, but what is the point of investing in advertisement if you can’t see how it’s doing and, therefore, make strategic changes based on that.  

So we hope you find our 3 steps in tracking your Facebook Ads in Google Analytics useful, and when you need help with any of the points – feel free to contact us using the short form below 🙂