Google Analytics

Tracking Facebook visitors in Google Analytics

3 · by Dennis Moons · Updated on 8 April 2015

The question for episode 2: How can I track the results from Facebook visitors in Google Analytics?


Google URL builder to create campaign URLs

Got a question of your own? Let us know in the comments or send it to dennis at storegrowers. dot com

If you’d rather read, you can find a full transcript of this episode below.

Video transcript

Hello, and welcome to the second episode of Ask Store Growers, the show where we answer all your e-commerce questions.

Today’s question comes from Arush in India. He asks: “How can I track the results from Facebook users in Google Analytics?”

That might sound like an obvious question.

But when we dive into Google Analytics, we see that it’s more complicated. Here on the right you can see an acquisition report that I pulled from Google Analytics.

Basically you can see direct traffic and all kinds of Facebook referrals. Well, why do I include the direct visitors? Well, we’ve done research on how Google Analytics reports visitors from Facebook, and we’ve seen that they don’t just get recognised as referral URLs — as you can see there.

But direct visitors are also a big part. So, that makes it even harder to know which of those direct visitors actually came from Facebook. And you can also see that there’s a couple of different referrals. So, which visitors come from where?

Well, that’s what we’re going to answer in this video.

Our main problem is that we need to discover the effectiveness of our efforts — whether we’re creating posts on our page, or running advertising campaigns.

So we need to somehow distinguish the organic from the paid visitors.

Well, to do that, we take the URL that we would post on Facebook, and we add a couple of parameters. They’re called utm parameters, and they tell Google Analytics which campaign, or which part of which campaign, they should categorize this under.

To do that, there are three main parameters: there’s the campaign source, campaign medium, and the campaign name.

First, in this case, it’s easy. Source: where does the campaign start? Well, it’s on Facebook. Second, the medium: well, it can be PVC, let’s say, if you’re running an advertising campaign, or simple posts if you’re posting something to Facebook. Thirdly, we need to include the campaign name. It can be “retargeting” or “spring sale”.

Whatever values you choose for these parameters is up to you. But I would suggest to be consistent and pick one set of parameters that you continue to use in a consistent way.

So, how does this look? If I create a campaign URL for my retargeting campaign, it will look like this: question mark and then utm underscore source equals Facebook and ampersand (&)] and so it continues.

How do you create this URL? So you have to type them all from scratch? No. Luckily there’s an easy tool. If you follow the link in the video description, it points to the show notes where I will include a nice tool for you to create these URLs.

If you are getting familiar with these types of parameters, you can also include more of them. Mainly there’s the term — utm underscore term — and utm underscore content. This is to track the performance of certain posts you do to Facebook, or certain images that you use [or] advertising text that you’re using.

This way you get an even more granular view on your performance.

Well, luckily this whole process isn’t just limited to Facebook. You can use it to track ALL of your links. Let’s say you’re running an email campaign, doing something on Twitter, running banner ads on another site. You can use these campaign URLs to track the performance from all of your efforts.

Dennis Moons

Dennis Moons is the founder and lead instructor at Store Growers.

He's a Google Ads expert with over 12 years of experience in running Google Ads campaigns.

During this time he has managed more than $5 million in ad spend and worked with clients ranging from small businesses to global brands. His goal is to provide advice that allows you to compete effectively in Google Ads.

Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.


3 responses on "Tracking Facebook visitors in Google Analytics"

  1. Glad to know this method of tracking the facebook visitors. Thanks Dennis!

    1. Dennis says:

      Great to know you got something from the video Nikhil!

  2. […] some marketing efforts, you might want more details on where your visitors come from. If you are sending potential customers email, it would be good to know which emails lead to an […]

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