Using UTM To Track Facebook Ads In Google Analytics.

Its all about tracking and performance. As an advertizer you know the importance of tracking more than anyone else and if you have Google analytics installed in your website, The dashboard can be so overwhelming. However if you'd like to track your Facebook activity on your website - This will be helpful.


A UTM code stands for Urchin Tracking Module. It’s okay if you don’t remember “Urchin Tracking Model” but you DO need to remember that UTM’s provide a universal way to track your links. I’m sure you’ve seen super long links in URLs like this:

So what does this Long URL mean. Let be break it down:

Source: Where your traffic is coming from Medium: The platform you are using Campaign: The marketing campaign this is a part of Term (Optional): What keyword you’re bidding on Content (Optional): Specifies split test variants

We use UTMs to tell you exactly where website traffic is coming from: like what email they clicked, what ad campaign they converted on, which of your marketing efforts is driving the most traffic. If you want to drive great results with your ads, you need to measure its exact outcomes. Most businesses use tools like Google Analytics to measure all website activity and traffic sources, especially the ones you’re paying for.

But before you can measure anything, you have to tell Google Analytics how to recognize what traffic is coming from what platform, campaign, or keyword. You can do this by adding UTM parameters to the links you use in your campaigns.

Adding these parameters is, in most cases, a manual job. You can basically put anything in there you like, but for efficiency sake, we recommended that you draw up naming conventions and, most importantly stick to it! If you’re looking for a place to start, here are some naming conventions that are widely used in the digital marketing space.

Common Pitfalls of UTM We Make:

As much as we like to think we’re masters of UTMs, we often make silly mistakes, especially when we first started. Before you go tag all your urls, here are the most common mistakes that you should avoid.

Remember Urls are case sensitive. This includes UTM parameters! If you’re inconsistent with your entries, then you’ll end up with multiple instances of the same campaign which complicates the analysis of your data.

Triple check your spelling. Like with everything else in Google Analytics, you can’t correct mistakes made in the past. If you’ve made a typo, you’re going to have to live with the typos in your analytics data.

Be consistent with your naming conventions. If you use different values that should be the same within a campaign, like using both utm_medium=social and utm_medium=cpc, then Google Analytics will treat them as separate links.

Use names that you’ll actually remember later. Having utm_campaign=sdp-4-18 might make sense at first but you’ll have a hard time remembering later that this was a Summer Dresses Promo campaign you ran in April 2018. Future you will thank you.

Don’t forget to add UTM parameters In your future Campaigns: Campaigns without UTM parameters will be classified as referral traffic without any additional info on the actual campaign.

For Facebook UTM Tools

Many of these mistakes can be traced to incorrect text entries or forgetting to add any UTM parameters . That’s why we recommend you a few tools that’ll make your life a LOT easier.

Google Spreadsheet Still Your Buddy

There are a ton of templates out there for you try.

Google Campaign URL Builder

Google’s URL builder is a quick an easy way to build out a UTM. Just fill out a simple form and Google will do the rest for you. Since this doesn’t log your URL history, this tool is great for one-off builds. Check out the Google URL spreadsheet here. Chrome Extension

If you’re a Chrome Extension hoarder like me and need a Chrome extension to organize all your other Chrome extensions, this UTM builder is perfect for you. You can also track presets and every single link you’ve generated on to one spreadsheet. Try

Auto UTM Tagging on Facebook

Adding all these parameters manually is one hell of a job and, as stated earlier, is also very much prone to human error. Luckily, paid search platforms like Google AdWords and Bing Ads have a feature called auto-tagging.

As the name suggests, they automatically provide all available parameters to every link in their campaigns. For pretty much every other platform, however, you have to do this all by yourself.

Facebook has added a feature to Ads Manager that makes the use of consistent UTM parameters a lot easier. It doesn’t go as far as auto-tagging in Google AdWords and you still have to do some lifting yourself but it will definitely save you a lot of time! Here’s how it works.

How to Enable Dynamic URL Parameters

Open your Ads Manager or Power Editor. Once you’re there, scroll down to the ‘URL Parameters’ field. You will see stuff like this:

A common best practice is to use your Facebook ad campaign name as the utm_campaign parameter, your ad set name as the utm_content parameter and your ad name for the utm_term parameter.

There are plenty of parameters available on Facebook to provide even more specificity when tracking your campaigns. These include:

Ever wonder how you can track if a click came from Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, or the Audience Network

Now, with Dynamic URL Parameters, indicated with {{site_source_name}} , you can track your clicks based on the following values:

  • fb

  • ig

  • msg

  • an

You can specify exactly which placement that the clicks came by using the {{placement}} parameter. Adding this parameter to your URL tag tracks:

  • Facebook_Desktop_Feed

  • Facebook_Mobile_Feed

  • Facebook_Right_Column

  • Messenger_Home

  • Instagram_Feed

  • Instagram_Stories

Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading.

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