There are currently more than 28 million websites using Google Analytics. With all likelihood, you’re one of them. Yet time and time again we get into a potential client’s or new client’s Facebook Ads account and none of the ads have ever been setup to track properly in Google Analytics. Unless you properly tag your ads in Facebook Ads Manager, all of your Facebook traffic will be mixed together between paid and organic in Google analytics. Not to mention you won’t be able to drill down any further than source.
What Is A UTM Tag?
UTM stands for urchin tracking module and is nothing more than the format used by Google to track unique URL’s. If you’re using Google Analytics for your website every time you setup something that has a clickable URL, you should be tagging it with the UTM tags. For more information check out Google’s URL Builder. If your organic Facebook post has a link, tag it. If you send out an email, tag all the links. The naming convention is entirely up to you, but these are the UTM parameters Google reads (what you do with them is your choice):
Campaign Source: Required field and used to identify where the click came from (Facebook, Google)
Campaign Medium: Used to identify the type of source (email, CPM, CPC)
Campaign Name: Used as the first layer of identifying the traffic source.
Campaign Term: Intended to track the keyword in paid search, but can also be used as a second layer from campaign to further identify the traffic source.
Campaign Content: Used as a third layer for identifying the traffic source
Here’s what a UTM tag looks like:
The initial UTM can start with either a ? or a & depending on your URL setup. This is where it can get a little confusing and where mistakes are made. If there is already a ? in the URL somewhere, the first UTM start with an & just like the following UTM’s. If there is no ? in the URL before the UTM tag, start with ? before the first UTM.
How To Add UTM Tags To Facebook:
First, all your URL tracking in Facebook will be at the ad level.
If you’re running a tracking system like Doubleclick or another attribution software that will track ad impressions, there is where you would put the tag.
This is where the UTM tag will go. There are two ways to do this. Either you can build it yourself or you can use the Facebook “Build A URL Parameter.” If you click the link you’ll see the following to build your URL parameter:
Last year Facebook introduced dynamic parameters to help with the tagging. These work similar to value track with Google Ads. If you click into each one of the boxes you have the choice to either pick a dynamic parameter or enter your own. To the right are the dynamic parameters you get to choose from. As you fill in the boxes on the bottom you’ll see what it looks like. You also have the choice to add your own parameters if there is another tracking program you uses. Maybe you use Salesforce to keep track of your leads and have custom parameters setup.
One thing to note that we’ve learned the hard way. For any other source you typically add the ? or & to start your UTM tag. Do not add that in Facebook. For some reason they automatically take care of this. If you add it yourself it won’t track properly. if your used to setting up UTM tags regularly this can be challenging to break your normal habit. I know it has been for me.
Be sure and track all your marketing channels correctly in Google Analytics. This allows you to gain deeper insights into where your sales and leads are really coming from. Don’t just remember UTM tags in Facebook. Remember them for all marketing channels. The better your tag, the cleaner and more accurate your data will be in Google Analytics.