How To Build Facebook URL Parameters For Google Analytics

When you run Facebook Ads for traffic, at the same time using Web Analytics Tools such as Google Analytics or Fathom Analytics for reporting, you may realize all traffic from Facebook are classified under l.facebook.com / referral on Google Analytics dashboard.

You wouldn't know whether the traffic is from your paid ads, or organic reach. You also won't be able to identify which campaign or ad that actually brings in the Landing Page View, or more importantly, your Conversions.

Facebook can be biased sometimes, a portion of your "Link Clicks" could be just BOTs clicking on your ad, but not actual human.

So how do we fix this issue? By using an analytics software such as Google Analytics to track traffic and conversions from Facebook.

Fun Fact: URL Parameters = UTM Parameters, but Facebook just won't recognise Google's name in its platform.

As marketers, we tend to get lazy sometimes, and put up random names just to hasten the ad creation process. However, if you're working with another partner, i.e. a person who doesn't run ads, but make decision based on Google Analytics data, you might receive constant questions on your setup.

So here's my 3-steps guide to building your very own Facebook URL Parameters for Google Analytics:

Step 1: Rename Your Campaign / {{campaign.name}}

If you already have a campaign running in place, now here's you need to do: Rename your campaign to clearly distinguish its purpose from another campaign. Here's the structure that I commonly use:

[Brand] - [Objective] - [Location] - [Date]

Let's say I have 2 conversion campaigns for my blog "Triple Blossom" - one for Prospecting, while another for Remarketing. I would name my campaign this way:

Campaign 1: Triple Blossom - Prospecting - 05/9/2021
Campaign 2: Triple Blossom - Remarketing - 05/9/2021

You might ask, why so complicated? I'll explain further in Step 3.

Step 2: Rename Your Ad / {{ad.name}}

You'll always have more than 1 type of ad variation for your Facebook campaigns. They can be in form of different ad text, different thumbnails, different images, different ad formats etc. Let's say I were to use 2 of my recent Facebook posts to drive traffic, here's what how I'd name my ads:

Ad 1: FB_Post - 03/9/2021
Ad 2: FB_Post - 02/9/2021

Step 3: Build Your URL Parameter

Now let's make sense of all the setup earlier.

Under your campaign, go to your ad level, and scroll to the bottom. You should see "Build a URL Parameter" in blue.

build-facebook-url-parameter-1

Click on it, and you'll see a pop-up presented with 4 default fields: Campaign Source, Campaign Medium, Campaign Name, Campaign Content.

build-facebook-url-parameter-2

Each parameter is designed to track a specific item on your traffic source and campaign setup. You are free to choose additional parameter to enhance your tracking. The common parameters that I choose to track are as follow:

Campaign Source: facebook OR instagram
Campaign Medium: {{placement}}
Campaign Name: {{campaign.name}}
Campaign Content: {{ad.name}}

create-facebook-url-parameter-1

Now click on "Apply", and you'll see the URL Parameters populated on your ad.

create-facebook-url-parameter-2

Applying URL Parameters doesn't change the original landing page URL of your ad - Facebook will only append the parameters after your URL.

e.g. The landing page URL for my previous blog post about How To Get Out Of Learning Limited is

https://tripleblossom.com/how-to-get-out-of-learning-limited-facebook-ads/.

Upon click, Facebook will automatically append your URL to be

https://tripleblossom.com/how-to-get-out-of-learning-limited-facebook-ads/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium={{placement}}&utm_campaign={{campaign.name}}&utm_content={{ad.name}}

So even if you choose to "Use Existing Post", you can still apply different URL Parameters across different campaigns / ads. You don't have to create a new ad post.

Verifying Your Setup

Once your campaign is published and started receiving clicks, head over to your Web Analytics software, and you should start seeing data on the dasboard.

I have written a separate post on How To Track Facebook Ads In Google Analytics here:

How To Track Facebook Ads In Google Analytics
If you’re running Facebook Ads concurrently with other ad platforms such asGoogle Ads, Pinterest Ads & etc, you might have a problem attributing theconversion to the right channel. Facebook tends to over-report its conversion onFacebook Ad dashboard, giving you a wrong sense that Facebook Ad is p…

Feel free to customize your Facebook URL Parameter according to how you wish to read and analyse on your Web Analytics software. If the setup above helps making your life easier, do subscribe to my email list, and I'll keep you updated with the tips and tricks on managing Facebook campaigns.