Your digital advertising effort is not producing results and you can’t figure out why? Then you most probably need to improve your Facebook and Google Ad Tracking.
One of the main reasons the two platforms are so popular is because of their next-level performance tracking and attribution tools.
With the Facebook Pixel and the Google Ads conversion tracking tags, advertisers can see exactly which ad generated which sale.
That helps them optimize their campaigns and keep their businesses profitable over the long term.
In this article, we’ll show you how to set up picture-perfect Facebook and Google Ad Tracking for all your campaigns, so you can boost your return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) across the board.
The Six Advertising Metrics You Need to Know
Before we start on the actual how-to, we need to cover some essential metrics and terms that you need to know.
If you read on without knowing them, the new data you access will just seem like gibberish.
Let’s jump right in.
Metric #1: Impressions vs. Reach
An impression is an event that counts when any user has viewed an ad a single time. Reach or unique users, on the other hand, show the number of different users (by IP address and account) that have viewed your ad.
Metric #2: Click-Through Rate (CTR)
CTR is the percentage of users who view an ad that click it and visit your landing page.
Metric #3: View-Through Conversions
View-through conversions are conversions where a user sees the ad, doesn’t click on it, but converts within a 24-hour window (default attribution window).
If you’re advertising on other channels, it can be hard to quantify legitimate view-through conversions.
Metric #4: Conversion Rate
The conversion rate is the percentage of users who view an ad who end up visiting your landing page and purchasing or signing up for your offer.
Metric #5: Conversion Value (Purchase Conversions)
Conversion value is the total value of conversions. With Facebook Ads and Google Ads, it’s important to focus on the value of purchase conversions, rather than add-to-cart conversions.
Metric # 6: Return On Ad Spend (ROAS)
ROAS should be the guiding star of all your campaigns, ad groups, and ads. It shows how many times the ad spend the ad is generating in revenue.
How to Track Your Facebook Ads with the Facebook Pixel
The first thing you should do after signing up for a Facebook Ads account is to set up the Facebook Pixel.
Without it on your site, you won’t be able to track conversions, events, or any action that someone takes after clicking on the Facebook ad.
To do this, head to the Facebook events manager.
Once there, click the + sign and select web as your source to create your first pixel.
Confirm that you want to create a pixel, rather than using the API.
Then, fill in the name of your pixel, and the URL of your website.
From this point forward, there are many ways to set up your pixel, based on the software you use to manage your website or tags.
Option 1: Setting It Up Manually
To manually install the code on your site, click on the “install code manually” button.
Then, you need to copy the code, and paste it between the “<head>” tags of your website’s header on all pages.
Then, you can enable advanced matching, and finally, you need to add conversion events.
You can do this with the Facebook Pixel Event Setup Tool (more on this later).
Option 2: Setting It Up With Google Tag Manager
Instead of going manual, select a partner integration to continue.
First, choose the GTM integration:
From there, adding the Pixel through Google Tag Manager is as easy as connecting the two accounts.
Facebook will automatically add the pixel to your default website tag.
Option 3: Setting It Up With WordPress
To set it up with WordPress, instead of GTM, select WordPress as the integration.
Skip past the advanced features (unless you want to enable advanced matching) and download the unique plugin for your pixel.
Next, log into the WordPress dashboard of your site, then upload and install the plugin.
Wait for the plugin installation to finish, activate the plugin, and you’re ready to use the pixel.
Setting Up Your Conversion Events with the Event Setup Tool
After having installed the pixel, no matter how you did it, it’s time to start setting up events.
Open the Event Setup Tool by continuing the tutorial wizard, type in your site’s URL, and click the “open website” button.
This will open your website in a new tab, along with the tutorial for the tool.
Click “next” to start creating your events and click the “track new button” button.
The tool will highlight all the clickable buttons on the page, and you can select the right one to create an event.
All that’s left is to categorize the event as a lead, add to cart, or purchase.
Confirm the new event, and it’ll be added to your account.
Identifying a High-Performing Ad
The trick to finding a high-performing Facebook ad, is to set up conversion tracking correctly, including purchase values.
If you use an eCommerce platform like Shopify, the pixel will automatically set itself up that way.
After that, add the custom fields of “Website Purchase ROAS” and “Website Purchase Conversion Value” to see how your ads really perform.
Many beginners focus on relevance score, but that doesn’t show if an audience or ad is generating sales.
How to Track a Google Ad with the Google Ads Conversion Tag
Just like with Facebook Ads, you need to set up conversion tracking before you ever spend a dollar on Google Ads.
Otherwise, you won’t know which ads, ad groups, audiences, or even entire campaigns are wasting your ad dollars.
Click the tools and settings link, open up the menu, and click “conversions” to continue.
Next, click the blue plus sign to create a new conversion, and select “website” as the type of conversion.
Then, set the name of your conversion, choose ‘use a different value for each conversion’ (if using an eCommerce platform) or set a static value if you’re only capturing leads.
You can also choose whether to count every conversion, and the length of the conversion window for regular and view-through conversions. The default settings work fine for most beginners.
Click the “create and continue” button and move on.
Here you have many options for installation, just like with the FB pixel.
Note: This is a conversion tag, and you must not include it on all your pages. It should only be placed in the header code of your thank-you page or tied to a button click on a page.
Option 1: Setting It Up Manually
Click the “install the tag yourself” button and copy and paste the global site tag into the header of your thank-you page.
Next, copy the specific conversion event tag, and paste it below the global tag in the header.
The code should look like this together:
If you want to set up conversion events like form button clicks or add to carts, it’s much easier to use Google Tag Manager.
Option 2: Setting it Up With Google Tag Manager
Setting it up in Google Tag Manager is even easier.
Choose the “use Google Tag Manager” option.
Just log in to your GTM account, and go to the container that you want to add the conversion to.
Then, click “tag configuration” and choose “Google Ads conversion tracking” as the type.
Then, simply copy and paste the conversion id and the conversion label into the fields and save your tag.
If you already have triggers in your GTM setup, that’s the final step.
If not, create a conversion event trigger for your new conversion.
The easiest way to do this, is to choose a Page View trigger.
It’s important that you choose “some page views” and specifically target the thank you page.
If not, you can also target specific form submission throughout your website.
It’s also possible to assign specific purchase values to the conversion via the data layer, but this is complicated.
Option 3: Setting It Up With WooCommerce
Finally, you can also set it up with WooCommerce with unique conversion values.
Install the plugin called “WooCommerce Google Ads Conversion Tracking” and activate it.
After activating it, hover over the “WooCommerce” link in the menu, and select the “Google Ads Conversion Tracking” link.
Finally, copy and paste the conversion ID and label into the corresponding fields, and save the settings.
Your campaigns will now track not just the conversions, but the individual value of each unique sales conversion as well.
Identifying High-Performing Keywords, Ad Groups, and Ads
In Google Ads, most of the time the keywords make a larger difference, since the creative is more limited in a search ad.
Open the search terms report and filter the results by conversions greater than 0. Then, arrange the results by the lowest Cost / Conv. to see your highest value keywords.
You can use the same filter and arrangement to find high-performing keywords, ad groups, ads, and more.
How to Track Google and Facebook Ads with Google Analytics
There’s just one final step left, to make sure that you’re accurately tracking the results of all your campaigns on both Facebook and Google Ads.
You need to properly configure your Google Analytics account.
Why You Need Google Analytics for Accurate Attribution
You might be thinking, why do I even need to set up GA, if I’ve already set up conversion tracking on each platform?
The reason is simple. Google Ads and Facebook attribution happens in an isolated environment.
Each platform only knows how their users have interacted with ads on their platform.
A user could register as a view-through conversion through a Facebook ad, while it was really a Google Ads remarketing ad that convinced the user to buy.
Google Analytics tracks referrals from both Facebook, Google Ads, organic traffic, and other sources, and will give you a more complete picture of the customer journey.
Google Ads: Just Link the Accounts
Setting GA up for Google Ads is easy as pie.
Go to the admin settings for your GA property, click “Google Ads Linking” and select the relevant account, then click continue.
Then, enable the sharing of “All Web Site Data” and link the accounts.
This will turn on automatic tagging, which will signal to GA which users came from which individual Google Ads ad campaign, group, keyword, and ad.
Wait for a few days to collect data, and you can see detailed information about all your Google Ads campaigns.
For Facebook Ads, Use UTM Parameters
UTM parameters are variables you add after a ? to a link that signals which referrer, campaign, and ad referred the visitor.
You can generate these as you create your ad in the Facebook Ads manager.
Just click on the “Build a URL Parameter” link.
Next, fill out the individual parameter options like this:
- Campaign Source = Social
- Campaign Medium = Facebook
- Campaign Name = dynamic campaign parameter
- Campaign Content = dynamic ad name parameter
You can also add an ad set name parameter, to store extra information for use in Google Analytics.
You can use this to create custom reports in your Google Analytics and compare performance between Google and Facebook ads.
How To Improve Revenue Attribution Accuracy
If you want an even clearer image of what ads and campaigns are driving revenue, you can rely on different attribution tools.
Marketing Attribution Software – Free Options
While this used to be an incredibly complex and expensive service, there are now several free options available.
Facebook Attribution Tool
Read our guide on how to use the Facebook Attribution tool to analyze the customer journey.
Attribution modeling in Google Analytics
Google Analytics is also a decent marketing attribution platform, since it stores data from multiple sources.
You can, for example, compare the revenue generated between Facebook Ads and Google Ads.
Google has also launched a dedicated attribution tool, Google Attribution, as part of the greater GA suite of tools.
It uses machine learning to more accurately distribute conversion credit between ads and campaigns.
Marketing Attribution Software – Paid Options
There are also a number of paid options for multi-touch revenue attribution.
- Altitude by Impact
- Adobe Analytics
- Wicked Reports
Facebook Ads and Google Ads are extremely powerful marketing platforms for businesses of any size.
But advertising without tracking your results is a huge mistake. You wouldn’t blindfold yourself before heading out to hunt, right?
Use the Facebook Pixel, Google Ads conversion tags, and Google Analytics with UTM tags to track all levels of performance from each ad.
It’ll give you a holistic view of your campaigns, and exactly which ad groups, keywords, ads, and audiences that are driving sales.