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A Guide To Implementing UTM Tracking Into Your Facebook Ads Campaigns

Updated: May 4

Facebook ads are one of the best digital marketing tools to bring traffic to your website. With other ad mechanisms such as google ad analytics, you're not always able to clearly see where your visitors are coming from. With the usage of Urchin Tracking Modules (UTM), you'll be able to solve this issue.


Now you may be thinking “What are UTM Codes?”. Essentially, UTM codes are variants of a URL that can track how effective your ad is. These codes help identify where your visitors are mainly seeing your campaigns. This means that you'll be able to identify which campaigns are doing poorly, which ones are doing great, and which ones are right in the middle.


Let me show you five UTM parameters:

1. utm_campaign: This tracks specific a campaign name to monitor its performance, such as “November launch” or “December Relaunch”


An example of this would be: &utm_campaign=november launch


2. utm_content: This tracks which specific link was clicked, which is useful when you have a bunch of different links leading to one place. Let's say you have a text link, and a banner ad leading visitors in the same direction, this will show you which link was specifically clicked.


An example of this is: &utm_content=textlink


3. utm_source: This tracks the website that sent the traffic, in case you have multiple. This link will show you which website the visitor came from.


Example: &utm_source=facebook


4. utm_medium: This UTM tracks which medium the visitor used to reach your landing page, such as pay-per-click.


Example: &utm_medium=social


5. utm_term: This tracks which keyword a visitor searched that lead them to your website. Let's say they searched up “Glass cup”.


An example would be: &utm_term=glass+cup


Now let's delve into how you can implement this into your website.

If your normal website URL is https://website.com and then use UTM parameters to see the traffic to your website, it would look something like this:


https://website.com/?utm_content=textlink&utm_source=instagram


By putting these parameters in place, when you view the traffic in analytics, you'll be able to see which visitors from your website came from a marketing campaign that had a text link on Instagram. This is a very efficient way to manually see where your visitors are coming from, which then allows you to focus your attention on where your ads are doing well, and divert it away from where they aren't.


Facebook Dynamic Parameters

Facebook ads, as stated before, are one of the best marketing tools you have. Facebook itself recognizes the significance of parameters in your ads and thus has its own options to make it easier for you to track this.


To do this you'll need to head into Ads Manager and select or create a new campaign. Go to the ad level, then create a new ad or select one of your existing ones. Then scroll down and click Build a URL Parameter and enter your website URL with the parameters you want to track.

By doing this you'll be able to make your own custom URL parameters, or even use the parameters made by facebook, which are as follows:

  • ad_id={{ad.id}}

  • adset_id={{adset.id}}

  • campaign_id={{campaign.id}}

  • ad_name={{ad.name}}

  • adset_name={{adset.name}}

  • campaign_name={{campaign.name}}

  • placement={{placement}}

  • site_source_name={{site.source.name}}

The parameters offer the benefit of auto-populating the values based on the information you input into your campaign instead of having the user type them out manually.


This saves time and effort and keeps you from making small errors. If you want to auto-populate your campaign name for the utm_campaign parameter to track a specific campaign, you'll have to click the box next to the campaign name and select the {{campaign.name}} option.


This is one example of how a UTM code and how utm_campaign is one of the most useful parameters to understand and use properly.


But lets say you want to auto-populate all of your UTM parameters in one instance, to do this, you can copy and paste this code snippet below:

  • utm_source={{site_source_name}}&utm_medium=social

  • &utm_campaign={{campaign.name}}&utm_content={{adset.name}}

  • &utm_term={{ad.name}}

Paste this into the URL parameters under Tracking.


Although manual UTM code is possible, it's usually not necessary and will cost a great deal of time. This is a great tool for beginner-level digital markers in particular, but you don't have to fully educate yourself on UTM coding before creating an ad and seeing its effectiveness.


How You Can Use Google Analytics to Check Your Facebook Ads

Since you've already set up your dynamic parameters on Facebook, we can look into how you can find this information in google analytics.


When you get to your google analytics, head to your acquisition tab and choose all traffic. This means you'll be able to access UTM codes through channels, source/medium, social, or all campaigns. The tabs give you a better idea of where your website traffic comes from, with the inclusion of the Facebook parameters you've already set up.


But let's say you want more detailed Facebook analytics. You can see this by clicking on the social tab. This is where you can get data on goal tracking and conversions, plugins, sources, and even pages and user flow. Google Analytics also has the capability to classify your parameters automatically, meaning that utilizing utm_medium=social in your URL, will automatically categorize Facebook traffic into the “Social” reports.


This is a relatively new feature and provides more insight on revenue and conversion data so you can more efficiently track your social campaigns, and how well they are doing.


The Most Useful Techniques to Remember

This is a lot of information, yes. Although, knowing this information is essential for creating Facebook ads that will benefit your business and you'll not be able to create a broader picture of your ad campaigns through google analytics, not only through Facebook.


Some main things to keep in mind when using UTM codes are as follows:

  • Keep your names simple, short, and lowercase

  • Don't be repetitive, but no stay consistent

  • Use dashes, not underscore, to separate your words

  • Shorten your links for a tidier page

UTM codes are an amazing tool for beginner digital marketers and even advanced ones. By tracking the success of your ad campaigns, you'll get a better idea of where your efforts are paying off, and where they aren't. Tracking with UTM codes makes this simple and quick.

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