It is always important for the marketers to track the source of the traffic in Google Analytics. It is a very easy thing to do if you promote with the help of the Adwords. In this case it is enough to link your Adwords and Google Analytics accounts and all the data about traffic source, impressions, clicks and costs will be automatically imported into your Google Analytics property. But it you advertise with the help of other systems like Facebook you should use utm-marks to attribute your traffic correctly.

UTM-marks are url variables that are used to keep track of the campaign and ad that has generated traffic.

There are 3 parameters that are normally used for Facebook links:

  • utm_source: Identify the advertiser, site, publication, etc. that is sending traffic to your property. for facebook links you will normally use “facebook”.
  • utm_medium: The advertising or marketing medium, for example: cpc, banner, email newsletter. If you create a paid ad you should use cpc or cpm, for other links you should use social.
  • utm_campaign: The individual campaign name, slogan, promo code, etc. for a product.

There are also 2 additional parameters that can be used:

  • utm_term: Identify paid search keywords. If you're manually tagging paid keyword campaigns, you should also use utm_term to specify the keyword.
  • utm_content: Used to differentiate similar content, or links within the same ad. For example, if you have two call-to-action links within the same email message, you can use utm_content and set different values for each so you can tell which version is more effective.

So if you want to use this page in your Facebook ads when you create your ad in ads manager add your utm-marks (utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=new-marketing-campaign ) into URL Parameter field.

Adding utm-marks into URL Parameter field will automatically attach url variables to the link in the add and send traffic to the following url:

If you use links in any of your posts on facebook or in ads text fields it will also be a good idea to use utm-marks with link. However URL Parameter field will not be available in this case. But you can use URL Builder tool to generate your links. Here is a tool from google that allows to generate links with utm-marks:

It is even a better idea t use the following spreadhseet to generate urls Just open it and make a copy for yourself. The sheet has Settings tab where you can adjust which traffic sources and medium should be available while generating the urls. Using the spreadsheet allows to keep track of all used urls and utm-marks for consistent and systematic setup. Otherwise you may get very similar but different in one letter or event in case of some letters utm-marks which will be treated by Google Analytics as different traffic sources and different medium.

You need to be careful while marking your urls with utm-marks. In case you have misspelled them you may get (not set) / (not set) for you source / medium dimension in Google Analytics.

Another option is to use dynamic url parameters as explained here. In case you choose this option you should keep the names of all instance in your facebook account as short as possible or use ids, not names. Best practice is to assign utm_source and utm_medium variables manually in order to identify facebook amoung other traffic sources and use dymanic values for utm_campaign, utm_content and utm_term.

In case you choose the option to use dynamic url parameters you can copy and paste the following string to URL Parameters field for all your facebook ads utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign={{}}&utm_term={{}}&utm_content={{}}

Once you have your Facebook ads set with proper utm-marks it makes sense to import your Facebook ads costs into Google Analytics in order to analyze your marketing performance in monetary terms. Read more about uploading Facebook costs into Google Analytics here.

For active Facebook advertisers our Facebook Ad Optimization Script might be helpful. More information about this script is available here.

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