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Facebook Ad tracking: Your A-Z Guide

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Facebook Ad tracking: Your A-Z Guide

Read time min read
Facebook Ad tracking: Your A-Z Guide

Test your website’s SEO and social media score in 60 seconds! Diib is one of the best SEO and social media monitoring tools in the world. Diib syncs to Facebook and Google Analytics and uses the power of big data to help you quickly and easily increase your social media traffic and SEO rankings.


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Automated ideas to improve Social Media traffic + sales


Keyword and backlink monitoring + ideas

As a company, one of the most important marketing strategies is advertisements. To ensure that people see these ads, you should post them on various social media platforms. Among the various social media platforms is Facebook, which is going to be our major focus. Posting ads on Facebook should also bring you profits besides acting as a marketing strategy. To know your profits, you need to use conversion tracking on your ads. There are various methods to help you with conversion tracking on Facebook. However, before you indulge in these methods, you should know the importance of conversion tracking.

Did you know??? Social selling leaders are 51% more likely to reach quota. What’s more, salespeople active on social media report 45% more sales opportunities. (HubSpot)

Why Conversion Tracking is Important

Return on Investment

There are three major reasons why you should carry out conversion tracking. The most important one is because it allows you to measure the return on your investment. This is very important to a business as it allows you to know how many conversions you have received. It also takes a step further on the conversions by determining whether there are registrations, mostly from email subscribers, sales, form completions or any other campaigns that your company is conducting. This is made possible through Facebook campaign tracking. These details are very essential in the calculation of ROI. Since they offer very detailed information, you can easily determine the return on each sector.

A/B Test Performance

Another key importance of conversion tracking is that it can also help you determine the performance of your A/B tests. This is also very important since by determining your performance, you know how to improve. This helps in boosting your campaigns and ensures that you have better results. Another amazing importance is that you are not the only one who benefits from it. Facebook also has a lot to gain through conversion tracking. This is because they also track who is converting on your ads and uses the data obtained to optimize its algorithm. This enables it to get more people with similar interests. This also helps your company as it brings more conversions. Here is an example of an A/B Test:

Facebook Ad tracking: Your A-Z Guide

(Image Credit: AdEspresso)

There are various methods of tracking ads on Facebook. However, there are only two systems available. You can either use Google analytics or the Facebook pixels. The most commonly used system is the Facebook pixels but that does not mean that you can’t use Google analytics as they are also equally efficient. The fact that the system involves the use of Google gives it an advantage. This is because Google monitors traffic flow and can also learn what people were searching for in your site. It is also involved in Facebook campaign tracking which gives it an edge.

When using the pixel system you have access to the conversion tracking Facebook ads manager that gives you a lot of information, Google analytics can also give you more information about how, when and why people are converting. This helps you follow the entire path that users take and it is really important when determining ROI. You can also find out what people find relevant in your site. However, as you use Google analytics, it is important to note that the conversions, when compared to the pixel system, are not the same. Before you rush to a decision of deciding who is better, you need to understand why there is a difference in their measurements.

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Types of Conversion

The major reason as to why their conversion measurements are different is because they use different methods in determining conversions. There are two types of conversions. The first one is the click through conversion where you simply click on your ad and convert. The other one is the view through conversion where you view through conversions and convert later. Facebook conversion tracking gives credit for click through conversion and also view through conversions that happen within a day.

Facebook, therefore, gives credit for the first touch point that brings about the difference. This is because Google analytics uses a last click basis to give credit. They also have an added advantage since they offer a customizable system to help you decide how you want to distribute your conversion. The image below shows these two types of conversions:

Facebook Ad tracking: Your A-Z Guide

(Image Credit: PPC Wins)

Google Analytics

Now that you know why the measurements are different, you can use Google analytics for tracking ads on Facebook. Google analytics allows you to track traffic on your website. You should also note that by default, it will run all the traffic and is not specific to the Facebook ads you are running. This means that the traffic you track includes people clicking on non-paid posts on your Facebook page.

To solve this problem, you just need to follow two simple steps. The first and most important step is to manually create a trackable link. You can do this by using Google’s free URL Builder. It requires you to fill certain information so as to allow Google to track your traffic. Some of the important details you need to include are;

  • Website URL
  • A source that in this case is Facebook
  • Medium that is simply the various ads you are running
  • Campaign name that should be something unique

You can also use other software like AdEspresso that help you link with Google analytics. This makes it easier than having to set up a trackable link with Google. The final step is quite easy as all you have to do is check with Google analytics. This entails checking if your data is populating through Google analytics. This also helps you so that your setup can become a success. To know if you were successful you should be able to view your data using your source or medium.

Google analytics also has a few other perks. The perks are available since you can customize them to view your conversions as you please. For example, you can configure it to carry out goal tracking. You simply place a goal and key in what has to be met so that you can consider the goal as achieved. Once you have set your goal, you can verify it and get a response from Google analytics. The ability to customize Google analytics also allows you to customize your attribution models. This is only possible if you have set up your goals or enhanced ecommerce tracking.

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For example, in your baseline model, there are a variety of options for you to choose from:

  • Linear– it gives all touch points equal attribution
  • First interaction– it gives most of the attribution to the first touch point but keeps attribution for the other sites equal
  • Last interaction– its opposite to the first interaction in that it gives most of the attribution to the last touch point and keeps attribution for all other sites equal
  • Time decay– it offers the highest attribution to the last touch points and offers decaying attribution to the other sites
  • Position based– as the name suggests, it focuses on position and thus focuses attribution to the first and last touch points

Facebook Ad tracking: Your A-Z Guide

(Image Credit: WWWShop)

Other Attribution Features

Other features of attribution like look-back windows can also be customized. It also allows you to compare data in different models of attribution against each other to get a clear view of how your touch points are earning sales. As mentioned earlier the other system is through the Facebook pixels. It’s simply a snippet of HTML code that can be generated from every ads business manager. The pixel simply records every entry into a site and every conversion. Consequently, this makes it very essential in ad tracking. When you want to determine how to track sales from Facebook ads, there are some metrics you should consider:

Impressions vs reach

You need to understand the difference between the two. Impression is categorized as an event that makes you view an ad only once. Reach is considered as the number of users that have viewed your ad. With this in mind, you need to create a desirable impression so as to increase your reach.

Click through rate

It is simply known as CTR. It is the percentage of users that view an ad, click it, and visit your landing page. It is very profitable to a business when a user goes through this stage so as to finally visit your landing page. Here is the equation used to calculate click through rate:

Facebook Ad tracking: Your A-Z Guide

(Image Credit: Snovio)

View through conversions

View through conversions are almost like a click through. However, once the user views an ad, they do not convert immediately. Eventually, the conversion happens within a 24 hour period after viewing the ad. This makes it quite hard to quantify them and sometimes the user may take more than a day to convert.

Conversion rate

It is also termed as the purchase conversion. A conversion value is simply the total value of conversions. Since the major focus is Facebook ads. You should, therefore, focus on purchase conversions rather than add to cart conversions.

Return on ad spend

It simply shows how many times the ad is generating in terms of revenue. This helps a business determine the profit it gains from an ad. Once you follow these metrics, you stand a better chance of getting conversions from your ads. This is because they consider all aspects of the ad, including the user reaction that is very important to a business. Once you are set on the metrics, you need to know how to track your conversions. There are various methods to carry out Facebook conversion tracking. They include:

Facebook Ad tracking: Your A-Z Guide

(Image Credit: Megalytic)

Facebook custom conversions

Custom conversion is one of the simple ways to carry out Facebook ad tracking. It is preferred by most companies due to its simplicity. This is because it does not need any adjustments on your pixel as long as you have the new pixel. Your only job is to specify the URL of your post conversion page and enter a conversion value. The post conversion page is simply the page that people visit after they have converted. For most companies, it is the ‘Thank you’ page that people see after opting in to your email list or the order confirmation page they see after completing a purchase.

It also allows you to specify a conversion value for each custom conversion. This means that when a conversion is recorded, Facebook assigns it the specified value. This makes it quite easy to see your total spend, the number of conversions and the value of the conversions. However, like most things assigning a specific conversion value has its advantages and disadvantages. It is quite beneficial to companies that sell a single product or companies that have a page for every product.

Companies that sell a range of products on a single page are disadvantaged since the specific value is assigned to each of its products and that makes the system inaccurate. Another disadvantage is that it is limited to 100 custom conversions at any given time. This poses a problem for large sites that have more than 100 conversions to track. This makes it limited to small sites. Besides being a small site for you to use this feature, you must have a single product on your page or a page for each of your products. This, therefore, limits many large companies and the system is only efficient to certain companies.

We hope that you found this article useful.

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Facebook standard events

A standard event is an optional event that you add to your base Facebook pixel code. It is more advanced as compared to custom conversion. This is because you have to adjust your Facebook pixel so as to use this feature. A standard event is only placed on specific and not on every page. You, therefore, have to carefully select the pages to place standard events. It is recommended that you pick pages with a specific user behavior such as a conversion. It is able to provide data to Facebook dynamically. Consequently, this solves the problem faced by custom conversion. This enables you to add data to the code based on what your customers purchase.

Its dynamic checkout system also overcomes the 100 custom conversions limit that makes it suitable even to larger websites. It also allows you to add other parameters to Facebook for advanced custom audience creation and tracking. All this is not important if you don’t know how to use a standard event. The basic thing to do is to ensure that you duplicate pixels on the pages you are tracking conversions. All you have to do is visit the pixels page in the Facebook ad manager and click the details button from your pixel. The next thing is to install the pixel and make sure that you manually install the pixel onto the website and you’ll be good to go. Once the installation is done all you have to do is to add an event. You do this by manually adding an event code.

Facebook Ad tracking: Your A-Z Guide

Ads Configuration

Another important thing you should know is how to configure your ads to optimize for your conversion events. The basic concept is starting a conversion tracking method that is in line with your business. The next step that is quite important entails that you identify a high performing ad. This greatly depends on how you set up your conversion tracking. The method of conversion tracking used is also important as it helps you identify a performing ad. For example, if you use an ecommerce platform like Shopify, the pixel will automatically set itself up that way. You should also ensure to add the custom fields of website purchase ROAS and website purchase conversion value. The two ensure that you identify a high performing ad.

You should ensure to optimize for the right conversion event. Once you have identified a high performing ad you should ensure to link it to the correct conversion event. Under normal circumstances, when you create a new ad set, you are normally asked to choose a conversion to optimize for. This simply means that Facebook will try to show the ads in the ad set to people that are most likely to complete the conversion event. This can be enhanced further by using standard events and custom convention in a complete format. This gives you better chances for the optimization of your ad.

Facebook Sales Tracking

If you want to know how to track sales from Facebook ads, then you need to know how to track a Google ad with the Google ad conversion tag. Just like Facebook ads you need to setup conversion tracking. It is important to note that since it’s a conversion tag, you should 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. There are a variety of options when setting up the conversion tracking.

The first option is setting it up manually. All you have to do is to install the tag, copy the specific tag and then paste it below the global tag. You can also set it up using a Google tag manager that happens to be an easier option. The final option is setting it up with Woo-commerce. You just have to install the plugin then activate it and finally copy paste the URL.

Diib®: Custom Facebook Ad Tracking Metrics!

From the information gathered above, it is clear how to carry out conversion tracking for your Facebook ads. The various methods involved and various benefits are also quite clear. Partnering with Diib Digital will provide you with an added measure of security that your Facebook Ads are hitting their mark. Here are some of the features that can help you keep yourself on track.

  • Social media integration and performance
  • Platform specific audience demographics
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  • Technical SEO monitoring

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Daniel Urmann

Author Bio:

Daniel Urmann is the co-founder of Diib.com. Over the past 17 years Daniel has helped thousands of business grow online through SEO, social media, and paid advertising. Today, Diib helps over 150,000 business globally grow online with their SaaS offerings. Daniel’s interest include SMB analytics, big data, predictive analytics, enterprise and SMB search engine optimization (SEO), CRO optimization, social media advertising, A/B testing, programatic and geo-targeting, PPC, and e-commerce. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused in Finance and E-commerce from Cornell University – S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management.


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