Facebook Introduces Conversion Tracking for Advertisers

March 12th, 2010 by Search Influence Alumni


This is the most fundamental building block when trying to determine the success of a Pay-Per-Click campaign.

Data tells you if that “iffy” ad copy you wrote is actually paying off and it also tells you when something’s gone belly up and is stinking up your cost per lead. But despite being extremely useful, data is also extremely problematic especially when you are using third party report tool with unrelated PPC platform.  The data gets well… unpleasant. This statement has been especially true for me using tools such as Analytics to track Facebook advertising performance.

Don’t misunderstand, I am a huge fan of Google Analytics because it is useful and free (two of my favorite software attributes). While Analytics has proven to be useful in determining the actual run-of-the-mill site metrics, figuring out specific Facebook ad details has been tedious. I mean we’ve all seen that highlighted message they displays when you start using expressions and Advanced Segments – “This report is based on sampled data. Learn more.

Google Analytics Sample Data Warning

Google Analytics Sample Data Warning.

I hate this message.

I especially it when I’m trying to figure out performance of a Facebook ad. I constantly ask myself, “Why is Analytics ignoring all the information built into the URL? Is this bounce rate even correct? Why doesn’t Facebook allow conversion tracking so I don’t have to deal with these messy urls?”

Whether it was other advertisers demanding more functionality or FB’s development team telepathically sensing my frustration, Facebook is now offering conversion tracking! Even though it is still in beta, Facebook conversion tracking is going to allow advertisers to see at a glance how well new images and adcopy is converting visitors. No more relying completely on Google Analytics and its jaundiced sampled data!

Facebook Tracking

Facebook new "Tracking" tool.

Another benefit of Facebook conversion tracking, conversion data can be compared for accuracy. This is huge for me because having Facebook conversion data allows me to see how accurate the Analytics conversion data is. I trust Analytics but ultimately things do fall through the virtual cracks because of outages, page load errors, or malformed urls. Plus having multiple  sources of data allows advertisers to determine the percent of data loss between platforms.

While I will never know why Facebook didn’t include conversion tracking initially, I am happy after months of tedious URL building and endless data confusion it’s being offered. With an increasing number of advertisers using Facebook, we should see more advanced conversion tracking options. Now if only they’d do something about the archaic reporting tool…