I launched some Facebook ad campaigns in the past few days and saw traffic skyrocket in Google Analytics.
Problem is, the traffic was garbage – not the traffic I was paying for, which converted decently. It was Facebook’s ad reviewers, tasked with checking the 1000+ ads I uploaded, visiting my site once/ad.
You’d think they could just do CTRL+F, see the destination URLs are all the same and visit once?
I used Google Analytics’ campaign URL builder, which helped me find the problem, because it was quite obvious what URLs were generating this spike in traffic relative to this site’s otherwise low traffic, not to mention you can view goals by UTM URL variables etc specifically.
Also, checking where most of the traffic was, Google Analytics showed North Carolina.
Guess what? I wasn’t targeting ads to the US. I think we’ve found Facebook’s East Coast ad review center, lol ;).
Conclusion: Use filters to look at your Google Analytics data minus North Carolina if you’re uploading ads and are in a time zone ahead of North America.
I just published a guest post from Lior Levin on Advanced Segments in Google Analytics with explanations on doing that, if you need help.
I’m on time zone GMT +2 in Israel. That’s presumably why I got an East Coast review instead of waiting extra hours for the West Coast team. Speaking of which – big kudos to Facebook for setting that up so I could get my ads live some hours sooner! Thanks folks!