Why Your Facebook Ads Don’t Match Google Analytics Data
Tracking your data insights is an important part of any campaign and many users have noticed there is a discrepancy between Facebook conversion and click metrics, and Google Analytics reported data. This is because both platforms track data very differently. The numbers between Facebook Ad Manager and Google analytics will never perfectly match, but there are steps you can take to understand the difference and account for it.
Google Analytics tracks a session after a user has clicked on an ad and was directed to your website. Facebook tracks all engagement, likes, comments and shares. You can define Facebook engagement further by measuring general clicks or specific link clicks.
When it comes to user sessions, Facebook and Analytics differ. Facebook will consider every ad click as a separate session, whereas Google Analytics combines all clicks within a 30-minute time into one session. One reason your data may not be matching is because you may be looking at All Clicks and comparing them to just Link Clicks.
Google Analytics uses first party cookies to gain insight and gather data on website visitors. Facebook doesn’t require cookies to track ad clicks. Facebook will also count a click even if a user's browser doesn’t fully load the external link before they exit the page, causing the tracking code to not fire and not record the session. This all means that it is highly likely that Facebook is tracking more users than Google Analytics.
Due to the nature of Facebook, it can assign multiple conversions to the same user. Google Analytics can’t do the same and attributes one conversion per path.
Although numbers will never match completely, there are a number of actions to take that will reduce discrepancies between Facebook Ads and Google Analytics. You can create custom parameters for your URLs to effectively measure traffic in Google Analytics, remove 24-hour View-through conversions from Facebook, and use both click and session metrics in your reports.
Understanding the differences between Facebook Ads and Google Analytics can help you use your data in the most effective way. Quality reporting of your data will help you make the best decisions when it comes to advertising efforts and ultimately impacting your bottom line.
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