As digital marketers, we are confident in the need for data to reconcile our every step in building, optimizing and reporting.
But what to do when data between Google Ads and Google Analytics or between Facebook Ads and CRM of your client do not match?
How do you react when your client or boss calls into question the validity of the campaign, because the number of domestic sales does not match what you report from advertising platforms?
It is important to understand that neither the advertising platform, nor the analytical tool, nor the automation system, nor the CRM will ever give you 100% perfect data. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.
Dealing with data inconsistencies entails a first understanding of why the data do not always match, and how to eliminate possible errors.
3 reasons why your PPC data does not match
1. Attribution varies between platforms
Whenever you set up conversion tracking, take the time to understand how each platform tracks conversions.
For example, let's discuss how Google Ads and Google Analytics track conversions differently and why their numbers often do not match.
Google Analytics always attributes the goal to the latest indirect source that led the user to the site.
For example, if a user initially comes to the site with Google search advertising, leaves, and then returns using a regular search, the source and medium will appear as Google / Organic.
Google ads (when using built-in conversion tracking, rather than importing Analytics goals) will track any conversions that occur in the conversion window you specify after the user clicks on the ad.
Thus, if a user clicks on a Google ad, but returns through any other source within the conversion window period, his action will be related to conversion in Google ads, but not in Google Analytics.
Other platforms (such as Facebook and LinkedIn) combine conversions by clicks and by impressions.
When viewing the total number of conversions, you will see the total number of people, including not only those who directly visited your site through a click on the ad, but also those who showed the ad, but didn’t follow it, but later came to the page from another source.
Show-through conversions will not be presented in Google Analytics (and probably should not be your main focus for optimization).
2. Clicks are not equal to sessions
This point of view refers to the common complaint of those who first view the data from the advertising platform.
Each client must match the session being tracked, right?
Not so fast.
The number of clicks measured is often different from the number of tracked sessions.
Google Analytics registers a new session only after the tracking code is uploaded to the page, and if the user has not been on the site during the last time period (30 minutes by default).
If a user clicks before the code has time to load, or if the browser settings do not allow Google Analytics to load, a click will be registered in your advertising platform, but Google Analytics will not display anything.
In addition, if a user accidentally clicks on several links on your site in the same browser for a short period of time, these visits can be combined in one session.
3. The tracking code does not always work
Potential clients are shown in your client's CRM, but not tracked as conversions on advertising platforms or in Google Analytics?
First, you must check the tracking code setting with a tool such as Google Tag Assistant to ensure that the correct codes are implemented in all the right places.
If the tracking codes are set correctly, the next step is to determine why they may not work for some people.
Then the use of ad blockers grows, which can also limit the functionality of tracking codes.
To work around this loss of tracking capabilities, make sure that you include UTM parameters in your ads and add them to your CRM when users submit forms. That way, you can still see sources, keywords, and so on. And bind data to your campaigns.
Data discrepancies are an inevitable evil in the life of a digital marketer.
Do not ignore it, better try to understand the reasons and correctly explain them to your client or boss.
Ultimately, confidence in your work and the ability to communicate that you are working to achieve a proper end goal will allow you to work effectively, despite the discrepancies.
Futureinapps company is engaged in integrated promotion on the Internet and will be glad to help in promoting your business.