Why Facebook and Google Analytics data do not match?

Following are the top reasons, why your Facebook and Google Analytics do not match:

#1 Facebook ad Clicks and Google Analytics Sessions are fundamentally different metrics

There is always a very strong probability that the number of Facebook ad clicks do not match with the number of resulting Google Analytics sessions.

This is because Facebook ad ‘clicks’ and Google Analytics ‘sessions’ are fundamentally different metrics.

A click is a hit (user’s interaction) with Facebook ad.

Whereas a GA session is a group of hits recorded for a user in a given time period.

On top of that, Facebook track ‘clicks’ whereas Google Analytics track ‘ sessions’.

#2 Google Analytics tracking code did not fire on landing pages

Whenever Google Analytics tracking code does not fire for some reason on the landing page of an Facebook ad, Google Analytics does not track session resulted from an ad click but Facebook will still track and report the ad click.

Google Analytics tracking code may not fire under following situations:

  1. the tracking code is not valid
  2. the tracking code is missing
  3. the tracking code is valid but did not fire because of some client/server side issue.

#3 Google Analytics treated some of the Facebook traffic as direct traffic

Lot of people access Facebook via mobile apps.

And it is quite common for mobile apps, not to pass referrer data.

Whenever the referrer data is not passed, the traffic is treated as direct traffic by Google Analytics.

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#4 Fundamental difference between Facebook and Google Analytics attribution modelling

By default Google Analytics attribution modelling is based on single device and single browser.

Once a user changes his device/browser, GA treats him as a new user.

This is not the case with Facebook whose attribution modelling is based on multiple devices and multiple browsers.

Since you can not use Facebook without login in.

It can effectively track users across devices and browsers, thus providing very robust cross device tracking.

Other than that, Facebook uses the last Facebook ad click/view attribution model which gives 100% credit for the conversion to the last ad click or last ad viewed by a user (whichever comes later).

It completely ignores the role of other marketing channels in a conversion path.

Because of this reason , the Facebook sales data reported by Google Analytics could be significantly different from the sales data reported by Facebook.

Related Article: Here is why Facebook Sales and Conversion data is a lie and will make you Cry

#5 Google Analytics data sampling issues

Your Google Analytics data is only as accurate as the amount of traffic data not being sampled.

If GA is sampling your data badly, then the reported metrics could be 10 to 80% of the mark.

In that case you can’t trust the data reported by GA and certainly can’t compare it with the Facebook data.

Any such comparison, can result in making wrong marketing decisions and even loosing money.

Related Articles

 

Do you know the difference between Digital Analytics and Google Analytics?


99.99% of course creators themselves don’t know the difference between Digital analytics, Google Analytics (GA) and Google Tag Manager (GTM).

So they are teaching GA and GTM in the name of teaching Digital analytics.

They just copy each other. Monkey see, monkey do.

But Digital analytics is not about GA, GTM.

It is about analyzing and interpreting data, setting up goals, strategies and KPIs.

It’s about creating strategic roadmap for your business.


Digital Analytics is the core skill. Google Analytics is just a tool used to implement ‘Digital Analytics’.

You can also implement ‘Digital analytics’ via other tools like ‘adobe analytics’, ‘kissmetrics’ etc.

Using Google Analytics without the good understanding of ‘Digital analytics’ is like driving around in a car, in a big city without understanding the traffic rules and road signs.

You are either likely to end up somewhere other than your destination or you get involved in an accident.


You learn data analysis and interpretation from Digital analytics and not from Google Analytics.

The direction in which your analysis will move, will determine the direction in which your marketing campaigns and eventually your company will move to get the highest possible return on investment.

You get that direction from ‘Digital analytics’ and not from ‘Google Analytics’.


You learn to set up KPIs, strategies and measurement framework for your business from ‘Digital analytics’ and not from ‘Google Analytics’.

So if you are taking a course only on 'Google Analytics’, you are learning to use one of the tools of ‘Digital analytics’. You are not learning the ‘Digital analytics’ itself.

Since any person can learn to use Google Analytics in couple of weeks, you do no get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing GA.

You need to know lot more than GA in order to work in digital analytics and marketing field.


So what I have done, if you are interested, is I have put together a completely free training that will teach you exactly how I have been able to leverage digital analytics to generate floods of news sales and customers and how you can literally copy what I have done to get similar results.

Here what You'll Learn On This FREE Web Class!


1) The number 1 reason why most marketers and business owners are not able to scale their advertising and maximise sales.

2) Why you won’t get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing Google Analytics.

3) The number 1 reason why conversion optimization is not working for your business.

4) How to advertise on any marketing platform for FREE with an unlimited budget.

5) How to learn and master digital analytics in record time.

 
 

My best selling books on Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and Beyond
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and Facebook
This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling in Google Ads (Google AdWords) and Facebook. It will teach you, how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to understand the customer purchasing journey and determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

Himanshu Sharma

Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of Optimizesmart.com

Himanshu helps business owners and marketing professionals in generating more sales and ROI by fixing their website tracking issues, helping them understand their true customers purchase journey and helping them determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

He has over 12 years experience in digital analytics and digital marketing.

He was nominated for the Digital Analytics Association's Awards for Excellence.

The Digital Analytics Association is a world renowned not-for-profit association which helps organisations overcome the challenges of data acquisition and application.

He is the author of four best-selling books on analytics and conversion optimization:

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