If you’ve ever looked at your Facebook Insights and then checked your Google Analytics data, you might have noticed that they don’t always match up. It’s not just a coincidence – there are actually a few reasons why this happens. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common reasons for discrepancies between Facebook and Google Analytics data, so that you can be prepared next time to check your numbers. We’ll also give some tips on how to reconcile the two sets of data so that you can get a more accurate picture of your online traffic.
What is Data Analytics
There are often discrepancies between the data that Facebook Analytics and Google Analytics report. This is because the two platforms use different methods to collect data.
Facebook Analytics relies on the tracking code that is placed on your website. This code tracks the actions of visitors on your site and reports them back to Facebook.
Google Analytics, on the other hand, uses a first-party cookie that is placed on the user’s browser. This cookie collects data about the user’s browsing habits and sends it back to Google.
What is data Inconsistency?
Data inconsistency is a problem that can occur in databases. It happens when the data in the database is not accurate or consistent. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as human error, hardware failure, or software bugs. Data inconsistency can cause problems with the accuracy of reports and analytics, and it can also lead to data loss.
What are the reasons for Data Inconsistency between Facebook & Google Analytics?
There are a few potential reasons for discrepancies between Facebook clicks and GA4 sessions:
1. Tracking issues
If the tracking code is not set up correctly, or if there are any issues with the implementation, this can lead to inaccurate data being collected.
2. Difference between GA4 sessions and Facebook
There are a number of reasons why the data you see in Google Analytics (GA) and Facebook might not match up. Here are some of the most common reasons:
1. Different time zones: Make sure you’re looking at the data for the same time period on both platforms. GA uses Pacific Time, while Facebook uses Eastern Time.
2. Unique visitors: GA counts unique visitors across all devices, while Facebook only counts unique visitors on desktops.
3. Excluded traffic: By default, GA excludes traffic from certain countries, while Facebook includes all traffic.
3. Different attribution models
The attribution model used can also impact the data that is reported. For example, if you’re using last-touch attribution in GA4 but first-touch attribution in Facebook Ads, this could lead to discrepancies in the data.
4. Attribution windows
The attribution window is the amount of time between when a user sees an ad and when they take an action (such as clicking on the ad or making a purchase). GA has a shorter attribution window than Facebook, so you might see more clicks in GA than in Facebook.
5. Data lag
It’s possible that there is simply a delay in the data being reported from Facebook to GA4. This could be due to processing times on both platforms, or simply because Facebook’s data is delayed for some reason.
6. Different metrics
GA measures sessions, while Facebook measures click. So if a user clicks on an ad and then goes to your website and clicks on other links, that will be counted as two clicks in Facebook but only one session in GA.
7. Same ad is being clicked by users multiple times
When comparing data from Facebook and Google Analytics, it’s not uncommon to see discrepancies in the number of clicks on a particular ad. There are a few possible explanations for this.
First, it’s important to keep in mind that Facebook and Google Analytics use different methodologies to track clicks. Facebook uses an impression-based approach, while Google Analytics relies on cookies. This means that the two platforms will likely report different numbers of total impressions for a given ad.
Secondly, users may click on an ad multiple times within a short period of time. Facebook and Google Analytics may count these as separate clicks, resulting in a higher number of clicks being reported by one platform or the other.
Finally, it’s possible that some users click on an ad while logged into their Facebook account, but then click through to the advertiser’s website while logged out of Facebook. In this case, Facebook would register the click but wouldn’t be able to attribute it to a specific user, resulting in a lower number of clicks being reported than what Google Analytics shows.
8. Both Google and Facebook Analytics track users differently
Facebook and Google Analytics track users differently because they use different algorithms. Facebook uses a more sophisticated algorithm that can track user behavior across devices, whereas Google Analytics relies on cookies, which can only track individual devices. This means that Facebook is able to provide a more accurate picture of how users interact with content, while Google Analytics is better at tracking individual user behavior.
9. Google Analytics tracking code doesn’t fire
There are a few potential reasons why your Google Analytics tracking code may not be firing correctly. First, make sure that you have placed the code correctly on all of your web pages. The code should be placed between the tags of your page, and it should only be included once per page.
If you’re still having trouble, try checking to see if your tracking code is being blocked by any ad blockers or other browser extensions that you have installed. Sometimes these can interfere with tracking codes, so disable them temporarily and see if that fixes the problem.
Finally, make sure that you’re using the most up-to-date version of the Google Analytics code. The syntax for the code changes occasionally, so an outdated version may not work correctly. You can always find the latest version of the code on the Google Analytics website.
How to Reduce Data Inconsistency in Facebook & Google Analytics
By taking these steps, you can minimize discrepancies between Facebook and Google Analytics and get a more accurate picture of your website’s performance.
1) Make sure you have installed both the Facebook tracking code and the Google Analytics code on your website.
2) Check that both codes are firing correctly by testing them with a tool like Tag Assistant.
3) Compare similar metrics between the two platforms, such as page views or unique visitors.
4) Use filters in Google Analytics to exclude traffic from known bots and crawlers that might distort your data.
5) Use conversion tracking on both platforms so you can see how well your campaigns are performing.
Although we found data inconsistencies between Facebook and Google Analytics, we believe that these tools can still be used together to provide valuable insights about your website traffic. By understanding how each tool collects and reports data, you can make informed decisions about which tool to use for specific tasks. We hope this article has helped you better understand the data collected by Facebook and Google Analytics and how to use both tools effectively.