Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics, what are they are why do they give you conflicting results?
In our digitally-led world where link clicks, engagements and web traffic are the all-important metrics to track when running social media ads, looking beyond the data that Facebook’s Business Manager provides can help pinpoint what’s working and what isn’t when it comes to generating sales.
Facebook Pixels and Google Analytics are the main two tools that will give you this ROI data you’re looking for, but it can often be confusing when the two are giving you conflicting results. Both have their place and are not to be confused for doing the same job as they collect data in different ways.
Let’s get straight to it – Facebook tracks indirect conversions, so when a user simply sees or engages with your Facebook or Instagram ad and then visits your website sometime within the next 28 days to make a purchase, Facebook will attribute that sale conversion to Facebook. However, Google will see that purchase and claim it as their own. You see, Google will only attribute a sale to Facebook if a user clicks your ad, views your site and makes a purchase there and then. We all know that the consumer journey typically doesn’t go this smoothly and Facebook’s analytic tools understand this, and it’s reflected in the data that the platform gives you. Google on the other hand won’t recognise that the user originally saw the ad on Facebook or Instagram and will instead claim it as its sale if the user has visited your website by Googling key search terms related to your brand.
It’s important to bear in mind that as competing businesses, Google and Facebook will always give you results that seem to favour themselves. Although Google will share insight from Facebook ads, the results will likely be completely different from what Facebook is telling you.
The rule we live by is that if it’s Facebook or Instagram ads we’re analysing and more specifically, the number of sales generated from the money put behind ads, we look to Facebook Pixel data to help optimise their performance. To understand website performance, organic traffic and paid Google ads, Google Analytics is the tool to use.
Whether it’s Facebook or Google, a digital presence is essential for brands and if you’re looking to get started with social advertising or want to better understand how these tools can help, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.