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Why are Facebook and Google Analytics reporting different results?

Why are Facebook and Google Analytics reporting different results?

When it comes to Facebook Ads, there’s one golden rule – don’t trust Facebook!

If you’re running ads and seeing a lack of conversions, don’t panic just yet. First, go to Google Analytics and check your conversions there (either by setting up a Goal or looking at the page traffic for your conversion page), as you may well find many more have taken place that Facebook hasn’t picked up.

But why is this? If Facebook is as all-knowing as it appears, why isn’t its reporting accurately?

Essentially, it comes down Apple. Back in 2021, the release of the tech giant’s iOS14+ brought with it additional privacy controls for its users, the result of which is that the reporting of Facebook Ads has been affected. The announcement of these controls brought about something of a spat between the two industry big guns, but ultimately, Apple held firm.

So, what is the impact on reporting?

Facebook’s written a whole post about the impact of iOS14+ on ads here. In short, in addition to decreasing the size of certain audiences, reporting is one of the aspects that has been hit the hardest by the update. At present, conversion data can be delayed by up to three days, with real-time conversion reporting not supported – so always bear this in mind when looking at ad stats within the last three days.

As well as this, Facebook can use statistical modelling for some conversions, and when it comes to breakdowns on placement, region, gender and age, these are not available. What’s more, if someone opts out of tracking altogether on their iOS device, their conversions won’t be reported.

This is why Google Analytics may show more conversions than Facebook – depending on how much tracking a person has opted out of. There may well have been more conversions that have taken place compared to what Analytics is showing too.

Is there a way to get around it?

The short answer is not really. However, there are some actions you can take to help attribute any leads you get to Facebook Ads. If you get any leads, it’s always worth asking how they found you. If your ads are sending people to a contact form, make sure you create a separate form solely for use in ads, as you can then track how many submissions you’re getting much more accurately. If you’re running different ads, creating a separate form for each would be one way to directly attribute submissions to specific ads.

When it comes to products, there’s not really much of a way around it – unless your ads advertise a discount code people could use. In this case, make sure the code you’re giving out is specific to Facebook Ads alone, and people should then be able to attribute those purchases.

If you need help with Facebook Ads, we’re here to help at Engage Web. Get in touch and we’d be happy to discuss how you could use Facebook advertising for your business.

Digital Marketing Executive at Engage Web
Emily is no stranger to the world of online content. By the age of just 14, a novel she wrote on the story-writing website Wattpad had amassed more than a million views!

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