Not all conversions are created equal. This is a valuable lesson to remember when comparing analytics from different platforms. The most common situation we run into here at Akers Digital is seeing brand managers compare conversion value metrics from Google Analytics and Facebook and coming to the conclusion that Facebook is far outperforming other types of advertising? But this is not always the case, let us explain.
Google Analytic’s defaults to Last Non-Direct Click Attribution while Facebook takes 100% of the credit for the entire conversion path. Meaning if there are five visits before your customer converts and one of them is a visit from a Facebook Ad, Facebook will take 100% of the credit for that conversion and not give any credit to the other four sessions.
The above image is from Google Analytics and lists the path to purchase for several different conversions. You can see that it is a complex journey customer go on before buying. Let’s pretend the Social Network visits were from Facebook Ads. If you were to open Facebook Business Manager, you would see a total of 13 conversions for a value of $3,150.74. Not a bad outcome, if it wasn’t so misleading.
Google Analytics Attribution
We prefer to use Google Analytics Attribution models. Our goto model is the position based (40%-20%-40%) that favors the first and last interaction. The position based model gives a much more holistic view of where sales are coming from since it looks at the entire path to purchase, weighing each visit differently.
Using the above example, let’s compare the two and see how much they differ. To keep our math simple, we are going to use row #4 as our example; two direct visits, one social visit for three conversions totals $504.00.
You can see how the two models differ when looking at the same three conversions, three conversions vs. 1.2 conversions. To solve this problem, we use UTM Parameters for our Facebook Ads combined with importing cost data. UTM Parameters allows us to look at all advertising efforts on an equal playing field within attribution models, from AdWords, Bing, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, media buys, to Youtube banner ads.
What is the lesson here?
Don’t be swindled by Facebook Business Manager’s native metrics. Pick one system, in this case, Google Analytics, and use it consistently across the board.