For business, it’s important to differentiate Facebook Pixel and Google analytics to adequately attribute, audiences, creative, and sources that are driving your conversions. And similar to everything digital, there are differences in how the two attribute, track, and measure conversions. Nuances also exist why these metrics never match. This makes it important to look at both platforms when measuring or reviewing your Facebook campaigns.
Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics will always be different in how they reflect your conversions because they collect data differently. Being different doesn’t necessarily mean that one is wrong or can be ignored.
Facebook Pixel: Piece of code that lets you measure, build audiences, and optimize your advertising campaigns. Placed on your website, the code collects data that is helping you track Facebook ads conversions.
Google Analytics: Lets you measure your advertising ROI and also track your social networking sites and applications.
Facebook Pixel Conversions
To track your Facebook conversions, the Facebook Pixel needs to be installed on your site together with standard events set up. With the events in place, use standard events to optimize your Facebook conversion campaigns.
The Facebook Pixel tracks users across browsers and devices as long as they are logged in. With Advanced Matching, the pixel identifies whether users are logged in or not. Consequently, Facebook can inform you using deterministic data whether a person clicks on a mobile device ad but later converts on a desktop.
Google Analytics Conversions
Typically, Google Analytics tracks Conversions such as soft conversions goals or leads or product sales. Google Analytics provides you with a wealth of on-site user insights and behavior as to how they navigate your site and walk through the sales funnel before they convert.
Google Analytics, however, cannot keep track of some essential things:
- It doesn’t work well with cross-device conversions – because it has a problem identifying the same person/user if they are not signed in chrome browser. Because Google Analytics Conversions are cookie-based, it sees the desktop and mobile visitor as two separate people/users.
The ultimate question remains whether to use Facebook Analytics or Google Analytics. The best answer is that either is good depending on what you want to achieve or answer. Each approach collects data differently, but that doesn’t make one superior or “wrong.”
You are likely to see big discrepancies when you compare Google Analytics conversion data to Facebook pixel conversion data. This is principally because they use different approaches at capturing conversions but both are useful.
As a Facebook marketer, you must understand differences between Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics data if you want to set audience targeting, attribute creative, and drive conversions optimally. You may want to use Google analytics attribution as a source of on-site “truth” and conversion data and Facebook conversion data for strategy optimizations and broader attribution.