Discrepancy between SteelHouse & Google Analytics (GA) reports are normal due to differences in reporting methodologies. That said, SteelHouses' reports & GA data will follow the same trends & tell a similar story. Though SteelHouse & GA data will never match up exactly, reporting from both sources can be useful for measuring your advertising performance & optimizing campaigns.
If you are seeing significant discrepancy, first make sure that your GA tracking is working correctly:
- Review each ad destination URLs to ensure they have properly created UTM tracking codes that will specify the traffic source as SteelHouse in GA.
- Verify that your destinations URLs do not prompt redirects. Redirects are often set up in a way that can strip campaign tracking codes GA needs to attribute the traffic to the marketing source—in this scenario, SteelHouse.
- Ensure you do not have filters set up for your GA reports that are removing data or editing campaign tracking.
Clicks vs. Visits
- SteelHouse tracks advertising clicks however, GA tracks visits associated with your advertising.
- GA visits can be as short as one pageview, or last many hours & contain multiple page views, events, and transactions.
- Visits expire after 30 minutes of inactivity, and any subsequent activity would be tracked as a separate visit.
Clicks associated with your ads may be bigger than visits for the following reasons:
- A single visitor may click your ads multiple times. When a visitor clicks multiple times within the same visit, SteelHouse records multiple clicks while GA records the multiple page views as only one visit.
- A visitor may click on your advertisement, but then stop the page from fully loading by navigating to another address or page or by pressing the browser’s 'Stop' button. In this scenario, the GA tracking code will not execute and won't send tracking data to Google. However, SteelHouse still registers the click.
- Server latency may contribute to tracking problems and visitors may navigate away before the GA tracking code executes.
- Visitors may have set their preferences to opt out of GA tracking, but still be targeted/measured by SteelHouse.
Visits associated with your ads may be bigger than clicks for the following reason:
- A user may click on an ad, and then, during a different session, return directly to the site through a bookmark or by typing the address into the browser’s location bar. In this case, the marketing attribution from the first visit is preserved, so the initial click results in more than one visit.