October 16, 2019
Explaining the Conversion Discrepancies Between Google Ads & Google Analytics
If you’re anything like me, and you live in Facebook Audience Insights to keep a pulse on your audience, then the changes to Audience Insights the past couple months probably have you on edge. With the increased attention to data privacy and the sunset of third party targeting, Insights was completely down for a few weeks as Facebook rebuilt it, and it is now back… but with a much more limited set of insights & reports.
Certainly, leverage the reports that are still available in Facebook Insights! Note that this dashboard will default to showing trends for all of Facebook – interesting, but less helpful for optimization. Instead, you want to see the behavior of the most relevant audience possible. Since Facebook recently deprecated the ability to look at past purchaser behavior here, your best bet is going to be to filter down to Page Likers. Not all these people are converters, but this can be a helpful proxy.
So where can you see interests and behaviors for your actual converters? First off, Google Ads! Not only does Google Ads allow this for pixel audiences, but it also allows you to see behavior insights from an uploaded customer email list. We recommend uploading lists of all prior purchasers or lists of historically high value customers for that reason. Here you can see all the classic dashboards, like demographics, locations, and devices.
Beyond standard demo and device, the most helpful piece here is the dashboard on interest and behavior patterns—these frequently parallel the targeting options on social networks. These insights can inform strategic targeting expansion on the Google Display Network, Facebook, and Pinterest.
While it’s important to be aware of what your audience is interested in, it is equally important to be knowledgeable about which businesses are interested in your audiences – it takes two to tango! Sometimes there’s a disconnect between a user’s stated interests and their actual purchase behavior, so it’s essential to understand both sides of the coin. That’s where Google Ad’s Auction Insights report comes into play—this report displays the advertisers that are most actively bidding on similar terms and competing directly with you for user attention.
Taking a step back from just paid search or paid social, you can benefit from looking at the user behavior of your target market for their overall digital activity. Google Analytics portrays a holistic view of behavior across all digital touchpoints in the Interests report. Segment down to just prior converters to see what interests and affinities your customers already fall into, and use those targeting options to inform advertising across search and social!
Contact us if you would like to learn more about changes to Facebook Audience Insights and other ways to gain valuable audience insights to help fuel your digital marketing success.