Why does Meta Look So Much Worse than Google in GA?

We are big proponents of last-click GA goals for all networks! GA tracking has become a specialty of ours since iOS14 privacy changes rolled out. We use GA as our gut-check to make sure we are driving confirmed sales on our clients’ sites. However, there are some downsides to be aware of. 

Here are a few rules to consider when looking at GA by Network in the Source/Medium Report: 

  • Google will always look more efficient than Meta (total spend / GA last-click sales). 
  • Meta will always look worse, but you should only see Meta look about 2x worse than non-brand shopping and SEM. (No more than that!)
    • If it’s worse than 2x, there is likely an issue with how your Meta campaigns are set up. 
  • Google brand will always look amazing so you should split brand & non-brand out when analyzing performance. 

Why will Meta look 2x worse than non-brand shopping/SEM?

It’s all about intentionality. Non-brand is capturing people already searching for terms related to what you sell. Meta is looking for someone more upper funnel to convert at scale. If your whole strategy on Google is high-funnel terms then it would be fine for Meta and Google non-brand to look similar, but that’s typically not the case. 

Google is super efficient at driving last-click sales, but Meta can be as well when considered properly. Sales-optimized campaigns on Meta will naturally drive awareness to your brand and therefore more organic brand searches. This will lead to future sales on your site through source/medium’s that aren’t Meta (likely organic, direct or brand search).

Ideally, you have a Site CAC goal (all media spend / all site New customers = Site CAC) so you can analyze this halo from Meta.

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