After weeks of hard work, you’re finally to the finish line. Your LinkedIn campaign is set and running. Now it’s time to sit back and watch that hard work pay off as your LinkedIn engagements increase and Google Analytics metrics climb. Break out the bonbons! But as you compare those LinkedIn clicks to Google Analytics sessions, things aren’t matching up. It’s a relatively small discrepancy, but it’s still a discrepancy that has left you scratching your head. The good news? It’s nothing to worry about. The even better news? We have an explanation for the mismatched analytics.
It all comes down to how Google Analytics and LinkedIn categorize clicks. As soon as a user clicks on your LinkedIn ad (linked to your website) the LinkedIn platform records that as a click. It doesn’t matter how long you stay on the website, it’s a click in the eyes of LinkedIn.
On the other hand, a few more things must happen for that click to be recorded as a session in Google Analytics. That click starts things off, but a few other actions must take place – connecting to the web server, loading the landing page HTML, a request for multiple files (e.g., images), triggering GA tracking code – before the click is recognized in Google Analytics.
All those actions happen very quickly, but if someone closes out of the website before the process is complete, it does not get recorded in Google Analytics. Another reason could be that the user clicks on a link to go deeper into your website before the code has time to load. It is also possible that there is a technical issue like the code fails to download or a user is deliberately blocking tracking codes. So, more than likely, there will always be a small discrepancy.
This discrepancy is not only confined to LinkedIn. You will most likely see similar differences in metrics reported by Facebook, Instagram, and Google AdWords. But like we said, a small discrepancy is nothing to fret over. Enjoy those bonbons – you deserve it!