Conversion Discrepancy

Step by Step Guide to Handle Conversion Discrepancy between CM360 and Google Ads.

Problem Statement – Facing a significant conversion discrepancy between Google Ads and CM360? Our analysis of client ABC reveals that CM360 is undercounting conversions by 85%. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through troubleshooting and resolving these inconsistencies.

Our Approach to solve Conversion Discrepancy

The investigation into the conversion discrepancy between CM360 and Google Ads was carried out using a systematic approach. The initial focus was on reviewing the setup of both platforms, ensuring that the conversion tracking configurations were accurately implemented and aligned. Additionally, a detailed analysis of the user journey was performed to understand how conversions were being recorded across different touchpoints and interactions. By examining the data from both platforms, including click and conversion data, valuable insights were gained into the attribution process and potential Conversion discrepancy. This comprehensive investigation aimed to uncover any discrepancies, clarify the conversion tracking mechanisms, and ensure accurate and reliable reporting of conversion data between CM360 and Google Ads.

Step 1) Check Conversion Pixels in concern within Both the Platform

Step 1 in investigating the discrepancy between CM360 and Google Ads conversion data involves checking the conversion pixels. Ensure that both platforms’ pixels are correctly implemented and firing as intended. This includes verifying the code placement, ensuring no conflicts, and confirming that each pixel captures and records conversions accurately

Step 2) Setup Checks 

CM360 Setup – 

Campaign in Concern –
Campaign: XXX 2023 ID: XXX1823

Run dates: 03/14/2023 – 03/30/2024

The advertiser in Concern – XXXX Limited 

Finding – 

The campaign, along with its respective placements and ads, appears to be correctly set up in CM360. Dynamic click trackers are generated within CM360 and integrated into Google Ads. These trackers monitor clicks and attribute conversions, ensuring that each interaction is accurately recorded and attributed to the corresponding ad and placement within the campaign

Google Ads Setup 

Campaign in Concern – XXXX 

Conversion Pixel associated with the above Campaign in Google Ads 

The Campaign and its respective Ad Group and Ads within the mentioned campaign tend to be OK. CM360 Dynamic click trackers are used as an LP within the tracking template. 

Note Google Ads Conversion Pixel is based on Data-Driven Attribution Model 

This is very important to check the Conversion Window setting and how they have setup the attribution to read the data. 

Conclusion – Setup within both the platform Google Ads and CM360 Tends to be as Intended. 

 Step 3) Analysis of the User Journey 

User Definition – 

Step 1 ) The user sees an Ad on Google Inventory ( Search or Youtube) Clicks on the ads and Lands on the below Landing Page —> Check the LP URL and see how the cookie Consent is getting initiated, is it via GTM or Website Directly. 

The above landing page is a redirection via CM360 dynamic Click Tracker. 

Note – The page above page gets loaded after the Virtual Page gets initiated. 

Step 2 ) The user selects a plan for himself either 1) Monthly or 2) Yearly and proceeds to the checkout

The above step is happening on the Page – See how the user is flowing from first to last page that will be the thank you page. 

Note – If the user isn’t signed in. Then the Page asks the user to sign in or sign up and then proceed to Checkout  

Step 3 ) Once the user fills in the card details the user finally lands on the Thank you page which is

The Pixels implemented on the user journey are controlled via GTM. Please refer to GTM firing pixel report doc for an understanding of GTM triggers and pixels firing on the user journey. 

Conclusion – 

GTM Triggers for CM360 are set up correctly and firing as intended. In the user Journey, none of the Google pixels mentioned earlier in this doc are firing. Rather – Only one Google Pixel is firing that is HOK- Adwords Remarketing tags. Upon deep diving we noticed HOK- Adwords Remarketing tags are the main pixel which is recording the conversion counts within Google Ads. 

Findings from CM360 

Floodlight Name – XXXXX (XXX3049)

Total Conversions : 855
Click-through Conversions : 519

View-through Conversions : 336


Note – The above data includes the Google Ads and Google – Youtube as sites in CM360 Report.

 Discrepancy Conclusion – 

Google Ads View Through Conversion: 416

CM360 Click-Through Conversions: 519

 When comparing Conversions data across platforms – CM360 & Google Ads. We’re considering View-through conversion numbers from Google Ads and Click-through conversion numbers from CM360 for comparison.

Reason – Due to the different attribution models between the two platforms and the misalignment of the Look-back window within the two platforms. 

The view-through lookback setting which is 1 day within Google Ads is a close match setting of click-through attribution in CM360. Because once a user clicks, they are forwarded to the landing page (LP), and the same thing occurs when a user views an Ad and lands on the LP.

 Next Steps 

To minimize conversion discrepancies between Google Ads and CM360 (Campaign Manager 360), it is recommended to follow the following approaches:

Consistent Conversion Tracking Setup:

Ensure that the conversion tracking setup is consistent between both platforms. This includes implementing the tracking codes accurately, associating conversion actions correctly, and verifying that the conversion tracking settings are aligned. Double-check that the conversion tracking configurations in both Google Ads and CM360 are properly integrated with your website or app.

Unified Tagging:

Consider using unified tagging across both Google Ads and CM360. Unified tagging involves using a single, centralized tagging solution to streamline the implementation of tracking codes. This helps to ensure that the same tags are deployed consistently across both platforms, reducing the risk of discrepancies arising from variations in tag implementation.

Align Conversion Attribution Models:

Make sure that the attribution models used in both Google Ads and CM360 are aligned. Choose the same attribution model or a similar approach to attribute conversions consistently across platforms. This helps in reducing inconsistencies in how credit is assigned to different touchpoints, leading to a more harmonized view of conversion data.

 Cross-Platform Data Validation:

Regularly validate and compare conversion data between Google Ads and CM360. Conduct periodic audits and checks to compare conversion counts, attributions, and other relevant metrics. Identify and investigate any discrepancies promptly to understand the underlying causes and take necessary corrective actions.

 Analyze User Journey:

Analyze the user journey and the conversion path to gain insights into how conversions are getting recorded. Evaluate the touchpoints and interactions that users go through before converting and ensure that they are accurately tracked and attributed in both Google Ads and CM360. This analysis can help identify any discrepancies in the attribution process and inform adjustments or optimizations.

By adopting these approaches, you can enhance the consistency and accuracy of conversion tracking and attribution, thereby minimizing discrepancies between Google Ads and CM360. It is important to regularly monitor and maintain alignment between the two platforms to ensure reliable and trustworthy conversion data.

Reference Articles

Data-Driven Attribution

Lookback Window

View-Through Conversions for Google Ads

Floodlight Conversion Counting Methods for CM360

 About Conversions Tracking in Google Ads

Attribution Modelling in CM360

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