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Data in HubSpot ads doesn't match traffic analytics

Last updated: September 17, 2019

When comparing data between HubSpot's ads tool and the analytics tool, you may see differences in the amount of contacts in your reports. For example, you may see discrepancies when comparing the Total contacts on your ads dashboard with count of contacts in the Paid search category of the sources report. This is because the ads tool and analytics tool measure contacts differently.

HubSpot's analytics tool measures contacts based on the UTM parameters in the URL of a contact's first website visit. However, in order for a contact to be attributed to an ad, the ads tool requires the following:

  • HubSpot’s ad tracking parameters must be present in the ad’s URL at the time the contact clicks the ad.
  • HubSpot’s tracking code must be installed on the page the clicked ad links to.
  • HubSpot must have a cookie stored for that contact.

Below are examples of situations where a contact would appear in either the ads tool or analytics tool, but not the other:

  • A contact clicked on an ad, but HubSpot wasn't tracking that ad. In this situation, the contact would likely have a Paid search or Paid social source, but would not be attributed to an ad in the ads tool. This can happen when:
  • A contact clicked an ad before HubSpot was tracking it. In this situation, a contact would likely have an Original source of Paid search or Paid social, but would not be attributed to an ad in the ads tool. HubSpot's ad tracking parameters must be applied to the ad URL when a contact clicks it in order to count in the ads tool.
  • A contact visited a URL with Paid search or Paid social UTM parameters, but the URL wasn't used for an ad. This can happen when a tracking URL is shared outside of your ad account, such as in an email or on your website. In this situation, the contact would have an Original source of Paid search or Paid social, but would not be attributed to an ad in the ads tool.
  • A contact's Original source property was manually updated in HubSpot. If a contact's Original source property is changed to Paid search or Paid social, they will appear in the sources report under that category. However, unless the contact clicked an ad, they will not be attributed to an ad in the ads tool.
  • A contact clicked on an ad that HubSpot is tracking, but the ad's URL has customized UTM parameters. In this situation, a contact may be attributed to an ad in the ads tool, but will likely not appear in the traffic analytics tool. By default, HubSpot's ad tracking template includes Paid search or Paid social UTM parameters. If these parameters are edited in the ad account, source data may not be accurate. The ads tool will track the contact's ad click, but the customized UTM parameters may prevent the contact from appearing under Paid search or Paid social.