What is discrepancy and how to deal with it

Traffic monetization using data driven insights helps website owners and affiliates succeed online. But is the data always accurate? What if there’s a discrepancy? And how do you define discrepancy? If website monetization is important to you, be aware of discrepancy, defined as the difference between your ad publishing software reports and your analytics.

To leverage the placement of ads to your advantage, you can use advertising software to optimize your campaign. Then you consult your analytics to measure activity.  In this way, ads can be placed, measured, and changed quickly to get best results.

However, website owners and affiliates often become frustrated because they discover a discrepancy between their ad publisher data and their analytics. The problem is that if the click through rate (CTR) and number of landing page visits doesn’t match, how can you accurately evaluate your campaign?

How to Avoid a Data Discrepancy Defined in Your Reports

There are things you can do to help prevent data discrepancy in your ad campaigns. You may need help from your webmaster with these as they deal with the meta-data and URLs of your pages.

  • You can avoid discrepancy by making sure your tags are working correctly. Verify your tags by installing a free Chrome extension, the Google Tag Assistant and Google Tag Assistant Recordings.

 If you don’t use Google Analytics, you can install an HTTP sniffer such as Fiddler or Charles. They will make sure that visits to your landing page are making it to your analytics tool. Also, check with your system to be sure your publisher tags are in the right places. 

  • Study your analytics so you know how it works. For example, if you have more than one AdWords account linked to the same analytics, the analytics might include all the clicks instead of breaking them out for each account.
Your analytics tools let you customize your data. That’s great if you know what you’re doing. But reshaping the data exposes you to accidently creating discrepancies.
  • Make sure all of your analytics are based in the same time zone. Or at least be sure the data you use is in the same time frame.
  • Comparing publishing systems real-time data with slower systems can cause discrepancies. So know how long it takes for your analytics tool to process data.
  • Discrepancies appear in your data if you’re looking at smaller samples. Base results on 100% of the data collected for best results. 

How to Deal With Data Discrepancy

The first thing to do is see if you can define the discrepancy. Is it with one ad, the campaign, or the publisher? Has the discrepancy defined happened before? Identifying the scope of the problem is the first step.

Then make sure your campaign ads and URLs are set properly. The ad must include the landing page URL to properly track visits. Or you can get a new Click Through URL (CTU) with the Google Analytics URL Builder.

 Make sure your auto-tagging in AdWords is enabled. An A/B split test might also be causing the discrepancy. Or the server might be redirecting to the wrong page. Worse, ads could also be linked to a 404 page in error.

 Different Systems, Different Metrics for Traffic Monetization

If you’re using different analytics and ad publishing software, then discrepancies are inevitable. For example, a visitor might click on your ad, then click away before the landing page loads and your publisher reports a click but not a visit. Or another publisher might count multiple clicks as one click.

 Upshot in Dealing with Discrepancy

An important thing to remember is that discrepancies can be dealt with, but perfect data isn’t possible. We define discrepancy as the difference in the reporting of your publisher and analytics, but a discrepancy defined isn’t the whole story. Online advertisers do the best they can to track down mistakes. But diligence in analyzing data goes a long way to spotting discrepancies that matter and ones that won’t affect your website monetization.

The easiest way to set up your analytics correctly and to identify the reasons for the discrepancies is to contact your Adsterra Personal Manager  who could make a research and answer all your question. Sign in to see the contact details of your PM.

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Written by Nick Burns

Nick Burns

Nick Burns provides website owners and businesses a winning online strategy plus the content creation to make it work. Find out more at

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