Don’t Panic: Understanding Google Analytics 4 and El Toro Discrepancies

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is designed to provide insights into your website's performance. However, the data can sometimes be slightly off due to the complex nature of online interactions. El Toro and GA4 discrepancies are normal because they use different reporting methodologies. Both tools will tell similar stories; unless there's a significant difference, there's no need for alarm.

If You See Drastic Differences Between El Toro and Google Analytics 4, Here's What to Do:

  1. Verify that the Google Analytics 4 tracking code is on all your landing pages and that the code is firing correctly.

  2. Audit your ad destination URLs to ensure they have properly created UTM tracking codes that specify El Toro as the traffic source in GA4.

  3. Ensure your destination URLs don't prompt redirects, as these can strip the campaign tracking codes GA4 needs to attribute traffic to the marketing source (in this case, El Toro).

  4. Disable any filters or data streams set up for your GA4 reports that might remove data or edit campaign tracking.

Engagements vs. Visits

  • El Toro tracks clicks.

  • Google Analytics 4 tracks engagements associated with your advertising.

Engagements in GA4 can consist of one or multiple events, such as page views, scrolls, and clicks. Unlike Universal Analytics, GA4 does not rely on sessions but focuses on event-based tracking.

Why Do I Have More Clicks Than Engagements?

  1. A single visitor might click your ads multiple times within a short period. In this case, El Toro records multiple clicks, while GA4 records events associated with these clicks.

  2. If someone clicks on your ad but doesn't let the page load, the GA4 tracking code won't fire. However, El Toro still registers the click.

  3. Slow servers can contribute to tracking problems, and visitors may bounce before the GA4 tracking code fires.

  4. Visitors can opt out of GA4 tracking but would still be targeted and measured by El Toro.

Why Ad Engagements May Be Higher Than Clicks

A person might click on your ad, leave, and later return to your website through a bookmark or by typing the URL directly into their browser. In this case, the marketing attribution from the first visit is preserved, so one click results in multiple engagements.

Conversion Tracking Discrepancies

El Toro and GA4 use different attribution and tracking methods to associate conversions with your advertising. El Toro attributes a conversion to the last El Toro ad click or view, while GA4 attributes success to the last engaged touchpoint, regardless of the source.

GA4 allows you to customize the attribution window for conversions, while El Toro defaults to a 30-day conversion attribution window. El Toro also tracks view-through conversions, which GA4 doesn't.

For a comprehensive understanding of conversions, consider a MatchBack analysis.

Assisted Conversions vs. Last Interaction Conversions

In GA4, you can analyze the conversion paths using the Attribution feature to see assisted and last interaction conversions.

To view this, go to Reports > Attribution > Model Comparison. By comparing different attribution models, you can see all conversions attributed to your traffic source in GA4.

Date/Time Discrepancy

Default time zones are generally set at the Advertiser level in the El Toro UI. In Advertiser details, there is an option to set a default time zone and also a checkbox to apply this time zone to all child objects within this Advertiser. Google Analytics 4 dates and times are localized to the time zone.


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