Deep in the trenches
Join Date: Jun 2004
AdWords Reporting VS. Google Analytics
AdWords reporting says one thing, Analytics, another.
I know this is an ongoing battle of understanding, but I have become so frustrated trying to explain this clients, I need to ensure that I fully understand it myself.
Please poke holes in any of this logic if I am off-base.
Basically, AdWords drops the cookie on users and it lives for 30 days. If that user comes to the site via an AdWords ad, converts, and never comes back within 30 days, that is logged as 1-per click conversion.
Analytics will log this as a Google CPC conversion, also, because it was the last known referrer before converting.
If the user visits, then leaves without converting, but searches again 10 days later and follows an organic link to the site, but converts, then that user is still counted as 1-per click conversion - even though the last referrer was NOT an AdWords ad.
Analytics will NOT log this as a Google CPC conversion, however, because it was not the last known referrer before converting. Instead, Analytics will give credit to organic.
If these two scenarios are correct, then is it safe to say:
1) AdWords reporting will almost always be higher because of both the many-per-click metric and the fact that any conversion completed in a 30-day period is measured and added to the count - even if its the same user, converting multiple times (many-per-click)
2) CPC reporting in Analytics will almost always be less because Analytics only takes into account the last known referrer AND does not take duplicate conversions into consideration?
Please offer any feedback to this post as it has driven me crazy for many years. I have passed 6 Google certification tests and have been in the industry since it started, and this one has always alluded me with regards to complete understanding.
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: San Diego
Re: AdWords Reporting VS. Google Analytics
Most of the data between Google analytics and Adwords should be consistent if the accounts are properly linked together. The data is pulled from Adwords and posted to GA within an hour. So there may be some flux within an hours time frame.
Areas I find that confuse a client are:
You are using a profile filter, say view only US traffic as a simple example. Its easy to forget you have this filter one.
You have a Mobile site that is being tracked separately in analytics but reporting data to Adwords.
Clicks and Visits:
GA measures visits - same person comes to your site 5 times in 2 minutes = 1 visit.
Adwords - Same visitor clicks on your ad 5 times in 2 minutes = 5 clicks (and likely click fruad! ha.)
For this same click fraud reason adwords will identify fraud and eliminate the offending clicks, however the visit data produced by these clicks are not removed from google analytics.
Redirects can cause data inaccuracies.
These days more internet users have browsers that block reporting - especially the mobile devices. This can result in odd data.
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