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AdWords Clicks >> Analytics Visits

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I see a ton of threads on this topic, but no real resolutions. Most "experts" seem to discount the problem as user-error or ignorance between the differences in reporting definitions. I've read all the documentation and a number of these back-and-forths... I enabled auto-tracking, I target only desktops computers, I know the differences in defition; yet, AdWords (and all other advertising) reports 3x the clicks that Analytics reports for visits. 

 

This integrity issue causes me to be warry of every stage in the funnel. I don't know how many visits I'm paying for, I don't know what % of users bounce, and I don't know if I should trust Google conversion pixels. If the very top of the funnel shows a discrepancy of 3x, how am I supposed to optimize?

 

Please, I would love some help, beyond defining the difference between clicks and visits, saying "some users don't enable javascript", etc. I appreciate whatever time or attention this gets - I know it's a complex issue, and hard to troubleshoot form afar; my business depends on this.

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: AdWords Clicks >> Analytics Visits

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi, Cassidy.

Off the top of my head here are some reasons why Analytics visits might not be recorded after an AdWords click:

- there's no javascript code on some landing pages (this one's pretty hard to catch on larger websites unless you use a crawler which can detect the presence / absence of some code snippets on the pages it crawls)
- autotagging (gclid appended on landing page URLs) causes the landing page to crash & the Analytics code does not get a chance to fire
- the website / route to the website is slow. So slow that sometimes the javascript code does not get the chance to fire
- users click back and forth between the SERP and your website. One click on your ad, a click back, one click on another ad, back and again a click to your website, in under 30 minutes, will be recorded as one visit. Clicks will be two though.
Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
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Re: AdWords Clicks >> Analytics Visits

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks Calin,

Really appreciate the response, and these seem like legitimate reasons. Let me see if I can address and follow up:

- There's only one landing page, so easy to see the code installed on it
- Gclid causing the page to crash? This one is really interesting. Any idea how I can test this? If I click on an ad and the page loads fine for my computer, does that mean it's going to work for most of the different sources?
- Also seems reasonable. Again, any idea what speed is too slow/how to test?

I also was told that javascript not being enabled would be a very likely causer. In particular, if somehow my ad was being served to mobile phones/tablets. Any thoughts on this, or an idea what percentage of tablets/mobile phones don't support JS?

Thanks for your time!
Best,
Cassidy

Re: AdWords Clicks >> Analytics Visits

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Hello, Cassidy.

if there's only one landing page and in some cases the visits are recorded as belonging to AdWords while some not, then the code issue and the gclid issue are out of the question.

For the speed issue, try pingdom and test from a location in Europe (I believe Amsterdam is among the options) if you're in the US. See when the page starts to load and when it finishes loading. Also, look at your site speed section in Analytics and see if pages take a lot of time to load. However, I don't think that this issue alone would cause a 3x1 clicks versus visits ratio.

But maybe the cause is not singular, maybe it's a combination.

Javascript disabled could be an issue. I think you could include a pixel in a <noscript&gt; section on your webpage and then check your logs to see how many requests for that image you have.

There's one more possibility, and that is the "Do not Track" option. If many people have enabled DNT in their browsers, then AdWords would still record the click as it goes from the ad page to the redirect page and then to the website. Analytics, however, would not record that visit.

You can also test for the presence of DNT, on your webpage, by reading the HTTP headers and in some cases even some javascript variables (http://www.browserleaks.com/donottrack).

Hope it helps.
Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
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Re: AdWords Clicks >> Analytics Visits

Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆
# 5
Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆

Hi Sorry to Butt in here, just couldnt help it Smiley Happy

Can you post URL of your landing page?

 

Regards, Nik
LinkedIn  |   @nikhilparachure | My Blog