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Ads not scheduled to run are in fact running - according to analytics

eCI
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# 1
eCI
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I have 2 campaigns that are not scheduled to run on Saturdays. 

Checking in my ADWORDS area, this is confirmed.  I have 0 clicks, 0 impressions, as I would have hoped.

Today I noticed a sale in Analytics that is attriduted to cpc.  I checked the stats in Analytics and it shows me I have all kinds of impressions and clicks in these 2 campaigns, and filtereing by source/med it shows me the campaigns.  I can even filter by day parts and see when (at which hours) the clicks came (all day).

 

To pre-empt all the "are you sure......" questions, I have both adwords and analytics filtered to the same day (yesterday -  a Sat), Analytics is showing the traffic all day not just before or after midnight. 


 Can someone explain the discrepancy, and/or please explain why ads are showing if I didn't schedule them?

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Accepted by topic author eCI
September 2015

Re: Ads not scheduled to run are in fact running - according to analyt

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# 2
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Hi eCl,
This is a common question and I'd like to assure you that if AdWords stats show that the ad accrued no impressions on these days, that is indeed the case.

AdWords and Analytics, at a fundamental level, measure visits to your site differently. This is annoying at first but actually gives greater insight in the grander scheme of things.

You see, AdWords measures CLICKS to your website, Analytics measures VISITS. There's a big difference here. Clicks are clicks. There can be more than one click to your site per visitor. VISITS on the other hand, there's only ONE visit per USER.

Rather than copy and paste the entire document explaining this, I'll refer you to it here:
https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1034383?hl=en

Please see the "discrepancies in clicks and visits" section.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Dave

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author eCI
September 2015

Re: Ads not scheduled to run are in fact running - according to analyt

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi eCl,
This is a common question and I'd like to assure you that if AdWords stats show that the ad accrued no impressions on these days, that is indeed the case.

AdWords and Analytics, at a fundamental level, measure visits to your site differently. This is annoying at first but actually gives greater insight in the grander scheme of things.

You see, AdWords measures CLICKS to your website, Analytics measures VISITS. There's a big difference here. Clicks are clicks. There can be more than one click to your site per visitor. VISITS on the other hand, there's only ONE visit per USER.

Rather than copy and paste the entire document explaining this, I'll refer you to it here:
https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1034383?hl=en

Please see the "discrepancies in clicks and visits" section.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Dave

Re: Ads not scheduled to run are in fact running - according to analyt

eCI
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# 3
eCI
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Thank you Dave_Davis for your reply.
It basically answers my question.

Of the options mentioned on the support page, the only 2 realistic causes in my case may be:

Visitors return during the lifetime of a campaign
Visitors return to your site via bookmarks

In plain English just to clarify and summarize:
The VISITS I see in my analytics, on the day my ads are not running (i.e. Saturday) are likely coming from a scenario of a user who visited my site based on a previous CLICK of an ad. That previous click got counted on the day it ran. Now, for whatever reason this user is coming back to my site on Saturday. In adwords, this VISIT is not being counted as a CLICK, as it was in fact not a click on an ad in this case. However, in analytics, this VISIT is still being attributed to the original ppc campaign as being the source of the visit.

Re: Ads not scheduled to run are in fact running - according to analyt

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# 4
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Spot on. That's exactly it.

Re: Ads not scheduled to run are in fact running - according to analyt

eCI
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# 5
eCI
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This is actually good news and could be used as a roundabout way to prove an added benefit to ppc.
I have alot of this traffic - traffic that comes to my site on a day when I am not running any ads as verified by my adwords account. Yet, users are coming back. This is a validation of the benefit of a ppc, after the original click comes and goes without a sale.
I realize there are other more direct ways to see this in adwords or analytics (like multi-channel funnels, etc) , but this way is also interesting.

Re: Ads not scheduled to run are in fact running - according to analyt

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# 6
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Glad you mentioned MCFs as they're a better way to get an overall view of how your channels are working together. You might also want to look at the attribution modelling tool for some more advanced attribution.