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Adwords conversions much lower than Analytics

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# 1
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Apologies for posting yet another question like this, but prior answers have not adequately explained my situation. I'm fairly new to Adwords too.

 

I've been asked to re-pull 2012 conversion numbers from an Adwords campaign. This campaign is also tracked in Analytics. The conversion numbers are MUCH higher in Analytics, for example:

 

Adwords = 4,800 clicks and 266 conversions

Analytics = 5,400 visits and 430 conversions [under Ecommerce tracking]

 

Why such a dramatic difference? If we rely on the Adwords data, our CPA is almost $20 more which means we threw away a lot of money, but the previous reporter used the Analytics data. Obviously the person spending this money needs to know exactly what he's paying for each conversion.

 

I read somewhere that Analytics will credit the last click as a conversion, but these articles also say those conversions are no longer tracked as PPC campaign traffic. My numbers are purely PPC traffic from the same campaign.

 

Edit: I just discovered that if I filter my Analytics to show only NEW visitors, the conversion numbers are much closer to Adwords. So this would follow what I've read about Adwords just tracking the first click. Does that mean that these extra conversions shown in Analytics are people who did click the PPC ad, but didn't convert until a later visit?

 

If that is the case, how are we to accurately judge the campaign performance day-by-day and throttle the spending if these conversions are flowing in from weeks ago? It would seem to me that relying on the Adwords numbers alone would be the best solution in this case.

 

Also, if these 143 "extra" conversions shown by Analytics occurred from prior clicks, would this not mean that Adwords also credited them to the original date of the first click, assuming it occured within 30 the past days?

 

Any insights welcome.

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Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
September 2015

Re: Adwords conversions much lower than Analytics

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# 3
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@StructuredPPC wrote:
Hi, adwords won't register any conversions if its older than 30 days. So analytics is the one you have to look at.

It's a little more complex than that. AdWords and Analytics have cookies of a different length (30 days and 6 months), that's true, but also:

 

  • Analytics credits the day when the conversion happens, and the last visitor source
  • AdWords credits the day of the last ad click and itself, even if after a non-converting AdWords visit someone visits the website again, through another source and converts.
Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
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Re: Adwords conversions much lower than Analytics

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# 2
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Hi, adwords won't register any conversions if its older than 30 days. So analytics is the one you have to look at.
Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
September 2015

Re: Adwords conversions much lower than Analytics

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

@StructuredPPC wrote:
Hi, adwords won't register any conversions if its older than 30 days. So analytics is the one you have to look at.

It's a little more complex than that. AdWords and Analytics have cookies of a different length (30 days and 6 months), that's true, but also:

 

  • Analytics credits the day when the conversion happens, and the last visitor source
  • AdWords credits the day of the last ad click and itself, even if after a non-converting AdWords visit someone visits the website again, through another source and converts.
Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

Re: Adwords conversions much lower than Analytics

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# 4
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@AdWiser wrote:

@StructuredPPC wrote:
Hi, adwords won't register any conversions if its older than 30 days. So analytics is the one you have to look at.

It's a little more complex than that. AdWords and Analytics have cookies of a different length (30 days and 6 months), that's true, but also:

 

  • Analytics credits the day when the conversion happens, and the last visitor source
  • AdWords credits the day of the last ad click and itself, even if after a non-converting AdWords visit someone visits the website again, through another source and converts.


Does this mean that those 143 more conversions shown by Analytics for the same campaign in that time period could in fact be from PPC ad clicks made several months ago? Analytics would still count that as a campaign conversion even if the last visitor source was type-in traffic? Is there any other way to explain the 143 more conversions reported by Analytics for that campaign during that same period?

Re: Adwords conversions much lower than Analytics

Top Contributor
# 5
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I think so. Any conversion occuring from direct traffic, within 6 months of the last ad click, would still be reported as an AdWords conversion by Google Analytics. AdWords loses track of it in one month, Analytics holds it by default for 5 more months, and then both forget about it. Though the visitor type stays "returning", not "new visitor" for ... 2 years (need to check that).

Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
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Re: Adwords conversions much lower than Analytics

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# 6
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If the above explains it, how do I interpret the "Time to Visits" in Analytics for this same period where it says of the 430 conversion, 405 occurred on the same day, and 367 occured in just one visit to transaction?

 

 

Re: Adwords conversions much lower than Analytics

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor
I don't know what you mean by time to visits, but please read the following, it *may* help: https://plus.google.com/105279625231358353479/posts/gwfUhtYR2wx
Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.