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Conversion attribution question

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 1
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi Everyone,

 

How is it possible that my historic conversion stats keep changing?

I found this little snippet in an article that dates from 2009. Is this still the case?

 

"When a user clicks on a Google ad, a tracking cookie is placed on their computer. This cookie is active for 30 days. This way, if the user clicks on your ad and comes back a week later, the conversion is still attributed to your campaign and your specific keyword.

However, keep in mind that this latent AdWords-generated conversion is attributed to your account when the initial click occurred, not when the conversion action takes place. This means that if someone clicks on your ad on April 1 and they return to your site to convert on April 24, this conversion will appear  within your reports on April 1."

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Kind Regards,

 

Steven

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Conversion attribution question

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 2
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
Yes, you are correct. But on analytics the conversion is attributed on the date the transaction is placed.

Re: Conversion attribution question

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 3
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
That's right for Google AdWords Conversion tracking. A little different if importing goals from Google Analytics.

If you are importing conversions (goals) from Google Analytics then you can get all sorts of weird reporting. I am importing goals from Analytics in one account and the conversion data is always a few days behind. Just something to keep in mind.

Re: Conversion attribution question

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Oh, so all conversions during the 30 day period would be counted to that one click on AdWords ad? I've found no reason why it would stop attributing after the first conversion.

Doesn't that inflate AdWords influence when we speak of high freqency conversion sites?

Thanks for your answer,

Slav

Re: Conversion attribution question

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

Hi Slav, I'm not sure I understand your comment.  Reporting is not "inflated" in any way, it's simply that Conversions from AdWords may not happen immediately.  For example, someone clicks on your Ad on the 16th August, looks around your site and likes the products you sell, but can't afford to buy then.  He comes back on the 12th September and buys from your site.  That conversion would be attributed to the 16th August by AdWords, and the 12th September by Analytics (to whatever source he returned) but they each only record one conversion.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Conversion attribution question

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Jon,
I sure do understand, that a person might be on an early stage of bying cycle, just getting to know the product etc, and it's a great idea to attribute the next conversion to AdWords click.
But I was trying to understand wether ALL transactions (by one user/browser) during the 30 days (until the cookie dies out) period after the click on AdWords ad are attributed to that click.
Customer might buy one product via the AdWords (with or without the time lag), but all the next conversions should be (I guess) attributed to the respective channels. This is what I mean by inflating the AdWords influence on conversion rates/revenue.
Hope I made myself clear Smiley Happy

Slav

Re: Conversion attribution question

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

Hi Slav, sorry, I misunderstood your question.

 

I think it's difficult to say which would be the right way to work.  If you ran a high street shop that I didn't know existed, then one day I saw and Ad for your shop, went there and bought from it, I think it could be strongly argued that every purchase I make from you for the rest of time is ultimately attributable to my seeing that Ad in the first place.  I think the use of the time limit is sensible though; after 30 days (or 90 days as is now the maximum) I might have found your shop by accident or been told about it by a friend but in that first period I think it makes sense to attribute all purchases to that original click.

 

In short, yes, within the time window every purchase is attributed to the first AdWords click but I think that's fair.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Conversion attribution question

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Jon,

You are right, but different situation might happen. Suppose you have already known about the site on the first place, but so happened that you reached it via ad. In this case one might see the ad as just a easy way to the site (cannibalising organic conversions), not the conversion driver, even if it happened right after the (paid) ad click.
This is especially important in case of repeated small value transactions, when users might use ads as a shortcut/bookmark (knowing or not) to the site. That's why I believe this way to attribute conversions might inflate AdWords influence on the sales.

Nevertheless, thank you a lot for the clarification!

Slav

Re: Conversion attribution question

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

Hi Slav, the issue of paid clicks for previous visitors is an interesting one but I would still say that in most cases the Ad serves a purpose.  For example, let's say I'm shopping for a new digital camera.  I search for Sony WX80 and your site comes organically and I click the organic link.  You site has a decent price but I can't buy it until pay day.  I come back on pay day and do the same search but this time I click your Ad instead of your organic listing.

 

The question is whether I would have clicked your organic listing again if the Ad hadn't been there.  I might have done, but I might not, I might have seen a new Ad from another store offering the same camera for $10 less and clicked that.  


This is why you have to put all clicks into the ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend) equation and not concentrate on "one click = one purchase".  Few Accounts get all their conversions from one Ad click only (although the percentage varies) and the higher the value of the goods, the more clicks/longer the path is to conversion.

 

If you're interested, Google published some research a while back on Ad performance when shown for terms that produced a high organic listing.  It's pretty heavy going but you may enjoy it.  In a nutshell, they found that not showing an Ad alongside a high organic listing resulted in an overall drop in clicks, i.e. if you got 200 clicks a day, 100 from paid Ads and 100 from the organic listing, when you pause the Ads you don't get 200 clicks organically, it's more like 110 - 120.

 

http://adwords.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/studies-show-search-ads-drive-89.html

 

Anyway, we've hijacked Steven's original thread here so if you'd like to continue this discussion we should do it on a new thread!

 

Jon

 

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits