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Goals and Conversions

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# 1
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Differences in tracking between AdWords and Analytics are driving me crazy Smiley Frustrated

Hopefully someone here can help me with this specific issue.


If a user

1) clicks an AdWords-ad

2) converts 

3) 2 weeks later clicks on an organic link after searching "keyword x"

4) converts

5) 1 week later returns through AdWords-ad

6) converts again


We measure conversion in Analytics as goal, and in AdWords by tracking code. Goals have not been imported to AdWords. But the conversion is the same (page).


a) will all of those 3 conversions be registered in AdWords?

b) will Analytics only register 2 of those (1 & 6) as AdWords-conversions?

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Goals and Conversions

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi David;

As far as I understand it works the following:

  • 1+ 6 will be counted as two Adwords conversion ( assuming many per click vs. one per click)
  • In addition Analytics will record 1 more conversion coming from Organic
  • So, in total you should see 2 conversions from AdWords ( the user converts twice but within 30 days) + 1 from organic.


I agree that it is not easy to navigate within the many conversion options on Analytics and AdWords. I will ask Calin, he is an expert on conversions , to join and comment.



Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Goals and Conversions

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# 3
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My view is the following:


a) AdWords: you'll see two one per click conversions (#1 for ad A and #6 for ad B, assuming they're different) and 2 many per click conversions for ad A (#1 and #3)


b) Analytics: as Analytics gives credit to the last conversion medium, unless the source is "direct", it will credit "organic" as the source for conversion #3


To make things even more confusing, you'll see conversion #3 appearing as an "organic" conversion in Analytics on the day the conversion actually happened, and as a "many per click" conversion in AdWords, on the day of the last ad click before the conversion.


Two links that may help are the following:


Also, one great place to look for conversion attribution related issues is the Search Funnels in AdWords and the Multi Channel Funnels in Google Analytics.


Nowadays there are more and more touches with a website before and after a conversion happens and understanding the visitors' path to conversion is the key to giving each channel its credit.


Sadly, a modeling tool for conversion attribution is featured in the paid Google Analytics version only, which is reserved for deep pockets alone (


Nothing that a CSV export + Excel processing couldn't do, but nowhere near as flexible.

Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
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Re: Goals and Conversions

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# 4
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Thank you VERY much both of you. All those conversions funnels and attribution models are really difficult, at the same time necessary and at the frontline of digital marketing


Anway, if I understand this correctly, AdWords WILL register also the conversion that happened after a click on an organic link IF one uses the conversin tracking code (not goals) to track it?

But not if one has created a goal and imported that to AdWords as conversion?


One mind-boggling thing when it comes to attributions is that the search funnel report in Analytics actually registers the relation between direct and other media, whereas direct visits usually don´t override prior visit sources.


Sooo complex!!

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Accepted by topic author David_Precisera
September 2015

Re: Goals and Conversions

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# 5
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Hello, David.


In my view, if a conversion is imported into AdWords, and it happens within the 30 days after an ad click, while the cookie is still valid, it should get registered as an AdWords many per click conversion, just as it happens with conversions fired through the AdWords code. I do not remember reading anything regarding any difference between the two. If you did find something regarding this topic please share the link so we can analyze it, as it is an important nuance.


About the multi channel funnels, you should not think of the "direct" element as mind boggling. It was, ever since the dawn of Google Analytics, considered as the step daughter of sources, and it never got credit for a visit / conversion if that visitor had previously visited the site through another source (organic, cpc, campaign, referral, etc.).


It is however great that we see it in the multi-channel funnels, as we can see the fact that sometimes, after the source credited for the conversion, you actually have 2-3 direct visits in the next 2-3 days maybe, and only then the conversion takes place.


Also, if you see conversion paths with one or more sources other than CPC before the conversion took place (in Analytics), you can be sure that those are days when the revenues, in AdWords and Analytics, will not match.


That is because if someone clicks on an ad on day A, then comes back organically on day B, and then through referral non day C and converts, you will see a conversion in AdWords on day A, and in Analytics on day C. If visits B and C are direct, you'll see visits credited to AdWords on days B and C, and a conversion on day C, though your ad was not clicked at all after day A. Sometimes, to make things rather funny, you have a direct visitor more than 31 days after the last ad click, possibly from a campaign already deleted, which converts. And you look at the Analytics reports, and see a CPC conversion for campaign A, which was stopped looooong ago. When you go to AdWords to look for that conversion it's nowhere, because the cookie expired on day 30 Smiley Happy.


It is however, very complex and fascinating indeed. I must confess though that it can be pretty frustrating for many advertisers who do not have the time or the interest to dig deep into these intricacies, and would really like to see all numbers match, to the very last digit.

Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
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Re: Goals and Conversions

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# 6
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Thank you thank you Calin


Not the time indeed, nor the volume. To be able to make sense and draw conclusions about multi channel reports you need to have some statistically significant relations and for that you need massive data.

But, at the same time, those relations are there, in each account, almost no matter how small, and you can´t ignore that fact, or the figures, but it´s really hard to act based upon them if data is not enough, and enough data is even harder to get when cookie time is 30 times.


So here I am, with analysis paralysis... Smiley LOL