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Call Tracking: AdWords Tools vs. Google Analytics

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# 1
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Hi All,


Our in-house team is taking over a large AdWords account from an agency, and while auditing, we were using Google Analytics to find stats about conversions, spending, etc.

There were discrepancies between AdWords spending reports and conversion reports vs. Analytics spending and conversion reports.

We suspect this discrepancy comes from the fact that the agency has primarily used AdWords to track and pull their data, instead of Analytics. When we questioned them about the discrepancy, their reasoning was that call-only ads weren't tracked by Analytics (therefor no spending data on it), and no-index pages could be skewing our the data.


My questions are:

- Is it better to track accounts with Analytics, or with AdWords? I was always told Analytics, but if that's so, I don't know why this agency wouldn't be using it, and wouldn't have set up conversion tracking with Analytics.

- They said part of the spending discrepancy is because they don't have call tracking set up for Analytics. What are some best practices for call tracking?

2 Expert replyverified_user

Call Tracking: AdWords Tools vs. Google Analytics

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# 2
Top Contributor

Hi April J,

I would disagree that noindex pages are skewing your data. It has nothing to do with tracking, it only indicates the page should not be found through a Google search, so they don't add it to their index.

There will almost always be discrepancies between AW and GA reporting due to different models used. Call-only ads won't result in a visit to your site, so they can't be tracked in the normal sense. Call-only ads will record the click, whether the call is completed or not. You can capture the gclid and use manual upload to update conversions in AW.

Best of Luck!





petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

Call Tracking: AdWords Tools vs. Google Analytics

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# 3
Top Contributor

Hi April,


Calls from ads, and also Google Call Forwarding used on the website, can be major conversion data points - but can't be seen in Analytics.


There are other aspects of Analytics that don't align with AdWords, like attribution. 


Where I work we:


Prefer clients to look at Analytics for an overviews of all sources and results.

Explain that there can be some discrepancies regarding AdWords.

Ask them to also look at AdWords if call conversions are a significant factor.


Otherwise you can use a 3rd party reporting tool to try an align everything.


But you need to understand that an out-of-the-box, perfect AdWords results in Analytics isn't always possible.