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Conversions: Discrepancies in Reporting Between AdWords and Analytics

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Conversions: Discrepancies in Reporting Between AdWords and Analytics

by Robert Nance May 04, 2018

Discrepancies in conversion/goal reporting between AdWords and Analytics are to be expected because they do not track them the same way. This is expected as the two platforms attribute conversions and goals differently.

Google Analytics goals
• Ideal if you’re interested in the entire flow of customers through your site, not just conversions.
• Can include conversions from non-AdWords sources, so it’s good for tracking all customer traffic on your website.

AdWords conversion tracking 
• The day of the click and the day of the goal do not always align as users shop around
• Ideal if you’re interested only in conversions.
• Tracks conversions only from AdWords sources.

*You will need to pick one report to pull these metrics from and stick with that one report for consistency.

 It’s important to make sure that your goals are set up correctly, and that there are no technical issues impacting the account. A good tool to use to check if have tags are installed correctly is the Tag Assistant extension for chrome, which you can download.

Here are additional reasons why the AdWords and Analytics reports will vary:
• Date of transaction (conversion window) – AdWords reports conversions from the date and time of the click that led to the successful action, not from the date of the successful action itself.
• Counting method- In AdWords, you can choose to count either all or unique conversions by setting the counting method for each conversion action (including Analytics goals and transactions imported into AdWords). The “Conversions” column in AdWords will display conversions that happened within your chosen conversion window, according to your selected counting method. Analytics, however, counts all goals and transactions, which can cause discrepancies.
• Cross-device conversions- AdWords conversion tracking enables cross-device conversion estimates that are reflected in the “All conversions” column in AdWords. This is based on actual measurements and estimates derived from users that have signed in to Google across different devices.
• Invalid clicks- Some goals that are reported in Analytics might be filtered out when they’re imported into your AdWords account because of our invalid clicks technology, which doesn’t record what seems like suspicious or invalid click activity.
• Imported goal delays- Analytics conversions data is imported into conversion tracking up to 9 hours after the conversions have occurred.

Please refer to this Article for a more thorough description of each of these and more.

We hope this helps clarify why you might be seeing differences between the reported AdWords Conversions and Analytics Goals.

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