Discrepancies between Clicks from Adwords and Analytics

Posted on June 4, 2007. Filed under: Adwords | Tags: , |

Got an email from Adwords this morning explaining the difference between reporting for Adwords and Analytics (you are running the free Analytics, aren’t you?) and thought I’d share it.

Different terminology: “Google AdWords tracks clicks, while Google Analytics tracks visits.” Analytics knows that the person who just hit the back button and then clicks on your ad again is one person, but Adwords collects revenue from two clicks.

AdWords filtering: “AdWords automatically filters certain clicks from your reports [read “click fraud” here], while Analytics will report on the resulting visits to your website.”

URLs not tagged: “If auto-tagging is turned off and the Destination URLs do not contain manually tagged campaign tracking variables, the visit will not be marked as Google CPC, but instead may be attributed to Google Organic.” Whoooh. Had to go back to the help section on this one, and thank heavens, the default is that auto-tagging is on. This tag is what enables tracking from click to conversion to cost.

Landing page tracking code: “If the landing page for your ads is not being tracked, your campaign information will not be passed to Analytics.” Guess that one is obvious. I say, put the tracking code in your page footer and don’t worry about it.

Visitor browser preferences: “Visitors entering through AdWords may have JavaScript, cookies, or images turned off.” In this case, Analytics can’t report but Adwords can, they say.

Unable to load code: “Clicks reported on Google AdWords but not on Google Analytics may be the result of obstruction between the Google Adwords click event and the ability to load the tracking code on the landing page.” As when your server or tracking code is messed up.

“Redirects in landing pages can often obstruct the Google Analytics code from launching and properly identifying the visit as coming from a paid search campaign.” That is, clicks are only counted on the original landing page, not the redirect.

I guess when you start worrying about these discrepancies, you know you’re hooked on Google.


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