Google AdWords and Analytics Discrepancy on PPC Stats

To ensure that you run effective SEM campaigns, you should take advantage of Web Analytics applications to better understand and optimize the performance of your campaigns. If you use Google AdWords to run PPC ads, you can easily integrate Google AdWords and Google Analytics by linking the two applications. However, you may find some discrepancy between the stats reported by PPC vendors (e.g., Google AdWords, YSM, MSN adCenter) and Google Analytics. This can happen for various reasons such as:

• Missing Tracking URL – If you like Google AdWords and Analytics, GA automatically pulls the data from AdWords. However, if you run ads on other platforms, you need to tag the destination URLs so that the GA would differentiate between organic and paid traffic. Incorrect tagging or missing tags can result in inaccurate reports in Google Analytics.

• Clicks vs. Visits – PPC interfaces usually report on clicks whereas web analytics applications report on visits. The two numbers do not necessarily match and could cause GA to underreport because:

* Some visitors may have their cookies disabled
* JavaScript errors might happen
* Visitors might browse away too fast for the JavaScript to get rendered

• Invalid Clicks and Click Fraud – As I mentioned in my previous post on click fraud, search engines, in order to keep the integrity of their systems, try to eliminate invalid clicks when they suspect fraudulent clicks before they report on Click and Cost data. Nevertheless, web analytics applications report on the traffic generated by those clicks.

• Redirects – some redirects can strip out the tracking tags or gclid parameter.

There will always be a discrepancy between the data provided by web analytics applications and search engines platforms. What is important is not to be overly concerned about the data accuracy and instead focus on the trends to find the best way to optimize your marketing campaigns.

Nima Asrar Haghighi, Web Analytics Consultant

Filed Under: PPC AdvertisingSearch Engine MarketingSEMWeb Analytics


About the Author

Nima Asrar Haghighi is an Internet Marketing consultant with expertise in SEM (PPC Advertising), Organic SEO, RSS, Social Media and Web Analytics (Google Analytics IQ Certified). Nima holds an MBA in marketing, B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering, Project Management Certification, and CIW (Certified Internet Webmaster) in E-commerce. You can reach Nima at +Google Plus or LinkedIn.

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  1. avatar Mahfooz says:

    Good to know this information.this is a
    great help to all especialy those in need s
    of financial assitance about adwords and its policies.

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