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analytics data vs adwords data

significant differences

     
3:26 pm on Jul 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I know this has been widely documented and commented on before, but I can't get to the bottom of the significant differences between data being reported in google analytics vs. that in adwords.
On one of our sites, (we only promote via adwords) we have analytics set up and are seeing the followng:

1) Adwords is reporting roughly double the clicks vs. number of visits Analytics is reporting

2) This varies up and down by day but it is generally double.

Even with google explanations like the below text ("clicks vs. Vistis") - I still can't believe the discrepancy is that much. We are talking thousands of clicks per day differences across the campaign just for this one site and are seeing similar patterns (although I admit this is the worst) on other sites & campaigns. Does anyone have any further thoughts / observations/advice?

Thanks
golles

"Clicks vs. Visits

There is an important distinction between clicks (such as in your All CPC Analysis or AdWords Analysis reports) and visits (in your CPC vs. Organic Conversion report). The clicks column in your reports indicates how many times your advertisements were clicked by visitors, while visits indicates the number of unique sessions initiated by your visitors. There are several reasons why these two numbers may not match:

* A visitor may click your ad multiple times. When one person clicks on one advertisement multiple times in the same session, AdWords will record multiple clicks while Analytics recognizes the separate pageviews as one visit. This is a common behavior among visitors engaging in comparison shopping.

* A user may click on an ad, and then later, during a different session, return directly to the site through a bookmark. The referral information from the original visit will be retained in this case, so the one click will result in multiple visits.

* A visitor may click on your advertisement, but prevent the page from fully loading by navigating to another page or by pressing their browser's Stop button. In this case, the Analytics tracking code is unable to execute and send tracking data to the Google servers. However, AdWords will still register a click.

* To ensure more accurate billing, Google AdWords automatically filters invalid clicks from your reports. However, Analytics reports these clicks as visits to your website in order to show the complete set of traffic data."

4:00 pm on July 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Well, it's possible that the Google Analytics code is missing from some of your landing pages, so maybe go back and check every single one for the code.

As a back up traffic meter, you could also try Statcounter.com , it's free and it more clearly splits out uniques vs. page views, returning visitors etc... That might provide some additional data to cross check...

5:32 pm on July 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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the google analytics code is on every page as it is part of a php include which in turn also displays a consitent part of the site layout i.e. the footer
2:45 pm on July 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have a similar issue. I'd noticed the difference in my stats too. I send a few hundred clicks a day to a given page, but about half seem to register. Google's suggestions haven't made sense for my traffic.
3:16 pm on July 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If you have redirects on some of the landing pages then the analytics javascript may not have enough time to load. Also the new google analytics model uses data sampling but usually it says in yellow what the sample error is. That's what I could think of at the moment..

Zealot

5:52 pm on July 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Same issue here, except I'm only seeing 1/3 of the reported "clicks" from AdWords. Not trying to hijack the thread, just posting my own observations with regard to this issue. I have the Analytics code on every page (it's in an include) and there are no redirects.

Looking at my AdWords and Analytics reports for July 1st through July 30th of 2007, the data shows 193 paid "clicks" in the AdWords Campaign Summary itself, and only 64 "visits" on the AdWords Campaign page of Analytics (there were 151 visits in total, 87 of which were referrals or direct type-ins).

The translates to approximately 2 out of every 3 AdWords clicks (67%) somehow not registered or recorded by Analytics. So is 2/3 of my AdWords budget being "lost" to visitor browser preferences (ie javascript is turned off) or unload-able landing page code? Are 2/3 of users clicking their browser's back button and then clicking my ad again?

My AdWords budget is really low because, frankly, I'm not 100% convinced its foolproof, so I'm only losing about $17 per month on these "lost" clicks, but for some people I imagine it's quite a bit more.

6:41 pm on July 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Try putting the code closer to your header so it loads faster. People might not wait till the page fully loads before clicking the back button.
6:59 pm on July 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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> Try putting the code closer to your header so it loads
> faster. People might not wait till the page fully loads
> before clicking the back button.

Don't know about the original poster, but Analytics reports ave. time on my site is over 3 minutes. But, I will try your suggestion and see if anything changes.

9:46 am on Aug 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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yep, average time on my site is over 2.5 minutes. but I will try moving to the header - thanks