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Consequently, for the last several years I have ignored this information. Of course, it would be most valuable to have.
Does anyone have any insight into this problem?
The basic issue is that we get conversions that are not included in the reports.
Another way to see a discrepancy is that we have two emailed reports with identical parameters except that one is for the last 7 days and one for the last 30 day. . The typical result that the 7 day report says "zero conversion" but the 30 day report has some conversions. Adding up the consecutive 7 day reports gives a far different than the 30 day reports.
Here is another way to look at it: is is generally regarded that google's conversion data is accurate? Do people trust it?
Google reports on the initial click, meaning the conversion tracking will report a conversion on Monday even though you got the sale on Friday.
You could also get organic traffic doing the same actions as the AdWords traffic, but as they did not come from AdWords clicks, it would not be reported in the conversion tracking.
Actually, if Google's data was spot on, we should stop all PPC, as it does not pay for itself.
Briggidere makes a good point regarding the attribution Google uses and that is precisely why you see conversions in the 30 day window that do not appear in the summed 7 day time frames. Another thing to keep in mind is that the data you're looking at is probably based off of what Google calls "1-per-click" conversions. So, if there is repeat business in that 30 day window then only 1 conversion will count if only 1 click occurred.
Also, the point made about how Google attributes the conversion is very important. MOST analytics programs show conversions based on the conversion-date, while Adwords tracks it back to the click-date.
This is important when looking at their reports, b/c if you pull the "last 30 days" - the only day that is fully accurate is the 1st day (b/c the cookie hasn't expired yet for the remaining 29 days of activity). If you pull the same report, 30 days afterwards (using the actual dates, not "last 30") the conversion totals will be totally different.
Today is the first day of tracking on a brand new campaign and it seems coincidentally that the conversions are off by by the same number as sales from Australia - where technically it would already be tomorrow... so perhaps those conversions will show up tomorrow in Adwords?
Just wondering if anyone has noticed a correlation?
Else could just be random coincidence. :)