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low visits, high clicks

     
7:13 pm on Aug 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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on some of my accounts when i check the adwords section of analytics, i'm seeing low visits vs clicks.. we're talking 10-30% visits against total clicks.

Now i understand visit definitions, sessions etc.. but how can the two figures be so different? click fraud? Anyone else see this kind of thing and know the reason?
7:42 pm on Aug 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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This depends on your analytics program. In Google;s case, they define visits as an indication of number of unique sessions initiated by your visitor. In your case if visits are only 10-30% of clicks, something is up. You could very well be subjected to click fraud but this could also be an indication of poor user experience. Visitors may not find what they're specifically looking for and thus return to search engine to make additional search.

Looking into your AdWords program, there's a column you can add on campaign level that looks at invalid clicks. Add column and check to see the ICR (invalid click rate). How high is it?
8:03 am on Aug 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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invalid clicks are mainly zero, but for around 14 days a month go up to around 10-20%.

However, its not only this account i'm seeing it on. At the moment i manage around seven adwords accounts, and i'm seeing it across three. One of them is as low as 10%, another new one is currently around 20% (but its only been running a week).

Picking up on what you said about user experience, i guess what you're suggesting is that a bounce is classed as a non visit? Otherwise, surely it would still counted a visit regardless if they left the site afterwards or not.
9:51 am on Aug 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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well i've found the answer.. from google of all people ! They replied to a support email i fired off to the adwords team.

Anyway, the problem is that i'm using OScommerce, which has some pretty overcomplicated ways of handling session ID's. One of these is to strip the sessions and other information from the URL's. Hence, when my ads were being clicked, the gcLid information was being stripped from the URL's, making it impossible for analytics to track the visit.

So, for anyone else experiencing this, if you're redirecting or appending URL's in some way, you'll see the same problem . Low Visits, high clicks.
2:49 pm on Aug 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Good to hear. Yeah tracking is pretty important.
6:10 pm on Sept 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I am certain that visitors not find what they're specifically looking for and thus return to search engine to make additional search.
8:29 pm on Sept 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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mike, thats a BOUNCE.. different from a click, or a visit.. and nothing to do with whats being discussed i'm afraid.
9:40 am on Nov 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I think something like this is happening to a buddy of mine. Guess it could just be a bounce, but like here the numbers just don't make sense.