Clicks vs. Visits Revisited

Online advertisers make frequent use of AdWords reporting in Google Analytics to measure the impact of paid visitors to their site and business. The insights and actions based on these reports help search advertisers to optimise their online campaigns and site experience for maximizing conversions. We see a lot of questions, however, on why there is sometimes a discrepancy in the reported number of visits and clicks.

It is not unusual to see a discrepancy in the numbers reported for AdWords clicks and Google Analytics visits from your AdWords campaigns. There are a few reasons as to why this happens even if your Google Analytics implementation is correct. However, there are steps you can take to ensure that the discrepancy is kept to a minimum. Over at the Solutions for Southeast Asia blog, we take a look at some common implementation errors plus any steps we can take to identify campaigns, ad groups, and keywords that are causing us trouble. We also cover best practices to put in place to ensure that we are measuring and reporting to the best of our abilities.

The post provides a 4-step guide to identify which campaigns or keywords are not tagged correctly and how to rectify the situation. The steps are summarised below:

Step 1: Check that you have the basics covered. Check that you have linked the correct AdWords and Google Analytics accounts, applied cost data to the right profiles, and that auto-tagging has been enabled in the AdWords account.

Steps 2 and 3: Identifying the culprits. Look through the AdWords reports to identify campaign and keyword landing pages that are contributing to the discrepancy.

Step 4: Fix the problem. For each of the problematic landing pages check that:
  • The correct Google Analytics Tracking Code is implemented
  • The Google Analytics Tracking Code is in the right location in your HTML source code
  • The auto-tagging parameter is present in the URL of the landing page that the visitor ends up on
  • You are not using a combination of auto-tagging and manual campaign tracking parameters
  • Paid visits are not being filtered out in your profile
Head over to the Solutions for Southeast Asia blog for a full guide on troubleshooting Google Analytics visits and AdWords clicks discrepancies.

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