It’s difficult to to make confident business decisions when your data doesn’t align. Like many merchants, if you’re running AdWords or PLA campaigns while leveraging 3rd party analytics (usually via Google Analytics), then you’ve probably noticed a discrepancy in revenue and the number of conversions reported between the two Google products. Let’s dive into the factors at play here:

Revenue Reporting

If you’re using the AdWords conversion tracking pixel, your numbers reported here will typically be less than what you see in Analytics. 

One reason is because AdWords reports “order subtotal” while Analytics reports order total (after shipping and taxes). For instance this Yahoo Store merchant will install this code like so:

adwords-conversion-tracking-pixelIf you wanted to change the AdWords conversion data to align Analytics, you would replace the value “orderSubTotal” to “orderTotal.”

If you wanted to change Analytics to match AdWords data (so that both report on the subtotal), you wouldn’t have to tweak any code since Analytics already pulls in and reports this data, seen below:

analytics-subtotal-conversion-data

The “Product Revenue” column reports subtotal while the “Revenue” column reports on the order total (including tax and shipping).

Conversion Attribution

Another discrepancy between AdWords and Analytics data is mainly due to how the two attribute conversions / transactions.

  • Analytics will report on transactions made on that day
  • AdWords will record the transaction based on when the click was made

For example, if someone clicked on your product on March 1 and then made a purchase on March 15, AdWords will report the conversion for March 1 and Analytics will report it for March 15. So if you look at data from more recent dates, Analytics will report a much higher total, e.g. in Analytics, March 15 records orders made on March 15 regardless of when the click was made. On the other hand, AdWords will only log people who clicked on March 15 and made a purchase that day.

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About the AuthorTien Nguyen is a co-founder of CPC Strategy and deals with data feeds in his waking hours and often in his sleep. He spends his free time with Rubik's cubes while rooting for the underachieving Raiders and UCLA sports teams where he graduated with a mathematics/economics degree. See all posts by this author here.

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