Troubleshooting Discrepancies between Google Analytics Visits & AdWords Clicks

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 | 9:51 AM

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AdWords reporting in Google Analytics helps online advertisers measure the impact of paid visitors to their site and business. The insights and actions based on these reports help search advertisers optimise their online campaigns, their overall site experience, and maximise their conversions. Recently, we've received questions from advertisers about why they see a discrepancy in their accounts between the number of Google Analytics visits and AdWords clicks.

There are a few reasons why this happens even if your Google Analytics implementation is correct. We've listed four steps below to help address this problem and keep discrepancies to a minimum.

* 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:
o The correct Google Analytics Tracking Code is implemented
o The Google Analytics Tracking Code is in the right location in your HTML source code
o The auto-tagging parameter is present in the URL of the landing page that the visitor ends up on
o You are not using a combination of auto-tagging and manual campaign tracking parameters
o Paid visits are not being filtered out in your profile

You can learn more helpful best practices by reading the full guide on troubleshooting Google Analytics visits and AdWords clicks discrepancies.