Import Google Analytics goals and transactions into AdWords

When it comes to analyzing customer activity on your website, Google offers two features to help you: Google Analytics goals and transactions, and AdWords conversion tracking. You can use both at the same time, or just one. Click the link below to see a quick comparison.

Compare Google Analytics goals and AdWords conversion tracking

Google Analytics goals

  • Ideal if you're interested in the entire flow of customers through your site, not just conversions.
  • Can include conversions from non-AdWords sources, so it's good for tracking all customer traffic on your website.

AdWords conversion tracking

  • Ideal if you're interested only in conversions.
  • Tracks conversions only from AdWords sources.

Benefits of importing Google Analytics goals

Importing your Google Analytics goals into AdWords conversion tracking offers a few benefits. They include:

  • Access your Google Analytics conversions and data related to your AdWords clicks.
  • See Google Analytics conversion data in AdWords.
  • Give Conversion Optimizer access to data that helps optimize bids, potentially increasing conversions and lowering costs.

Keep in mind

You might not need to import Google Analytics transactions if you already use AdWords conversion tracking on a particular page. (Using both could cause conversions to be double-counted.)

Setup

To start importing data, you’ll first need to do the following:

  1. Link your AdWords and Google Analytics accounts
  2. Enable Data Sharing with other products in your Google Analytics account
  3. Turn on auto-tagging in your AdWords account

Once that's done, follow these steps to import your goals:

  1. After you’ve linked your accounts, wait about 1 hour for the imports to be ready. Then, sign into your AdWords account, click the Tools tab, and select Conversions. You’ll see a message letting you know that your goals are ready to be imported.
  2. Click the Import from Google Analytics button.
  3. Select the goals or transactions you want from the list.
  4. Select Import at the bottom of the page.

AdWords will begin importing the data from your Analytics account. Historical data from before the import won't be included.

Keep in mind

It can take as long as 2 days before goals data is available in AdWords. Once it is, your imported conversions data will appear alongside your existing conversion data on the Conversions page, and you'll be able to customize columns on the Campaigns tab to include this data.

Edit conversion settings for imported goals

Once you've imported your Analytics goals, you can edit them the same way you edit conversion actions created in AdWords.

  1. Sign into your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click the Tools tab, then select Conversions.
  3. Click the name of the imported goal you want to edit.
  4. Click the Settings tab, then click the Edit Settings button. (To edit the view-through conversion window, click the Advanced tab, then Edit Settings.)
  5. Make any changes and click the Save button.

Data discrepancies

You might see discrepancies in the conversion statistics between Google Analytics and AdWords conversion tracking. If you’ve double-checked that your setup is correct, here are some possible reasons for why you might see this:

Date of transaction

AdWords reports conversions from the date and time of the click that led to the successful action, not from the date of the successful action itself.

For example, let's say someone saw your ad and clicked it on July 19th, but did not make a purchase on your site until the next day, July 20th. In AdWords, the conversion would be attributed to July 19th, the day of the click. In Google Analytics, however, the conversion is attributed to July 20th, the day the conversion actually occurred.

Counting method

In AdWords, you can choose to count either all or unique conversions by setting the counting method for each conversion action (including Analytics goals and transactions imported into AdWords). The "Conversions" column in AdWords will display conversions that happened within your chosen conversion window, according to your selected counting method. Analytics, however, counts all goals and transactions, which can cause discrepancies.

Example

You've defined an Analytics goal for filling out a lead form. Someone fills out 2 lead forms (in different sessions) after an ad click, and Analytics shows them as 2 goal completions. You import this goal in AdWords and set your counting method to "Unique," so you only see 1 conversion.

Invalid clicks
Some goals that are reported in Analytics might be filtered out when they're imported into your AdWords account because of our invalid clicks technology, which doesn't record what seems like suspicious or invalid click activity.
Cookie expiration dates
AdWords cookies expire 90 days after a customer's click, while Analytics uses a cookie that lasts for up to 6 months. Adwords conversions can have a conversion window between 7-90 days. That means if a customer completed a conversion after the specified conversion window, the conversion wouldn't be recorded in AdWords but it would still be recorded in Analytics if it occurred within 6 months of the click date.
Imported goal delays
Analytics conversions data is imported into conversion tracking up to 48 hours after they’ve occurred. This can lead to a discrepancy when examining recent date ranges. To help compensate for this delay, you can expand your date range to a week or more.
Goal or view name changes in Analytics
If you change the name of a goal or a view containing your imported Analytics goals, these new names will be reflected in AdWords after the goal was completed by a customer. The changes can take up to 24 hours to be reflected in your AdWords account.