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Import Google Analytics goals and transactions into AdWords

When it comes to analysing 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 on 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 website, not just in 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 from AdWords sources only.

Benefits of importing Google Analytics goals

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

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

Bear 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 counted twice.

Requirements

To start importing data, you'll need the following:

Instructions for importing Analytics goals and transactions into AdWords

  1. After you've linked your accounts, wait 30 minutes for the imports to be ready. Then, sign in to your AdWords account, click on the Tools tab and select Conversions.
  2. Click on Google Analytics in the left-hand menu.
  3. Tick the boxes next to the goals or transactions that you want to import. Click on Continue.
  4. On the next page, you'll see settings that will apply to all of the goals or transactions that you selected. Make your choices, then click on Import goals.
  5. Click on Close or, to import more goals, click o Import more.

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

Bear in mind

It can take up to 9 hours before goal and transaction data is available in AdWords. Once it is available, your imported conversions data will appear alongside your existing conversion data on the Conversions page, and you'll be able to customise columns on the Campaigns tab to include this data.

Once Analytics data (for example, goals) has been imported to AdWords, it is subject to the AdWords terms of service.

Edit conversion settings for imported goals

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

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click on the Tools tab, then select Conversions.
  3. Click on the name of the imported goal that you want to edit.
  4. Click on Edit Settings.
  5. Make any changes and click on 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, then here are some possible reasons 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 that someone saw your ad and clicked on it on 19 July but did not make a purchase on your website until the next day. In AdWords, the conversion would be attributed to 19 July, the day of the click. In Google Analytics, however, the conversion is attributed to 20 July, the day that the conversion actually happened.

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 in a lead form. Someone fills in two lead forms (in different sessions) after an ad click, and Analytics shows them as two goal completions. You import this goal in AdWords and set your counting method to "Unique", so you only see one 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 expiry dates
AdWords cookies expire 90 days after a customer's click, whilst Analytics uses a cookie that lasts for up to 6 months. Adwords conversions can have a conversion window of 7-90 days. This means that, 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 9 hours after the conversions have occurred.
Goal or view name changes in Analytics
If you change the name of a goal or a view that contains your imported Analytics goals, then these new names will be reflected in AdWords after the goal has been completed by a customer. The changes can take up to 24 hours to be reflected in your AdWords account.
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