Import Google Analytics Goals into Conversion Tracking

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 each individually. Click the link below to see a quick comparison of the two.

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 the 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. 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. (Enabling both could cause conversions to be double-counted.)

Set-up

To start importing data, first you 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, you'll need to wait about 1 hour before the imports are 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, starting from the day that you clicked "Import from Google Analytics". However, historical data from before this date won't be included.

Bear in mind

It can take as long as two 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 customise columns on the Campaigns tab to include this data.

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 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 19 July, but did not make a purchase on your site until the next day, 20 July. In AdWords, the conversion would be attributed to July 19, the day of the click. In Google Analytics, however, the conversion is attributed to July 20, the day the conversion actually occurred.

Clicks versus visits

Conversion Tracking reports your conversion data both in terms of conversions and converted clicks. For each conversion action, you can choose to count all or unique conversions. The "Conversions" column of your reports will display all conversions within your chosen conversion window, according to your selected counting method. The "Converted clicks" column shows you the number of AdWords ad clicks resulting in one or more conversions within your chosen conversion window. Note that the converted clicks count doesn't reflect the relative value of each converting click. Clicks that lead to high-value conversions (such as multiple purchases) aren't distinguished from those that lead to low-value conversions (such as a single newsletter sign-up).

If a user clicks on your ad, makes a purchase, and then comes back to your site later and makes another purchase, in AdWords that will register as one converted click and either two conversions (if counting all conversions) or one conversion (if counting only unique conversions). In Google Analytics, however, it will count as two visits, and two conversions.

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 30 days after a customer's click, while Analytics sometimes uses a cookie that lasts longer in some cases. That means if a customer completed a conversion 31 days after clicking on an AdWords ad, the conversion wouldn't be recorded in AdWords but in some cases could still be recorded in Analytics.
Imported goal delays
Analytics conversions data (such as a purchase) are imported into Conversion Tracking up to 48 hours after they’ve occurred. This can lead to a discrepancy when examining recent date ranges. This can be solved by expanding 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 that contains your imported Analytics goals, then 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.