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The difference between Google Analytics goals and Adwords conversions (1 of 2)
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The difference between Google Analytics goals and Adwords conversions (1 of 2)

Paid Media & SEM Analytics & Tracking

It is possible to measure the impact generated by your campaigns thanks to the Adwords conversion code that you implement on specific pages. However, when two accounts  are properly linked , you can easily import goals from your Google Analytics account to your Adwords account.


Knowing that it is possible to use these two types of conversions in the Adwords interface, several questions arise. For example: which is the best? Is the calculation similar? But where is Carmen Sandiego hiding? To answer these questions, let's start by precisely defining these two different types of conversions.


The objectives that can be imported into Adwords must be previously configured in a profile of a Google Analytics account. A goal can be any action performed on a website, such as: making a purchase, clicking a particular button, reaching 3 minutes of watching a video, calling the company (if you have implemented a solution call tracking), etc.

Examples of goals in Google Analytics:

The objectives are calculated in visits and you can add a maximum of 20 per Google Analytics profile.    


An Adwords conversion is counted when a user reaches a page of the site where the conversion code is implemented.

Examples of conversions in Adwords:

Example of JavaScript conversion code for Adwords:

Adwords conversions are calculated in  clicks  (one per click or several per click) and there is no limit on the number that can be created in the interface.  


Added conversions:

Before you can import a Google Analytics objective, a visitor from one of your CPC campaigns (Google) must have completed it at least once. You must wait up to 48 hours in order to upload it to the Conversions tab of the Adwords interface.

For the addition of an Adwords conversion, it appears in the interface following a slight delay and the data begins to enter a few hours after the installation of the conversion code on the pages of the site.

Clicks vs Visits

Google Analytics objectives are calculated in visits, and Adwords conversions in clicks, there are important differences between these two data. In summary, a click is counted when a user clicks on an ad in Google's search results. A visit (coming from the CPC) is counted when an Internet user arrives on a site, following the click of an ad on Google.

The difference between the two data is simple: a visit, according to Analytics, lasts 30 minutes, so if a user clicks 3 times on an Adwords ad in less than 30 minutes, there will be 3 clicks and 1 visit. Which explains why Google Analytics goals will be lower than Adwords conversions.

However, the reverse is also possible. For example, if a user clicks on an Adwords ad, makes a visit, stays on the site, but stops interacting with it for more than 30 minutes, a second visit will be created when they resume browsing again. As a result, we will get 1 click and 2 visits.