Google Ads Tracking

Common questions we get asked:

  • Why do Google Ads and Google Analytics not match?
  • Why do the PPC numbers not match with the backend numbers?
  • How does tracking work? (sometimes with added expletives!)

We wanted to try and answer these questions here so below we have created a scenario where a sale occurs on a Wednesday – and then explained why this sale may report differently across Google Ads, Google Analytics, and backend data systems.

Google Ads allocates credit when the click occurs, not when the sale/lead occurs, so our conversion reports may differ to the client’s backend sale/lead data.

*if you are still using last click attribution then in the above example it will not report on Monday in Google Ads, only on Tuesday. Ideally advertisers should move away from last click attribution to a different model.

We also need to remember Google Ads and Google Analytics do not track in quite the same way.

Google Analytics credits when the last non-direct click occurs, so if the conversion journey was Paid > Organic > Direct then Analytics would credit Organic, but Google Ads would ignore the organic and credit the paid click.

*there are reports in Analytics which allow you to see the data in different attribution models, which better reflect reality.

This can be quite confusing and cause a great deal of hours to be spent looking through data, only for it to not add up.

Other platforms also work differently which can create further confusion if you are managing the accounts yourself.

If you are unsure as to why you have tracking issues, or need the help of an expert agency who understand this and can help you better strategize for the future, then please do get in touch.

William Cheng
Operations Director

Highly dedicated and experienced director working with large international brands, goal focused and data driven analyst.

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