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difference between google ads and google analytics tracking

Differences Between Google Ads (AdWords) and Analytics Conversion Tracking


You can setup conversion tracking in Google AdWords or Google Analytics. Analytics conversion tracking is known as goal tracking. And the setup process differs from the AdWords setup.


However, before we look at some of the differences, let us look first at some similarities:


⁃ you get to see how your ads, keywords, ad groups and campaigns are performing with both
⁃ Both have reporting tools that you can see in your accounts
⁃ They are free tools


So now we’ll look at the differences between AdWords and Analytics Conversion Tracking:


Setup templates

Analytics conversion tracking provides a number of customised templates to help you setup your goal conversions. The templates available depend on the nature of your business and the details you provided when you signed up to analytics.


The templates fall under categories such as Acquisition, Engagement, Enquiry and Revenue.


Analytics Goals Templates

Adwords Conversion Tracking doesn’t provide any templates. All you get are 5 category options which are based on the type of action that you’d like to track.


Tracking code setup

One of the advantages of setting up analytics goal tracking is that you don’t have to add additional code for each new goal. You can create up to 20 goals in analytics and you won’t have to add code to your website.


With AdWords conversion tracking on the other hand, you’ll have to add tracking code to your site for each conversion you setup.


This can be time consuming and is prone to errors. It’s possible that the code can be entered incorrectly at times.


It also slows down your website, especially if you’ve uploaded many tracking codes.


With Google Analytics you only add JavaScript tracking code once when you first setup the Analytics account. And you then setup goals in the Admin section without adding more code.



One of the disadvantages of AdWords Conversion Tracking is that this information will not be available in your analytics reports. To have conversion data in analytics reports, you’ll need to setup goal or Ecommerce tracking in Analytics.


Reporting in AdWords is not as advanced as reporting in Analytics. So if you want more in-depth reporting that includes conversions then you need to set this up in Analytics.


Multi Channel Funnels

One of the major benefits of Analytics goal tracking over AdWords Conversion tracking is the multi-channel reports. These reports reveal how different channels contribute to the goal conversions that take place on your website.


Top Multi-channel funnels


This reporting requires goals and Ecommerce tracking to be enabled for the Google Analytics view.

Unfortunately you don’t get such detailed reporting if you have only setup AdWords Conversion tracking.


Multi-channel funnels help you to see which are your most important channels. Some channels may be great at introducing people to your business but not in the final stages of conversion.


So you’ll still want to utilise these channels and use them to raise awareness for your products or services.



Overall, analytics goal conversion tracking has better capabilities and provide ps you a lot more info about your business. It saves you a lot of time and helps you easily track actions that you would struggle to track in AdWords alone.

I'm a Certified Google Ads Expert and Marketing Author and in this blog I share my latest tips and secrets on how to promote your business successfully on the web and increase customer loyalty, retention and advocacy on Google Ads.

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