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Google Ads vs Google Analytics Tracking: What Are the Differences?

Everywhere you go, there’s someone watching you.

No need to fear, though. Google Analytics is a friendly bot, and its purpose is to understand how you use a website. This helpful algorithm provides oodles of useful data that marketers can then use for their campaigns.

But Google Analytics has a sibling, Google Ads. These also provide helpful analytics for understanding customer sales conversion. So what’s the difference between Google Ads vs. Google Analytics?

In this Google Ads guide (and Google Analytics guide), you’ll learn how to distinguish the tactics used by the two. And then you’ll know which best serves your purposes.

Google Ads vs. Google Analytics: Understanding Conversion

So, what is Google Ads? This is Google’s premier advertising platform, known for Adsense and Adwords. Most domains use Google Ads to promote their business.

Once the ad takes the visitor to your website, though, Google Analytics takes over. That means that these two systems provide entirely different metrics for customer conversion.

Conversion refers to when a visitor becomes a customer. When you make a sale, it’s important to know what exactly led to that sale. Naturally, it can get confusing when Google Ads and Google Analytics are telling you completely different things.

What’s the Difference?

The difference between Google Ads vs. Google Analytics is the attribution model. Put simply, the attribution model is how the code determines the touch points that led to a sale.

Google Ads uses what is called a last-click model. If the user clicked on an ad within the last 30 days, then Google attributes the conversion to the ad. Even if there were other factors that contributed to conversion, Google won’t include those.

Google Analytics, on the other hand, uses a more dynamic system. This is a last-click system, but it’s non-direct. That means Google Analytics can account for those other factors that the ads were missing.

So How Does That Play Out?

Let’s say for example a customer clicks on an ad. However, they don’t make a purchase right away. Instead, they come back a month later to make a purchase–this time through a Google search.

Google Ads would say that it was responsible for the sale. However, Google Analytics would tell you that it was the Google search. And since that window is 30 days for Google Ads, it can provide wildly different results compared to Google Analytics.

Which One Should You Trust?

The short answer is Google Analytics. This simple background code will provide a more comprehensive picture than the Ads can.

It considers newsletters, social media posts, and even Google Ads themselves. There’s no 30-day window, meaning Analytics gives a more intimate view of when and how you converted your customers.

That’s why it’s important not just to use these wonderful tools. It pays to optimize your ads with The HOTH to make sure customers reach your site in the first place.

Make the Most of Google Advertising

Google Ads vs. Google Analytics is only part of the equation. You need to use both of these tools in tandem to get optimal results. Both provide different kinds of data, but all data is good when it comes to planning marketing.

Follow our blog for more tips on how to make the most of Google services.

Abubakar is a writer and digital marketing expert. Who has founded multiple blogs and successful businesses in the fields of digital marketing, software development. A full-service digital media agency that partners with clients to boost their business outcomes.