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  1. #1
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    December 2nd, 2006
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    Disparity between SAS tracking and Adwords?
    Has anyone had issues where they have placed adwords (or other search engine) tracking pixels on the merchant's thank you page and the numbers are significantly different than what SAS is reporting?

    I'm looking at a situation where SAS is reporting 50% less conversions and I haven't though of one plausible scenario other than one of the 3

    Adwords is screwed up - Almost impossible as our firm runs dozens of accounts spending truckloads of money each day and this is the only case I've seen where it is off by that much. Plus, the conversions are all coming on different keywords so it's not a double-count by Adwords. Plus for that to happen, a person would have to clear their cookies, go back through my ad, and then find their way back to the thank you page - very implausible.

    SAS tracking screwed up on merchant site - I'm not saying anybody is shaving but I saw the SAS tracking code on the merchant thank you so I know it's there. Has SAS had technical issues with this in the past?

    Merchant is changing something - if that is the case and they were intentionally or inadvertently pulling a fast one, then why would they have left my conversion codes on there as witnesses? I only put these codes on one page.

    I'd really like to find a logical solution and resolution besides trying the program through another network. Not that the links are that hard to switch, but darn it, I like it here

    thanks for your input.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Wow, some merchants let you place your Analytics code on their thank you pages? Dang, I need that.

    Anyway, the first thing that crossed my mind is Google Analytics often reports strange numbers and behavior. Single visitors loading pages multiple times, new but not absolutely unique visitors, visitors coming from nowhere and then bouncing (probably bots), visitors coming from the oddest and most unexpected places, massive delays in reporting actions, etc.

    Then there's the thank you page itself - does it do anything that involves reloading the page, loading into frames, pagination, etc? Does it have a drop down, checkboxes or radio buttons which automatically reload the page upon selection? Does it prevent visitors from pressing the back button by bumping them back to the thank you page, loading it a second time? Does it display inappropriate links which bump customers back to the thank you page? Is there javascript which preloads and spits out content? Are your code snippets in server side scripts or includes, possibly being loaded repeatedly and unecessarily?

    And ask yourself why, if the Analytics and SAS code are on the exact same page, they're reporting different numbers? Are they really on the same page? Isn't the Google code javascript and cookies but the SAS code simply an image? Oh, and this brings up the issue of whether the customer being bounced to another site for payment, then back to the original site upon completion?

    So many possibilities, you need a web person to look at the pages and their underlying code.

  4. #4
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    December 2nd, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant Consultant Team
    Very interesting article, but would this account for only 50% of sales being reported (or a 100% overstatement, depending on how one looks at it). Not sure adware/cookie stuffing is as plausible.

  5. #5
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    December 2nd, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_C
    Wow, some merchants let you place your Analytics code on their thank you pages? Dang, I need that.
    Just need to have good enough history with them and a cordial relationship

    Anyway, the first thing that crossed my mind is Google Analytics often reports strange numbers and behavior. Single visitors loading pages multiple times, new but not absolutely unique visitors, visitors coming from nowhere and then bouncing (probably bots), visitors coming from the oddest and most unexpected places, massive delays in reporting actions, etc.
    Yeah, but from looking at adwords reports, they're coming through multiple keywords. Bots don't make shopping cart checkouts either so far as I know.

    Then there's the thank you page itself - does it do anything that involves reloading the page, loading into frames, pagination, etc? Does it have a drop down, checkboxes or radio buttons which automatically reload the page upon selection? Does it prevent visitors from pressing the back button by bumping them back to the thank you page, loading it a second time? Does it display inappropriate links which bump customers back to the thank you page? Is there javascript which preloads and spits out content? Are your code snippets in server side scripts or includes, possibly being loaded repeatedly and unecessarily?
    There is a "tell a friend" feature, BUT... again, these visitors are coming off different keywords so for that to happen, they would have to leave the thank you page, clear their cookies, go back to my ad, click, go through the website, and then jump to the thank you page.

    And ask yourself why, if the Analytics and SAS code are on the exact same page, they're reporting different numbers? Are they really on the same page? Isn't the Google code javascript and cookies but the SAS code simply an image? Oh, and this brings up the issue of whether the customer being bounced to another site for payment, then back to the original site upon completion?

    So many possibilities, you need a web person to look at the pages and their underlying code.
    They are really on the same page - I've seen it and have it bookmarked

    GA does use javascript, and because of that, google analytics is famous for under-reporting, not over.

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