Imported Google Analytics goals under-report the impact of Google Ads campaigns

Google Analytics goal data imported into Google Ads honors Google Analytics’ last non-direct click attribution model. Even if you apply a different attribution model to a Google Analytics goal you import into Google Ads using conversion action settings, Google Ads still only sees the last non-direct click Google Analytics recorded conversions.

This means that imported Google Analytics goals under-report the impact of Google Ads campaigns on conversions in Google Ads reporting. Whenever possible, Google Ads conversion actions should be recorded with Google Ads tracking code in your pages, or better yet as injected via Google Tag Manager.

Don’t consider imported Google Analytics goals in Google Ads for conversion bid strategies

If you only expose last non-direct click conversions to Google Ads for a given conversion action, and include that conversion action in conversions for automated bid strategy purposes, Google Ads will optimize with a bias for showing ads to users that will convert in a last non-direct click scenario. Ideally, Google Ads would show ads to users that convert regardless of where that happens on a multi-session path to conversion.

There’s no problem importing Google Analytics goals into Google Ads for informational purposes (i.e., just to observe how they are impacted by Google Ads campaigns in the Google Ads reporting interface). Just be sure to set ‘Include in “Conversions”‘ to “No” in conversion action settings if you don’t want to seed conversion based automated bid strategies with potentially incomplete conversion data.


Below is a Google Ads imported Google Analytics goal, with 5 recorded last non-direct click conversions in April 2020.

Include in “Conversions” is set to “Yes”, establishing an optimization bias with conversion based automated bid strategies for users that convert in a last non-direct click scenario.

Below is the same Google Analytics goal reported in Multi-Channel Funnel (MCF) reporting in Google Analytics. In row 1 we see the 5 last non-direct click conversions for “Paid Search”, which matches the 5 conversions reported above in Google Ads for this imported Google Analytics goal. However, in this MCF reporting we also see in rows 2 & 3 assisted conversions recorded for “Paid Search” (i.e., conversions not attributed to the last non-direct click). These 2 assisted conversions are not reported in Google Ads given that it only sees last non-direct click attributed conversions for Google Analytics imported goals.

The Google Ads imported Google Analytics goal conversion action settings have a 90-day click-through conversion window, matching the 90-day lookback window in the above Google Analytics MCF report.
Google Ads imported Google Analytics goals only consider last non-direct click conversions