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Many companies manage all of their Google AdWords advertising for a website within a single AdWords account for good reasons: This is generally required by Google, and it is generally simpler and more efficient than managing multiple accounts. However, Google will allow a company to run multiple AdWords accounts for the same website in certain circumstances, and we see it fairly frequently with our clients.

Some reasons a company might use multiple AdWords accounts for their website include the following: An ad agency set it up for them that way through their MCC account; they ran into the per account keyword or ad limits; or they want to pay for different AdWords ads with different billing information (e.g. different cost sources within one large company, depending on the products being advertised).

One of the things that becomes harder with multiple AdWords accounts is proper conversion tracking. Many people like to use AdWords built-in conversion tracking because it is so simple to implement and obviously integrates into AdWords reporting. However, with multiple AdWords accounts, using the built-in conversion tracking can easily result in double-counting conversions. For example, assume we have an AdWords account A that contains ads for shoes and an AdWords account B that contains ads for clothes, with ads from both accounts sending users to the same website. A user might search for shoes and click on an ad from account A, but not buy anything. A couple of days later, they might search for a shirt, click on an ad from account B, and purchase from the website. Clearly, the ad from account B will get credit for the conversion. However, if you have copied and pasted the conversion tracking javascript from both accounts onto your conversion page (e.g. your receipt page), as you typically would so that both accounts will track conversions, the problem stems from the fact that the ad from account A will also register the conversion. From account A’s perspective, since its tracking code is independent of account B’s tracking code, the user clicked on its ad, then purchased something a couple of days later, which is perfectly valid.

One relatively easy (and free) way of solving this is to combine everything into one AdWords account. Depending on why multiple AdWords accounts are being used in the first place, this may or may not be a viable option. Another way to solve this conversion tracking issue using free Google tools is to use Google Analytics to do the conversion tracking.

Mid 2011, Google added the ability to link multiple AdWords accounts to a single Google Analytics account. Once the accounts are properly linked, since Google Analytics has information on ads from all linked AdWords accounts, it will properly assign a conversion to only a single AdWords ad (if an ad is responsible for the visit where the conversion occurred). These goal completions or eCommerce transactions can also be imported into AdWords as conversions, where they can be viewed in the AdWords UI just as conversions from AdWords conversion tracking. Additionally, here's a way to track all your conversions made in AdWords by PrestaShop - just a 2 min installation with clear instructions. 

Armed with the knowledge to ensure that you are correctly tracking conversions, regardless of the number of AdWords accounts you may be using, you are now ready to optimize your AdWords bids to maximize the number of conversions or conversion value you are getting for your ad spend. With our ability to use AdWords conversions that have been imported from Google Analytics, Finch is ready and waiting to help you get the most conversions and value possible. Why not sign up now for a free analysis of your AdWords account(s) to see how we can help you make this next step.