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5.6 Linking Google Accounts

How to link Google Analytics to Google Adwords

Linking Google Analytics and AdWords brings benefits to both tools, but it’s specifically useful for SEM because it gives you a more detailed picture of the effectiveness of your paid search strategy than AdWords alone can do. You can for example view Google Analytics site engagement data in AdWords, and automatically view your AdWords click and cost data alongside this, so you can evaluate cost and return on the basis of more than just sales performance. To the same end, you can import Google Analytics Goals and transactions into AdWords as conversions, and create remarketing lists in Analytics to use in AdWords for targeting specific audiences.

How to link Analytics to Adwords

The linking wizard makes it easy to link your AdWords account(s) to multiple Views of your Analytics property. If you have multiple Analytics properties and want to link each of them to your AdWords account(s), just complete the linking wizard for each property. You can start the process from AdWords or Analytics. We’re focusing on the latter here, so we’ll start within Analytics. First make sure you’ve signed up for both Analytics and AdWords using the same Google Account, and that this account has Edit permission for the Analytics property and Administrative access for the AdWords account(s). Then just follow this guide:

How to link your Analytics account to Adwords

1. Start linking process

Click the Admin tab, select the relevant Account if you have more than one, then click the Property you want to link. Click AdWords Linking.


2. Select accounts to link

Tick the box next to any AdWords accounts that you want to link with your Analytics property. If you have a My Client Centre (MCC) account, expand the MCC account by clicking the arrow next to it, and then tick the box next to each of the managed AdWords accounts that you want to link.


3. Link configuration

Click Continue, then, in the “Link configuration” section, enter a title to identify your group of linked AdWords accounts. (You won’t need more than one link group unless you have lots of AdWords accounts and want data to flow in different ways between these accounts and your Analytics property, for example if you want to enable auto-tagging for only some of them.)

4. Choose Views

Select the Analytics Views in which you want the AdWords data to be available (see section 7.6). Bear in mind that anyone with access to that View will be able to see your imported AdWords data and, in the same way, if you choose to import Analytics data (such as Goals and transactions, metrics or remarketing lists) into your AdWords account, anyone with access to that AdWords account will be able to see your imported Analytics data.

5. Manual tagging options

The account linking process will enable auto-tagging for all your linked AdWords accounts. Click Advanced Settings only if you need to manually tag your AdWords links (you almost certainly don’t).

6. Complete linking process

Click the Link Accounts button, and you’re done. With auto-tagging turned on (as is recommended), Analytics will start automatically associating your AdWords data with customer clicks.

Taking advantage

AdWords is great at telling you how much money your ads cost and how many sales you’re getting, but what happens between the click and the conversion remains a mystery unless you add Google Analytics to the equation. It can tell you what people do on your site, so if they’re not converting, it can help you find out why. Look at the Bounce Rate and Pages per Visit figures to see if visitors aren’t finding what your ads were promising. Use the Goal Flow report to find where your AdWords clicks are dropping out of the conversion process. Even find the best performing position for your ads with the Keyword Positions report.

If you’ve assigned a value to a Goal (which may be a lead rather than an actual purchase, for example) then Google Analytics will display Revenue per Click (RPC), Margin, and Return on Investment (ROI). Click Acquisition in the sidebar and select AdWords > Campaigns to view these. Above the graph, select Clicks to see your raw AdWords data.

One of the most interesting comparisons is Revenue per Click for your AdWords compared to Revenue per Click for the site on average. This number is located at the top of the column right by the header. This is not an infallible measure of the “value-add” of your AdWords campaign, but it’s a strong indicator: if it’s not bringing in substantially more revenue, is your spend worthwhile? (Or conversely, are you sending pay-per-click visitors to the appropriate pages, or is the site failing to deliver on what the ads promise?) The ROI column is more accurately “Return on Ad Spend”, and if sorted from low to high, can quickly point you towards your AdWords campaigns that need the most immediate attention. Again, the changes might need to be made in your ad text or content, or it could be something more to do with the landing page associated with these ads.


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