Google Analytics is a key component in the success of any PPC campaign. When set up properly, Google Analytics data will provide insight into how users are engaging with your site after they have clicked your ad. This user engagement data can prove very useful when determining which campaigns and keywords are performing well and which need a little help. In this blog post, we detail the initial steps to undertake when linking Google Analytics and Google AdWords accounts.
Before you can link the accounts and track engagement metrics on your PPC landing pages, you will need to ensure that the Google Analytics tracking code has been implemented. A great way to verify this is by using the Google Tag Assistant extension in Chrome, pictured below. This extension will show you what tags are on the page and whether they are implemented correctly. If the Google Analytics tracking is already in place, you are ready to move forward. If not, you will need to have that code snippet added to the pages before you can proceed.
Linking Your Analytics and AdWords Accounts
For your AdWords data to appear in Google Analytics and vice versa, you will need to link the two accounts. This is easy to do through the admin section of your Google Analytics account. Before you link the two accounts, you will need to ensure that you are using the same login email for both Google Analytics and AdWords, and that this login email has admin access on the Google Analytics account. If you are using a different email address than the one that already exists in Analytics, you can add the new email as an account admin.
After confirming you have the correct access, navigate to the Google Analytics property you would like to link to. You will want to select AdWords Linking under the Product Linking section and from there you can create a new link group. When creating the new link group, you will be able to select the AdWords account and which views within your Google Analytics property you would like to link to.
And as simple as it may sound, make sure you are linking your AdWords account with the correct Google Analytics property. We have seen this problem in the past, where the AdWords account is incorrectly linked and the data does not appear in the GA reporting interface. If this is a problem, you can simply correct the error by properly linking the accounts, but there will be no historical data available. There are a few different ways to enable this connection, but this is the way we find to work best.
Using the Data
Now that your accounts are linked, you can view AdWords data within Google Analytics and you can view Google Analytics engagement metrics within AdWords. Within AdWords, you will need to enable new columns to view engagement data by campaign, ad group, and keyword. Having this data available within the AdWords interface provides additional insight into performance and can help you make decisions about ad copy, budgets, keyword bids and more.
This level of data integration is useful for a number of reasons. For example, you may have several campaigns that, based on AdWords data alone, seem to be performing very well. However, digging into the Analytics for those same campaigns may provide a different picture.
For example, Campaign A has a good click-through-rate leading you to believe that the users are finding your ad very relevant to what they are searching for. But when reviewing the engagement metrics, you discover that the campaign has a high bounce rate and a low average time on site. One possibility, in this case, could be that the ad copy and landing page do not align and the landing page is not delivering the content that the user was expecting. Based on this data, we would need to reevaluate whether the campaign is producing the desired results. You may even want to lower the budget for that campaign until you can evaluate the landing page and ad copy and make updates accordingly. Without using the data from Google Analytics, you may not have made that discovery.
This is just the first step in integrating Google Analytics data with your PPC campaigns. Now that you have added the tracking and linked the accounts, you can use Google Analytics to create remarketing audiences to apply to your AdWords campaigns, create goals to import into AdWords as conversions, and more. The possibilities are endless!