Google Analytics Troubleshooting: Connecting GA to Your Google Ads Account
On its own, Google Ads is an excellent platform to manage your paid advertising campaigns and gain visibility in the SERPs. When paired with Google Analytics you gain new insight into how searchers interact with your ads — for example, understanding the behavior of new visitors vs. returning visitors, how content is consumed, how purchases are made, and which keywords produce the highest impact visits to your website.
When you tie the two platforms together they “talk to ” each other seamlessly and provide valuable data about your marketing efforts. Fortunately, the setup process is fairly simple, and we cover it step by step in this guide. Let’s get started!
Why Should You Link Google Analytics & Google Ads?
Pay-per-click marketing is all about blending creativity and compelling promotional content with data and marketing objectives to produce ads that meet your customers’ needs, improve your ROI, and support your overall business goals. Once your ads are created – more on that topic in our Compass pay-per-click guides – it’s time to tap into your analytical side to measure how those ads are performing. That’s where Google Analytics comes into play.
While Google Ads offers some analytics and insights – such as metrics on clicks, impressions, and click-through rates, it doesn’t let you see what happens after users click on an ad. Your Ads account won’t tell if an ad led to a sale, and you can’t see the path users take on your website after clicking the ad. In fact, by not pairing Google Ads and Google Analytics, all of the traffic from Ads can be reported as organic traffic from Google in Analytics.
Linking Google Ads with Google Analytics allows you to:
- Import goals and e-commerce transactions to your Google Ads account
- Import metrics like pages/session, average session duration, and bounce rate
- Enhance your Google Ads remarketing with data from Analytic’s Remarketing and Dynamic Remarketing features
In other words, using these two tools together is the very best way to get a comprehensive look at how your ad campaign perform.
How to Link Google Analytics & Google Ads
Google’s linking wizard simplifies the setup process so you can link your Google Ads account to your Analytics property. Before you begin the linking process, make sure
- You’re logged into the Google account that you use for Analytics. and
- The account has Edit permissions for the Analytics property and Administrative access for the Google Ads account
- Sign into Analytics > click Admin > select the Property you want to link.
- Under the Property column > click Google Ads Linking.
- Click + New link group.
- Choose the Google Ads account you want to link > click Continue.
- If you have a Google Ads manager account, select that account to link. If you only want to link some managed accounts, expand the manager account and select the individual accounts you want to link.
- Enter a Link Group title.
- Turn “linking” ON for each view in the property in which you want Google Ads data.
- If you have already enabled auto-tagging in Google Ads, or if you want the linking process to automatically enable auto-tagging > click Link accounts.
- If you want to manually tag your Google Ads links > click Advanced settings > Leave my auto-tagging settings as they are.
- Click > Link accounts.
Congratulations, now your accounts are linked! Make the most of this setup by running ads and digging into the data. This partnership allows you to do things like re-target based on users who reach a goal in Analytics, block advertising to people who have previously purchased (and make the most of your marketing budget), and set up retargeting campaigns based on checkout behavior. You’ll also see more accurate data in your multi-channel funnel reports.
Looking for more PPC tips? Learn to optimize your ads and track marketing campaigns with UTM codes.