If you’re advertising with Google, you’ve absolutely got to link AdWords and Google Analytics. You’ll be delighted at the insightful data at your fingertips once you’ve connected the two.
You already know that Google has A LOT of products under their umbrella. We usually discuss AdWords here but sorting through all of the Google properties is why we are here! One big one that we haven’t really touched upon but know quite a bit about it Google Analytics. The two often are confused for the other or once one is understood the other is overlooked. But just like Google AdWords and AdSense, Google Analytics is another complex web tool to help your business.
Normally in this type of article, we would review these two products at length. We’re not going to define AdWords yet again, especially if you kept up with us at all you should know what AdWords is by now. Read here to understand AdWords and if it is right for your business. Instead, here we’ll provide some clarity on the basics of Google Analytics, and the relationship it has with AdWords.
What is Google Analytics?
AdWords allows you to create ads that appear in relevant searches and website across the Google Networks. Google Analytics allows you to track and understand your website traffic. Google Analytics will help you understand details about activity happening on your site. Such as who your audience is, what their needs are and insight into their conversion journey. Or ABC: Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions. Like most of Google’s platforms, it has become the most popular Analytics tool on the web. Bonus! It’s free!
A snippet of tracking code created in your Google Analytics account is placed on each page that you would like to measure activity. This code is usually placed in the header code. If this already sounds complex please ask your resident IT person do it for you. It isn’t about getting more customers or helping them understand your products but more to gain information in the shadows of your site. So you can understand your own website in relation to your customers better and solve problems that you just might not be seeing.
Don’t build metrics that aren’t going to be part of your day-to-day operations or don’t have potential to be incorporated as such. Building reports that no one looks at is just activity without accomplishment, and is a waste of time.
Teacup originally launched as a Google Analytics tool that simplifies reports so feel free to browse our reports that drastically simplify analytics for you. We have tons of great answers to common questions like this:
How AdWords and Analytics Relate
While we may like to choose one or the other, Adwords and Google Analytics are actually intended to compliment each other. Google Analytics tracks traffic that goes to your website so you can link it with AdWords to understand your traffic coming from your ads. Especially, how much of that traffic is coming from your ads campaigns and what they do once they land on your site.
When you link accounts you can see how your Analytics goals align with your AdWords goals, have your Analytics data in your AdWords reports, as well as bring in the remarketing audience data that your Analytics tag keeps tabs on.
How to Link Google Analytics and Google AdWords
- Open AdWords
- Click on the spanner icon
- Under the Setup column, select Linked Accounts
- Select Google Analytics by clicking on the Details link
- Now, you’ll see all the analytics accounts you have access to.
- If you don’t see your account, you’ll need to make sure your Google account has access.
- In the Actions column, click Link
- Link your account and import data.
- That’s it!
Google Analytics And Your Ad Landing Pages
Google Analytics gives you a new perspective on your landing pages, which is useful for getting the most out of your ads in AdWords. Observe the behavior of the ad traffic from the landing page onwards as they journey through your website. You can also monitor whether the visitors return another time through multi-channel attribution.
You can test your landing pages with Google’s Optmize. Optimize helps you test different variations on your landing pages and then customize it to deliver the best for each customer. You will be able to use a random sampling of visitors, test specific goals and define how much traffic you would like to participate in the experiment. This means you can create multiple versions of your landing page, test with a portion of your visitors and compare performance. Ultimately, you’ll learn how to grow your conversion rate which means a better return on your ad budget investment.
Creating a strong relationship between GA and AdWords will help you gain additional data, a complete view of customers, and more easily catch website issues.
Understanding Conversions On Adwords And Google Analytics
AdWords and Analytics cause friction by how they handle conversions. At the end of the day, our online goal is to get potential customers to complete the desired action. Starting at on the journey to a conversion, Google Analytics will sometimes credit the conversion differently to AdWords.
For Google Analytics (GA), goal completeness is counted only once per user, per session. So, let’s say downloading your Whitepaper is your conversion action. If a user downloads it multiple times a session, in GA it will be counted as one conversion. While in AdWords if the user downloads your whitepaper multiple times after clicking your ad in one session, each download will be counted as a conversion.
Timing is an interesting issue for this Google relationship. For the same conversion, GA and AdWords may report a different time and day. GA will report when the conversion happens, whereas AdWords will report when the ad was last click before the conversion occurs. Not helping the situation is the speed of when data is updated. When AdWords tracking pixel gets a conversion it takes a few hours. But if you decide to import the conversion data from GA to AdWords it will take a bit longer. Making a possibility of the data not matching up between the two.
Here is a big list of why AdWords and Google Analytics just aren’t matching up and how to troubleshoot it.
The trick is to think long term. Don’t monitor the data daily. Instead, think monthly or weekly or even quarterly.
Quick Tips To Get The Most Out Of Google Analytics Data
Google Analytics can take a pretty deep dive when it comes to segmenting the visitors to your pages. To focus your targeting more to make the segment negative to avoid them. Here are a few of the segments:
- Operating System
- Screen Resolution
- Site Events (like a download)
- AND MORE!
Assign Values To Your Goals
You must set up goals in Google Analytics. But even more so make those goals mean something to you. This is so you know the worth of the activity, most commonly is financial value. So knowing how much a conversion is worth.
Use Intelligence Events
Google Analytics has a unique feature called Intelligence Events. This is tracking the unusual events or outliers in site activity. You set the parameters and when something occurs outside of that you will be notified. Seems pretty clever!
Know Which Pages Have High Bounce Rates
One of the most useful features of Google Analytics is that you can identify what pages just don’t make visitors stick around. Use this tool to identify the pages with poor bounce rates, to understand where your problems may lie.
Look Back At History
Google Analytics provides a lot of historical data to examine trends, emerging markets, and behaviors. This is so you can make predictions and plan your products and content to what you see on the horizon. So adjusting for custom date ranges becomes extremely useful.
Time and money are your scarcest resources. You want to make sure you’re allocating them in highest-impact areas. Data reveals impact, and with data, you can bring more science to your decisions.
AdWords and Google Analytics: The Best of Google’s Toolbox
Google Analytics is an extremely useful tool (after you learn to use it), especially when it is hand in hand with Google AdWords. It gives you further insight into your site pages and audiences which is a HUGE help for your ad campaigns. Make sure to take the steps to not to become confused when it comes to conversions. Being well versed in these two will make for an amazing Google experience for your business. Of course, that takes A LOT of time and learning. Which is why we are here to make these two even easier and to create the most opportunity to help grow your business.