When you step into the world of Google Ads for the first time, you need to pull together all your Google products under the same account and link back and forth between the accounts to help you get the most out of your Google Ad spend. Linking Google Ads to Google Analytics is one of these tasks, so here’s a super simple guide to help you do it.
Before you start, you need:
That’s pretty bleeding obvious you might cry! However, the devil is in the detail.
Lots of people have a ‘Google account’ – if you have a gmail address, you have a Google account. Lots of people also have a Google Analytics account – maybe one that was set up for you by a web designer once upon a time and they gave you access so you could take a look at your traffic. Or maybe they set one up and then pulled the data into a widget or a plugin on your website’s CMS admin interface so that you can see data when you login to edit your website?
Finally, because we are doing this to get your Google Ads set up efficiently, you need a Google Ads account already in existence before you can link it to anything else.
Here comes the detail…
It’s important that you keep your Google accounts safe and under your primary ownership. We can’t even begin to describe to you the number of times prospective clients have come to us not knowing their own logins, not knowing who the Admin is and finding they hold a lower authority level so can’t find out, and in the case of Google Ads, having no access at all and finding that their credit card is still paying for an account they have no access to.**
So, vitally you need one Google account – choose the one you hold highest level of ownership for if you have several – to store all the various Google product accounts under.
The most important one is your Google Ads account because in here you set up a payments profile with documentation known only to you, and you set up your billing mechanism by either invoice or credit card. You don’t want this information falling into just anyone’s hands. So if you have one of these, then make it your ‘Master account’.
* please don’t say yes to this one!
** if this happens to you, long story short, you need to cancel the card. Google won’t help you.
Assuming you have an Analytics and an Ads account under one login, linking the two together is pretty straightforward.
If you have never done this before, it’s a simple process of clicking on the ‘Acquisition’ heading in the left hand navigation of Google Analytics, then ‘Google Ads’ and then ‘Campaigns’. See the illustration below to see how to find this section in Google Analytics.
It is important to note that anyone with access to your Google Analytics will also be able to see this data. There are two ways of looking at this. Either you are pleased, because it means people can read the info without being able to edit your Google Ads, or… you are displeased because these people can see what budget you are spending and all keyword and campaign info that is leading to sales. We shall let you decide on whether this is important to you or not.
If you already have an Ads account up and running and you just wanted to pull the data through into Google Analytics for ease of access, then you are done. Your data will show up in within 24 hours and you can start analysing your Ads account performance.
If this is your first time setting up Google Ads for your business, then you also need to reciprocate the linking by linking Google Analytics within Google Ads, so click through and read the article we’ve put together about that.
We hope that this series of articles will save you hours of searching for how to deal with small tasks. Take a look at the other articles we’ve put together:
As we work our way through small and always difficult to remember tasks at the coalface of marketing, we’re sure there will be additions to this list very soon, so maybe bookmark this page if you found it helpful.
If you’d like help with digital marketing, ads management, SEO, copywriting, websites, branding or social media management… or anything else related to the internet and digital, then get in touch with us. We’re a friendly bunch.