Most websites use Google Analytics. In fact, it is the most popular analytics tool in the world, with over 28,000,000 websites using it. First of all, it is free. Second, it is a very flexible and powerful analytics tool that allows us to understand the users activity on our site. If you have a Google Ads account, you probably did not know that you can link your GA account to your Ad account. And there are 5 powerful reasons why you should do this.
Before we begin, let me show you how to link your GA account.
How to link your Google Analytics account
Login to your Google Ads account.
Click on “Settings & Billings” (The cog icon at the top right of the page).
Click on “Linked Accounts”.
Click on the Analytics property in the table and link it. Enable “import site metrics”.
If you do not find your Analytics property in step 4, login to your Google Analytics. Go to Admin > Google Ads Linking > New Link Group. Add in your 10-digit ad account ID.
If you do not see your Analytics account in Google Ads. Make sure to set up Ads linking under Analytics.
Ok once it is done, let me go through with you the 5 powerful ways you can take advantage of for your Google Ads success.
Reason 1: Import audience segments for remarketing
The name of the game is remarketing (or retargeting, they are both the same thing.) Essentially when a user leaves your site, they can get targeted by your ads when you collect first-party data. You can then segment them out by their activity on your website. For example; average time of site, number of pages viewed, completed form fill up, purchased $100 worth of products, etc. With GA linking, you can now import these GA audiences that meets your specific criteria back into your Google ads for remarketing.
You should be able to enjoy improved conversion rates. Google does require 1000 users for RLSA (Remarketing List For Search Ads) and 100 users for Display ads. Make sure to do this early as GA Audiences are not retroactive. Meaning, the day you create this audience list is the day your users start filling in. It does not bring data from the past into the new list you created.
Reason 2: Search query report shows you all the searches that Google Ads has hidden
With the update on September last year, Google Ads now has stop showing searches that have “too little impressions”. As a result, most accounts have seen a 40-50% drop in their search terms reports. This may be a concerning issue. Especially when many of these search terms have conversions tied to them. Google’s decision to hide them from advertisers means that there is an extra optimization method we lose access to.
The solution is simple. By linking GA to your ads account, you can see all the search queries that triggered your ads under Acquisition > Google Ads > Search Queries. Now have fun combing all your data to find new negative keywords and optimize your ads further.
Reason 3: Understand user behavior from your ads
With GA linked to your Ads account, you will be able to understand user behavior from your ads traffic. How do they respond to your ads and landing page? With metrics like bounce rate, average pages/session, average engagement time, etc. Understanding the traffic from your ads allows you to make key optimizations to your landing pages. If the bounce rate from your ads is too high, consider sending traffic to a more relevant page, or change your content delivery style.
Reason 4: Multi-Channel Funnel attribution
If you have your site goals set up in analytics, you can see how your Google ads work with other channels to bring conversions to your website. Some default channels are: Organic search, Direct, Referral, Social Network. However, when you link your Google ads to GA, you will be to see new channels like Paid Search and Display into the mix. The “Top Conversion Paths” tells us the steps the users took before the conversion.
Multi-Channel Funnel in Google Analytics
As you can see in the top 10 conversions for the website above, users mostly move between paid and organic search before the conversion. Understanding your customers path helps you better prepare your marketing optimizations to focus on key areas that will drive the most improvements.
Reason 5: Get the big picture
Understanding how your Google ads is performing with other marketing channels like organic, social and referral is key to drive performance growth for your business. Google analytics has a lot more usage compared to Google ads, in terms of reporting, visualization and data analysis tools. Visualizing your data in percentages, performance, comparison and pivot tables are many things that Google Ads do not offer. And linking both accounts only takes a few minutes. So why not do it?
comparing your ad metrics against your site average, wow!
Summary – link your Analytics today
Linking your GA account to Google Ads provides countless benefits. The 5 main ones are stated in this post. Getting the right information is key to improving your business on many levels. Understanding your business with data analytics will help you better plan and strategize your ads and marketing efforts ahead. So link it today.
Cyrus is a search advertising professional. He is currently certified in Google Ads, Advanced Google Analytics, Analytics For Power Users, Tag Manager, and Data Studio. He is also a Google Partner, which is awarded by Google to agencies who have achieved a high level of competency in driving their client’s results with Google Ads.
In his free time, he likes to write and research on different advertising techniques and ad pioneers.