How to Link Google Ads with Google Analytics for PPC Tracking

Pay-Per-Click advertising, or PPC, as most of you, know it, is a paid or non-organic internet advertising strategy. The way this works is brands pay a fee each time an online user clicks upon the ads. The advertising can happen either on search engines such as Google or Bing or on social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. Today, PPC has become a widely accepted marketing channel with its own challenges. However, you need not fret. We’ve figured the secrets only a PPC marketing company knows. So, here we go.

How to Link Google Ads with Google Analytics

Introducing PPC Tracking

Opening your PPC account and tracking web traffic and conversion metrics is the modus operandi. So how does this conversion tracking happen? As a starter pack, you should ensure that conversion tracking is available on the PPC search engine of your choice. If available, the next thing is to run a tracking report and assess if conversion data can be accessed. Concurrently, double-check whether the codes are installed appropriately on the landing pages or the website.

Below is a step-by-step guide for linking your PPC with Google Analytics and secret tips that any professional PPC marketing company follows to make their campaigns successful.

How to Link Google Ads with Google Analytics for PPC Tracking

This is an easy feat. Yet, people tend to forget to log in to the settings and turn on this feature. Once activated, the auto-tagging in Google Ads comes into play. Linking your Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts ensures you with the best quality data. 

The steps involved:

1. Create your Google Analytics account and tag it on your website

2. Make sure that Google Analytics has admin rights (and not ‘user rights) for tracking your website

3. Log in to the Analytics account and select ‘Admin’. After that, ‘Google Ads Linking’ under the second column in the Admin menu. In this step, you should choose the Google Ads account you intend to link.

Import Google Analytics Data into Google Ads

Next up is importing the data of Google Analytics into Google Ads. Doing so shows you the parts of your PPC campaign that are converting and those that are not. This magic takes place at the Google Ads dashboard. At this point, you might ponder over how to drive your Google Ads campaigns in the correct direction. This is where linking Google Ads with Analytics comes in. It allows you to see the metrics such as average duration per visit, pages per visit, the percentage of new visits (also referred to as potential leads), and bounce rates. Once you have all these points in place, your Google Ads interface is comprehensive, if nothing else. Not only this, but also you get to delve deeper into your keywords at a micro-conversion level. To see the metrics, you go to the Google Analytics column. 

At the keyword level, you will see that as more and more people visit pages and stay longer on the sites, the return on ad spending (ROAS) tends to be higher. So, what can the metrics tell you? For one, you can see the keywords that consistently report high bounce rates. Now, this is indicative that your keywords may be outdated or irrelevant. Yet another scenario is where the site has long session durations but not many conversions. If that happens, the traffic is relevant, but your website layout or navigation (conversion process) needs work. Your solution then is to go for conversion rate optimization.

Conversions Accounting - Google Analytics vs Google Ads

Once you have used both these tools for some time, you will probably begin to wonder about the difference in conversion reporting. If you do, you are correct to observe this. The reason is that Google Ads and Google Analytics use different attribution models for computing conversions.

Google Ads uses the last Google Ads click attribution. In this case, 100 percent of the conversion value is devoted to the most recent Google Ads ad that generated the conversion. This is also known as recency bias. Let us say that you clicked on an ad, but you eventually converted through an organic result or another channel, much later. The Google Ads will attribute the conversion to the ad. Google Analytics uses the last non-direct click model. Taking the same example as above, when you click on an ad but convert later through an organic visit to the website or some other source, Analytics attributes the conversion to the latter. 

What the difference says is that the conversion takes place over an extended series of touchpoints. Although Google Ads introduces people to the product or service, the other sources help close the deal.

Create Your Goals using Google Analytics and Measure the PPC Efforts

Macro-conversions such as sales and form submissions require clear goal-setting. The former is suited for those selling products and the latter generating leads. These goals can be created using the Admin tab in the Google Analytics account. Once there, select the ‘Goals’ under the View Tab. Note that Analytics has a truckload of templates or options for setting goals. But, these are only preset. If you want to get specific, go for custom goals. Here, you can choose among the destination, event, duration, pages, sessions, and others. Each of these serves a unique purpose, but destination-based goals are versatile and wide-ranging.

Do not leave out the micro-conversions. These are equally vital. For example, do people complete macro-conversions more frequently than a visit to web pages? Secondly, do they browse and scroll through your site over some time? You can add these as goals in Google Analytics. Doing so creates leading indicators. The indicators let you know whether the campaigns are in the correct direction or not.

Conclusion:

Google Analytics has a lot more to offer than Google Ads. With that said, the tool has several reports that help you better understand the audiences that pay a visit to your site. It also tells you the conversion journeys that the visitors complete. The expansive data points provide an excellent stepping stone for in-depth reporting and analysis.

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TechGlobeX: How to Link Google Ads with Google Analytics for PPC Tracking
How to Link Google Ads with Google Analytics for PPC Tracking
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