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25 Oct 2012

Are You Taking Advantage of Google Analytics Data in Adwords?

October 25, 2012PPC Advertising

Google Analytics is a tool that many rely on when crafting online marketing strategies. Analytics offers helpful metrics that can give you better insight into how users are visiting your site, clicking your links and interacting with your site once they are there. Did you know that you can now apply some of those Google Analytics metrics directly into your AdWords data?

You can import Bounce Rate, Average Visit Duration and Pages/Visit columns directly from Analytics into your Campaigns and Ad Groups tabs in AdWords. A Bounce Rate is defined as a single-page visit to your website, meaning someone who leaves your site after only viewing the landing page. The Avg. Visit Duration is self-explanatory – it refers to the amount of time a user spends on your site after clicking your ad. Finally, Pages/Visit shows the average number of pages that are viewed by users on your site. By being able to view this information in AdWords you can tailor your campaigns so that people are intrigued by your ads, and spend more time on your site.

Analytics Data in AdwordsSeeing the Google Analytics data and how it stacks up against your AdWords stats gives you a better understanding of users’ behavior once they arrived at your Destination URL. You’re able to decipher how the content on your corresponding URL appeals to your audience, and in turn you can measure the overall performance of your ads and keywords. By using knowledge implied from these statistics, you may choose to adjust your ads’ landing pages, ad copy messaging, or how you optimize your bids in AdWords.

If Google Analytics shows that you have a high Bounce Rate, you may want to look to your click-through rate to see where the potential customer drops off the map. If you have a high CTR in conjunction with a high Bounce Rate, you can see that the interest is lost somewhere between when the user initially clicks then views the landing page. With information like this, you can revise the ad copy or offer on the landing page to make sure it’s relevant for people who click on your ad. This way they are more likely to spend some time exploring your site, thus increasing the Avg. Visit Duration and Pages/Visit.

Google Analytics provides a great method for testing keywords. You may see that a certain keyword or ad group is getting a higher CTR, but when you measure this number alongside your Bounce Rate, it’s possible those users are leaving your site soon after. You ultimately want conversions, so remember that keywords are not the only factor that play into a successful campaign.

Now that you are aware of the benefits of funneling your Google Analytics data into AdWords, you’ll need to take the appropriate steps to connect the accounts. First, you’ll need to meet the standard requirements for your account settings. You must own administrative rights on both of the linked Google Analytics and AdWords accounts. If you are not currently listed as an administrator on either account, you will need to resolve this before moving forward. Next, make sure that “auto-tagging” is enabled in your AdWords account (this is the default setting). The auto-tagging feature allows Google Analytics to tell an AdWords account which URL’s were clicked, what keywords and campaigns were triggered and it even helps determine pricing per click. Link your AdWords account so that cost data can be imported into the correct Google Analytics account. Finally within your Data Sharing Settings in Google Analytics, you need to check off the setting: “Share my Google Analytics data with other Google products only.”

Once you have taken the preliminary steps listed above, you are ready to link your accounts. Sign into your AdWords account and click the “My Account” drop down menu. From here select “Linked Accounts”, which will take you to a screen where you will select which Google Analytics files you’d like to import. You will only see the qualifying profiles unless you opt to show-all. Select up to 10 profiles by clicking the word “Add” to the right of the name. These 10 profiles will now be linked to your AdWords account. If you don’t see the Google Analytics profiles you’re wishing to link, chances are you are lacking administrative access, or missing one of the other aforementioned requirements. Revisit those steps above and once the profiles qualify, you should be able to “Add” them.

You can add the Google Analytics columns to your AdWords reports by visiting the Campaigns or Ad Groups tab and clicking “customize columns”. Remember, it can take up to 24 hours for complete data to be reflected in your AdWords reports, or up to 48 hours in high-traffic situations.

It can take up to a few hours for Google Analytics information to effectively filter into your AdWords account. Refresh the settings by logging out and logging back in after making updates. If you wish to make changes in the future, visit the “Linked Accounts Page” and click “Edit” to add, remove or swap profiles.