Simplified AdWords, Google Analytics Account Linking and RLSA for Better Performing Search Campaigns

Improvements makes it easier to link Google Analytics and AdWords account accounts. 'Remarketing lists for search ads' (RLSA) available to all using enhanced campaigns over the next few days.

By linking AdWords and Google Analytics accounts together, marketers gets insights into customer behavior on an advertiser's websites, apps, and other properties that help achieve businesses to reach the right people and increases marketing effectiveness and ROI.

Today's release introduces some useful improvements that make Google Analytics and AdWords account owners to link their accounts more easily. The new linking process which will be available to all Analytics accounts in the coming weeks, "will bring the ability to create additional links right from the Admin section of your Analytics account," informs Google.

More importantly, the new integration is laying a foundation for adding new AdWords dimensions quickly - such as Ads, and paving the path for a rich set of reports such as enhanced campaign bid adjustments and Google Display Network targeting settings.

Benefits of combining AdWords and Analytics data include:"

  • Importing Analytics goals and transactions into AdWords allows marketers to define success in powerful ways, often without having to retag your site
  • Site engagement stats help marketers better understand marketing performance and how to optimize
  • Remarketing with Google Analytics allows marketers to reach new audiences
  • Importing AdWords data into Analytics lets marketers see data across many accounts in aggregate and combined with rich site metrics," explains google.

Highlighted below are a few ways in which the new platform will start impacting AdWords reports in Google Analytics:

  • With the new infrastructure, "reports will reflect the most recent AdWords settings such as campaign or ad_group names keeping them fresh and consistent with AdWords," informs google.

    In the current reports, "visits are attributed to the three different campaign names while clicks are attributed to the newest campaign name. After this change, both visits and clicks metrics would be associated with the most recent campaign name, thus collapsing multiple rows into a single row," google added.

    Google Analytics and  AdWords Integration: Current behavior vs. new integrated behavior

  • The new platform is also laying the foundation for adding new AdWords dimensions quickly and for creating new reports with speed. "Very soon, advertisers would be able to access reports based on their Enhanced Campaigns' targeting settings; reports containing rich information to help fine tune ads targeting settings and bid adjustments for improved ROI (Return On Investment)," added google.
  • Finally, new integration will also allow users "to show or hide data for auto-tagged AdWords accounts by linking or unlinking the account to a profile." "If a user un-links an Adwords account from a profile, all historical data pertaining to the account would be hidden by rolling them up into (not set)," google explained.

To take advantage of simplified account linking, benefit from combining data in both products, and get more out of your marketing campaigns, follow the steps: "If you're logged in to your AdWords account, you can also link accounts by going to Tools and Analysis > Google Analytics and following these same instructions.) Just click AdWords Linking in the Account column, and then click the New link button to start the linking wizard," google explained.

Watch the video explaining the new linking process:

Google has also announced a new powerful capability to help advertisers tailor their search campaigns for different audiences called Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA).

"With "RLSA", you can modify your search ads, bids, and keywords based on your visitors' past activity on your website," google said.

The RLSA, which is currently in beta since July 2012, we'll be available to all advertisers using enhanced campaigns over the next few days.

Benefits of RLSA include:

RLSA brings intent, context, and audience together to let you tailor your search campaign better when past site visitors are searching on Google for your brand, products, and services. The following tips help improve campaign performance using RLSA:

  • "Increase ad visibility for high value customers by adjusting your bids," explains google. "It's easy to set up RLSA bid adjustments and they combine with other enhanced campaigns bid adjustments for location, device, and time."
  • Expand your reach and results with broader keywords. For example, "bidding on broad keywords such as 'gifts' or 'presents' during a holiday season might not convert well enough to meet your ROI goals. But if you use RLSA to run those keywords just for repeat customers, they may convert better and allow you to grow your total sales with a profitable ROI," google writes.

RLSA also shares Google Remarketing Tag and list management tools as remarketing on the Google Display Network (GDN). "So you can start using RLSA immediately if your website is already tagged for remarketing on the GDN," google adds.

To have transparency and be in control the ad experience, Google also provide advertiser "adjustable Ads Settings and inform users when an ad has been influenced by a past visit to a particular advertiser's website."

For getting started with RLSA, check out this Help Center article.

Update 06/27: Google posted a video recording of the last weeks' webinar, on getting more out of your Google Analytics and AdWords accounts by using them together.

The webinar discussed why it's important to link your Google Analytics and AdWords accounts and how to see Google Analytics data in AdWords as well as AdWords data in Google Analytics.

Also presented was a live demo of the reports and how to use them.

Watch the full webinar video as well read the Q&A below:

Why should I link my AdWords and Google Analytics accounts?
The bottom line is that linking Analytics and AdWords gives you powerful information that can tell you where you should be spending more or less based on real ROI data. When you link accounts, the data can flow both ways - from Google Analytics to AdWords (for example, engagement metrics or remarketing lists), and from AdWords to Google Analytics (for example your AdWords cost data). In particular, you can take advantage of powerful features such as:

Could you share the list of resources that were provided during the webinar?

What are the best practices around importing Google Analytics Goals? If i'm using AdWords Conversion Tracking should I also import goals?
If you're currently using AdWords Conversion Tracking, there are still benefits to also importing some of your goals from Google Analytics. In particular, some goals (such as engagement goals) can't be tracked with AdWords Conversion Tracking, so importing these into AdWords can complement your Conversion Tracking data. However, it's important not to import any goals that you are already tracking through AdWords Conversion Tracking as this can create double-counting and duplication, which would make your conversion data hard to interpret.

Is it possible to link a My Client Center (MCC) account to Google Analytics?
At this time it's not possible to link an MCC to Google Analytics. Each individual AdWords account within an MCC needs to be linked to the appropriate Google Analytics property. Learn more here.

How do I import Google Analytics engagement metrics into AdWords?
The process for importing the metrics is straightforward, but it's important to note that there are a couple of additional steps needed beyond linking the AdWords and Analytics account. The full set of instructions can be found here.

I have noticed discrepancies between the data in my AdWords and Google Analytics accounts, do you know why?
AdWords and Google Analytics differ in some very important ways regarding how they measure and report on data. It's important to understand these key differences, which are outlined here. Additionally, there are key differences between AdWords Conversion Tracking and Google Analytics, which are covered in detail here.

Can someone help me get more support with AdWords and Google Analytics?
Yes, Google partners with a global network of certified partners to help. For AdWords, you can get support directly from Google or you can work with a Google Certified Partner to help with your AdWords management. You can learn more about both of those options here. If you're looking for help with Google Analytics, you can tap into our global network of Google Analytics Certified Partners, who offer paid services for anything from Google Analytics tag implementation to product training to more strategic support. Learn more here.

What is a tag?
Tags are tiny bits of website code that let you measure traffic and visitor behavior, understand the impact of online advertising and social channels, use remarketing and audience-based marketing, test and improve your site, and more. The tags we mentioned in the webinar are AdWords Conversion Tracking and Google Analytics. These both help you understand the performance of your digital campaigns. While AdWords tracks the performance of your Google AdWords campaigns, Google Analytics tracks the performance of any traffic to your website -- such as from email marketing campaigns or social media. You can learn more about how they're different here and through some of the content in the webinar.

What is a conversion?
A conversion is an action that a customer takes on your website that has value to your business, such as a purchase, a sign-up, or a view of a key page. These actions are called conversions because a customer's click translated -- or converted -- to business. Think of it as the cha-ching! from your cash register. A conversion happens when someone clicks your ad and then does something that's valuable to your business, such as an online purchase or a call to your business from a mobile phone. Conversions help you understand how much value your ads bring to your business. You can read more here.

Update 07/03:A video of the recently held Analytics Hangouts on Air Series "how AdWords and Analytics work together" talked about how to link AdWords and Analytics so that you can view Analytics data in AdWords and view AdWords data in Analytics.

To further differentiate yourself in the marketplace, the HoA also discussed about how to use bounce rates and other important Analytics data to optimize your AdWords account.

Also, how to important goals from Analytics into AdWords was discussed during the webinar.

Check the full video below:

Update 07/03: Over the next few weeks, Google Analytics is rolling out the new AdWords integration infrastructure to advertisers to reports right in Analytics dashboard - reflecting their up-to-the-minute AdWords settings - and consistent with the AdWords reporting.