Connecting Google Analytics with Google Ads properly is crucial for accurate tracking. But how do you do it?
David: Tricia, you asked a question about Google and Google Ad tracking.
Tricia: Yeah. Google Analytics and Google Ads. I saw where you could go into your Google Ads account and add the Google Analytics code.
Tricia: I think there’s a way to do it for both universally and GA4 to make sure you’re getting that. Is that correct?
David: Just universal at this point, from what I understand.
Tricia: Okay. So, is there anything I need to watch out for? Because, you know, how Google is.
David: So, that works really seamlessly in my experience.
David: Because basically, we’ve got to remember that Google Ads is how Google makes almost all their money.
David: And so, Google Analytics, if you think about it, is really a product to help promote Google Ads.
Tricia: Yeah. Okay.
David: It works really, really well together. I’m currently redoing my Google Ad certifications, so this is all fresh in my mind.
Tricia: Okay. Good time to ask.
David: Yeah. But Google Ads encourages you to set up conversions. Right? And that is absolutely essential. If you’re paying for a click, that click better convert, right? So, be sure you have conversion set up.
Tricia: Okay. Like, the goals in Google Analytics?
David: That’s what I was getting to. So, Google Ads really loves to encourage all kinds of conversions. And if you look at it, some of those conversions that Google Ads says are conversions?
Tricia: Hmm, not really? Okay.
David: I was looking at like local presence or something like that. I forget exactly what they called it, but if you looked into it, it was actually that you’re paying Google for a click to your Google My Business listing. I’m not paying Google to promote their damn product!
Tricia: No. No. That’s not a good use of your money.
David: Now, I do want to promote my Google My Business listing, but I am not paying Google.
Tricia: Not that way, yeah.
David: And I’m not calling it a conversion.
Tricia: Yeah. Exactly. Because you’re not getting any sales out of it.
David: So just understand that Google is positioning itself to make as much money as it can, and so it really wants to make itself look as good as it can, and some of those conversions are a little bit fuzzy.
David: What I prefer doing is creating the conversions in Google Analytics, tracking those as goals in Google Analytics, and then from your Google Ads account, import the goals from Google Analytics into Google Ads, and optimize for those conversions. Whether that’s a form submit or a purchase. Now I will say that Google Ads has a really good phone call tracking solution that will not require you to use a third-party solution like Call Rail.
David: However, I use Call Rail and import that data into Google Ads, so I really know where my calls are coming from. So, that’s been my experience. I was just looking at a new paid search account of mine that I’m helping manage, and boy, the conversions were all over the place. So much so that Google was trying to be honest and said this is .33 of a conversion.
David: And, like, what is .33 of a conversion?
David: It’s a conversion or not. That’s like, yeah right, Google.
Tricia: So, I want to make sure I understand. Basically, the thing is to look at the goals in Google Analytics, make sure I’ve got what I want. And then the ones I want, import those into Google Ads?
David: Then you can use all the wonderful features of Google Ads to optimize for conversion because you’re confident the conversions are true.
Tricia: Okay. So, I love UTM tracking codes because I like looking at them specifically in Google Analytics. Is it okay to use both? Is that okay?
David: No, not necessary. Google Ads automatically adds a parameter called the GCLID.
David: If you connect your ads and your analytics account, you actually get more data than the UTM builder can give you.
Tricia: Okay. Okay.
David: Including automatically adding things like, what keyword did you bid on? What was the match? How much did you spend? So, use the auto-tagging feature in Google Ads. Don’t try to manually track it, but you’re thinking correctly.
David: I will say if you ever do Microsoft Ads, also known as Bing Ads, you have to tell them to set up, and they can automatically set up GCLID tracking for you. But if you don’t, it will look like organic Bing traffic in your Google Analytics because Google Analytics has no idea whether it’s paid or organic from Bing.
David: But there is a switch you have to switch in Microsoft Ads to say, please add the UTM tracking notes for these. And it automatically manages it for you, and you’re fine.
Tricia: Yeah. Okay.
David: Great question.
Tricia: Okay. Perfect.