How to Track Analytics Goals as AdWords Conversions

By Kaitlyn Smeland Dhanaliwala | Nov 6, 2009
More Articles by Kaitlyn

Google has recently been making more changes to the AdWords conversion tracking interface, all of which you can read about on the Inside AdWords blog.  But the especially nice new capability is being able to import Analytics goals into AdWords as conversions.  Up until now, linking the two products allowed Analytics data to be sorted by AdWords campaign and keyword.  But now, the tables are turned and we can view certain Analytics data in the AdWords interface.  Here’s how you can import your Analytics goals:

First, you have to link the AdWords account to the Analytics account from within the AdWords interface.

Then, within the Analytics settings for the account in question, be sure to opt into Data Sharing, at least “with other Google products only.”

Next, on the Conversion page in the AdWords account, click on the message at the top of the page asking if you’d like to link conversions with Analytics goals.  Once you click “Import,” a table will appear listing all available goals with the Analytics account.  You may hand-pick which goals you’d like to import to AdWords, select the type of conversion action for each goal, and name each goal whatever you want.

Select “Import” at the bottom of the table, and look for those conversion goals to show up next to the regular AdWords conversions in all reports within two weeks.  Historical data from before the day you link the two accounts will not be visible.

What It’s Good For?

So why not just track all conversions in AdWords in the first place?

Well, one type of conversion that is tricky to track in AdWords is document downloads.  You wouldn’t want to put conversion tracking code on a pdf document itself, for example, because it would register as a conversion regardless of whether the user came through an AdWords ad.  Of course, Analytics works in much the same way, but it can separate goal conversions that came from AdWords from those which came from other traffic sources like organic search.  If this data is imported to AdWords, it makes bid management based on conversion data MUCH easier.

This also presents another opportunity to integrate all possible action types into the AdWords account in order to take advantage of the CPA model.  Recently, Analytics established “goal sets” which increased the number of allowed goal conversions from 4 to 20.  This new ability to integrate Analytics and AdWords seems to be the next step in allowing more versatility in tracking advanced actions throughout multiple platforms while tying each to advertising spend.

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