In my recent Marketing Bridge blog post on Selecting a Client for the Google Online Marketing Challenge, one of my recommendations was as follows:
Select a business that is willing to let you install Google Analytics on their site. Once the business has agreed to participate in the Challenge, get Google Analytics up and running as soon as possible [http://www.google.com/analytics]. While Google Analytics is not required in the Challenge, many of my top performing teams from past Challenges found Google Analytics to be extremely helpful.
Not only is linking the accounts a free service, but there are some distinct advantages associated with linking Analytics and AdWords. First, it helps to consolidate all marketing activities in one place. Second, it simplifies the ability to analyze online marketing activity. Finally, it provides some insight on the quality of AdWords site traffic, not just the quantity of traffic.
Google provides advice on how to link a Google Analytics account to an AdWords account. Andrew Nelson, a JMU student competing in the 2010 Google Challenge, shared some additional advice with me on how to link Google Analytics to Google AdWords. His advice assumes that the same Google Account is being used for the Google AdWords account (for the competition) and the Google Analytics account (for the competition). It is also assumed that this Google Account has administrator access for AdWords and Analytics. If needed, the Analytics and AdWords accounts can be shared with any Google Account and be given administrator access. Once these assumptions are in place, follow the steps below to link Analytics with AdWords:
- Under the “reporting” tab in the AdWords interface, click on “Google Analytics.”
- Select the option “I already have a Google Analytics account. Please link it to this AdWords account.”
- Click “Continue.”
- If the above assumptions are true, there will be a pull down for “Existing Google Analytics Account” and the account should be selected in that field.
- Make sure the “Destination URL Auto-tagging” box is checked (this will allow for some deeper Analytics data).
- Click “Link my account.”
- Click “Yes, Continue.”
The Google Analytics interface should now be available directly in Google AdWords and linked to the profiles selected. Proceed with caution once the accounts are linked. As Avelyn Austin from Search Mojo explains, one mouse click can cause you to lose all of the data located in a Google Analytics account. In her blog post, she provides five useful tips to help avoid losing Google Analytics data.
I welcome additional tips, suggestions, and resources associated with linking Google Analytics to Google AdWords.