Adwords Conversion Tracking with Google Analytics

adwords tracking google analytics

Did you know that you can actually amp up AdWords conversion tracking with Google Analytics? Increase AdWords campaign profits and performance using Google Analytics strategies.


Setup Google Analytics

In order to take advantage of the tools and capabilities of Google Analytics, a two-step integration should be followed.

  1. Link Google Analytics and AdWords. This would allow you to track and analyze traffic, clicks, and impressions on your website coming from AdWords. Just make sure that the email address or Google account you are using for Google Analytics is the same as the one you’re using for AdWords.
  2. Import Google Analytics Data. This allows you to have access to additional metrics data on your ad campaigns. This is not to be confused with Google Analytics transactions.

In order to further track important metrics, other analytics features should be enabled:


After everything is set and enabled, it’s time to customize your analytics experience. The next section would be about tips, tricks, and shortcuts that are useful for AdWords conversion tracking.



You can create custom segments where you can analyze subsets of your analytics data. There are three types of segments: subsets of users, subsets of sessions, and subsets of hits. Segments have a variety of uses and can provide in-depth insights about data at hand.


Report Shortcuts

Create a shortcut for frequently used reports to save time and the hassle of manual navigation.

  • First, find a report you want to create a shortcut of.
  • Configure the report according to your needs (apply advanced segment, change dimensions, etc.).
  • Click “Shortcut” from the menu bar.
  • Click OK. You can now easily access your reports from the Shortcuts section on the left side.

To edit any shortcut, just click the report you want to edit from the Shortcuts section and then save.


Early Performance Indicators

All important metrics are available but it’s actually difficult to assess performance at an early stage. Conversion data needs to accumulate to hundreds of clicks in each ad group for it to have significant information. But there are actually two metrics that can be used as early performance indicators namely, “bounce rate” and “average visit duration”. Add these two metrics as columns in your statistic table.


Custom Remarking Lists

Google Analytics allows you to create custom remarketing lists based on new audiences from scratch or from an existing segment. You can define your audience in different ways based on a user’s interaction with your site or app, their behavior when they were on your site/app, which part of your site/app they visited, etc. You can also limit your audience size by narrowing it to “Users over last 7 days.”

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Placement and Search Query Performance

The use of Google Analytics makes it easier to pinpoint placements that deliver low-quality traffic. Low-quality traffic is defined as a visit with a duration lesser than 30 seconds. Here’s how you can check the list of these low-quality traffic placements:

  • Google Analytics->Acquisition->Campaigns->Add Secondary Dimension: Placement Domain
  • Click “Site Usage” then “Advanced”
  • Include->Avg. Session Duration->Less than->30
  • Sort by sessions

To check and analyze the performance of search queries, setup the following:

  • Google Analytics->Acquisition->AdWords->Search Queries
  • Click “Advanced”
  • Include->Avg. Session Duration->Less than->30


Page Load Time Assessment

The average load time of landing page directly affects conversion rate. This is because slow loading increases the bounce rate – no conversion happened or will happen in these instances. Google Analytics can track and measure site speed.

There are also optimization tips available. But only 1% of total traffic is measured on each site. You can configure the site speed sample rate according to your desired sample size.


Attribution Model Comparison

There’s this common scenario where a visitor clicks on an ad but did not buy. Then sometime after, this visitor returns to your site through organic search and buy. So that ad clicks still led to a conversion (though indirectly), right? Would the ad get credit to the conversion or the organic search?


Google AdWords attributes the conversion to the ad click while Google Analytics attributes it to the most recent source at the event or conversion (which is the organic search). This is configurable, though, depending on the attribution model in use. With the “Last Adwords Click” attribution, the first and only ad click would receive 100% of the credit. You can use the Attribution Model Comparison Tool to increase or decrease the conversion value of each conversion channel.


Content Experiments

Content Experiments is a free A/B split test tool fully integrated within Google Analytics. Conduct a split test on a landing page where you send most of your AdWords traffic to. Select only one section of the landing page at a time, since testing different sections can create confusion on the main source of the performance improvement.


Run the test until Google Analytics declares that there’s already a winner.

adwords conversion tracking

Mustapha Ajermou
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