How to connect AdWords to Google Analytics: Setting up conversions.

Connecting Google AdWords to Google Analytics is a critical step in data collection and should be a part of new website Analytics setup checklist.  

There are three main advantages of connecting these platforms: 

  1. Enables auto tagging for campaigns that are run in AdWords .
  2. Allows for main AdWords metrics to be viewed in GA and some of the GA metrics to be visible in AdWords (behaviour metrics such as bounce rate, time on site) and conversions.
  3. Sharing conversion data between platforms to optimize campaigns for. 

 How to connect platforms?

  • This is perhaps the easiest step. You need to have an account that has admin level access in Google Analytics and AdWords .
  • In Google Analytics admin settings, go to the property level and connect Adwords. 
  • While it appears that the platforms are now connected, it's important to import conversions from Google Analytics to AdWords.  After step two, head to AdWords > Conversions > Google Analytics. Here, you'll be able to see the goals that you've created in Google Analytics.


  • Once you select goals, you'll need to define the goal increment counter. Here's where these goals , even though imported from google Analytics, start differentiating slightly from AdWords. 

Main differences in goal conversion setup: 

  • For event based goals, Google Analytics counts one event per session. E.g. if you download 5 brochures that are .PDF and have event s setup for brochure downloads, Analytics will count 1 goal for this session. This is default and cannot be changed. While importing this goal in AdWords, you can choose to count a conversion every time it occurs after a click or just once . If you chose every time, AdWords would count it as 5 conversions from a single click. 
  • Include in conversions: AdWords reports on Conversions and then, All Conversions. Difference between the two is that the former ones help AdWords in optimizing for when using an automated bid strategy while All Conversions include the ones that you'd like to measure but not gear your bidding for. e.g. If you have a marketplace with two goals setup [besides ecommerce], contact seller and contact the website [you]. Contact seller is included in conversions while contact the website isn't. When a user contacts a seller AND contacts the website, conversions column will show 1 while All conversions column will show 2.
  • Default attribution model:  Google Analytics default attribution model is last click while AdWords allows attribution modelling options from the MCF section of GA . I.e. counting conversions based on first click, last click, last non direct click, time decay. Linear, data driven. This is a relatively new feature from last year that helps builds better attribution for AdWords campaigns beyond the last click. Seeing on the industry and campaign types, the assist rate could indicate that these campaigns are driving more assists than last click conversions.

Hope this helps. Happy AdWording.