3 Ways Merging Google AdWords & Analytics Can Improve PPC Results

Integrating Google AdWords and Google Analytics makes for a data rich experience. You can use this data to go into a second level of PPC advertising analysis beyond the impressions, clicks, conversions, etc., found in AdWords to see more deeply how campaigns are impact other media and paid search user behavior.

Here are three examples of how combining Google AdWords and Analytics can help improve the performance of your paid search campaigns.

1. End to End Paid Search Report

This custom report for Google Analytics contains all the goodies needed to get a great snapshot of paid search in AdWords. It includes info like percentage of new visits and revenue per click, and ties into Google Analytics goals and ecommerce tracking.

Use this data to view reporting with multiple goals and revenue reporting for ecommerce tracking. Customize the paid search report to each unique account by adding different metric groups or filters. Google Analytics offers a wider variety of data than AdWords can offer alone.

Google Analytics Paid Search Report

Download and read more in the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery.

2. Multi-Channel Funnels Reporting With Top Conversion Paths

Google Analytics will give credit to conversions and ecommerce transactions that occurred via last click or last campaign, search, or ad that referred the visitor when he or she converted.

For most searchers, there are multiple contact points with other advertising, searches, or websites. This report will show how different marketing channels contribute to the conversion path. The conversion path will include data from paid search, but also organic, email, direct visits, and more

You can find it in Google Analytics in the left navigation under Conversions > Multi-channel Funnels > Top Conversion Paths

Use this data for paid search to see how PPC is contributing to the overall channel mix for sales.

MCF Sample Report

In the reporting example above, we can see in #4 that two transactions were made by directly going to the website, but they initially clicked on a paid search ad that led them to that end.

3. Matched Search Queries

In the left navigation under Acquisition > AdWords > Matched Search Queries, you will find a list of actual search queries that triggered impressions of your AdWords ads. Adding a secondary dimension takes the keyword query report to the next level.

For example, combine query data with behavior, conversions, social, and more. To analyze user behavior and how the user interacts with the website, examine the bounce rate, pages per visit, and average visit duration, which all speak to the engagement of the user with the content. Next, conversion columns show how goals set in Google Analytics were reached.

Using Visitors data in the secondary dimension opens to the door to in-depth information including demographic like age, gender, and location (must have demographic reporting enabled.) Advertisers can use this information, for example, to build personas or optimize targeting in AdWords.

Google Analytics Matched Query


There are endless possibilities to use Google Analytics data to gain insights and optimize the performance of AdWords PPC. These three examples are a great starting point to dig and start improving results today.

What's your favorite way to use Google AdWords and Google Analytics together?

About the author

Lisa Raehsler is the founder and principal strategist at Big Click Co. , an online advertising company and Google AdWords Certified Partner, specializing in strategy and management of SEM and PPC for search engines, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. More than just passionate about search, Lisa has led strategy on dozens of PPC accounts and puts her experience into practice every day as a thought leader in integrating clients' search campaigns with ecommerce websites, behavioral targeting strategies, and web analytics.

In addition to agency work, she has led successful online marketing programs at Thomson Reuters in search marketing, merchandising, and ecommerce strategies at the enterprise level.

Lisa frequently lends her expertise to the search industry through organizational involvement, speaking, and writing. She has participated extensively in the local interactive community, as well as at national search engine marketing conferences. Lisa's recent speaking engagements include SES, OMS, MIMA, HeroConf, and SMX conferences, as well as numerous private and public training engagements. As a columnist for ClickZ, she writes on the topic of paid search. She holds a BA in Economics from Valparaiso University and is a Google AdWords Certified Partner.