Brad Geddes / PPC Geek
Official AdWords Seminar Leader.
Author of Advanced Google AdWords.
Co-Founder, Adalysis.
(312) 884-9017
Brad Geddes's Theories on Marketing Connect Your Google Analytics Goals to Your AdWords Conversion Tracking

Connect Your Google Analytics Goals to Your AdWords Conversion Tracking

Google very quietly rolled out a new feature – use your Google analytics goals as conversions in your AdWords accounts.

It’s been live for at least a week; and very straightforward to use.

Navigate to the conversion tracking screen (in either UI); and there’s a link for ‘Link your Analytics goals and transaction’.

Google AdWords- Conversion Tracking_1241803552075

However, when you go to link your AdWords and Analytics goals together, you can only use Goal 1 from your Google Analytics account:

Google AdWords- Conversion Tracking_1241803627358

Hopefully, this will be fixed sometime in the future.

Goal Confusion

I looked for a while; but as much as I could have – so if you know the answer or the link please post it in the comments.

Google Analytics treats a goal as the last site entrance, and is attributed to the day of the click.

Google AdWords treats as goal as the last AdWords ad clicked, and the goal as the date of the click (not the date of the conversion).

Therefore, is linking these two together just going to create more goal confusion – or will some nice pattern work itself out?

Google has ahelp file on connecting AdWords and Analytics; however, on that page the link to the help file “Read about how AdWords Conversion Tracking works with Google Analytics once the two are linked.” goes to a 404, not found page; hence the unanswered questions above.


I might have to set up another couple profiles and just set up single goals to see how well this works.

Since Analytics is a 1st party cookie, and AdWords is a 3rd party cookie – the analytics would be a better tracking mechanism once the details for how a conversion is actually counted are determined. The business rules laid out by Google will determine if this is actually useful for all.

I’d love to hear comments, links to other articles where this is discussed.

No Comments

  1. Breakline Marketing
    May 8, 2009 at 12:58 pm · Reply

    We’re not seeing this? Do you know if this live across all advertisers?

  2. Robert Brady
    May 8, 2009 at 1:48 pm · Reply

    Knowing what day the conversion will count is a big issue for me. I’ve never like the “lag” AdWords had due to the 30-day cookie, but if you track the conversion on the day it occurs what do you do if the ad originally served is deleted? Hairy issue that needs a solution.

  3. Brad Geddes aka eWhisper
    May 9, 2009 at 7:42 am · Reply

    I’ve seen it in several accounts, but didn’t look to see if it’s everywhere – so not sure on that answer.

  4. SEO Alchemist
    May 9, 2009 at 12:03 pm · Reply

    I can’t yet see it in my (UK) accounts.

    Maybe it’s currently US only?

  5. Dan PPCPROZ
    May 10, 2009 at 6:21 am · Reply

    i’ve been very pleased to see this for use with blogger sites. finally able to track goals for blogger sites.

    if migrating over to goals for conversion tracking… what would be a best practice?

    1. install the goals
    2. delete the existing adwords conversion tracking of the old conversion pageviews
    3. after awhile, few months… delete the old conversion data?

  6. Béate Vervaecke
    May 10, 2009 at 8:34 am · Reply

    I’d only recommend linking both if the majority of your conversions happens in 1 visit.

    AdWords: links the conversion to the day of the first keyword, and only has a 30 day cookie time

    Analytics links the conversion to the day of the conversion, but has a 6 months cookie time, and will give the credit of the conversion to the most recent non-direct source.

    If many of the purchases happen within repeat visits, these 2 linked metrics can be very confusing…

  7. David - National Positions
    May 10, 2009 at 3:43 pm · Reply

    I’m playing conservative right now, and doing all analytics transaction tracking through the analytics “adwords reporting” features.

  8. Jon Lee Clark
    May 16, 2009 at 3:58 pm · Reply

    Does anyone know if the ‘availability’ of this feature is tied back to account spend in Adwords? Some of my higher volume advertisers have the option while some of my lower spending do not.

    I have also run into issues in the past with the cookie lag so I’ll deifnitely be testing this out!

  9. SorenJ
    May 19, 2009 at 9:48 am · Reply

    Not available in Scandinavia…
    Can’t wait ;o)

  10. Dan PPCPROZ
    June 1, 2009 at 6:31 am · Reply

    I just got off adwords chat, with someone who never heard of it.

    As this is beta, either its just there or you have to ask to be included.

    I had one account that I linked and imported goals, and next week the linkage disappeared.

    Waiting for support to reply on this.

    Brad, can you explain the timing issues now re: when/how conversions would be tracked via the goals linkage?

  11. Bruno Roldan
    July 21, 2009 at 7:54 am · Reply

    I find this feature to be a bit buggy. It has been set up on a couple of sites, works on some, not all.

  12. Chris Peters
    December 1, 2009 at 1:28 pm · Reply

    Hmm, on a big site that I work on, the 3rd party cookies have become less and less effective. Has anyone heard back from Google on how this works? Dan?

  13. Brad Geddes aka eWhisper
    December 2, 2009 at 7:31 am · Reply

    According to Google, it officially takes up to 2 weeks for everything to be linked. However, unofficially they are saying 1-2 days for the linking to work and stats to show up.

    However, I think that the new GA goal sets messed this up even more as many accounts can’t even see most of their goals to link to AdWords anymore.

  14. Seo Los Angeles
    January 11, 2010 at 3:28 am · Reply

    Hmmm… you know, I have not noticed this feature until now, and now that I have noticed it, I will start to look into it much further, but does this mean, that google analytics will now show the difference between what comes from paid inclusion and what comes from organic results? Or have they all ways done that? if somebody could shed some light would be great, thanks in advance!

  15. Brad Geddes aka eWhisper
    January 12, 2010 at 3:46 pm · Reply

    Paid inclusion is different than PPC as it usually refers to Yahoo’s search submit product (which went away in December).

    GA already filters PPC from organic. If you use Yahoo or adCenter, then you should turn on Yahoo’s parameters or add a paramater to your destination URLs to make sure that GA knows its paid. However, you can already segment in GA by the traffic source.

  16. jcyber
    July 2, 2011 at 2:40 pm · Reply

    I have never tried to connect them. I will do so, lets see if it works

    Thank you

Leave a Reply