Importing Google Analytics Goals and Transactions into AdWords

Target circle with mouse arrow clicking on bullseye

Right about now, those of you who use AdWords conversion metrics will skip to the next chapter, but we’d strongly advise against it!

If you think that you’re getting all of the data that you need about the conversions on your site from AdWords, then we’re sorry to say that you’re not exactly right. While we don’t have the space and time to go fully into detail about the differences between the three, Analytics goals, Analytics transactions and AdWords conversion metrics are calculated differently.

You could actually be missing out on valuable information that could help you optimise your site and get you even more conversions.

In addition to AdWords conversion metrics, there are two more tools offered by Google Analytics that can help make your business work even better and get it further. Thus, although this chapter is about combining Analytics and AdWords, and making them work together for the greater good, we can’t proceed telling you all about importing Google Analytics goals and transactions if you don’t know what those are. So, very briefly:

Analytics goals

A perfect way to measure how well your site/app is at getting people to convert, i.e. make a purchase, complete a level of a game, fill in a contact form and so on.

Analytics transactions

Also called e-commerce transactions, these allow you to analyse transaction and item data more in-depth, e.g. which products sell better than others; how long does it take for an average person to buy; what’s the revenue from a single transaction and so on.

If you aren’t using Google Analytics goals or transactions, then get to them ASAP—your (business) life depends on it. And when you’ve set those up, come back and let us tell you how to import all the related data into AdWords to make your business work even better and get it further.

Benefits of Having Google Analytics Goals and Transactions on AdWords

  • Visiting just one site to get all your conversion-related info;
  • Getting more detailed conversion information simply because more aspects of a conversion are being tracked;
  • Having unique data available to you, such as engagement goals (which AdWords don’t track);
  • Lowering AdWords costs by optimising bids based on goal and transaction data;
  • Ultimately increasing conversions.

Quick Tip

You might decide against importing Google Analytics goals and transactions into AdWords if you are already using AdWords conversion tracking. Actually, it would be silly to import certain goals and transactions as they could be double-counted and skew the valuable data based on which you make important decisions, so don’t track the same action, e.g. a sale, on both Analytics and AdWords!

The Technical How-To

Alright, let’s get down to business. Here are the simple steps that will allow you to see and track your Google Analytics goals and transactions on AdWords.

  1. After you’ve linked your AdWords and Analytics accounts (as explained in a previous section of this chapter), the imports of goals and transactions will become ready in 30 minutes.
  2. Click Tools and select Conversions.
  3. On the left-hand menu, select Google Analytics.
  4. Tick the boxes next to the goals and transactions that you wish to import and click Continue.
  5. Adjust the settings based on your needs and preferences and click Import goals.

Screenshot of AdWords data in Google Analytics

Good To Know

The transfer of goals and transactions into Google AdWords won’t be instant. In fact, it can take up to nine hours to start seeing the information and historic data won’t be imported at all.

After your goals/transactions are imported, the conversions data will appear next to the existing conversion data on the Conversions page. But do not fear—you can easily adjust and customise the columns for every keyword, ad group and ad.
You can also edit your goals without ever having to go over to Analytics. Simply go to Tools, choose Conversions, select which goal you want to edit and click on Edit Settings. This is handy because you can do everything you need to do from just one dashboard without having to go back and forth between AdWords and Analytics.