Google does a lot of things really well, and there is a ton of utility to be had in many of their free programs, but their account permissions and cross-product integration for things like Google AdWords, Webmaster Tools, and Google Analytics can be maddening sometimes.
One common issue AdWords advertisers struggle with is linking multiple AdWords accounts to a single Google Analytics account. In this post we’ll walk through some possible solutions here. (If you're looking to link an Adwords account to Google Analytics, we have that covered too.)
Why Would I Want to Have Multiple AdWords Accounts and a Single Analytics Account?
Before we address how to link multiple AdWords accounts to a single Google Analytics account, let’s walk through a few different reasons you might want to create several AdWords accounts that all share a single Google Analytics account:
- Different Departments Have Their Own AdWords Accounts – You might have several departments within a large company that share a single website and analytics account, but have different AdWords accounts linked to each department’s method of payment.
- Different Geographic Regions Have Their Own AdWords Accounts – Similarly, some advertisers want to set up different accounts for different regions to link different payment types with separate accounts.
- You Have Misc. Payment Issues – Generally speaking the main reason you’d have a single site/analytics account and multiple AdWords accounts is due to billing and payment methods – if you’re simply looking to target different regions, allocate different budgets to different campaigns, or use different targeting options such as networks, keywords, etc. you can do all of that at the campaign or ad group level.
And as we’ll see below, having multiple AdWords accounts can create a bit of a maintenance headache, so if you don’t have a strong reason for creating multiple accounts it’s likely best to stick with one.
Create Multiple Analytics Accounts for Multiple AdWords Accounts
This is the recommended step by Google reps, and in many cases is a pretty good workaround, but in this instance you’re viewing the different AdWords data in different accounts and it can be a bit clunky if you have a large volume of different accounts. You might also check out the Google Analytics App gallery for some handy Excel plugins that use the Analytics API and allow you to analyze data in some interesting ways if this is the best option for you.
Switch from Auto-Tagging to UTM Parameters
If the multiple accounts approach is too cumbersome for you, you can also try switching from auto tagging to turning auto tagging off and using UTM parameters to label all of your incoming AdWords traffic as CPC. If your central objective is being able to quickly sort paid and organic traffic as sources from within your analytics account and you’re willing to alter your destination URLs in your AdWords account, this is a nice workaround. You won’t have the more granular AdWords data available from the AdWords report within traffic sources for all the accounts, however.
Try an Alternative Analytics Package
Similarly you can check out some Google Analytics alternatives to see if a different analytics package combined with tracking parameters might allow you to get at whatever additional data you’re looking for if any of the above solutions haven’t worked for you.
Contact Google Support or a Google Analytics Authorized Partner or Wait for Support for the Feature
Finally, a workaround that’s not accessible through the Google Analytics UI actually does exist – at the moment it needs to be enabled by Google support (contact your rep or call 1-866-2Google) or a certified Google Analytics partner. Apparently they are actually working on making this feature universally accessible, but in the meantime you’ll have to go through one of these avenues if you want to avoid the above workarounds.
What did we miss? Any other scenarios where you’re linking multiple AdWords accounts to a single analytics account? Any other great solutions you’ve found for getting the data you were looking for? Let us know in the comments!