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.)
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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