Adwords or Analytics – which one is best for me?

Google Analytics and Google AdWords are designed to provide you with a complete picture of the customer journey from the first time they search for you or view your ad, to their first and any subsequent visits, registering interest in your site and hopefully the eventual purchase of a product.

It’s a long journey, and to help tracking along the way Google provides two distinct, yet easily integrated systems. The Google AdWords platform, as the name suggests, provides advertising opportunities that you see in Google search results. Google Analytics is more about visitor behaviour and helps you understand what’s happening with traffic once it gets to your site.

While both platforms are great at what they are designed to do, they both have their relative strengths and weaknesses. AdWords, for instance, is a ‘Google only’ ad platform and isn’t able to provide conversion tracking on sources outside of Google (e.g. organic sources or traffic from other advertising platforms). AdWords also can’t provide the same level of on-site user behaviour as Analytics. Conversely, Analytics can’t provide the same rich level of data on advertising data that AdWords can.

So given the value of each of these platforms, how can they be combined to get the most out of each? First up, linking an Analytics and AdWords account is a relatively straightforward process. There are plenty of ‘how-to’ guides available online if you haven’t already taken this step.

Once linked, you’ll be able to take advantage of features not available in a stand-alone set up such as:

  • Analysis of campaign/keyword performance by real revenue and cost amounts in Google Analytics
  • Importing goals from Google Analytics into AdWords
  • Using Google Analytics metrics such as bounce rate, time on site and % new visits in AdWords
  • The ability to undertake remarketing with Google Analytics
  • Viewing AdWords data in rich reports such as Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels
the bottom line is that if you haven’t combined your Analytics and AdWords accounts you need to.

So whether you link your AdWords account to your Analytics account or vice versa, the bottom line is that if you haven’t combined your Analytics and AdWords accounts you need to. Without doing so you won’t be able to extract the information you need on your online spend at the level required to make the best possible decisions when it comes to allocating your online spend.