Why you should link Google Ads to Google Analytics

link google ads to google analytics with the littledata shopify app

Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) and Google Analytics have constantly proved their worth as valuable tools for ecommerce marketers to get insights and detailed reporting on advertising ROI. But why should you link Google Ads and Google Analytics together? What does it mean to connect them?

Our enterprise ecommerce customers in particular have seen a major benefit of linking Analytics with Ads. Those who linked these two platforms have seen a significant improvement in reporting and it made it much easier to retarget ads to clients that have forgotten or abandoned their services but shown intent to purchase a particular product or type of product.

Why connect Google Ads to Google Analytics?

Is it really necessary to connect Google Ads linked with Analytics?

Let’s get down to basics. In the Ads platform you can’t see what your users do after they click on your ads or if said ads led to a sale, you can’t see their path on your website, so you are basically losing the big picture of your customer’s behaviour after they see the ad.

In short, without connecting the two technologies together, your shopping funnel is incomplete. You can’t see Google Ads performance compared with other marketing channels, or how those Ads actually contribute to revenue.

Both Google tools have their individual strengths but you can see their real power once you have linked both of them.

If you are already using both Analytics and Google Ads but haven’t linked them yet, then you are missing a lot of valuable information about how to connect marketing with revenue — and where to optimise.

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With the two platforms tied together, they will be able to communicate much more efficiently and provide more granular data in your reporting. Google Analytics has a dedicated section within the Acquisition reports solely detailing Google Ads performance which you cannot obtain unless you have linked your Google Ads and Analytics accounts and are using auto-tagging in Google Ads.

These reports share some common information with the types of data that can be found in Google Ads, but here you are able to combine and link the Google Ads data with all the data available in Analytics to find more meaningful insights and potentially make better decisions.

Moreover, you can leverage these insights into a number of different goals that you wouldn’t be able to easily see in Google Ads.

Surprisingly though, a full connection doesn’t happen automatically. Yes, they are both Google products, but you need to do some work to connect the platforms and then take action based on that data.

Google’s thoughts on connecting Google Ads with Google Analytics

This quick video highlights the benefits of linking the two platforms together (whether you call them Ads or AdWords is up to you…marketers are still a bit confused by Google’s rebrand).

Top four benefits of linking Google Ads with Google Analytics for ecommerce

1. Retarget based on checkout steps in ecommerce

The most effective way to grab these customers is to target them based on where they dropped off. Luckily, Google lets you do exactly that: with the right analytics, you can set up retargeting campaigns based on checkout behaviour.

We highlighted this in a more comprehensive blog post on how you can improve Google Ads retargeting by analyzing the customer behavior during checkout. Our customers have been applying those tips and seeing results in less than a week.

Learn more about how to improve AdWords retargeting using ecommerce checkout steps.

2. Retarget based on users who reach a Google Analytics goal

You can set up a simple or complex goal and then target that audience with the right messaging. For example, even a newsletter subscription can lead to a goal completion. That user showed interest in your product and with a bit of persuasion and smart ad targeting, you’ll most likely succeed in transforming that lead into a buying customer.

PRO TIP: Watch our video on troubleshooting your Google Analytics goals setup if you’re having issues with goals.

3. Block advertising to people who have previously purchased

An effective retargeting audience setting is crucial. There is no need to spend money on retargeting ads for people who will not be convinced to buy by them.

If someone has already purchased a product from your online store, then the chance of them buying the same product in the next few days is very low. If you don’t set an effective retargeting audience, you are more likely to spend way more money for with no result.

The solution is to exclude people who recently bought your products from retargeting for a certain period, and you’ll be able to retarget them again after a certain time frame. That means that if John from California just bought a shirt from my website, I will not retarget him for the next month; he will not see any ads of the shirt appearing on his browser for that period.

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If you want to see the best result of with your retargeting campaign then keep this in the back of your mind when making campaign planning. You will be left with more budget to spend on retargeting ads that are actually effective and most important of all, a happier audience.

4. Send different adverts to different segments of customer lifetime value (LTV)

Our biggest customer segment right now is automated analytics for ecommerce subscription businesses. It should come as no surprise that subscription ecommerce merchants get a special benefit from linking Ads with Analytics.

Littledata’s ReCharge connection enables you to see customer lifetime value and create different audiences based on a customer’s last purchase or the number of orders placed.

By this segmentation of audience you can customise your PPC ads and reach the right people who are already loyal to your brand and know your products. Your ROAS will be amazing and you won’t have to make huge efforts to get major results.


The benefits above speak for themselves, so what are you waiting for? Especially if you run an ecommerce site, the time to connect is now 🙂

If you’re trying to connect Google Analytics with Google Ads for an ecommerce site, it should go smoothly. But sometimes an account manager can help with custom setup and reporting, or simply check to make sure you’re tracking things correctly.

Littledata’s pricing options include various levels of support to fit every business size and goals for growth.

Check out our free guide on how to connect your Google Analytics and Google Ads accounts.

Littledata Shopify App featured on Ecommerce Fastlane Podcast
Ecommerce podcast for Shopify

Littledata Shopify App featured on Ecommerce Fastlane Podcast

Littledata’s own Edward Upton is featured on a new episode of the

Link Analytics to AdWords with our new Google Ads connection
AdWords retargeting for ecommerce

Link Analytics to AdWords with our new Google Ads connection

To target — and retarget — the right shoppers, ecommerce sites need

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