Why is Google Analytics not tracking my AdWords PPC Campaigns properly?

Linking your Google AdWords to your Google Analytics account is relatively straightforward assuming you have one Google Analytics account and one Google AdWords account; however, if you have more than one account then it can get a little confusing…well at least it did for me.

Here’s a quick overview of the common problems tracking Google AdWords performance in Google Analytics that I have either personally experienced, or have had customers who have come to us for advice with these issues.

Problem 1  – AdWords PPC Clicks reported as Organic Clicks

First check whether Auto Tagging is enabled in Google AdWords.  Login to your account, and select “Account preferences” from the “My Account” menu.

Google Adwords- Account Snapshot

You will see a section called “Tracking – Auto Tagging” – Set this to “Yes”.

Now link your Google AdWords and your Google Analytics account using the steps outlined below.

Look at this post if you also want to track Yahoo and Bing PPC Campaigns in Google Analytics.

Problem 2 – (Not Set) appears for AdWords Keywords in Google Analytics

If Google AdWords pay-per-clicks are coming through in your analytics keyword reports as (Not Set) this means that you have not properly linked your Google Analytics and Google AdWords accounts.

If you have “auto tagging” enabled on your Google AdWords account, then even though the Google AdWords visits are reported as Google (CPC) the information you receive is limited.  Apparently this is for unspecified “security reasons” and you therefore do not get access to the Keyword or Campaign and Ad Group names in Google Analytics.  To get around this you just have to link your Google Analytics and your Google AdWords accounts.

This should be relatively straightforward, unless you want to track more than one Google AdWords campaign or you want to change an old Google AdWords campaign and link your analytics account to a new AdWords campaign.

First the easy bit: Linking your Google Analytics and Google AdWords accounts.

Do this first – You must ensure that your Google AdWords login email address is listed as a user on your Google Analytics account. Please contact the administrator of the Google Analytics account and request that they add you as a user to this Google Analytics account.

Do this next

1.    Login in to your AdWords account at https://AdWords.google.com.
2.    Select the Reporting tab and choose "Google Analytics."
3.    Select "I already have a Google Analytics account." (or Create a new Google Analytics account if you do not have one already – as shown).
4.    From the Existing Google Analytics Account drop-down menu, select the name of the Analytics account you’d like to link to. (If you don’t see it listed, you’ll need to first add your AdWords username to your Analytics account as an Account Admin).
5.    Keep the checkboxes selected on this page.
6.    Select Link Account




You should then see a page like this to complete the process.


If you are still running into problems – such as (Not Set)

The process above will automatically link the two services and your Google AdWords traffic should be reported correctly in Google Analytics. 

That is unless you have an existing relationship between the two services – for example a previous website that you were tracking in Google Analytics and was linked to AdWords.  First you must unlink this website.

Now for the more tricky bit – Unlinking your Google Analytics and Google AdWords accounts

Checking out a few forum posts I finally found some help on the Google Support forum; but I still had a few problems actually finding the exact place to make the necessary changes.  So I have included some screen shots which I hope help.

As long as you are an “administrator” of both the Google AdWords and Google Analytics accounts you’d like to unlink, you can do so from your Google AdWords account.

1.    Sign in to your AdWords account at https://www.google.co.uk/AdWords.
2.    Select your Reporting tab and click ‘Analytics’.
3.    From the Profile Overview page, click the Edit Account Settings link found above the list of profiles, to the right of the account name.
4.    Click ‘Unlink AdWords account from Analytics’ to finish

(I found this hard to find at first! It’s the “Overview” or “Edit account settings” blue links!).

Next – click on “Unlink AdWords account from Analytics”.

 You then get a nice warning message

Remember, if you do not have access to Google Analytics from within the Google AdWords account, please contact the appropriate Administrator to get the account unlinked. Remember, only users with “administrator” access to both accounts can unlink.

Once this site is unlinked – you should be able to go back into Google AdWords and follow the instructions at the top of the page to link your desired website to Google Analytics.

N/B:  I also found that as I had two different email addresses for Google Analytics and Google AdWords, I had to create a second Google Analytics account for the Google AdWords email address so that AdWords would recognise the analytics account I wanted to track.

Summary of Google AdWords and Google Analytics issues

In a nutshell, you can only have one Google AdWords account linked to one Google Analytics account simultaneously.  If you have multiple Google AdWords campaigns for different websites then you need to create separate Google Analytics accounts for each one.  You will need to edit each account separately in Google Analytics and apply and import your AdWords cost data to your desired profiles.

You can then assign one Google Analytics account email user or admin access to all these Google Analytics accounts by adding users in Google Analytics.  This should, in theory, allow you to track all your Google AdWords campaigns in one place!

I hope this helps!

1 Comment. Leave new

  • Anonymous
    08/07/2013 19:37

    In order to link up the PPC and Analytics you now have to:

    1. Log in to Adwards account.
    2. Click the ‘Tools and Analysis’ tab, then click ‘Google Analytics’ from drop down menu.
    3. Click the ‘Admin’ tab. (Right-hand side.)
    4. Select website from list.
    5. Click ‘Data Sources’ tab.
    6. Click ‘Link Accounts’ button.
    7. Answer 2 questions. (‘Auto-tag my links’ and manually select the website.)


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