As you get used to the new GA4 platform, you may get frustrated as you uncover some differences from what you were used to seeing in Universal Analytics. Don’t worry! Once you ensure you have your important features set, you can take some time to explore and get comfortable with the new layout. One of the more important steps that we need to make sure you're taking care of is linking GA4 to your Google Ads account.
It’s crucial to connect these two systems to make sure you're pulling in important metrics, like your click data or cost data, and giving yourself the ability to import your conversion data from Google Analytics back into Google Ads for ad optimization. It's usually a one-time thing, so it's understandable if you haven't seen this before or haven't done this in a long time.
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Steps to connect your Google Ads account to GA4
In GA4, click on the Admin menu at the bottom of the left nav bar.
Scroll down to “Google Ads Links.” If you’re logged in with the proper access levels as an editor or above in Google Ads and Google Analytics, you'll see the”Link” button.
Click the “Link” button to get a view of all the Google Ads accounts that you can access.
Choose the account you want to link to the GA4 property and click “Next” to see your options for the types of data you want to collect.
Our recommendationDefault options are set for “Enable Personalized Advertising” and “Allow access to Analytics features from within Google Ads,” with an option to also Enable Auto-Tagging. Think about your goals and your business’ privacy regulations. If possible, we suggest using Google Analytics data to help build audiences and use remarketing campaigns. Enable auto tagging so that the Google Ads clicks will come through to Google Analytics with the right unique IDs appended to the end of the URLs. This happens behind the scenes, but does allow the two systems to easily communicate to send valuable information to each other.
Click submit, and you will find that the link is quickly created.
Your next steps should include importing conversions and setting up your remarketing audiences, if you have them. But from here, you are at least gathering the information you need and avoiding the common mistake of not linking your Google Ads and new GA4 properties.
If you would like some help setting up your GA4 instance so that you have accurate, actionable information, get in touch with us. We specialize in creating custom digital marketing programs for businesses, including all the necessary analytics to make smart decisions and showcase the value of your paid media.