gaIf you manage an AdWords account, one of the first things you need to do is make sure that you link Google AdWords to Google Analytics, which would be a lot easier to do if Google Analytics didn’t have five separate “Admin” tabs that look identical but perform different functions.

I’ve recently had several clients ask me why this is necessary, because the interface of Google AdWords looks somewhat similar to the interface to Google Analytics.

Google AdWords Alone Is Not An Analysis Tool

The answer is simple: Google AdWords is only capable of reporting data, not analyzing data. And reporting only answers questions about quantity: how many clicks, how many impressions, what’s the click-through-rate, how much money are you spending?  Analysis is different. Google Analytics let’s you get beyond the “how much” questions, and closer to the “why” questions.

For instance, with Google AdWords you can see how many visitors came to your website from a specific keyword and even how many of those visitors completed a specific action (bought something, filled out a form, etc etc). But Google Analytics goes much, much deeper than that.

Advanced Analysis with Google Analytics

If you paid for 100 visitors from a specific keyword for instance, and none of those visitors became customers, you might check the bounce rate with Google Analytics. Did 99% of them leave your website after viewing just one page? Maybe if you made that landing page stickier or more compelling you could reduce that bounce rate by 10-20%, which would give you a shot at converting more of those visitors into customers.

Or maybe you find out that you are bringing 100 visitors to your website, but most of them are “return visitors,” and so they are not eligible to become customers or leads, so you’re just paying for traffic that already knows about you.

Or maybe you’ll learn from Google Analytics that 30% of your traffic is not converting in any measurable way, but most of that traffic is clicking immediately on your “contact us” page to look for your phone number or address, which means that you should setup some processes for tracking offline conversions.

The bottom line is that if you use Google AdWords without Google Analytics, your going to be forced to optimize the account based on a limited amount of data, which is not an optimal situation.

Will Marlow wears several hats as a search engine marketing professional, and holds two certifications from Google (Google Analytics and Google AdWords) and one certification from Microsoft as a Bing Ads Professional