How to link GA4 to Google Ads in 2024

If you use Google Ads to run campaigns and use Google Analytics 4 to analyse website user behaviour, it’s an excellent idea to link GA4 to Google Ads to see a complete users’ journey that land on your website by clicking on Google Ads. 

This article will explain how to connect Google Analytics 4 to Google Ads, its benefits, and where to find Google Ads data in Google Analytics 4. Let’s get started with its benefits. 

What are the benefits of connecting GA4 to Google Ads?

As mentioned above, linking Google Analytics 4 to Google Ads brings a few critical benefits to the business. Some of them are the following:

  • You can use Google Analytics 4 conversions in Google Ads and optimise campaigns accordingly. 
  • You can track the complete paid traffic funnel from their first ad impression (or click) to their conversion. It also allows you to see where your paid ads users leave the funnel and how to push them to complete a particular step. 
  • You can build audiences in Google Analytics 4 and use them in Google Ads for remarking campaigns. For instance, you can build an audience of users who abandoned your funnel on the second checkout step and show them an add with an additional discount to motivate them to finish the order.
  • You will get access to impressions, clicks, and costs paid ads data in Google Analytics 4 directly.
  • After connecting both tools, Google Analytics 4 will show additional acquisition dimensions in User and Traffic acquisition reports. 

Therefore, companies that use Google Ads and Google Analytics 4 usually connect them.  But before linking them, you should have the proper permissions. 

Permissions you need to link GA4 to Google Ads

In order to link Google Analytics 4 with Google Ads, you should obtain the following permissions.

Google Analytics 4Google Ads
Editor roleAdministrator access

Once you have both, you can use the steps below to link the two tools.

How to link Google Analytics 4 to Google Ads?

Suppose you have the necessary permissions, the following steps to interlink tools are:

  1. Open Google Analytics 4 property

    Step 1 Open GA4

  2. Go to Admin -> Product links -> Google Ads Links

    Step 2 Go to Admin - Google Ads Links

  3. Click on “Link” button

    Step 3 Click on Link button

  4. Select your Google Ads account

    Step 4 Select your Google Ads account

  5. Enable “Personalized Advertising”, “Auto-Tagging” and “Allow access to analytics features from within Google Ads” 

    Step 5 Enable all settings for GA4&Google Ads Integration

  6. Review all settings and click “Submit” button

    Step 6 Review everything and click Submit

After you make the steps above, Google Ads and Google Analytics 4 are successfully connected. 

The next step is to find your Google Ads data in Google Analytics 4 and make your first analysis.

How to find Google Ads data in Google Analytics 4?

As with almost every data in Google Ads, there are two ways to access Google Ads data in Google Analytics 4.

Firstly, you can find this data in the default User Acquisition and Traffic Acquisition reports in Google Analytics 4. Open GA4 -> Reports -> select User Acquisition or Traffic Acquisition report. 

Find Google Ads data in GA4 User Acquisition report
Google Ads data in GA4 User Acquisition report

Apart from seeing default channel grouping, you can also select such metrics as:

  • medium
  • source
  • medium/source
  • source platform
  • campaign
  • Google Ads ad network type
  • Google Ads ad group name
  • Google Ads ad content
  • Google Ads manual term

As you can see in the screenshot above, you can also select the second dimension to see ad group name and ad network type together.

However, if you want to see impressions, clicks, and ad costs data, there is only one way to do it – GA4 Explore

Find Google Ads data in GA4 Explore report
Google Ads data in GA4 Explore report

There you have access to all Google Ads dimensions and all Google Ads metrics available in GA4 some of them are:

  • Google Ads impressions
  • Google Ads clicks
  • Google Ads cost
  • Google Ads campaign
  • Google Ads ad network type
  • Google Ads ad group name
  • Google Ads ad content
  • Google Ads keyword text 
  • Google Ads customer ID
  • Google Ads account name
  • and others

Discrepancies between Google Analytics 4 and Google Ads reports

Although you link two tools together, GA4 and Google Ads reports can show a bit different data. In the two tools, the data is accurate, and the difference lies in other things. 

  • Different attribution model. Google Analytics 4 and Google Ads can use different attribution models. Therefore, the data in the two tools are different.
  • Different metrics. Google Analytics 4 is an event-based measurement solution that tracks your website’s traffic when Google Ads primary metrics are clicks and impressions. Therefore, you can’t compare “Total users” in GA4 with “Clicks” in Google Ads. The difference is natural, but it shouldn’t be significant. 
  • Ad-Blockers. Many extensions block Google Analytics 4 while Google Ads can still work and show your clicks and impressions and sometimes an even higher number of conversions.
  • GA4 Sampling. Google Analytics 4 can sample your data and if it’s the case, you won’t be able to compare two datasets.
  • Incorrect UTM Tagging. I recommend you follow my setup integration instruction above, if you enable auto-tagging, the data will be more accurate.
  • Time zone in GA4 and Google Ads. Two tools should have the same timezone. Otherwise, the data is different. 
  • Landing page issue. Sometimes your landing page can reload and remove UTM parameters before Google Analytics 4 code loads, which can skew your GA4 data. 

It’s also worth mentioning that Google Ads & GA4 integration has only one limitation. I’m not sure you will be able to reach it, but it’s good to know beforehand. So, you can create up to 400 links per GA4 property.  

Final Word

If you run campaigns on the Google Ads platform and use Google Analytics 4 as your primary analytics solution, you can benefit significantly from connecting them. The most apparent ones are that a) you can see the entire users’ journey, from paid ads impressions to the conversion on your website, and b) you can build the remarking audiences.  

In order to find Google Ads data in GA4 after linking them together, you can use User/Traffic Acquisition reports or GA4 Explore. The last mentioned one also allows you to manage more dimensions and metrics, including ad cost data. 

However, connecting these two tools doesn’t bring data consistency across them. GA4 and Google Ads reporting mechanisms are different. 


Frequently Asked Questions

How to link GA4 to Google Ads?

In order to link GA4 to Google Ads, follow the steps below:
1) Open Google Analytics 4 property
2) Go to Admin -> Product links -> Google Ads Links
3) Click on “Link” button
4) Select your Google Ads account
5) Enable “Personalized Advertising”, “Auto-Tagging” and “Allow access to analytics features from within Google Ads” 
6) Review all settings and click “Submit” button

What are the benefits of linking GA4 to Google Ads?

The core benefits of linking GA4 to Google Ads are:
– Using GA4 conversions in Google Ads
– Building audiences in GA4 and using them in Google Ads for remarking campaigns
– Seeing a complete users’ journey in Google Analytics 4

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