How to Link Google Ads to Google Optimize

Want to link your Google Ads account to your Google Optimize container? This is the step-by-step guide you’ve been looking for.

Published Categorized as Ads, Google Ads

If you advertise on Google Ads—and who doesn’t—and you use Google Optimize, you can unlock powerful audience targeting and content personalization based on campaigns, ad groups, and keywords by linking your Ads account to your Optimize container.

It’s just that this is one of those things that are easier said than done. Since you’re here and probably came across this post looking for a tutorial, I assume you already know this.

So let us not waste any more time on formalities and get to the heart of the matter! What steps do you need to take to link Google Ads and Google Optimize?

How to Link Google Ads and Google Optimize

There are three steps to linking your Google Ads account to your Google Optimize container:

  1. Link your Google Optimize container to your Google Analytics property;
  2. Link your Google Analytics property to your Google Ads account;
  3. Enable Google Optimize sharing in your Google Ads account.

This is because there’s no direct linkage between Ads and Optimize; it has to go through Analytics as an intermediary.

To be able to do this, you need to have Publish (or higher) permissions to the Google Optimize container, Edit (or higher) permissions to the Google Analytics property, and administrative access to the Google Ads account.

As long as you have these permissions and as soon as you complete the three steps above, you will be able to add audience targeting rules based on the Google Ads account, the campaigns, the ad groups, and the keywords.

This tutorial also assumes you’re using auto-tagging, and not manual tagging, for your ads (which should be the case for 90% of its readers).

While you will be able to link Ads, Analytics, and Optimize with or without auto-tagging, I haven’t personally tested whether you can still apply the same audience targeting rules with manually-tagged links.

Part 1. Link Your Google Optimize Container to Google Analytics

Step 1: Sign into Google Optimize, open the container you want to link to Google Analytics, and click on “Settings” in the upper right corner.

Google Optimize container

Step 2: The “Container settings” tab will pop up. Under “Measurement,” click on the blue “Link to Analytics” button.

Google Optimize container settings

Step 3: Select the Google Analytics property you want to link your Google Optimize container to and complete the process.

Linking a Google Analytics property

Part 2. Link Your Google Analytics Property to Google Ads

Step 1: Sign into Google Analytics and click on the gear icon in the bottom left corner to open the “Admin” tab.

Step 2: Go to the Google Analytics property you want to link to your Google Ads account, scroll past the first few options, and click “Google Ads Links” under “Product Links”.

Property settings in Google Analytics

Step 3: Select the Google Ads account that you want to link to your Google Analytics property, then click on the blue “Continue” button and complete the configuration.

Configuring a link to Google Ads

Step 4: You’re done. You’ve now linked your website’s Google Analytics property to your Google Ads account and can continue to the next part of this guide.

Part 3. Turn Google Optimize Sharing in Google Ads On

Step 1: Sign into to Google Ads, click on “Tools and Settings” in the gray navigation bar, and go to “Linked Accounts” under “Setup”.

Navigating to Linked Accounts

Step 2: Find your linked Google Analytics property and click on “Manage & link.”

Managing linked Google Analytics properties

Step 3: Make sure to toggle “Google Optimize sharing turned on.”

Toggling Google Optimize sharing to on

That’s it! You can now create audience targeting rules in Optimize based on your account, campaigns, ad groups, and keywords in Ads.

Hope this helped and let me know if you have any questions by leaving a reply below.

How to Create Google Ads Experiments in Optimize

Step 1: Sign into Google Optimize, open the container you want to create an experiment for, and start a new experiment.

Step 2: Under “Targeting and site changes,” click the gray link in “Or, start by adding audience targeting rules instead.”

Adding audience targeting rules

Step 3: Choose “Google Ads” from the list of options for rule type that pops up.

Adding a Google Ads rule type

Step 4: Select the Google Ads account and whether you’d like to make changes to your site’s content based on the account, the campaign, the ad group, or the keywords.

Step 5: Continue setting up your experience as usual.

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