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Tracking Adwords from a company's MCC with Google Analytics

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Aside from other duties, my client has asked me to keep track of a campaign a foreign company is running for him. He wants to make sure he gets what they are promising and that the results are accurate. 

 

In order to do just that, I decided to use Custom URLs to track each click and I asked his campaign manager to add them to the ads' URLs. My question is: will Google Analytics record each click from the Adwords campaign accurately (will the clicks and sessions match)? 

 

I understand how Google Analytics and Adwords track clicks and sessions, and some of the reasons the numbers would differ. The question remains, will that work? If not, is there another way I can track their true progress? 

 

They do send me reports but the CTR is often overestimated and miscalculated according to their own data, which makes me doubt their legitimacy. 

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Dan B
September 2015

Re: Tracking Adwords from a company's MCC with Google Analytics

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Hi Juked,
Thanks for the clarification. That's exactly how I understood it.

First of all, it's VERY unusual to have a third party partner not provide access to an account managed in MCC. That's the point in an MCC. They have an umbrella account that manages sub accounts that all clients have access to. The whole idea of the MCC is to have a centralized place to manage clients accounts while allowing the clients access to their own accounts.

There are valid reasons why you would effectively lock a client out of their own account, but they're pretty extreme and rare.

YOU DO NOT NEED ACCESS TO THEIR MCC, JUST YOUR ACCOUNT IN THEIR MCC.

Furthermore, you are entitled to a minimum level of accurate reporting according to the third party partner agreement that all Google Partners must agree to. You can see it here:
http://www.google.com/adwords/thirdpartypartners/

"You have a right to know, at a minimum, the number of clicks, impressions, and cost of your Google ads."

Now, I'm not saying anything untoward is happening at all. But you should be given this data and it should be accurate. You have the right to demand this from a Google partner. If the company that you are working with is NOT a partner, well, that's your choice. The entry requirements are quite low and it's in your best interests to have this as a minimum requirements.

Now, getting back to the actual question at hand. If you're willing to continue with them (I would not be unless there was a super valid reason), the custom URLs that you will create will not entirely match the traffic that you are being sent. Depending on the volume of clicks and the audience, there will be discrepancies. These can be found here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1034383?hl=en

You will also not receive VERY VALUABLE keyword volume and conversion data or costs. The latter one there is probably why they are not providing you access in the first place. You're missing out on a whole range of other data, including attribution data and various other reports that only come with a linked AdWords and GA account.

I think that you have every right and reason to be suspicious of this. I personally cannot imagine any scenario where we wouldn't give a client access to their own account. I also cannot think of any scenario where the client would actually be OK with being locked out of their own account.

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Re: Tracking Adwords from a company's MCC with Google Analytics

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Juked
I'm a little confused. Do you not have access to the AdWords account? Can you not look at the reports in the Adwords account directly?

Are you trying to use Google Analytics tagged URLs to track the performance of AdWords campaigns that you don't have access to? What about the GA account that you're using, is that not linked to the AdWords account that the third party is managing?

Maybe I have it wrong here, but hopefully you can clear it up for me and I can advise you on the best course of action.

Re: Tracking Adwords from a company's MCC with Google Analytics

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I apologize for the lack of clarity.

My client has a GA account that is linked to his website. We do not have access to the Adwords account where the campaign is running. This Adwords account belongs to the foreign company.

In order to accurately track the clicks of each keyword, I started using Custom URLs (https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?hl=en). I do get the information of every session coming from there but it does not match the clicks according to the reports they send me.

They will not let me access their MCC because they have other clients' information there and their account is not linked to our GA.
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Dan B
September 2015

Re: Tracking Adwords from a company's MCC with Google Analytics

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Hi Juked,
Thanks for the clarification. That's exactly how I understood it.

First of all, it's VERY unusual to have a third party partner not provide access to an account managed in MCC. That's the point in an MCC. They have an umbrella account that manages sub accounts that all clients have access to. The whole idea of the MCC is to have a centralized place to manage clients accounts while allowing the clients access to their own accounts.

There are valid reasons why you would effectively lock a client out of their own account, but they're pretty extreme and rare.

YOU DO NOT NEED ACCESS TO THEIR MCC, JUST YOUR ACCOUNT IN THEIR MCC.

Furthermore, you are entitled to a minimum level of accurate reporting according to the third party partner agreement that all Google Partners must agree to. You can see it here:
http://www.google.com/adwords/thirdpartypartners/

"You have a right to know, at a minimum, the number of clicks, impressions, and cost of your Google ads."

Now, I'm not saying anything untoward is happening at all. But you should be given this data and it should be accurate. You have the right to demand this from a Google partner. If the company that you are working with is NOT a partner, well, that's your choice. The entry requirements are quite low and it's in your best interests to have this as a minimum requirements.

Now, getting back to the actual question at hand. If you're willing to continue with them (I would not be unless there was a super valid reason), the custom URLs that you will create will not entirely match the traffic that you are being sent. Depending on the volume of clicks and the audience, there will be discrepancies. These can be found here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1034383?hl=en

You will also not receive VERY VALUABLE keyword volume and conversion data or costs. The latter one there is probably why they are not providing you access in the first place. You're missing out on a whole range of other data, including attribution data and various other reports that only come with a linked AdWords and GA account.

I think that you have every right and reason to be suspicious of this. I personally cannot imagine any scenario where we wouldn't give a client access to their own account. I also cannot think of any scenario where the client would actually be OK with being locked out of their own account.

Re: Tracking Adwords from a company's MCC with Google Analytics

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank you Dave. Unfortunately, my client insists on working with them but now I have another good reason to tell him to stop. They are supposed to be partners too. I had a good idea on how the MCC worked and I thought the answer they gave me was a bit ludicrous. Despite the discrepancies that I perceive, this company has not assisted him properly and has been misleading him.

Thank you for your quick response.

Re: Tracking Adwords from a company's MCC with Google Analytics

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
No worries.
If they are a partner and are not following the guidelines in the "working with third parties" document, you should report them. Go to their profile on the Partner site and click the "report this partner" link at the bottom.

Best of luck.