Linking GA to Adwords – Avoiding permission issues

This is a quick Friday post to clarify a common misunderstood problem I come often come across when setting permissions to enable the linking of your Google Analytics account with your AdWords account.

The Requirement

From the AdWords or GA documentation:


So you need to have the right permissions in order to be able to link your accounts…

The Issue – If you use multiple agencies

If you are already the administrator of both the AdWords and GA account, there is no issue. However businesses often use one agency to manage media spend (AdWords) and another agency to measure and track everything (GA) and keep everyone accountable.

If this describes your situation then you can run into the following issue:

Essentially asking the AdWords agency to make another agency an administrator on their Adwords account is often a sensitive issue – as you would rightly expect. That is, adding administrators should always raise a flag requiring discussion. For example: Who are these people? Why are admin rights required? What are they going to do? Will they have access to something they should not have? and so forth.

Once these questions are answered, they usually require confirmation from the client. That is simply best practice. However, it is a painful procedure to go through for what is a simple 5 minute job – the linking of the two accounts…

The Fix – A simple clarification

Adwords administrator access is only required for the actual linking process. Once linking is complete (it takes a matter of minutes!), the user account used for this purpose can be removed from AdWords.

So its a one-time process that takes only minutes. This could all be completed while you are on the phone to the other agency – grant access, link the accounts, remove access. With the link established,  AdWords data will automatically populate the GA reports until it is unlinked. No AdWords account is is required.

Hopefully Google will make this more clear in their documentation. 

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  1. hannah harrison

    its perfect solution for Linking GA to Adwords, i will try this 🙂

  2. Brian Clifton

    @Mihori – in order to see GA data in your Adwords account, the account you are logged into Adwords with must also exist within GA. That is, there must be some authentication to view reports.

  3. Mihori

    Hi Brian,

    This post is very helpful!

    I have one question.
    For multiple agencies case;
    after linking GA and Adwords, when we remove Adwords account from “User Management” in GA Admin section, can GA report still be seen from the Adwords account?

    I’d appreciate if you could let me know.


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