Google Analytics or Google Ads Integration?


I’m reviewing our CallRail account implementation specifically for Google Ads campaigns - the previous person set up about half of our accounts to get their calls imported directly into Google Ads, and the other half go into Google Analytics, where the goal from GA is then imported in Google Ads. Wondering if anyone has opinions on which way is better? Are they equal? What are pros and cons to each?

Thanks in advance!


I’d recommend setting up the goals in Google Analytics, and then importing that goal into Google Ads. No sense using two different ways of tracking goals if you don’t have to!



It all depends on how you are using your Google Ads ( Adwords). If you are using Smart Bidding, or any of the AI related conversion situations ( ROAS, TCPA Etc ).

It also depends on what source you are using to make your decisions, reporting etc.

I use Google Analytics for all decisions and reporting. I make the event goal for [Phone] in GA, that Goal is then imported into Adwords through the conversion tools ( when GA and Adwords are synced correctly).

At times i will import the Mobile call data directly to Adwords and determine if I want that to be tracked at a conversion and show in the results ( depends if I am using "Smart campaign bidding or not).

Basically pick one source either all Adwords, or All GA and sync conversions accordingly, just don’t double count both GA goals, API Imports, Adwords Conversions if they measure the same metric.

Depending on your set-up and if you are using a Call Rail Extension for Google Ads ( You may or may not want to turn off Call reporting in Google Ads ( adwords) and may or may not want to import the Mobile Calls) Again to avoid double counting and potentially not allow G to track and pay for Call from the Google Ads Call extensions if someone is seeing the ad on Desktop and just picks up their phone an dials ( G can’t track that, only if you interact with you mobile).

Good Luck


Thanks Eric. I’m curious as to what difference it makes if any of the Smart Bidding features are enabled on a campaign. Would you mind elaborating?


Depends on the options you choose. If using conversations as the smart bid option CPA, then you need a history of conversions. The Call Rail API conversion import uses the Last Click Attribution Model,(you can’t edit that) and that may not be in your best interest as the conversion goal for smart bids. The GA import might be a better option with editing to a Data Driven (best) or Time decay attribution model.

Also with most smart bidding models the system includes some Google hosted conversion metrics that may not coincide with your ROI revenue or lead generation objectives. Such as GMB metrics of driving directions, etc. View your convesions tab in Google Ads to see what Google hosted events are automatically added.

In my experience, I have some campaigns that work great with smart bidding and others that manual bids are still the best.

Each campaign has its own goals, and the offer, budget, the USP, competition are factors in decision if smart bids are the way to go.

At this point 85 percent of all accounts and campaigns I run are still manual bidding as I out perfom all smart bidding. I may transfer the other smart campaigns back to manual as my data shows I always crush the API smart bid.

In conclusion think of this. To Google a conversion is a click, to most marketing people a conversion is a lead, but to an owner, the only conversion is a sale or when $$$ is received. Smart bidding plays to the first two more then the latter.

Hope that helps…

Eric Gehler.