Why the out-of-the-box connector may be worth the upgrade
Marketing automation and paid ads go hand-in-hand. Very rare is the occasion where you find a company using marketing automation who doesn’t also have a Google Ads account. It make sense, one helps drive traffic into the top of your marketing funnel, while the other nurtures leads on their journey to becoming a customer.
Yet with platforms like Pardot and Google Ads being so common, there is always one common question. Which of my ads campaigns are the most successful at generating leads and conversions?
Pardot’s Google Ads Connector
The Google Ads Connector for Pardot is a very powerful tool out-of-the-box. If your company is using Pardot Growth it might even be a good enough reason to upgrade to Pardot Plus to gain better insight into your ads performance, through your MarTech stack. There are a couple things to note around the connector:
- Pardot tracks the keyword, device, network, creative, match type
- The Google Ads Connector works with auto-tagging enabled
- The Google Analytics connector does not work with auto-tagging
- If you have an MCC account, you need to add a Google Ads connector for each child account.
One of the real amazing parts about the Google Ads Connector for Pardot, is that it works with auto-tagging enabled. We’ve all seen that long string of text attached to the end of URLs, known as GCLID. While there are ways to capture this, which we will discuss in our advanced Google Ads post, there is no way to decipher it into information that tells us which ad campaigns are working. However, the connector performs this magic task for us.
Pardot Paid Ads Reporting
With your Pardot Plus edition syncing with your Salesforce & opportunity data, simply connect your Google Ads Connector for Pardot to automatically gain insight into which keywords & ads are creating leads, conversions, and opportunities. Information like this can help your company decide which keywords to invest in and which to stop spending as much on.
Out of the box, the Google Ads Connector for Pardot comes with 3 reports. They can be found by heading to Pardot Reports > Connected Apps > Paid Search.
The age-old question, what keywords should we invest more in?
The Pardot keywords report not only highlights each words unique clicks, but it shows you which prospects converted and the opportunities that came from those keywords. This is already a huge step forward in seeing which keywords drive leads into your system.
It gets even better! It shows you the opportunity value and you can click into all the numbers to learn things like:
- The actual prospect that converted and further actions
- Opportunity value
- Opportunity stage/probability
- Opportunity type
If this alone doesn’t excite you about all the insight into your marketing efforts, don’t worry there’s more.
If you’ve worked in your Google Ads account, this report may look slightly familiar. While it throws a lot of info at you, it brings your Google Ads campaign info right into the same area of Pardot. You can see the campaigns status, total impressions, clicks, conversions, cost and more. Where it takes it 1 step further is that, once again, you can see unique prospects generated by the campaign as well as opportunities. Just like the keyword report, you can click into these numbers to view more information.
Search Query Report
Last, but certainly not least, the search query report.
By now you have a whole new level of information of how your Google Ads efforts are tying directly into your Pardot & Salesforce ecosystem. But what if you want to find even more keywords to chase, that your team didn’t already think of?
Pardot’s search query report does just this. It records the terms visitors are searching in Google and connects the dots when they convert in Pardot prospects. This can help your team narrow in on some new terms to focus on, that may not currently be added to your campaigns.
The Google Ads Connector for Pardot is certainly amazing. If your team has been using Pardot Growth and trying to figure out how to gain this insight, it might be time to upgrade to Pardot Plus to gain access to the Google Ads Connector.
While this data can be game changing for a company, you will still want to work with your sales and ads teams to confirm what you are seeing. As amazing as the connector is, it still has some limitations which may or may not be more glaring based on your needs
Some items to consider:
- The Google Ads Connector for Pardot relies heavily on the first-touch model. While improvements to the Pardot & Salesforce integration have helped with this, the out-of-the-box report sticks to this model.
- You can’t run automations based on which ads a prospect clicked without a bigger plan around landing pages or UTMs (if auto-tagging isn’t on).
- All opportunities related to an individual will be under their first-touch ads campaign. The Pardot connector report sees this as their source and all the revenue started there.
- With first party tracking and customers using extra privacy in their browsers, not all query conversions can be tracked to a converted prospect.
Can the limitations be overcome?
Some of the shortcomings of the Google Ads Connector for Pardot can be solved with more complicated setups throughout your MarTech stack, using Salesforce and other Pardot features.
Since prospects first-touch is being recorded, if you are using other advanced features, such as connected campaigns, engagement history, multi-touch attribution and B2B Marketing Analytics*, you can use other reports and combine all this information to see a cohesive picture that looks past the limitations of the connectors Pardot only reports.
If you are already using the connector or have outgrown its standard functionality, it may be best to consult with Pardot marketing experts to plan out further potential to take your marketing to the next level.
———— Credit for Images —————-
Images from are pulled from salesforceben.com Google Ads connector examples.