How to Connect Salesforce to Google AdWords

Salesforce and Google AdWords are two common and powerful tools in the arsenals of businesses. For PPC management agency, these are essential tools. AdWords runs the actual campaigns while Salesforce does advanced lead tracking. But importing the data from one to the other to get all your conversion data into one place hasn’t been easy.

Having marketing data in different silos makes it hard to track changes from one to the other and to see relationships between the data sets. AdWords is great at tracking conversions in its own little PPC world. But if the lead converts outside of that framework then AdWords has no way of tracking what happened, even if Salesforce picks it up.

Salesforce Data

Until now, that is. Google AdWords now has a conversion import for Salesforce data so you can have your conversion information all in one place. You can measure which keywords from AdWords cause milestones to trigger in Salesforce, such as opportunity conversion and sales, to see which keywords drive the most final profit.

It works through a special cookie that’s set in the browser of whoever clicks on the ad. This cookie is passed between AdWords and Salesforce to track milestones. If AdWords detects that Salesforce recorded an offline conversion that has a cookie, it will give that ad or keyword credit for the conversion. This cookie is called a GCLID, short for Google Click ID.

To connect the two, certain requirements have to be met. You need to have:

  • A Salesforce Sales Cloud account with appropriate permissions
  • Auto-tagging enabled in Google AdWords
  • Access to your website’s code to put in the GCLID code snippet
  • The ability to create custom fields and enable field history tracking in your Salesforce account
  • Have a click-to-conversion cycle less than 90 days. Conversions that happen 90 days after the ad click will not be counted.
  • A solution to transmit lead information from your website to Salesforce, such as their web-to-lead feature.


If all these requirements are met, follow these steps from Google. In a nutshell, the steps are these:

  1. Make a custom GCLID field in your lead and opportunity objects.
  2. Make a script to capture and store the GCLID into a cookie. Google AdWords has sample code you can use.
  3. Make sure your landing page uploads the GCLID to Salesforce when it collects lead data.
  4. Test the system by adding a fake GCLID to your landing page URL, submit a test lead, and see if it appears in Salesforce.
  5. Link Google AdWords and Salesforce together by using the gear icon in your Adwords account and selecting Linked Accounts
  6. Choose Salesforce milestones you want to track for conversions and how often you want to AdWords to check them.
  7. Import your conversions and start tracking!

Full instructions can be found in the link above. You may need the assistance of your Salesforce administrator and or website administrator to complete the process.

When you link your milestones, Google can track if a lead goes back to a previous milestone. If it has already recorded a conversion for that milestone it won’t mark another one. However, if a lead skips steps in your conversion process, the intervening steps you’re tracking will not count conversions.

Once you have this in place, your Google AdWords tracking will be far more powerful and you’ll be able to demonstrate the ROI of your PPC campaigns in a much more effective manner. You won’t have to spend hours trying to deduce whether a PPC click that failed to convert eventually lead to a sale later. Thanks to the GCLID stored in their browser, you’ll be able to track your lead’s online movements in your sales funnels.


Chris Hickman is the Founder and CEO at Adficient with 15 years of experience in search marketing and conversion optimization. Since 2006, he founded, helping businesses and websites suspended in Adwords to Get Back on Google.

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