Avoid Data Dispersion with Salesforce and Google Adwords Integration

Integrating lead information from one system such as Google Adwords into a CRM like Salesforce is definitely not a new topic, especially since the Salesforce-Google Adwords integration has been announced for a while now.

I want to highlight the steps required for a seamless integration, as well as a few additional pro-active steps you want to take to keep your Google Analytics data clean. The same concept would apply to other analytics tools you might be running. As Avinash always reminds us, data accuracy is always one of the biggest challenges in web analytics.

Here are my steps:

  1. Create Adwords and Salesforce accounts.
  2. Link Google AdWords with Salesforce.
  3. Exclude SalesForce parameters from Google Analytics.
  4. Set up AdWords lead tracking.
  5. View report.

1) Create Adwords and Salesforce accounts

You need to have a Google AdWords account and a Salesforce account before you can integrate them.

2) Link Google AdWords with Salesforce

  • In Salesforce, click the Google AdWords Setup tab.

  • Enter your AdWords customer ID and login e-mail.

3) Exclude SalesForce Parameters from Google Analytics

When Salesforce performs its integration with AdWords, it appends parameters (_kk and _kt) to all destination URLs in your AdWords account. We suggest that you strip these query parameters out of URL to insure no duplicate entries in your Top Content report.

To strip the query parameters, please follow these steps:

*A note for AdWords managers. Keep in mind that when Salesforce appends the destination URLs with its _kk parameters, this is actually “editing” your AdWords ads and the stats associated with these ads will now reset, according to how Google AdWords works.

4) Set up AdWords Lead Tracking

  1. Back in SalesForce, click on the Google AdWords Setup tab.
  2. Click on the “Set up Lead Tracking” button.

i – Create a Web-to-Lead Form

  • Click on the “Create Web-to-Lead Form” button

  • Add the form to your page

ii – Add the Salesforce Tracking Code to the Website

Typescript,Computer Graphic,Text,Single Word,Article,Newspaper Headline,Information Medium,Newspaper,Printed Media,Print Media,The Media,Folded,Report,Business,Finance,Banking,Document,Paper,Printing Out,Printout,Print

Add the following tracking code to every page of your site right before the </BODY> tag

iii – Test Your SalesForce installation

By clicking the “Test your Setup” you will be able to test the installation of the codes in step i and ii

5) View report

This report gives an overview of the leads submitted to SalesForce from your website

For more detailed information, click on each lead and learn more about the lead source

40 thoughts on “Avoid Data Dispersion with Salesforce and Google Adwords Integration”

  1. Thanks for the tip on removing the URL params.

    I’ve just recently integrated google AdWords to salesforce.com and I’m experiencing some issues with regard to lead sources. We have workflows set up in SFDC based upon lead source. We have a Web RFQ lead source when someone requests a quote from our website. It seems as though when someone arrives from google the lead source is being created as Web Direct, for example. If they subsequently submit the Web RFQ form, the lead source seems to remain Web Direct and the workflow never gets triggered… that’s my guess, although I have not confirmed. Anyone else having the same issue?

  2. Hi John,

    We have noticed that it takes few minutes and some times longer to get the lead source field updated in SF. But if everything is set up properly, the lead source field should be updated with and attribute the lead to its source.

    What you also might be experiencing is to do with the attribution model. Say I come to the site today after a click on the site from an organic listing, then the lead source will be google/organic. If tomorrow I come to the site again, by clicking on a Google Ad, the first visit attribution will persist, i.e. the lead will still show as google/organic (not google/adwords).

    If you are testing from the same computers/browser, you’ll definitely run into this issue and you might end up pulling your hair that I did. You can clear your cache every time you are re-testing, or test from different computers/browsers.


  3. “Upon linking your account, Salesforce will update your existing advertisements with special tracking codes. Updating your ads will eliminate all statistics that these ads have accrued. This will not impact any statistics for Keywords, Ad Groups, or Campaigns.”.

    So what exactly will be lost?

    Salesforce’s email specifically states our ads will be updated so all of our statistics will be eliminated.

    We cannot lose any data on our Google Adwords campaigns during this transition.

    I am looking for detailed information about what will change on our ads so that we can assure our tracking metrics account for the change during the rollout.

    For example, if the tracking URLs are changed, we need to know the updated information so that our conversion tracking and ROI analytics reflect the correct information.

    What statistics does Adwords provide in their Dashboard that will be reset by the updates so we know how to account/plan for those changes in our metrics as well.

    Please provide as much detail as possible about how salesforce’s side of the integration and how it effects Adwords.

  4. Within Adwords when you make any update to your ad (ad text, display url, destination url), the statistics for these (within Adwords) will be reset, which is the correct behavior since you now have a new ad (you made a change) and the stats that belonged the previous ad should not and do not apply to the new ad.

    So here is an example:


    I went in there and updated the ad. I just changed the display URL to http://www.e-nor.com and then the statistics were all reset.


    So the same thing happens when you create an ad in an account that is integrated with SalesForce. SalesForce makes updates to the destination url by adding the some parameters. The ad is effectively changed and the statistics are reset.

    This shouldn’t impact any ROI/conversion tracking.
    Hope this helps.

  5. Hi Julie,

    I’ll double check and let you know if I’m wrong, but I am very sure that SalesForce integration will only reset the statistics once.

  6. I am finding that salesforce will regularly delete existing ads, refomat the dest url, creating new ads, losing history.

    This is driving me nuts.

    How are we supposed to optimize ads, based on history, if it is always stripped away?!

  7. Hi,
    Very glad to have found this post! I see your using DNN and Salesforce + Adwords, i’m really having issues integrating the three – the web2lead took a while to fix, but now i cant get the adwords tracking working – do you have any tips?
    Did you use any custom/generic modules to do the form/script placement?

    email me or write back here please!

  8. Hi Rob,

    We don’t use any special modules to place the Adwords conversion script.
    Usually it is as simple as placing the conversion script on the conversion page.

    I would start by bugging both Adwords and Salesforce support groups.
    Also, was Adwords conversion tracking working before Salesforce integration?

  9. Does adwords conversion tracking need to be turned on?
    I wasnt aware of that – thought all you needed was a web2lead form + the salesforce javascript element on every page + the url string added to your adwords add by salesforce…
    am i correct?

  10. I don’t think that the Salesforce integration with Adwords needs the Adwords conversion tracking turned on to register leads on the Salesforce side.
    As far as the DNN forms and web2lead form question, we would need to examine how these forms are being used.

    Give us a call when you have time; we’d be glad to discuss how we can help you test out the web2lead form and resolve your salesforce tracking issues.

  11. We’ll its all working now – 2 lessons learnt – Salesforce + DNN arent compatible when using , you have to use java script to post the form. Also and more importantly – you cant test the adwords plugin whilst in Salesforce sandbox! It HAS to be done on your live production environment! Which they dont mention in many places…

  12. Thanks for the detailed comments, Rob.

    Compatibility and testing issues are something we run into all the time and your experiences will help us and others do it right the first time.

  13. Read your article with interest, particularly point 3 “Exclude SalesForce Parameters from Google Analytics”. I am having huge problems with my Adwords campaigns continually having their destination URL’s changed by exactly the type of appended text string you mention here. Sometimes this happens within hours of me resetting the URL’s back to the correct landing pages. All occurances of our Adwords destibation URLs are associated with the email address ‘adwords.mcc@kieden.com'; Kieden is the company that Google acquired for the technology for SF/Adwords integration. have raised this with Google Adwords tech support (“nothing wrong our end”) and SalesForce Tech support (they think our Adwords account has been hacked). Has anyone else seen this issue? Any remedies? I will have to terminat our Adwords campaigns soon if I can’t stop the destination URL’s being changed.

  14. When AdWords and SalesForce accounts are integrated, the Adwords destination URLs will have “_kk” parameters automatically appended. But these _kk parameters should not affect the destination URL; you are still sending people to the same landing page and the only change is a parameter is added to the URL.

    We have seen incidents where sites don’t recognized the ?_kk as a parameter, and you might then need to tweak the destination URL. You can use our Contact form to send us a sample destination URL and will be happy to take a quick look.

  15. Hello Abhishek,

    That is a good idea.
    Google Adwords has a similar way of making a conversion call to a tracking gif with all the parameters in the URL instead of running javascript.

    I don’t know if Salesforce has similar functionality.
    A quick search didn’t reveal anything useful so your best bet would be to contact Salesforce support or use their forums to see if this can be done.

  16. Having an issue where we are only seeing one of our campaigns being brought into salesforce GA. We’ve had this running for about a year and only one of our campaigns registers in GA’s states within salesforce. I tested last week:

    1.) Clicked on one of our Ads for a specific campaign
    2.) Landed on our site > browsed to our lead form and submitted.
    3.) Lead came in as “Quote Request” – a few minutes later GA changed the lead source to “Web Referral”.

    Why doesn’t the campaign register?

  17. Hi John,

    Since the “lead source” field is changing from “Quote Request” to “Web Referral”, it’s an indicator that the analytics code is actually working, but the issue appears to be in attributing the correct source i.e. in the test you ran, the lead source should have changed to “Google AdWords” (not “Web Referral”. We have seen cases where the site has page redirects or issues with the URL parameters, so AdWords visits appear as direct or referral. Please take a look and let us know what you find and if you have any other questions or comments.


  18. Is there a way to restrict Salesforce for Google Adwords from updating my Lead Source field in SalesForce? This managed package is controlled by SFDC’s License Manager App (LMA) and I can’t find a way to turn the right off.

    Here are my requirements:
    1. I use the same landing page for multiple campaigns and my form is smart enough to read my custom query string where I have the *Lead Source* value hard coded.
    2. This plug-in changes all my Yahoo/MSN Adwords and any other marketing lead sources to “Web Referral”
    3. I love all the details that Google Adwords plug-in tracks in SalesForce. It tracks the keyword, ad copy, landing page, referring URL etc. But I don’t want it to change Lead Source values that I’m passing from my Web-to-Lead form.

    Is there a way to configure it via the JavaScript code on the landing page or from within SalesForce? If you are a developer/agency, I’m willing to pay a nominal fees for this customization. If interested, please respond this post. I’ll be checking it every day for few more days.

  19. Hi there,

    Thank you for your comment. We are an agency and have completed a number of analytics to CRM integrations, including SalesForce.com. With a custom implementation, what you are asking for can be and you can access all your campaign/referring type data in your SalesForce.com. We can definitely help, but it will require more than a “nominal fee” :) to achieve the intended results. Feel free to contact us at sales @ e-nor . com for more details.


  20. A subtle problem that can go un-noticed: It’s common for people to come to your site several times, then get really interested when their boss says, “OK, let’s investigate.”

    At this point the person goes back to your site, finds your phone number and calls. The sales rep creates a lead form in Salesforce.

    Since the person never filled out a form on your site, you have no Salesforce for AdWords data for them. At one company I know of, 90% of their leads behaved this way, so when they looked in Salesforce they saw their Salesforce for AdWords data, but only for 10% of their leads. The other 90% of their leads never appeared in these reports.

    Obviously it’s possible that the 90% group and the 10% group have different characteristics, so if you are optimizing an AdWords account to spend more on the keywords that bring in customers, but you are only looking at the 10% of leads that filled out a form, you may have a skewed view of the data.

    The solution is to have an application that tracks visitors, such as a web analytics application. Then when the sales rep gets a call and makes a new lead, the application can send an email to the lead. When a link in the email is clicked, viola, the data in the analytics application is merged with the data in the new lead form.

    I implemented such a solution with Marketo, and marketing automation application that has web analytics capabilities. After doing this, ALL the leads in Salesforce had the Salesforce for AdWords data, not just the 10% who filled out the form.

    It’s worth doing a check to see if you have this problem. Just obtain a list of new customers for the last six months, and start looking them up in Salesforce. You SHOULD see Salesforce for AdWords data in each one, but of course you will not if they never filled out one of your forms, and just called you. This manual check of perhaps 25 customers will give you an idea of whether you have this problem and how widespread it is.

    Filling out forms on your website is swell and all, but when someone skips that, finds your number on your Contact Us page, calls and asks to speak with Sales – THAT’S a hot lead. Unfortunately, you will have ZERO Salesforce for AdWords data for these people, making it impossible to optimize your AdWords account to bring in more like them, and that is the whole point of installing Salesforce for AdWords, right?

    If you don’t have an app like Marketo, I wonder what the solution is. Any ideas you have would be interesting to hear.

    As for these people who are worried about losing some AdWords data when they do the initial install – are they nuts? The hit you take is brief, and in return you get analytics not available anywhere else – great analytics that will help you optimize AdWords. So in the long run it’s obviously worth it. I think the people who shy away from Salesforce for AdWords because they don’t want their AdWords stats reset only foresee using the Salesforce for AdWords reports as “reports.” They must not understand that the reports are used to take action that will optimize their AdWords spend.

    And while I’m here, what about the delay I sometimes see when the app is executing the JavaScript used with Salesforce for AdWords that we place on every page?? Have you noticed this? Some days it’s pretty bad, and there are a few tricky coding situations where the JavaScript can cause your website to hang for a user. I’d be interested in hearing your take on the delay that commonly occurs, as well as any comments you have on the JavaScript causing your website to hang, if you have ever experienced that.

  21. Hi

    Thanks for the tips. I am using lead tracking on my site’s contact form (the form is created using Contact-Form-7 and I have added the hidden field to it). Since the contact form is a custom one, I am just adding the hidden field and not the Web-to-Lead form.

    When I view the page’s source code, the hidden field shows up fine. But when I actually submit the form, it just stalls. On removing the hidden field the form does get submitted properly.

    Any idea what could be causing this?

    Not sure if this will help – the hidden field added is

    But when I inspect the field using Firebug on firefox, this is what it shows


  22. I had put in some HTML code in my comment but looks like it was stripped out. Anyway, when I inspect the field using firebug, it shows a whole lot of values in the “value” attribute of the SFGA field. But when viewing the page source, it just shows my OID. Not sure if that could be the issue or thats how it is meant to be.

  23. Hi Dev,

    I have no experience with Contact-Form-7 but did you use the “Test Your SalesForce installation” function? It should tell you if you are missing any thing?

    Good luck,

  24. I’ve been working on SFGA for over a week with absolutely no luck, well I take that back, we’ve had 4 leads out of 2000 come through with GA data in the lead source and even had lead source details. Can anyone confirm that this is still working? We’ve triple checked everything and have a very experienced web dev helping us. This is a very frustrating process and it sucks to get hopes up when we see it work for a few leads. I’d almost be happier (wrong word to use there, but at least I could get on with my life) if I didn’t see it work at all. So someone please tell me straight up, “this is no longer working because SF and GA don’t like each other anymore”, or “yeah it’s working, your just an idiot”!!

  25. Quick question – we use a third party software provider to integrate with adwords. In order for our software to integrate we have to deactivate salesforce’s API access. In order to maintain tracking with salesforce we have attempted to just manually append the _kk={keyword} to the destination urls. While this captures the keyword, salesforce only recognizes this as an organic lead. Is there any way to track SEM leads through salesforce without integrating it in adwords?

  26. Hi Cody,

    Thank you for your comment. The short answer is yes you can track SEM leads through SalesForce without integrating SalesForce in AdWords. Depending on the website and analytics environment you have, you can read your available SEM data from analytics (using some custom code) and store the associated SEM data in hidden fields and pass them to SalesForce along with the form data.

    Feel free to contact us directly if you have a more specific question or you need additional help.

  27. HELP, we are tearing our hair out! We have placed the Salesforce snippet correctly on the site but Salesforce is NOT seeing it.

    ALSO Adwords is NOT tracking conversions and salesforce is tracking conversions via their Web to lead form. BUT we have no keyword conversion data.

  28. Hi, I’m trying to get the Lead Tracking (w/ Adwords) to work with a custom form (using API names).
    So far, I could not find a way of capturing the Lead Source. Any advices on this?

    Many thanks!

  29. Hi All

    As you may have heard, Salesforce for Google Adwords is no longer available for anyone as of May 2013. Salesforce has pointed people towards solutions like Marketo and Eloqua as a replacement, but those cost thousands of dollars a month.

    Frustrated by this, we wrote our own replacement app, and figured other people might benefit so we’ve produced it as a native Salesforce app. It replaces all the functionality of the original SGFA, and has a few more features. For a demo or more info, find us at daddyanalytics.com


  30. Hi Allaedin,

    Very informational. Thanks for posting.

    I’m a little late to the conversation, but as Salesforce is retiring their adwords integration on 5/1/13, I thought I’d chime in.

    My company has built a replacement for Salesforce for Google Adwords. It provides all of the features of the original app, with a bunch of improvements in reliability and reporting.

    I would be happy to show you around, if you like.

    Andy Turman

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