Google Ads program extension

Use the Google Ads channel extension in programs to automate adding and removing contacts to your Google Ads audiences.

Gareth Burroughes avatar
Written by Gareth Burroughes
Updated yesterday

Google Ads (previously known as Adwords) can help you to maintain and grow your audiences easily and improve your retargeting efforts. This extension allows you to create multiple profiles for a Google Ads channel.


Before you start

Things you need to know:

  • The availability of the extension is dependent on your account package. To learn more, contact your Customer Success representative.

  • Your Google Ads account must have at least Standard Access permission. Learn more in User access levels and Manage access to your Google Ads account.

  • You must have a minimum of 1000 contacts in an audience list before your adverts are activated.

  • You must create a program using our program builder. Learn more in An introduction to the program builder.

  • If you are advertising to contacts in the European Economic Area (EEA), you must obtain their consent to send data to Google Ads and to personalize advertising before adding them to Google Ads from Dotdigital. Learn more.


Create a Google Ads channel profile

Before using the Google Ads node, you must create a channel profile to connect to your Google Ads account.

  1. Go to Connect > Digital marketing channels.

  2. Under the Channel column, select Google Ads.

  3. Select NEW PROFILE.

  4. Select LOG IN TO GOOGLE and enter your details.

  5. Select Allow.

  6. Choose the Google Account you want to use.

  7. For Status, select Enabled.

  8. Select SAVE.

At this point, the Google Ads node is available in the program builder under Extensions in the side panel.


Insert the Google Ads node into a program

After creating a Google Ads profile, the Google Ads node becomes available in the program builder under Extensions in the side panel.

  1. While editing or creating a program, expand the Extensions left-side menu. Learn more about programs in An introduction to the program builder.

  2. Drag the Google Ads node onto your program canvas. Insert the node at a point in the program where you want to add or remove contacts from a selected audience automatically.

  3. Select the node to open its settings.

  4. Choose to either Add the selected audience to your ad account or remove the selected audience from your ad account.

  5. If you want to create a new Google Ads audience for the node to add or remove contacts from:

    1. Select + NEW AUDIENCE.

    2. Enter a name for the audience.

    3. Select CREATE.

  6. If you want to choose an existing audience for the node to add or remove contacts from:

    1. Select CHOOSE AUDIENCE.

    2. Select your Google Ads audience.

  7. Select APPLY.


Change the Google Ads profile in a program node

  1. While editing your program, select the Google Ads node in the program builder you want to change.

  2. Select Change audience.

  3. Choose a new audience.

  4. Select Apply.

Choose what data gets synced

To be selective about what data gets synced with your social media, for example, only consenting contacts, then you can do this with data fields.

If you store consent as a data field, you can check for the data field before pushing data to Facebook or Google. To do this, you can use a decision node to filter by data field, preference, or segment depending on your needs.


Node reporting

Once your program is activated, you can see how many contacts passed through the node and are now in your Google Ads audience.

To do this, edit your program in the program builder and look at the lower right-hand corner of your Google Ads node.

Contact sync

The number of contacts synced could be greater than the number of contacts in your Google Ads audience. This is because Google compares a list of contacts with users they know about, so only the contacts that Google can match are in your audience.


View Google Ads node contact data

Once your program is activated, you can see how many contacts passed through or are on the node.

  1. While editing your program, select the icon at the bottom right of the Google Ads node. The number here shows the number of contacts currently at the node.

  2. On the Google Ads side-panel, expand the drop-down menu and choose to either view contacts who have travelled through the node or contacts currently at the node.

  3. Now you can see all the contacts and the date they joined.

Time statistics

All time statistics are stored for 100 days.


Viewing detailed contact figures

To view your audience statistics in your account, expand the User menu and go to Settings > Facebook, Google, push notifications.

The Contacts synced in the last 7 days column shows how many contacts have synced in the last seven days for each profile.

Drill down into contact figures

Select the number under the Contacts synced in the last 7 days column to see more contact details. On the Google Ads usage page, you can see how many contact syncs succeeded or failed and if there are any warnings.

Adjust the date range

To adjust the date range to see a specific date range on the Google Ads usage page:

  1. Select DATE RANGE.

  2. Select the current date range.

  3. Choose if you want to see a predefined or custom date range - set it however you want.

  4. Select Apply to save the date range you selected.

  5. Select Apply again.

Search synced contacts

To see a list of synced contacts and the time at which they joined your audience, under the Contacts synced column, select the number. The Contacts panel slides in from the right.

To search by email address, enter an email address in the by email search box or select the Time synced heading to sort the syncs by latest or oldest.


Delete or disable a Google Ads profile

You can delete or disable a Google Ads profile. Before doing this, please note:

  • You can't delete or disable a profile that's in use in an active program.

  • Deleting a profile deletes all usage statistics for that profile.

  • Disabling a profile stops your team members from selecting the profile in a Google Ads node until you enable the profile again.

Delete a Google Ads profile

  1. Go to Connect > Digital marketing channels and select Google Ads.

  2. Select the checkbox next to the name of the profile you want to delete.

  3. Select Delete.

Choose what data gets synced

To be selective about what data gets synced with your social media, for example, only consenting contacts, then you can do this with data fields.

If you store consent as a data field, you can check for the data field before pushing data to Facebook or Google. To do this, you can use a decision node to filter by data field, preference, or segment depending on your needs.

Learn more in Two-way decision node.

Disable a Google Ads profile

  1. Go to Connect > Digital marketing channels and select Google Ads.

  2. Select the name of the profile you want to disable.

  3. Select Disabled next to the Status field.

  4. Select Save.


Consent requirements for the EEA

If you are advertising to audiences in the European Economic Area (EEA) using Google Ads, it is essential to obtain consent according to Google's terms and conditions.

By using our Google Ads extension to add contacts to a Google Ads audience, you are verifying that they have already given their consent to:

  • Sharing their data with Google

  • Personalizing ads.

All contacts added to Google audiences from Dotdigital are automatically marked as consented for all data fields. It is crucial to obtain the necessary consent beforehand.

  • Advertising consent is not the same as marketing consent when it comes to targeting EEA users with Google ads. You must collect advertising consent outside of Dotdigital. You can do this through a consent management platform (CMP) or by enabling the tracking of Consent for Google Ads.

Learn more:

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