Adwords Showing Up Not Set in Google Analytics

If your campaigns, adgroups and keywords are showing up (Not Set) within Google Analytics, this blog post will show you how to fix this.

99% of the time, the reason everything is showing up as (Not Set) is because your Adwords account isn't linked to your Google Analytics account.

To link Adwords to Analytics, first log into your Adwords account.

Go to Tools and Analysis > Google Analytics

Select the Admin button on top-right

Select the Google Analytics account you want to link Adwords to.  Then select the Data Sources tab.

If you don't see it, then you need to add the Adwords email you're logged into as an Administrator.  To do this, log into your Google Analytics account, go to Users and add the email address of the Adwords account you are trying to link.

Click the Link Adwords and Analytics button and link the accounts.

Simple as that.

Going forward, cost data from that linked Adwords account will be applied to that Analytics account.

To confirm that the cost data is being applied, go into the Analytics account you want to confirm, click Admin (top right), Profile Settings on Sub-nav.  Look for a checkbox that says "Apply cost sources".  If that box is checked, you should be good to go!

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17 Responses to “Adwords Showing Up Not Set in Google Analytics”

  1. Rob July 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    I came across this while searching for this problem.

    I have linked the accounts (double checked, they are linked, share data boxes are ticked), autotagging is enabled, apply cost sources box is ticked, and I am still getting keywords "not set" when I look at paid search in Analytics. At the moment looking at Awstats is giving more useful information on what keywords are leading to my site, and I am going to have to unlink the accounts and go back to figuring out which are paid and which are organic search terms myself (they will mostly be paid terms at the moment while the organic serps build) - just getting "not set" for all the paid search results is useless.

    Any ideas what the solution might be?

    • Jarad Collier July 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

      Perhaps do your links on your paid search ads/keywords redirect? Redirects can cause tracking to be stripped off.

      Other than that, everything you mentioned covers every trouble-shooting method I've ever experienced.

  2. Arvell August 23, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    Yeah, I did all you have and it's still not working for me either...

    Thanks though.

    I have nothing special setup. No redirects...

    • Jarad Collier August 27, 2012 at 2:20 am #

      Interesting. If you figure it out, let me know! It might help someone else that comes across this post too.

  3. E-VANCE September 19, 2012 at 7:19 am #

    Thanks for the input / clarification about this!

    I have linked the two accounts before and obviously established some connection since the data showed up but all values were "not set". Just checked for the correct link within 'data sources' and it wasn't active - hopefully it'll work now...

  4. John October 20, 2012 at 12:48 am #

    Jarad, thanks for the helpful video.

  5. Piotr November 7, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    Just came across this video and linked all the accounts I'm managing. I'm hoping that this is the last setting to get access to that all important tracking data.

    Thanks for the video, it was very helpful.

  6. Colm December 15, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

    Thanks for this Jarad,

    I've spent the entire morning looking for some info on what really should be a simple exercise (why does Google make its own products so ridiculously complex and then provide hopeless support for them? Because they're all Engineers and they forget that the rest of the world might not be? Hmmm..)

    Anyway, the info provided here was great just to find the 'apply cost settings' tab, which only mysteriously appears in Analytics after you've changed the settings in Adwords. Thank you for showing this!

    However, I still have (not set) appearing...a bit like some of the other guys here. There's obviously something else missing. If I find t, I'll come back to you.

    But thanks for the video because it at least eliminates one part of the problem. Very helpful. We'll get there eventually. :)

  7. Colm December 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    Hi Jarad,

    Ok, Checked my GA account this morning and the keywords have started coming through from the adwords campaigns. It's a brand new campaign with 9 adgroups and only two are showing but that's easily explained as the other adgroups are more long tail and haven't attracted any clicks yet.

    Seems I just had to wait a few hours for the data to propagate from Adwords to Analytics, so in short, your fix as demonstrated in the video above, worked just fine.

    Would be interesting to hear from the guys above whether they also expected to see something straight away before posting their responses.

    Once again, many thanks! Have bookmarked your video for future reference.

    • Jarad Collier December 16, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

      That's awesome! I'm glad to hear it helped. Who knows why Google makes it so difficult for everyone (including me).

  8. Candy February 15, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    Thank you soooooo much! This was a life saver!

  9. Bart March 19, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Thank you for fixing Google's documentation.
    It does not happen frequently that they have incorrect support documentation, but after having gone through all possible google support docs step by step (and signing in and out) I thought I was crazy not to be able to follow these instructions.

    One search on Google guided me to you to resolve this.

    Perhaps they will notice and adjust their documentation ;-)

    Anyway thanks a lot

  10. Rick March 19, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    Wow. I'm really glad my web developer discovered this post. Like Bart, I too had gone through all of Google's support documentation and thought I was loosing my mind...and I'm an engineer!

    The bigger question though, is why this started happening at all? We get, on average, around 5000 visitors per month. I've usually been pretty diligent about checking my Analytics regularly, though have been pretty busy with other stuff lately. I had noticed the number of (not set) keyword results increasing, but had (erroneously, it appears) assumed it was due to in-private browsing. So, now that things have settled down a bit, my plan for today was to do some analysis of our traffic. I was shocked when I looked at the Keyword report for the last 30 days and saw that it showed (not set) for every one of our 4471 paid visits. Looking back on the prior 30 days, it was 155 out of 4337.

    And now it occurs to me that the notification from AdWords advising me to link accounts is related to this, as something big was happening on 1/13/13. Well, I followed the instructions in the notification--or so I thought. About all I can say is, thanks Google for the abysmal documentation, the surprises, a month's worth of worthless data, and the six wasted hours trying to resolve this. Ggggrrrrrggghhhh!!!!

    And, a sincere thanks to Jarad Collier for providing the answer to make my Analytics account worth something again.

  11. Michał // April 22, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    By mistake i didn't linked my accounts properly - now i know i should do this once again - your post was really helpful. Thanks!

  12. Blake May 6, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    ah well done Jarad good find, makes sense - but for some reason google doesn't highlight or talk about this feature!

  13. Willem May 24, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    Thanks a ton, Jarad.

    I have just linked the two accounts and hopefully everything will go better
    from now on. I am just amazed, as every one else in the responses, that Google
    doesn't come to the point when they explain these things. They paint all the different scenarios why the linking might or might not work, but they don't tell you what
    to do to link it.

  14. how to generate leads online January 11, 2014 at 1:56 am #

    I really like it whenever people get together and share views.
    Great site, keep it up!

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