This page provides you with instructions on how to extract data from Google Ads and analyze it in Metabase. (If the mechanics of extracting data from Google Ads seem too complex or difficult to maintain, check out Stitch, which can do all the heavy lifting for you in just a few clicks.)
What is Google Ads?
Google Ads (formerly AdWords) is a popular paid marketing tool. With Google Ads, you set a budget, select keywords, and publish ads that appear on Google search results pages relevant to your keywords. Google Ads collects data about campaigns that businesses can use to measure their effectiveness.
What is Metabase?
Metabase provides a visual query builder that lets users generate simple charts and dashboards, and supports SQL for gathering data for more complex business intelligence visualizations. It runs as a JAR file, and its developers make it available in a Docker container and on Heroku and AWS. Metabase is free of cost and open source, licensed under the AGPL.
Getting data out of Google Ads
Google provides a SOAP API for Google Ads. The first step of getting your data into your data warehouse is pulling the data off of Google's servers by using the AdWords API's Reporting features. This is a subset of the API's functionality, which also includes the ability to manage ads.
You can also link your Google Analytics and Google Ads accounts to allow the data to cross-pollinate. This can provide richer reporting due to the breadth of knowledge that exists in Google Analytics about the people who may have viewed or clicked your ads.
You can extract granular data from AdWords API reports, allowing you to see things like impressions, clickthrough rates, and CPC broken out by time period.
Loading data into Metabase
Metabase works with data in databases; you can't use it as a front end for a SaaS application without replicating the data to a data warehouse first. Out of the box Metabase supports 15 database sources, and you can download 10 additional third-party database drivers, or write your own. Once you specify the source, you must specify a host name and port, database name, and username and password to get access to the data.
Using data in Metabase
Metabase supports three kinds of queries: simple, custom, and SQL. Users create simple queries entirely through a visual drag-and-drop interface. Custom queries use a notebook-style editor that lets users select, filter, summarize, and otherwise customize the presentation of the data. The SQL editor lets users type or paste in SQL queries.
Keeping Google Ads data up to date
So, now what? You've built a script that pulls data from Google Ads and loads it into your data warehouse, but what happens tomorrow when you have thousands of new impressions?
The key is to build your script in such a way that it can also identify incremental updates to your data. If you can identify some fields that auto-increment, you could use them to give your script the ability to recognize new data. You can then set your script up as a cron job or continuous loop to keep pulling down new data as it appears.
From Google Ads to your data warehouse: An easier solution
As mentioned earlier, the best practice for analyzing Google Ads data in Metabase is to store that data inside a data warehousing platform alongside data from your other databases and third-party sources. You can find instructions for doing these extractions for leading warehouses on our sister sites Google Ads to Redshift, Google Ads to BigQuery, Google Ads to Azure Synapse Analytics, Google Ads to PostgreSQL, Google Ads to Panoply, and Google Ads to Snowflake.
Easier yet, however, is using a solution that does all that work for you. Products like Stitch were built to move data automatically, making it easy to integrate Google Ads with Metabase. With just a few clicks, Stitch starts extracting your Google Ads data, structuring it in a way that's optimized for analysis, and inserting that data into a data warehouse that can be easily accessed and analyzed by Metabase.