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New AdWords Reports: AdWords Search Funnels

Wednesday 24 March 2010 | 08:39

Over the next few weeks, a new set of reports called AdWords Search Funnels (beta) will be made available in your AdWords account, in the "Conversions" section under the Reporting tab. To see data in these reports, you'll need to track conversions with AdWords Conversion Tracking or import goals or transactions into AdWords from Google Analytics. We are adding these reports to give you more insight into the ads your customers interact with during their shopping process, before converting on your site, so you can make even more informed decisions about the performance of your keywords, ad groups and campaigns.

What are AdWords Search Funnels?

Currently, conversions in AdWords are attributed to the last ad clicked before the conversion happened. However, it's likely in some cases that customers perform multiple searches prior to finally converting on your site. Advertisers have told us they'd love to see these clicks and impressions and now you can!

AdWords Search Funnels is a set of reports describing the click and impression behavior leading up to a conversion for search ads. These reports provide data on how "upper-funnel" keywords behave on the conversion path prior to the last ad click. In addition to a Top Conversions report, Search Funnels consists of 7 reports including: Assisted Conversions, First and Last Click Analysis, Time Lag, and Path Length. Take a look at this video for an overview of the new reports.

Why is this useful?

By showing which ads your customers saw and clicked before ultimately converting, Search Funnels gives a more complete picture of the value of your keywords, ad groups and campaigns. Let's look at an example.

An online vacation service, called Flyaway Vacations, is running AdWords campaigns for vacation packages in Hawaii. Their ads link to a site where visitors can book any or all parts of a package that includes flights, hotel, car rental, and surf lessons. Suppose on March 10, someone searched for "hawaii vacation" and saw, then clicked on an ad for Flyaway's Hawaii package. A click was registered in their AdWords account. Then, two days later, the same person searched for "flights to hawaii" and saw another ad for Flyaway, but didn't click. An impression was registered in Flyaway's AdWords account. Finally, three days later, the same person searched one more time, this time for "flyaway hawaii." This time they clicked the ad, visited the site, and purchased the Hawaii vacation package.

Instead of showing only a purchase conversion for the "flyaway hawaii" keyword, Search Funnels will show an assist click for the keyword "hawaii vacation" and an assist impression for the keyword "flights to hawaii". Testing the value of assist clicks and impressions is important for evaluating and understanding the true value of all of your keywords.

In addition, Search Funnels help advertisers understand the keywords seen by converters, and also those not seen. For example, in the Flyaway campaign, its possible that another keyword, such as "hawaii surf lessons," didn't contribute any assist clicks or impressions, or last click conversions, indicating this may be a keyword that is providing little conversion value. Assist information is an additional data point you can use when making strategic budgeting decisions, from the campaign level down to the keyword level.

Search Funnels also show the average number of clicks and impressions prior to conversion (Path Length), and amount of time it takes a customer to convert (Time Lag) after seeing or clicking on your ads for the first time. These breakdowns can help you understand customers' behavior and create strategies around that information. For instance, Time Lag can help you determine lead time for seasonal campaigns and Path Length can help you understand and target repeat visitors.

Note: Over the next few weeks, the Search Funnels beta will be rolled out gradually to all accounts. The Search Funnels reports are only available by logging into your AdWords account. They are activated when you have AdWords Conversion Tracking running and will only show data for keywords that show up in at least one conversion path. Search Funnel data is currently limited to search ads showing on, for ad impressions and clicks within 30 days of the conversion.

Posted by Jeff Gillis, Product Marketing Manager


Juan Pittau said...

Excellent post!