Why Use Google AdWords Search Funnel Reports?

August 17, 2010By:

In March, Google announced the addition of new Search Funnel Reports within AdWords.

These reports provide further insight to advertisers as to how keywords and campaigns work together to create transactions and conversions and are definitely recommended to check out. Here’s why:

Currently, Google AdWords reports conversions as the last ad clicked on before a conversion occurs.

Although this is very useful information in determining campaign success, it doesn’t necessarily provide the whole picture in search behavior that led up to the final conversion. With the new search funnel reports, advertisers can now see the impressions and clicks that led up to a conversion. Why is this important? Often times, we feel we need to delete a keyword that has spent a large portion of the advertising budget and yet has not converted. This makes sense but in many instances, customers perform multiple searches and click on several ads before actually converting.

The new search funnel reports allows us to view this type of information and as an end result, helps us better determine the true value of all keywords within a campaign.

Where to Find Search Funnel Reports

Google AdWords search funnel reports can be found by selecting ‘Conversions’ under the reporting tab within the AdWords interface. On the next screen you will see the ‘Search Funnels’  link on the left hand side.

Useful Terminology

It is important to remember that keywords play three roles in the conversion path. These are:

  • Last Click: Any search and click that happened immediately preceding a conversion. This is the conversion data you currently see within AdWords conversion reporting.
  • Assist Click: Any search and click that happened prior to the ‘last click’ before a conversion.
  • Assist Impressions: The number of impressions in this campaign that led to conversion, but were not clicked.

Three Useful Search Funnel Reports

There are 7 new reports and more than 20 new metrics available within search funnel reports. I have selected three reports and specific metrics that I find most useful. For a glossary of all terms related to the search funnel reports check out the Reports and Metrics Glossary.

Path Length Report

The ‘Path Length’ report shows the number clicks & impressions before an actual conversion. This is a good place to start as it provides a high level overview on how many clicks it takes to get a conversion.

Google AdWords Path Length Report

Time Lag Report

The ‘Time Lag’ report shows the amount of time (days or hours) it takes a visitor to convert after seeing or clicking on ads for the first time. This provides a general overview of how long it takes the average customer to convert and can be used in conjunction with the path length report. If you are tracking ecommerce revenue, it is great to be able to see how many days it typically takes to receive a conversion by value generated:

Google AdWords Time Lag Report

Assisted Conversions Reports

This report provides last click and assisted click conversions as well as impression assisted conversions. This report is most useful for determining the true value of your keywords. Use this report to:

  • Compare revenue generated versus amount spent on click-assisted and impression-assisted keywords that led to conversions. This allows you to determine the true value of all keywords within your campaign and therefore the ability to adjust your budget accordingly.
  • Optimize your keyword list to ensure you have keyword variations including strong assisting keywords.

Conclusion

The Google AdWords search funnel reports is a big step in the right direction when it comes to providing additional insight into search behavior and something that has been long awaited. I’m hoping Google will work to make this new feature even further intuitive as time goes on. Viewing these reports on a regular basis can really help us understand search behaviour better as well as better analyze AdWords campaign performance.