Google just announced that data from search funnels will now be incorporated in the campaigns, ad groups, keywords, and ads tabs where it will be easier to act on. This is a welcome change for all advertisers; advanced advertisers will find it easier to incorporate the additional conversion metrics into their strategies and newer advertisers may become more aware of the usefulness of these metrics.
After last week’s announcement about Enhanced Campaigns, which seem to favor advertisers who use less sophisticated techniques for managing their accounts, this newest announcement from Google is a welcome indication they’re still building AdWords into a power tool for all advertisers.
Uncovering Search Funnels
Previously, Search Funnels were hidden away in a remote corner of the Conversions tab as a separate set of reports. Advertisers found it either hard to incorporate in their workflows or may not even have realized this data existed.
Search Funnels include key insights about the entire conversion path related to AdWords. With metrics like assist clicks, click assisted conversions, assist impressions, and assist clicks/last clicks, advertisers can see beyond the last-click conversion.
Getting Beyond Last Click Credit
Until now, the only conversion metrics in the campaign management pages were last-click conversions and view-through conversions. So, if a user interacted with multiple ads of yours before converting, you would only see a conversion for the last keyword they clicked on. If you were using that data to make all your decisions about the value of a keyword, you could have missed some opportunities.
In a sports analogy, a last-click conversion bid strategy is like paying a big salary to the players who score all the points and nothing to the rest of the team even though they have all the assists that set up the scoring plays.
Here’s how that same scenario could play out in AdWords. A user shopping for a Valentine’s Day gift might do several searches, slowly refining their search as they learn what they are interested in buying. They might first search for [Valentine's Gift Ideas], and when they see ads for jewelry, do a new search for [heart pendant] to see all their options.
When the user then clicks your ad and converts, you should assign some value to the fact that [Valentine's Gift Ideas] was the keyword that got them interested in your products in the first place, even though it wasn’t the last keyword they clicked before converting.
Credit For Assist Clicks & Assist Impressions
Previously, this type of insight was hard to get because it required a visit to the Search Funnels report. Now, you can simply add the column ‘assist clicks’ or ‘assist impressions’ to the keywords tab and get that insight on the page you use to manage your keywords.
Another way to use search funnels, according to Google, is to discover poor ad text. On the Ads tab, add the Search Funnel column that shows ‘assist impressions.’ Any ads that have a lot of assist impressions but few clicks may not be doing the best job conveying your unique value proposition.
After all, users who saw this ad converted on your site, but when they saw this particular ad, they didn’t think it was worth clicking… your site convinced them to convert, but your ad couldn’t even get them to think you offered what they were looking for. These ads may be ripe for an optimization.
I’m looking forward to being able to use search funnel metrics in my campaign management strategies more easily than before. FYI, Google is my former employer and a company for which I occasionally consult.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.