Google Unveils AdWords Search Funnels

Google launched AdWords Search Funnels Tuesday to give advertisers insight into keywords and ad groups in campaigns that play a role in leading consumers to conversions, such as making a purchase or downloading a white paper.

During the next few weeks, the reports will become available through AdWords accounts in the "Conversions" section under the reporting tab. AdWords until now only provided advertisers with information on the last ad click that occurred directly before a conversion. Some advertisers believe that small sliver of information hindered the campaign from making the most of paid-search ads.

The bigger slice of data now shows advertisers the keyword path and process that consumers take during a research cycle before making the download or the final purchase decision.

Search Funnels has been in the works for about a year. It offers seven reports, including Top Conversions, Assisted Conversions, First and Last Click Analysis, Time Lag, and Path Length. This video gives an overview of the new reports.



Advertisers will need to track conversions with AdWords Conversion Tracking or import goals or transactions into AdWords from Google Analytics to see the data in the reports once the tool becomes available.

The tool works by embedding a tiny snippet of code on the Web page that supports ecommerce tools or materials available to download. Since AdWords Search Funnels relies on AdWords conversion tracking, the tag embedded in the Web page stitches together and records keywords and ads that occur within 30 days before the keywords convert.

Advertisers now have more information on keywords that "assist" the last keyword, which typically takes credit for the conversion, Sissie Hsiao, senior product manager for AdWords Search Funnels, told MediaPost.

Google in a blog post provides an example from the online vacation service Flyaway Vacations, which runs AdWords campaigns for vacation packages in Hawaii. Their ads link to a site where visitors can book flights, hotel, car rentals, and surf lessons.

If someone searches on March 10 for "Hawaii Vacation" and then clicks on an ad for Flyaway's Hawaii package, the click gets registered in their AdWords account. Then two days later, the same person searches for "flights to Hawaii" and sees another ad for Flyaway, but doesn't click. An impression is registered in Flyaway's AdWords account. Finally, three days later, the same person searches one more time, this time for "flyaway Hawaii." This time they click the ad, visit the site, and purchase the Hawaii vacation package.

Instead of showing only a purchase conversion for the "flyaway Hawaii" keyword, Search Funnels shows the clicks that assisted the final keywords convert the consumer to make the purchase.

In the Path Length report, Search Funnels lists the average number of clicks and impressions prior to conversion, and in the Time Lag report, the amount of time it takes a customer to convert after seeing or clicking on your ads for the first time.

Hsiao says reports tell advertisers the number of times keywords or groups of keywords convert into sales, along with the value associated with the conversions.

2 comments about "Google Unveils AdWords Search Funnels".
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  1. Justin Cutroni from Thinking Analytics, March 24, 2010 at 9:20 a.m.

    The Google Analytics tracking cookie is not a 30 day cookie. By default it is an 18 month cookie and the expiration date is pushed out on every visit. The cookie can be configured to be a 30 day cookie, but by default GA uses a 18 month cookie.

  2. Michael Akkerman from Kenshoo Inc., March 25, 2010 at 9:53 a.m.

    This Search Funnel attribution model that Google has unveiled sounds exactly like what Kenshoo came up with a few years ago and has provided to their clients since then.

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