Search Funnels Report: Part 1

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 | 10:21 AM

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We’d like to introduce a new reporting feature in AdWords called Search Funnels. This will be the first in a short series of posts walking through the features of this report that’s especially useful for accounts already using conversion tracking or linked to an active Google Analytics account.

Search Funnels are a set of new reports describing the search ad click and impression behavior that leads up to a conversion.

Right now, conversions in AdWords are attributed to the last ad the user clicked before the conversion occurred. However, many users perform multiple searches before finally converting. Search Funnels helps you see the whole picture by sharing insights into the ads and keywords that users interacted with before converting.

Conversions reported in this tool are tracked by the AdWords Conversion Tracking tag or are imported from Analytics after linking your AdWords and Analytics accounts.

Search Funnels shows you data on clicks and impressions that assisted conversions and as a result, show you which of your keywords, ad groups and campaigns are adding more value to your online advertising efforts. It also helps you decode the behavior of your users and use that data for your online and offline advertising strategies.

Let’s take an example:

Direct Relief has an AdWords Grants account. They are generating donations through their gift catalog that will provide humanitarian assistance around the world.

  1. A user searches on “charity greeting cards”. They see Direct Relief’s ad and click on it. A click is registered in Direct Relief’s AdWords account.

  2. Two days later, the same user searches for “unique mother's day gift ideas” and see another ad by Direct Relief but do not click on the ad. An impression is registered in Direct Relief’s AdWords account.

  3. Finally, four days later, the same user searches one more time but this time for “Direct Relief”, sees their ad, clicks on it, visits the site and makes a purchase from their gift catalog. A conversion is registered.
Instead of showing a conversion for just the keyword, “Direct Relief”, the Search Funnels report shows an assist click for the keyword “charity greeting cards” and an assist impression for the keyword “unique mother’s day gift ideas”.

Testing the value of assist clicks and impressions helps you understand the true value of your keywords so that you can set your Max CPCs accordingly and optimize your keyword lists and conversion goals to be most effective and representative of your users’ actual behavior.

We'll be posting the second part of the Search Funnels Report series soon, but in the mean time, here’s a video that talks in more detail about Search Funnels.