Google for the Assist: Search Funnels Data and Google AdWords

With the recent release of Google’s “Enhanced Campaigns,” you would think the company would take a break from adding any new features until the dust settled, but Google is at it again.  On Wednesday, Google announced that AdWords users would now be able to see search funnels data in AdWords accounts.  As long as you have conversion tracking enabled in your account, you should be able start looking at these data while doing day-to-day optimizations.

The introduction of multi-channel funnels to analytics allowed us to gain better insight on the complete path a user takes to conversion.  I have been using the analytics data for some time now, trying to stress the importance of keywords that assist users along the way, even if they do not lead to a direct conversion.  While the metrics you use for each client may vary, the idea stays the same. Some keywords that may look like they are not doing well when looking at AdWords data alone may have a huge impact on the user along the unique path to conversion.

There are 9 total search funnel metrics that you can now see in AdWords, and they are defined below:

These statistics can be added at the campaign, ad group, and keyword level, but to get the most out of this data, I suggest looking mainly at the keyword level. The two metrics I use most often are ‘click assisted conv. value’ and ‘assist clicks/last clicks.’ When looking at the click-assisted conversion value, it’s easier to see the value amount that the specific keyword played a role in, although it was not the last click.  If specific keywords consistently have high values, then optimizing those keywords is extremely important.

As for assisted clicks/last clicks, Google explains it as follows:  “This ratio shows whether a keyword contributes more assist clicks (if the number is greater than one) or more last clicks (if the number is less than one).” In most cases I have found that if the keyword has a high ratio (greater than one), there is a lot of opportunity to optimize the keyword; a change in ad copy, call-to-action, or rise of average position may lead to more conversions and decrease the ratio and assisted conversions.

Even though I am beyond excited about this new feature, there are still a few concerns to consider.  First, keep in mind the data you are looking at is only for searches on Google, and only looks back 30 days. If you know you have a longer buying cycle, then the data you are looking at may be misleading.  Secondly, relaying the importance of assisting keywords can be hard to explain to your boss, client, etc.  If you have strict guidelines for CPL’s or CPA’s, a keyword with high-assisting value may not fit into this last-click attribution model world many of us live in, so stressing the importance of these keywords is essential.

With all that said, I look forward to seeing how these new features will change daily account maintenance, and I really believe this is another great step for the AdWords interface.

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