As search engine marketers, many of us just focus on the last click before a conversion. However, there is a growing trend towards analyzing the path that a customer takes before an online conversion. Search Funnels, in Google AdWords, help you do that. They basically help you measure performance and make changes beyond the last click. Most importantly, they change the way you think about ‘conversions’.
Setting up search funnels
1. Go to Columns.
2. Click on Customize Columns.
3. Add Search Funnels.
4. Pick the metrics that you wish to see.
Analyzing search funnels
There are multiple ways in which you use the search funnel data. Here are some examples from my experience.
1. Download a keyword report. Use ‘If’ formula to highlight keywords where impression-assisted conversions are higher than regular conversions. In these cases, it means that your target audience searched for a keyword you targeted, but didn’t click on your ad. The reasons for it could be many, but an easy win here could be to filter for keywords with a high average position (above 4 or 5). Bid higher on these keywords as these seem to be relevant (got impressions) but weren’t high enough to be clicked on.
2. Download an ad report. Again, use the ‘if’ formula to check if the impression-assisted conversions are higher than the regular conversions. Some of the cases in which the impression-assisted conversions would be higher than actual conversions are listed below:
a. A user just decided to click on organic search results rather than the ad
b. Your ad wasn’t relevant
c. It didn’t have a convincing call-to-action.
Filtering ads based on this report makes it easier to review ad copy and make changes, if required.
3. Download an ad report. Again, use ‘If’ formula to highlight ads where click-assisted conversions are higher than regular conversions. This report will showcase ads which got clicks but no direct conversions. Again, the reasons could be more than one.
a. The user was just browsing. Eg: in the case of those looking for ‘product reviews’.
b. The user was looking for something that you don’t measure in terms of conversions. Eg: a physical store rather than an online purchase.
c. The landing page wasn’t relevant enough. It may be that you are using a generic home page as the landing page rather than a specific product page.
d. The url has an issue and is taking the user to an error page. In this case, the conversions will be 0 though.
e. The landing page doesn’t reflect your ad copy text. Like, are you saying ’30% off’ and directing them to a page which has discounted products but doesn’t clearly say ’30% off’?
Some of these issues may be easy to find with search funnel data. The point to remember though is that it is not always important to measure ad performance via conversions. Sometimes ads / keywords are important assistants in the path to conversion too. What’s important is to find such keywords / ads.