Once you have set up your campaigns, adgroups, adtexts and keywords in Adwords you still need to be able to track their performance. Google conversion tracking is a free, simple way to do this. Once our conversion tracking tag has been placed on the ‘thank you’ page of the website we can then see exactly which keywords have driven conversions. These ‘conversions’ are attributed to the last click; in other words the last keyword they searched and clicked through on before converting.
But, what of the other keyword searches that contributed to this conversion? When was the last time you purchased something of value on the internet before researching that product first? No doubt you shopped around and clicked on many different links and made numerous searches. The travel industry has an average ‘time lag to conversion’ of something close to 30 days so it is important that we recognise the other keywords that contributed to this conversion.
Adwords Search Funnels show the ‘ad click and impression behaviour that lead up to a conversion’. The example below illustrates this point on a fictional website called flyaway.com. The initial search was for ‘hawaii vacations’ but the final conversion was for ‘flyaway hawaii’ – a brand keyword. So this conversion would most likely have been attributed to the brand campaign. But the question we have to ask is, would this conversion have occurred if we hadn’t had an ad presence on the keyword ‘hawaii vacations’? Using search funnels this keyword would have been recorded as an ‘assisted conversion’.
In paid search everything can be tracked and accounted for. We can see the return we received on each keyword. But for search funnels, the value we assign to assisted keywords is purely judgemental and this herein lays the problem. What value do we attribute to the keyword, ‘hawaii vacations’? Is it worth 100%, 40% or even anything at all on that final conversion? To add to that, search funnels only recognises PPC clicks. So, it doesn’t record behaviour on organic listings, display ads or other digital media advertising.
From a keyword optimisation point of view, we manage our bids to a KPI. A keyword may never have recorded a ‘last click’ conversion so we might consider that keyword to be a poor convertor, one which may be paused. Now however, that keyword may have played it’s part previously. Analysing this data is problematic and with Search Funnels we are merely touching the surface but ignore it at your peril.
This article is taken from the April edition of the Interaction newsletter. In one of the articles, Adam Holborn wrote a piece on Adwords Search Funnels.