Today we are going to look at a feature Google recently incorporated into AdWords, Search Funnel & Advanced Conversion reporting. This is a very exciting feature, especially for retailers, who are interested in how their sales happen; How different keywords and campaigns all play their own part in a larger effort to complete a sale and win a customer. So lets jump right into it.
Too many times advertisers focus on what happens on the search engine. In the past we have discussed that while this an important fundamental step to advertising, its by no means all that matters, or the what should be used to measure the advertisings effectiveness. What’s more important than what happens on the engines is what happens on your site, and primarily what leads to revenue.
We all know that most sales don’t take place because of a single click, or an instant impulse. Depending on your market, they can take a concerted effort, and now Google is making this valuable data available. To find the data, navigate to your conversions screen in the reporting tab and click on Search Funnel to the left. Now let’s see what information is offered, and then I will dive in to how to use it.
First off, there is an overview screen that brings a synopsis of all of the information to one screen, similar to Google Analytics. Actually, those familiar with GA will feel right at home in this entire section. Besides being previewed for a few weeks in Analytics prior to it coming into AdWords, it follows a lot of Analytic’s look and feel, with respect to filters, navigation, and presentation.
The overview reports a lot of much need insight into the sales, including: the number of clicks it takes for a conversion, as well as the number of impressions. This is a big change because it allows us to see what assisted in the conversion, not just the last item that was clicked on. From this we get a 1st impression & 1st click data, showing what the prospect first encountered before converting, as well as the last click that brought the conversion home. From this we also get click paths, including the campaigns, ad groups, or keywords that played a role in converting and what order they were in.
The report also provides aggregate data on how the different advertising efforts played a role in the conversions, and how much revenue came in, from – for example – 3 click conversions, or 2 impression conversions.
Most conversions live for 30 days, Google recently allowed this to be edited to pretty much any cycle shorter than 30 days, though the default is 30 days. By bringing time into the equation, we can now see how long conversions take to occur, and this information is available.
Finally, for those that have many different conversion events in place, there is insight into how each of these conversions performed. You can also filter the other metrics by specific conversion types.
So, now that your head is swimming with all of the data that’s available, let’s see what it means for your business, and how you can apply it to your future advertising efforts.
The first thing to look at is the aggregate information. How many conversions come off of 1 click, how many take multiple clicks. If that doesn’t provide you any direction, dive down to impressions. Also, look to see how long it takes to make the sales. This information will provide the size and dimensions of your sales funnel.
The next thing to look at is the specifics. If your conversions happen on 1 click/1 impression, on the first day, there is not much more information you can glean. You campaigns are capturing traffic when it’s ready to buy, and its about efficient as can be. But I bet most of you out there will find that there are conversions that take many clicks or impressions, or many days to be completed.
So to dive in the specifics, you can look at the paths being followed. If there is not much discrepancy at the campaign level, then check out the ad groups, if you are still finding a linear path, dive into the keywords. Once you start finding diverse paths, you can see what is attracting the most conversions, as well as the most revenue. If, like most accounts, there is no real path being used by a majority of your conversions, its time to look at what targeting is taking the 1st clicks or impressions, and what is taking the last. This brings depth to your conversions, and to the decisions you make to manage your campaigns.
Now you have intimate knowledge of your sales, and can start managing your campaigns accordingly. You can craft ad copy to encourage movement down the conversion path. Or you can choose to bid on certain terms that at first glance may not be bringing in any last click conversions, but is a strong source of capturing those early in the buying cycle.
While the reporting is very new, it is providing a wealth of data on what happens where it matters most…in your shopping cart! This a great direction to see the search engines taking, because it is bringing the emphasis away from Search Engine activity to what is happening with that traffic on your site.
I hope this has been insightful!
To Learn More about Exclusive Concepts Profitable PPC product, or any of our excellent services in our suite of online marketing offerings including our Managed Conversion Testing Service, SEO Foundation or Precision Email Marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Also, if you have specific questions about how your PPC Account is structured – or would like to know how your account metrics match up, sign up for one of our Profitable PPC Audits, they are quick, free, and offer some great insight in how to optimize your campaign.
Thank you, this has been Chris for Exclusive Concepts Daily Concept: PPC Tuesday. I look forward to talking to you next time.