AdWords’ Search Funnels (aka Attribution) Become More Accessible

Google recently posted on Google+ that “Search Funnels” in AdWords will be renamed “Attribution.” The Attribution section will be more discoverable and accessible under the tools menu, making this a great time to become reacquainted with this section, as it has been off the radar lately.


Search Funnels (now Attribution) reports have up to now been hidden in the account under the conversions menu. Despite the less visible location, these reports provide valuable information that can be used for PPC management, optimizations, and growth initiatives.

The importance of attribution reporting in AdWords centers around the concept that conversions get attributed to the keyword that the searcher last clicked on. However, there is more of a process that takes place, which includes a number of queries, paths, and timing — all of which help to guide the consumer along to the conversion and therefore add value to the PPC account.

There are currently nine reports, but here is a look at three, with ideas on how to leverage data in AdWords.

1. Time Lag

Time Lag shows the days to conversion from the first impression, first click, or last click. In the example below, this advertiser sees the majority of conversion occur in less than one day. However, there is a bit of a revival in the 12+-day timeframe where 13 percent of people are converting. This is where remarketing campaigns can be used to target that dead zone between two to 11 days to push conversions and engagement with the brand sooner.


2. Assisted Conversions

This report tells you how campaigns assisted conversions through either a click or impression, rather than being the last-clicked campaign in the chain of events. This is good for account optimizations when deciding whether or not to keep or remove or change budget if it appears a campaign is performing poorly. Reviewing the assisting conversions data can give new insight as to optimizations when it is not converting on last clicks.

3. Top Paths

If a searcher clicked from two or more campaigns before converting, the campaigns will be shown here. This can give clues about user behavior and interaction with ads, prior to final conversion. For example, here it will be visible if searchers are clicking on the same type of campaigns (all product or all brand) or different types of keyword groupings. For optimizations, this can be used to refine ad messaging with persuasive calls to actions or urgency messaging to shorten the path.

Attribution is a great tool to keep close by when optimizing and especially finding the hidden value in a PPC account. Share tips about this in the comments or tweet us at @sewatch or @LisaRocksSEM to discuss.

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