New AdWords Search Funnel Columns will Make Paid Search Management Easier

New AdWords Search Funnel Columns will Make Paid Search Management Easier

This post is shared from AdLuge

Yesterday, Google unveiled another functionality update to AdWords, one that is expected to provide more insight into conversion trends to improve efficiency in budget allocation.

The update focuses around Search Funnels, a feature that has been within the AdWords system since 2010. However, this feature has often been overlooked due to its hard to find location, buried towards the bottom of the Conversions page under the Tools and Analysis tab.

Google’s functionality update addresses this by further integrating Search Funnels into the Campaigns dashboard. It is now possible to add Search Funnel criteria as additional columns in your Campaigns Dashboard.

What is a Search Funnel exactly? Search Funnels provide insight into the user's path and click-through process prior to making a conversion. Search Funnels can provide insightful data on what ads or keywords were involved in the users search experience prior to making the final conversion. Search Engine Land used an excellent analogy to explain this, comparing the process to scoring a goal in sports. It’s important to not only look at who scored the goal, but who made the assist, and who helped contribute to making the play possible. This is what Search Funnels do. Through them, it becomes possible to see the performance of your ads in different perspectives previously hidden within the system.

Seeing the number of conversions an ad assisted with can help paint a different picture on the value of its targeting strategy and design. At first glance, the ads effectiveness may seem like a waste of money, with high impressions, high click through rate, but no conversions resulting from it after several months.

However, by measuring assisted conversions through clicks and impressions , it becomes easier to see what value the ad may play in your overall strategy. Although it may not have contributed to a conversion directly, it could quite possibly be responsible for a significant amount of assists, by being clicked or viewed by the user prior to them clicking another ad and making a conversion.

By adding Search Funnels as additional columns in your Campaigns Dashboard, information which was once buried away is now up front and integrated into your ad campaign reporting. An ad that has made an impression on several campaign conversions can be considered a contributor to conversions even though no conversion was made directly from the ad. In this case, the ad can be seen as valuable and effective for brand exposure, which contributed to returning traffic resulting in a conversion. Billboards and radio ads act the same way, as they are often considered contributors to brand exposure, and assist in other campaigns conversion opportunities. Unlike AdWords however, billboards and radio ads cannot be measured in this type of detail.

This feature rollout will no doubt contribute to more insightful campaign management strategies. However, it will also result in increased revenue for Google. Why? Because it will demonstrate value on ads which do not directly convert. Ads and targeting strategies that would have traditionally been paused or stopped altogether, will be more likely to continue, now that the ads “big picture” value can be represented. Now that this information can be easily applied to the Campaigns Dashboard as additional columns, the value of an ad will no longer be solely dependant on the amount of conversions it directly contributes towards. Its value will more frequently be represented on how it contributes to other ad conversions, enough incentive to keep the ads running for just a little longer.

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  • avatar

    Great news indeed, this will be very useful for making decisions via adwords, and the search funnels feature is truly outstanding. It’ll give a better overall look.

  • avatar

    I think your concluding paragraph is a bit misguiding. Yes, the increased focus on this feature will increase revenue generated by Google; however, your post makes it sound like that is the sole reason for this update.
    Google, while in the advertising business to make money, is also focused on keeping their advertisers happy. If advertisers were to see little value in this function while drastically increasing the amount of money spend, they would not only stop using this feature, they would bad mouth this feature AND Google AdWords. The later of which would have catastrophic effects on THE main revenue generating service they provide.
    Other that the critique on the last paragraph, I found the article very informative and look forward to future posts from you Tyler!

    • avatar

      Thanks Ralph! I guess to clarify, Google’s cost-per-click revenue has decreased over the past four quarters. I’d have to assume Google evaluates possible new feature implementation and determines whether it will bring an increase, or decrease in ad revenue. I would not see Google rolling-out an update that deliberately results in decreased revenue!

  • avatar

    That’s awesome news, I don’t think I’d have noticed it unless you mentioned it since I only occasionally run campaigns and don’t keep up to speed on new in between my advertising runs.
    I applaud this change by Google, more information can lead to smarter decision making.

  • avatar

    It’s about time this came into more popular usage. Now that people can actually find it, it’ll be so much easier to optimize your site for better conversions and more relevent content.
    Another hurrah for Big Brother Google.

  • avatar

    This is great news. It is a lot easier to make decisions with AdWords when there is something in place like funnels that gives you a better overall picture.

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