Search Funnels: Unleashing your Keyword Tag-Teams

By Scott Garrett | Feb 28, 2013
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Search Funnels for Adwords was released in 2010, but has since been hidden away under the conversion tab; much like how Kane “The Big Red Machine” until recent years, hid his gruesome face under his mask. However, two weeks ago, Google announced they would be unmasking Search Funnels and making the feature more visible in the Adwords interface by introducing a new Search Funnels column that can be applied across your account to your campaign tab, ad group tab, ads tab, and keyword tab. In addition, the new Search Funnels column is quite streamlined/convenient, and thankfully not as frightening as Kane’s face.

Unmasking Adwords' Search Funnels

If you are unfamiliar with Search Funnels, according to Google, “Search Funnels show the entire search path leading up to a conversion, including search ad clicks and impressions…it provides you with data on how your “upper-funnel” keywords help conversions beyond just the last click.” Basically, Search Funnels allow you to see the big picture, showing you all the tag-team partners (keywords that did not directly convert) that assisted and led up to the superstar (direct converting keyword) receiving the last click and converting. Much like how there are many different types of tag-teams, from the Mega Powers consisting of Hulk Hogan and Randy “Macho Man” Savage, to the reform of D-Generation X consisting of Triple H and Shawn Michaels; the updated Search Funnels feature consists of multiple types of columns with different purposes that allow you better understand the value of your tag-team partner keywords.

The four top columns types are:

-Assist clicks (All the clicks leading up to a conversion not including the last click)

-Assist Impressions (All the ad impressions that were shown and were not clicked on prior to a   conversion)

-Click assisted conversions (The number of conversions for which the keyword contributed to one or more assist clicks)

-Impression assisted conversions (The number of conversions for which the keyword contributed to one or more assist impressions)

Search Funnels further reinforce the concept that searchers often search on multiple keywords before finally converting. For example, someone searching for a DVD about professional wrestling might search on three different keywords before finally converting:

Keyword: [professional wrestling DVD]; the ad was served, but searcher did not click (assist impression)

Keyword: [WWE superstars DVD]; the ad was served and clicked on, but did not convert (assist click)

Keyword: [Randy Macho Man Savage DVD]; the ad was served, clicked on, and converted (conversion)

Adwords' Search Funnels product test

The new Search Funnels column in Adwords allows marketers to optimize keyword bids beyond just their superstar keywords. For example, Search Funnels can help you ensure you are not underbidding keywords with high assist clicks. You want to bid well on these keywords, because these tag-team partner keywords are in the click path of users who eventually convert on your superstar keywords. The data gathered from the Search Funnels column can also be used to optimize your ads. For example, you might want to refresh your ad copy for ads that have lots of impression-assisted conversions; because although these ads were shown to searchers who eventually converted, these particular ads were not enticing enough to make searchers click.

I would like to make one last point before I end. As you know, I have been using the term “tag-team partner” to refer to keywords that represent the greater search funnel that lead/assist in the final “superstar” keyword receiving a click and converting; please understand that is often not a traditional tag team of just 2 members. In fact, in many cases multiple keywords are clicked on and receive assist clicks before a searcher finally converts. Therefore, I suppose the title of this blog post should not be Search Funnels: Unleashing your Keyword Tag-Teams, but rather Search Funnels: Unleashing your Keyword Battle Royale. Because, although in the end there can be only one last click superstar keyword that converts and becomes King of the Ring, you must not forget about all the other keywords in the Battle Royale that fought and came so close to getting that conversion and winning that belt. 

Keywords in Adwords' Search Funnels

Finally, remember there cannot be winners without losers, so do yourself a favor and optimize not only for your last click keywords, but also for your entire search funnel with Adwords’ updated Search Funnels column.

What is your experience with Search Funnels in Adwords? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @ScottGarrett89.

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