Posted March 23, 2010 5:00 pm by with 7 comments

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Google is launching a new beta feature for AdWords today: Search Funnels. The feature is a set of reports that show exactly what customers who arrived via a paid search ad saw or clicked before they made a purchase.

Right now, AdWords advertisers only have information about the last ad the customer saw—the last ad they clicked on before they made a purchase. Search Funnels helps advertisers to see all of their search ads the consumer saw or clicked on before they finally purchased.

The reports also let advertisers see other related terms their customers searched for before clicking. The reports include: Top Conversions, Assisted Conversions, First and Last Click Analysis, Time Lag, and Path Length. They display data for 30 days prior to the conversion.

As always, Google provides a video explanation:

Google has tested the feature with advertisers including MetLife. MetLife’s CMO, Beth Hirschhorn, said the feature was useful: “Search Funnel enables us to create a better experience for our customers by helping us understand how they search for our products. It is an important tool to help de-code consumer shopping habits and thought processes, which we can relate back to our online as well as offline advertising.”

The report set will be added to AdWords accounts under Reporting > Reporting. To see the data, however, you’ll have to track conversions with AdWords Conversion Tracking or import them from Google Analytics.

  • That is awesome. This funnel data is going to be golden to have.
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  • How is this any different than regular Google Analytics goal funnels?
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    • I believe GA goal funnels can only track activity on your site. This is tracking the previous searches the customer performed as well as activity on your site.

      • Agreed. The key here is conversion assists for ads that are shown but not clicked on (e.g. impressions are made). As there is no click, your GA will not see any information. This is Google using its site cookie to track you and then pass data back to your GA. Not coincidental they launched this, retargetting and GA opt-out all at the same time.

      • Do we need to do anything to be able to see this data?

        When I click into the Conversions tab – I get a message saying ‘Analytics conversions ready. You have new conversions available for import from Google Analytics’

        We have Google Analytics set up on our site but I have not imported the conversions from Analytics – I use the AdWords conversions to track the performance of our account.

        Do I need to import the conversion from Google Analytics in order to be able to use this feature?

        Hope you can help – any advice would be greatly appreciated!

        Thanks 🙂

        • I assume you’ll need to import it; Google will probably be more help with this.

  • What a valuable and important addition to an already powerful tool.