PPC Chat Streamcap – AdWords Search Funnels Report

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “AdWords Search Funnels Report.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: Do you report to clients any of the information in the search funnels report? If so, what information?

  • I often pull data from Google nalytics multichannel funnels report, but not from Adwords. Comparing ‘assists’ at a channel & keyword level is interesting & somewhat actionable and ‘Keyword Path’ in the Google Analytics MCF reports is a very nice little tucked-away feature. – Dan Barker (@danbarker)
  • No, but we do report on GA multichannel funnels. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • We send assist info before making changes to major keywords. If we keep, want to show why high CPA is okay. – Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
  • It’s not a frequent client report. SFR included sometimes to show behind the scenes impact of remarketing/display. – Mark Jensen (@Just_Markus)
  • Used the information before deciding to pause a campiagn/ad group/keyword. Make sure it never assisted before eliminating. – Francis Shovlin (@fmshovlin)
  • Sometimes lag time based on client. Multichannel funnels definitely, yes. – Ginny Marvin (@GinnyMarvin)
  • Yes, we use the impression before conversion report to identify frequency cap tests. – Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
  • I’ve used the information to show clients the value of campaigns earlier in the conversion funnel. – Bethany Bey (@Bethany_Bey)
  • Info on the overview page can be helpful to go over with clients (time to conversions, clicks to conversion, etc.). – Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)
  • The Multi-Channel Funnels tool is just more robust. We find that a better tool for seeing the ‘big’ picture. – Mark Jensen
    • MCF’s only track from the click though, SF’s are awesome because they track from first imp. Everyone should use both! – Heather Cooan
  • I’ve also used the path length reports to talk clients into tracking goals in GA that are outside of the AW cookie window. – Heather Cooan

Q2: What are some action items you are able to take from the top paths report?

  • This is where I try to identify search behavior patterns and model my campaign stacks after them. – Heather Cooan
  • How branded and non-branded keywords work together to produce conversions. – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • Increase visibility for top assisting keywords. Look for non-brand to brand conversions. – Francis Shovlin (@fmshovlin)
  • Good insights into how important conversion attribution might be for that client. Give credit to top of funnel. – Jeremy Brown
  • Some insight into search behavior, especially time to convert for specific campaigns (prod vs category vs promotion). – Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
    • Yup, helps to better identify CPA targets with this info! – Heather Cooan
  • Identifying kw/paths highly associated with research. Change Landing Page and re-measure top paths. Lower CPA’s. – Mark Jensen

Q3: How have product listing ad campaigns impacted your search funnels?

  • PLAs definitely add another element to analyze. You can have a generic keyword, then a specific one for PLAs overall, good insights into user behavior. How they drill down in query behavior over time. – Jeremy Brown
  • PLA’s & Product Extensions have shortened my time lag in most accounts and I do see more assisted clicks on these campaigns. – Heather Cooan
    • I’d rather have the assisted clicks here as they tend to be less expensive funnels. – Matt Umbro
      • CPCs should increase over time on PLAs. More competition will eventually bring those up some. – Jeremy Brown
        • No doubt, but for now these clicks tend to be less expensive. – Matt Umbro
        • Yeah, we’re definitely gonna see a lift in CPC across the system over this holiday season and ongoing. – Heather Cooan 
      • I do wonder if PLAs will start changing user behavior. More specific queries tend to get PLAs more often than general. – Jeremy Brown 
        • Yep, been seeing it already in some accounts. – Ginny Marvin
      • Get em while they’re cheap, like img search before the leaderboard. – Heather Cooan
  • Ashamed to say I don’t know. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • It’s definitely building in volume over the summer (slowly) but on the positive side. – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
  • Excited to see product ads in action during the holidays. Lots of data collection coming soon! – Mark Jensen
  • I do worry about CTR impact with crowded PLA area expanding – esp w/ holidays. – Ginny Marvin
  • Some of us are getting that little discount too, on PLAs. CPCs are definitely going up! – Elizabeth Marsten

Q4: Has anyone heard from Google folks about additions or changes coming to Search Funnels reporting?

  • I can’t keep the public info straight from the NDA info so I will refrain from answering. – Heather Cooan
  • I haven’t heard of any changes, but would love Display info in there. Also, a UI clean-up would be nice. – Jeremy Brown
  • Last I heard they want people to move to Google Multi-Funnel to get more data. – Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)

Q5: What insights do you glean from the path length portion of the search funnels report (or weird trends)?

  • Good for educating clients on the fact that not every conversion happens immediately following 1st click. – Melissa Mackey
  • Path length in time is a big help in setting re-marketing cookies. Do you really need to go 30-60-90 days? – Aaron Levy
  • Take with a grain of salt. It’s only PPC data and it’s not 100%. Impressions can be more valuable here.  Impressions show the person searching around (i.e. – competitors, organic) before they click on your ad. – Jeremy Brown
    • Agreed. There is more to the picture here. This is where I feel Analytics comes into play. – Mark Jensen
  • Path length can help decide whether looking at assists is worth the trouble. – Martin Rottgerding (@bloomarty)
  • Helps tell you if you need to worry about click fraud. – Matt Umbro

Q6: What are some trends you notice in the time lag report? How does this report help in your overall PPC management?

  • I just discovered info in the time lag report that will solve a huge debate for one of my clients. – Melissa Mackey
  • Not to nec. count out weekends – visits often convert laser in the week. – Ginny Marvin
  • To be more specific, time lag from first impression can be BIG (30 days or more) for conversions. Can’t be discounted. – Melissa Mackey
  • This is a great one for helping maintain client expectations. Today’s ads can (in some cases) impact next month’s sales. – Mark Jensen
  • Time-lag report can look very similar for many clients. B2B lead forms will definitely weight extra heavy on 1 day. – Jeremy Brown
  • It helps to assess recent performance, especially for bidding. Yesterday may look bad today time-lag can tell you what to expect. – Martin Rottgerding
  • For me the biggest thing is cookie related info, 28+ days to convert…strategy changes. – Heather Cooan
  • IMO long time lag indicates research. Great opt to experiment with better re-marketing. – Mark Jensen

Q7: How is the search funnels report more beneficial than the multi channel funnels report in Google Analytics?

  • Search Funnels much easier to look through for PPC campaign-to-campaign paths. Also, you get the impression info. – Jeremy Brown
  • Impressions. – Heather Cooan
  • Impression data are the unmatchable USP of the Search Funnel Reports. – Martin Rottgerding
  • Impressions, plus the 30-60-90 day view is pretty awesome. – Melissa Mackey
  • Search funnel reports also take into account how AdWords cookie works, not Google Analytics. – Matt Umbro


More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.


Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
• Bethany Bey (@Bethany_Bey)
• Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
• Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
• Dan Barker (@danbarker)
• Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
• Francis Shovlin (@fmshovlin)
• Ginny Marvin (@GinnyMarvin)
• Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
• Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)
• Mark Jensen (@Just_Markus)
• Martin Rottgerding (@bloomarty)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)

Row Row Row Your Boat, Gently Down the Stream…cap

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking SEM Manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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3 Responses to PPC Chat Streamcap – AdWords Search Funnels Report

  1. […] To learn more, here is a good overview of uses for search funnels. […]

  2. […] To learn more, here is a good overview of uses for search funnels. […]

  3. […] To learn more, here is a good overview of uses for hunt funnels. […]

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