Advanced AdWords Tools

Post by CPC Search + Trada

We all love feeling as though we’ve dodged a bullet, right? Well, here are some practical tips and real-life examples for using AdWords tools without them using you.

The AdWords Search Funnel

AdWords Search Funnels reports were first introduced in March 2010 to favorable reviews. After all, this was Google’s free answer to multi-attribution channels. In October 2010 Google made a few improvements to Search Funnels, and what we have today after another upgrade is additional granularity.

Before diving in, it is important to understand that these reports reveal things you won’t find in the AdWords dashboard, and as a result, you might choose to change your optimization practices in AdWords.

To access these reports from AdWords, navigate to Tools & Analysis->Conversions and look for Search Funnels on the left side of the page.

Top Paths
Top Paths reports show the most popular paths to conversion and are available at the campaign, ad group, keyword and query levels. But even more revealing is the Transition Path (Clicks) report, which can be found by clicking the ‘Other’ dropdown and choosing a dimension.

The Campaign Transition Path report shows you how visitors moved from one campaign to another on the path to conversion. For example, we know that non-brand campaigns do the heavy lifting of educating our visitors about products and services, while brand campaigns often get all the credit (seen as last-click conversions in the Conv. (1-per-click) column). This report shows you how many conversions started in one campaign and converted in another, and which specific campaigns had the most influence on your visitors.

Besides Campaign Transition Path reports, you’ll also find several more detailed reports for the Ad Group, Keyword, and Query levels. Although it does reveal how search intent changes over time, the Query Transition Path report (shown below) may just be too granular to put to good use.

Assisted Conversions
Available at the Campaign, Ad Group and Keyword levels, Assisted Conversion reports let us understand and observe two distinct roles at play during the conversion process: assisted interaction and last interaction.

By definition, a channel (ie, campaign, ad group, or keyword) gets an assist interaction when that channel appears anywhere on a conversion path except as the final interaction. When a channel closes or completes a conversion, it is logged as a last interaction.

At the keyword level, we see many keywords with both last click conversions and assisted click conversions. Some keywords show even more assist conversions than last click conversions, which means they play a strong assisting role in your campaigns.

Now that you’ve isolated your top assisting keywords, what do you do with all this information? The next step might be to pair this with actual cost data, but unfortunately Google Analytics doesn’t provide cost data for click-assisted conversions out of the box. You’ll need to download separate reports, create pivot tables, and run some VLOOKUPs.

Path Length
It is always helpful to look at the number of visits it takes to convert your visitors. To quote Avinash Kaushik, self-proclaimed Google Analytics evangelist, “Not everyone wants to marry you on the first date, right?”

The Path Length report is our go-to for this type of analysis. What is interesting is how many visitors did NOT convert on the first date, er, click, but instead converted on the 2nd click, or 3rd click, etc. Perhaps your market is highly competitive and your visitors are doing some research?

Drilling into this segment of visitors to learn what things actually converted them is hard work, but it can be done. The Path Length report is really a jumping off point for some deep data diving.

In the next two parts of our Advanced AdWords Tools series we’ll look at the benefits and pitfalls of AdWords Campaign Experiments (ACE), and we’ll explore how to get the most out of Conversion Optimizer. Stay tuned!

Terry Whalen is the Managing Director and a Parter at CPC Search, an SEM agency is San Francisco. Terry is a certified Google AdWords Professional. Follow Terry on Twitter @tfwhalenho.



Joey Muller is an Account Director at CPC Search. Joey is a certified Google AdWords Professional. Follow Joey on Twitter @jmthefourth.




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One response to “Advanced AdWords Tools”

  1. PPC Consultants

     With PPC and Google AdWords you bid for the keywords you want your adverts to appear for when searched with on Google. Eg, if your site sells books and newsletters about managing businesses then you might want your ad to appear for a search with business strategy.

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