Google AdWords Search Funnels – a.k.a. Attribution

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A couple of weeks ago, Google announced that Search Funnels within the AdWords interface were being renamed to “Attribution”. Attribution data and reporting can be found under the ‘Tools’ drop down menu.

Attribution data has always been around in Google Analytics (for all traffic sources) and Google AdWords (for AdWords campaigns), but within AdWords is now much easier to find and navigate through the various reports.

What is Attribution and why is it important?

Within the online marketing world, attribution commonly refers to the notion of understanding each and every part of your customer’s journey to converting; and how important each step is in resulting in a conversion action.

The Attribution reporting within AdWords is available for each goal that you’re tracking (enquiry forms, transactions, newsletter sign ups etc.) and for windows of either 30, 60 or 90 days.

Some of the AdWords attribution reports available include…

Top Conversions

This one is fairly straightforward but is great for a quick snapshot of how your campaigns are performing. It lists all of the campaign goals that you’re tracking within AdWords, in order from the goal with the highest quantity of recorded conversions to the least. If your ultimate goal is completed transactions but you have twice the amount of ‘add to cart’ type conversion actions recorded than completed transactions, then this could be an indication that you should take a look at the purchasing process and identify reasons why customers are abandoning their transaction.

Assisted Conversions

The assisted conversions report provides two important metrics; last click conversions and click-assisted conversions. It’s easy to look at last click conversions (keywords, ad groups or campaigns that were clicked directly before a conversion) as all that is important in terms of performance. However, last click conversions don’t give you the full picture when it comes to measuring campaign performance; that’s when the click-assisted conversion metric comes in. Click-assisted conversions measure the number of conversions that were assisted by clicks, excluding any “last clicks”. Click-assisted conversions should always be considered before making any performance based optimisations to your campaigns, as while a certain keyword may appear to generate no (“last click”) conversions, it may be playing a role behind the scenes in driving traffic to your website which then converts at a later point.

Assisted Conversion data is available for both clicks and impressions, at campaign, ad group and keyword levels.

First Click Last Click Analysis

These reports are useful to look at in conjunction with one another, and as with assisted conversions, provide data at campaign, ad group and keyword level. First click data tells you which keywords got your customers onto your website while last click tells you what lead to a particular conversion.

Top Paths

The Top Paths reports provide you with the most common paths and sequences customers take on their journey to completing a conversion, helping you to fully understand which campaign elements are relevant and contributing to completed conversion actions. For example, a customer might first click through to your website on keyword “X” and then return some time later on a branded keyword to transact, having familiarised themselves with your brand. Thus, both generic and branded keywords are playing a role in the customer journey.

There are four Top Paths reports available for your campaigns, ad groups and keywords; Clicks, Impressions and Transitions (for both clicks and impressions). The Transition Path reports differ in that they remove any repeated keywords, ad groups or campaigns from the path.

Time Lag

You can’t always assume that a customer is going to convert or transact on the spot – many people will go away and think about a purchase before committing to it. The Time Lag report tells you how many days your customers are taking to convert; from either first impression, first click, or last click.

If you haven’t taken a look at attribution data and reports for your campaigns – you should – it’s well worth it as there are plenty of hidden gems in it!

Tessa has years of experience in data analysis and number crunching, following the completion of a Bachelor of Commerce with majors in both Finance and Economics. Since discovering the ever changing, complex, and data driven world of digital marketing and SEM she’s never looked back. Tessa currently manages campaigns for clients across a range of industries; specialising in the management of both lead acquisition and e-commerce campaigns. Finding the sweet spots to maximise the return for clients is all in a days work.

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