Search Funnels reports and conversion data
Once you've set up conversion tracking, you'll have access to a handy set of reports about your conversions (those important actions your customers take on your website, such as a purchase or email sign-up).
These reports are called Search Funnels. Think of them as passages (or funnels) through which your customers complete a conversion.
Search Funnels can give you more detailed information about ads, clicks and other elements that are part of your online campaign. This gives you a better sense of your customers and, ultimately, the effectiveness of the ads and keywords that you've created.
We'll tell you where to find Search Funnels reports and what they can tell you below.
Show me how
Find your conversion tracking reports
- Click the Tools tab in your AdWords account and select "Conversions".
- On the left-hand side of the page, click the Search Funnels link.
- You'll now see a series of reports that you can click on to learn more about your clicks and conversions.
- On the Campaigns tab, look to the table below and click the Columns button.
- There you'll see data that you can add to your data table. Select the boxes of data that you'd like to include.
Reports and data
Besides the Overview and Top Conversions report that you'll see on the Search Funnels page, you'll also find several more detailed types of reports. These include:
- Reports on customer search patterns
This report, known as Top Paths, shows you the most common paths your customers take to complete a conversion. It provides this information based on the ads that were shown or clicked, or both, before a conversion took place. Within this report, there are four more specific reports. Click the links below to learn about each one: Top Paths (Clicks) report
This report shows the sequence of keywords that customers clicked before completing a conversion, and how frequently that sequence happened.
For example, the fourth row of this Top Paths (Clicks) report shows that there were 16 conversions in which the customer first clicked on an ad for the keyword "stream", then a different ad for the same keyword before completing a conversion. This report is available at campaign, ad group and keyword levels.
This report shows the numerous related keywords customers searched with before completing a conversion. It also shows the sequence of keywords where your ads appeared for customers as they searched, regardless of whether they clicked.To protect people's privacy, this report is cut off at a frequency of 10 or fewer conversions.
This report shows actual customer searches. This is different from Keyword Paths in Search Funnels, which reflect the keywords that were matched by the customer's search.
For example, this report shows that 4 customers searched for "gift of flowers" twice before converting.
Query Paths will only reflect clicked search ads, not search impressions. A small number of conversions – where certain data couldn't be detected – may be filtered from the Query Paths report.
This report also shows paths, but collapses any keywords that were repeated along the way. This is useful for seeing conversion paths that consist of different keywords, and how customers move between keywords.
For example, the top row of this Top Paths (Transitions) report shows that there were 67 conversions where the customer first searched and clicked on an ad for the keyword "cake to india" one or more times, then searched and clicked on an ad for the keyword "funny blog" one or more times before converting. This report is available at keyword, ad group and campaign levels.
- Reports based on different attribution models
An attribution model is the rule, or set of rules, that determines how credit for conversions is assigned to steps on conversion paths. Click the link below to learn more about the Attribution Modeling Tool: Search Funnels Attribution Modelling Tool
The Search Funnels Attribution Modelling Tool offers five models for assigning value to the keywords, ad groups and campaigns that lead to conversions.
Most advertisers measure the success of their online advertising on a "last click" basis. This means that they give all credit for a conversion to the last-clicked keyword, which is low in the funnel. But the path to a conversion is complex. On that path, customers can interact with many different AdWords ads. This gives the last click full credit for conversion results in missed opportunities to influence customers higher up in the funnel.
By recognising the value of upper-funnel keywords, you can drive more customers through the funnel and generate more conversions as a result.
The attribution models included in the Search Funnels Attribution Modelling Tool are:
Last click: Gives all credit for the conversion to the last-clicked keyword
First click: Gives all credit for the conversion to the first-clicked keyword
Linear: Distributes the credit for the conversion equally across all clicks on the path
Time decay: Gives more credit to clicks that happened closer in time to the conversion
Position-based: Gives 40% of credit to both the first- and last-clicked keyword, with the remaining 20% spread out across the other clicks on the path
You own the Hotel Paulina in Florence, Italy. A customer finds your site by clicking on your AdWords ads after performing all of these searches: "hotel tuscany", "hotel florence", "3 star hotel florence" and then "3 star hotel paulina florence". They make a reservation after clicking on your ad that appeared with "3 star hotel paulina florence".
- In the "Last Click" attribution model, the last keyword, "3 star hotel paulina florence", would receive 100% of the credit for the conversion.
- In the "First Click" attribution model, the first keyword, "hotel tuscany", would receive 100% of the credit for the conversion.
- In the "Linear" attribution model, each keyword would share equal credit (25% each) for the conversion.
- In the "Time Decay" attribution model, the keyword "3-star hotel paulina florence" would receive the most credit because it was searched for closest to the conversion. The "hotel tuscany" search would receive the least credit as it was the earliest.
- In the "Position-based" attribution model, "hotel tuscany" and "3-star hotel paulina florence" would each receive 40% credit, while "hotel florence" and "3-star hotel florence" would each receive 10% credit.
You can compare up to three different attribution models at once. To find keywords, ad groups or campaigns that are undervalued on a last-click basis, start by comparing two different models.
- Compare the “Last click” model to the “First click” model to identify undervalued keywords that are starting customers down the conversion path. This is particularly valuable if you’re looking to drive more new customers to your website.
- Compare the “Last click” model to the “Linear” model to identify undervalued keywords that are assisting customers all along the conversion path. This is particularly valuable if you want to stay in touch with customers throughout their purchase process.
To access the Search Funnels Attribution Modelling Tool, follow these steps:
- Sign in to your AdWords account.
- Click the Tools tab, then Conversions.
- Click Search Funnels from the side navigation menu.
- Click Attribution Modelling from the side navigation menu.
- Select the dimension for which you want to view attribution models: Campaign, Ad Group or Keyword
- Click Last Click to change the attribution model that you want to see, or click Select model to add another model to compare with "Last Click." You can search for specific keywords, ad groups or campaigns from the search box above the table.
For My Client Centre accounts, follow these steps:
- Sign in to your AdWords manager account.
- On the side of the page, click Conversions. Under the “Conversions” menu, click Search funnels.
- Follow steps 4 through 6 above.
- Reports on assist clicks, assist impressions and assisted conversions
Often, the "last click" before a conversion gets all the credit. But there are also little helpers that might have also guided your customers towards that conversion. Specifically, these are:
- Assist clicks: All the clicks leading up to a conversion – except for the last click – for each keyword.
- Assist impressions: Ads that showed but weren't clicked by a customer as they searched.
The Assist Clicks and Impressions report identifies these little helpers so that you can see how useful they are to your campaigns. Click the link below to see more details about this report:Assist Clicks and Impressions report
This report shows you the assist clicks and impressions that might have helped users get to that last click before they purchased your product or signed up for your newsletter.
It also show you ratios for assist click/last click and assist impressions/last clicks. These ratios further help identify keywords that otherwise might not be noticed if you only looked at last clicks.
This report is based on converted clicks.
You own a spa for dogs and you're running an online campaign. One of your keywords, "free paw massage", gets a lot of last clicks before customers finally buy one for their pets. Another one of your keywords, "dog pampering", doesn't get a lot of last clicks. But then you look at an Assist Analysis report and see that this keyword brings a lot of customers to your website, people who like to browse around for a bit before purchasing your services. Because of this, you invest more in "dog pampering", which brings even more traffic to your site.
The best way to confirm the assist value of a keyword is by testing it to see if increased investment yields improved ROI.
Although similar to the "assist clicks" report, the "assisted conversions" report has some important distinctions. Rather than looking at how many assist clicks or impressions your advertising provided, these tabs show the number of conversions your advertising assisted.
For example, if a customer clicked on two ads for the keyword "merchandise" before later clicking on an ad for the keyword "store" and converting, this would have counted as two "assist clicks" but only one "assisted conversion".
This report is a great resource to identify quickly which keywords are helping to drive the most conversions. You may find that some keywords are the last click for very few conversions but actually assisted many conversions. In those instances you may choose to test increasing investment for these keywords to see whether you can drive more conversions for your business.
Since assist and assisted-conversion data is most useful when considered alongside the rest of your performance data, we've made this information available within your keyword, adgroup, campaign and ad reports. Statistics such as assist clicks, assist impressions and assisted-conversions can give you a more complete picture of the value of your individual keywords. To include this data in your core reports, simply navigate back to one of these tabs, click "customise columns" and look for the Search Funnels category on the left-hand side of the column customisation drop-down menu. By integrating this information directly into your reports, you can more easily make targeted decisions based not only on conventional metrics like average cost-per-click (CPC), click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate, but also based on the value that your keywords contribute throughout the entire search experience.
Bear in mind, if conversion tracking is currently enabled, but you aren’t seeing data in these columns, it could be that there’s no data for the date range that you’ve selected. (This data is not available for dates prior to 1 May 2011.)
- Reports on first and last clicks
First click is a good way to find which keywords introduce customers to your site, while last click helps you see what completed the conversion. Think of these as different salespeople in a department store: one salesperson might be the person who first spoke to the customer, while another salesperson closed the deal.
- Reports on timing
These reports can give you a sense of the steps that your customers take or the pages they visit as they complete a conversion. This process is often called a funnel, which leads to a conversion or business goal. These reports can also give you a sense of how long a funnel takes.
Click the links below to learn more about each report:Path Length
This report gives you a high-level look at the steps your customers take or pages that they look at on their way to completing a conversion.
Here's one that focuses on clicks:
This shows that most of your conversions happen after multiple clicks, which tells you that there might be some opportunities to refine your keywords and ads. Bear in mind, this report only reflects the keywords and ads in your account so if these paths of clicks seem shorter than you might expect, that's why.
You can also use the Path Length report to look at impressions. For example, you can see whether most conversions happen after the customer searches multiple times or the first time that he or she sees your ad.
As you probably guessed, this report is to do with time. Specifically, it's how much time it takes for a customer to complete a conversion after the following:
- The first impression of a display ad
- Their first click on your website
- Their last click on your website
Overall there's a lot of great data and information to be gathered from your AdWords account. Because it might take some time to remember all of it, click the link below for a cheat sheet that lists the terms that we've mentioned here.Conversion terminology cheat sheet
- Ad clicks per conversion: The total number of ad clicks on conversion paths divided by the number of conversions.
- Ad impressions per conversion: The total number of ad impressions on conversion paths divided by the number of conversions.
- Assist clicks: Any search ad click that happened prior to the "last click" before a conversion.
- Assisted conversions: The number of conversions that were assisted by a particular campaign, ad group or keyword. Assisted conversions don't include last click conversions.
- Assist clicks / last clicks: The ratio of assist clicks / last clicks for a particular campaign, ad group or keyword.
- Assist impressions: Any search ad impression that wasn't clicked and happened prior to a conversion.
- Assist impressions / last clicks: The ratio of assist impressions / last clicks for a particular campaign, ad group or keyword.
- Attribution: Assigning value to the different interactions on a customer’s conversion path.
- Last clicks: Any search ad click that happened just before a conversion.
- Last click conversions: The number of conversions that had a particular campaign, ad group or keyword as the immediately preceding search ad click.
- Path length (impressions): The total number of search ad impressions that preceded a conversion. These could've been clicked or not clicked.
- Path length (clicks): The total number of search ad clicks, including the "last click", that preceded a conversion.
- Time lag (from first impression): The total amount of time from when the viewer first sees one of your search ads (clicked or un-clicked) until conversion.
- Time lag (from first click): The total amount of time from when the user first clicks on one of your search ads until conversion.
- Time lag (from last click): The total amount of time from when the "last click" happened, until conversion. There can be significant lag from last click, as AdWords will count a conversion happening after the last click within your conversion window.
- Top paths (clicks): Describes the sequence of search ad clicks leading up to conversion. Can be at the keyword, ad group and campaign level.
- Top paths (impressions): Describes the sequence of search ad impressions leading up to conversion. Can be at the keyword, ad group and campaign level.
- Top paths (clicks, transition only): Collapses consecutive "repeat clicks" on a conversion path.
- Top paths (impressions, transition only): Collapses consecutive "repeat impressions" on a conversion path.
View-through conversion data
A view-through conversion happens when a customer sees an image or rich media ad, then later completes a conversion on your site. This is different from a click-through conversion, which happens when a customer had previously clicked on an ad (such as on the Google Search or the Google Display Network) and then completed a conversion on your site.
The last impression will get credit for the view-through conversion. View-through conversions automatically exclude conversions from people who have also clicked your Search or other Display ads.
Benefits of view-through conversions
View-through conversions are a helpful way to track the value of your display ad campaigns on the Google Display Network. That's because it measures the conversions where a customer saw – but didn't click – a display ad on the Google Display Network before completing a conversion. In turn, this can help determine the best places to advertise.Review view-through conversions
To review your view-through conversion settings for a particular conversion action, follow these steps:
- Sign in to your AdWords account.
- Click the Tools tab, then select conversions.
- Click the conversion you'd like to edit, then click the Advanced tab.
- Adjust the view-through conversion window.
Low conversion data
Sometimes conversion numbers are lower than you might expect on your reports. This can happen for a few reasons. Here are the most common ones:
- Conversions are counted within your chosen conversion window.
Conversion tracking only records conversions that happen within your chosen conversion window after an AdWords ad is clicked. So, if your customer completes a conversion after that time, it's not recorded.
- Customer disabled cookie
If a customer disabled cookies in her web browser before visiting your website, or blocks Google's conversion tracking cookie, we can't record her conversions –there's no cookie to record the information.
- Customer didn't get to your site through Google
If a customer reached your site through a search engine other than Google, their conversions won't be recorded.
- You can select between 30 (default), 60 and 90 days of history data leading up to a conversion using the conversion history window. For any time span you select, you’ll be able to see the search ad impressions and clicks within that time period prior to a conversion. The information will be included in each Search Funnels report, with the option to move between time spans.
- You can compare Display Network conversion and search conversion rates in your reports down to the ad group level.
- Pausing your campaign or capping your budget can cut off potential customers who're in the middle of researching your products.
- If you know customers are visiting multiple times before conversion, consider re-engaging these repeat visitors – say, with targeted website content or a discount.
See how to optimise your conversions.