Set up Search Lift measurement

Search Lift is a tool for measuring the effectiveness of your ads. You can use it to adjust and improve your YouTube & partners insertion orders.

Search Lift measures the increase in searches for your product or brand after users view your ad, rather than traditional metrics such as clicks, impressions, or views. Search Lift’s testing methodology can provide you with insights into the influence your campaigns have on users' search behavior for the search terms you select.

How Search Lift works

To use Search Lift select search terms related to your ads, and Google will determine if your ads caused a change in search activity on YouTube and Google.

A Search Lift study helps you get insight about the effectiveness of your YouTube insertion orders by comparing two groups:

  • A sample group: Consists of people who have seen your ads. 
  • A control group: Consists of people who are eligible to see your ads, but who weren’t shown your ads. 

The search behavior for both groups is monitored and the lift reported is the difference in the search behavior between the groups.

Search Lift budgeting

To detect the lift driven by eligible campaigns, you need to meet minimum budget requirements. The budget requirements for Search Lift are the same as the budget minimum needed to measure one Brand Lift question. When eligible for one Brand Lift question, you are also eligible to measure Search Lift without any additional budget needed for Search Lift. This budget ensures that your campaigns get enough impressions and search volume to have a reasonable chance of detecting lift. The sum of the budgets of all active campaigns that are measuring the product or the brand should meet the minimum budget requirements. An insertion order that is ineligible due to budget requirements will produce an error and can’t be saved.

Example: In the US, a minimum of $10,000 USD is needed for Brand Lift, and the budget requirement for Search Lift is, therefore, also $10,000 USD. To measure Brand and Search Lift together, the minimum spend is still $10,000 USD, and not $20,000 USD, because budgets aren’t additive.

Search Lift search terms

When setting up your Search Lift study, you’ll be asked to create search term groups. A group is a collection of related search terms to be measured in your Search Lift study. You can have up to 5 groups, but typically only 1-2 groups are needed. Within each group, you should ensure that search terms are relevant and specifically related to your product or brand and to your ad. Search Lift measurement is often more successful if you focus on a few search terms that are specific and feature your brand or product names. It’s easier to detect lift for search terms that people are unlikely to search for without the ad, but likely to search for after viewing the ad.

When running Search Lift together with Brand Lift, the name of the product or brand being advertised and selected as the preferred Brand Lift survey answer is always included in your Search Lift study.

Best practices:

  • Select a small number of search terms. 1-5 recommended per search term group.
  • Select only terms associated with your brand or product or relevant to your ad.
  • Select search terms that are specific and for which you expect to have a high search volume uplift thanks to your ad campaigns.

Avoid the following:

  • Do not select a large number of search terms or create too many groups.
  • Do not select generic or irrelevant search terms.
  • Do not select competitor search terms.
  • Do not use a sentence or a search term composed of too many words as it’s unlikely that users will search exactly for the same sentence.
  • Do not include multiple variations of the same word including misspelling, punctuation, accents or the like as these will already be captured.

Set up a Search Lift study

A Search Lift study can be run on its own or together with a Brand Lift or Conversion Lift study. The study can be set up independent of the insertion order start date. The Search Lift study will automatically begin as your line items start serving.

To set up a Search Lift study: 

  1. From the advertiser level, go to Experiments.
  2. Select the Lift tab.
  3. Click Create new.
  4. Enter a Lift study name: Use as specific a name as possible (e.g., “Google Pixel 3a" instead of “Google”). 
  5. Select the insertion orders to include in your study.
    • To get results for each insertion order, associate each insertion order with its own product or brand.
    • Search Lift only supports adding an insertion order to a single product or brand
  6. Under Lift types: Choose Search Lift.
  7. Enter your Search Lift details: Enter up to 5 groups of Search Lift terms
    Keyword groups can’t be edited after you save. If you need to make changes, create a new group of Search Lift terms. New groups of Search Lift terms will be measurable from the creation day forward.
  8. Select Create when done.

To edit the insertion orders in an existing study:

  1. From the advertiser level, go to: Experiments.
  2. Select the Lift tab.
  3. Choose a study to edit. 
  4. Under Insertion orders: Choose Select insertion orders.
  5. When you’re done editing, click Save.  

Re-measuring Search Lift

You can optimize your campaign’s performance and budget efficiently by re-measuring your insertion order’s Search Lift to gain insight on lift changes over time. You can use the same setup as your original study by adding another flight once it completes or ends: 

  1. From the advertiser level, go to: Experiments.
  2. Select the Lift tab.
  3. Choose a study from the list. 
  4. Select Add flight
    • (Optionally) Adjust when you want the flight to end.
  5. When you’re done, click Save.
Consider re-measuring Search Lift after making changes to your campaign, such as adding new creatives or adjusting your target audience, or when you want to measure a key initiative such as a product or campaign launch.

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