Google has announced a brand new beta and boy oh boy, it's a big one!

The new AdWords Search Funnel reports will give you visibility into the click and impression behaviour on Google search (not search partners, not content). You will be able to report on the following:

  • Assisted Conversions
  • First and Last Click Analysis
  • Time Lag
  • Path Length

What does all that mean?

Previous to this announcement, we could only track a conversion back to the LAST click a user made, while we all know that a user tends to go through multiple searches (research, comparison, purchase) before converting on that last click. Let's use TVs as an example and follow the path that we might expect a user to take when on the search for a new LCD TV:

new lcd tv ' 42" lcd tv ' sony 42" tv ' 42" sony bravia lcd tv

Traditionally, if that user clicked through your ad and converted, it would be tracked back to 42" sony bravia lcd tv while ignoring the 3 queries made previous to the last.

Wouldn't it be fantastic if we had insight to all those other keywords a user searched for before making a decision? Wouldn't it help us better tie a value to those keywords that don't tend to convert, but we've assumed have been part of pushing a user through that buying process?

Google is moving in that direction with this new announcement.

How does it all work?

When someone clicks on your AdWords ad, we start the funnel and Google will link their search activity from that click through to the next 30 days. If that same user continues to search on Google within those 30 days, even if they don't click on an ad, we will see their search queries and whether an impression was made on another one of your ads. If that user then clicks on an ad again and converts, Google will close that funnel and you'll be able to run a report on that conversion, seeing what that path looked like.

A couple caveats:

  • This isn't a full fledged solution and it will only track your PPC traffic, meaning that you will only see data for when an ad impression is made. As part of the funnel report, you will only see keywords that trigger your ads, you won't see any other search queries.
  • These aren't actual search queries, but rather, the keywords you matched on. If you have a fairly robust list of keywords, you should still get a good idea of what that path looks like.
  • This is only for those clients that have conversion tracking, and there must be a final conversion to run this report
  • Currently in beta within the US, may not be available in Canada immediately

How do you know if its available to you? It will become available in the Conversions section of the Reporting tab.

How about a screenshot:

So there you have it...some pretty cool news from Google.