Criticism of behaviorally targeted ads by consumers, privacy advocates and the government has led to uncertainty in the market, which eMarketer expects to reach nearly $1.13 billion this year. Research from theNetwork Advertising Initiative (NAI) indicates the high value of those ads, for both marketers and publishers.
The study, which looked at ads run on member networks during 2009, showed that among users who clicked on a behaviorally targeted ad, 6.8% converted. That compared with only 2.8% of those who clicked on a run-of-network ad. Clickers found behavioral ads more relevant, but the NAI did not study how likely they were to click in the first place, a key component of effectiveness.
Recently, Google AdWords announced the launch of Search Funnels, a new set of reports available only in AdWords that describe the Google search ad click and impression behavior leading up to a conversion.
They are rolling out over the next few weeks and work if you are using AdWords Conversion Tracking or importing your Google Analytics goals into AdWords.
What are Search Funnels?
Currently, conversions in AdWords are attributed to the last ad clicked before the conversion happened. However, it’s likely that customers perform multiple searches prior to finally converting.
These reports provide data on how “upper-funnel” keywords behave on the conversion path prior to the last ad click. These funnels are not to be confused with funnels in Google Analytics, which are on-site funnels. These are the paths users take when seeing and clicking on your ads after doing a search on google.com, on the way to converting. They look back 30 days prior to the conversion.
In addition to a Top Conversions report, Search Funnels consists of 7 reports including Assisted Conversions, First and Last ClickAnalysis, Time Lag, and Path Length. Take a look at this video giving an overview of the new reports, and at the AdWords blog post to learn more.