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How to Implement Assisted Conversions in Your AdWords Optimizations

White Shark Media

12 years ago



I’m sure that many of you have looked at a PPC campaign, and while analyzing it, came across keywords, ad groups or even different campaigns that have just been causing additional expenses for your company and simply not converting.

So let’s say you decided to pause some of those non-converting keywords. By doing so, your logic tells you that next time you look at your PPC campaign you will have more conversions, due to the fact that your budget is being spent on your “star keywords”, correct?

If I were you, I’d think it over before making that decision.

So why think it over before moving forward? Assisted Conversions can help you best identify keywords that may contribute to conversions for other keywords. Believe it or not… keywords, ad groups and campaigns often work together to drive in your conversions.

Let’s Talk about Team Work

Assisted conversions give us insights into the path of how a conversion actually came to be. It’s so interesting to see how your account’s counterparts work as a team.  As long as you have conversion tracking and conversions registering on your account, you can check Assisted Conversions. Let me give you a quick example of what an Assisted Conversion can look like:

A user is reading a blog post about new makeup trends:

First Click: Interest is given – Display Ad or Generic Keywords

Your display ad for makeup appears. The user clicks on the ad, browses your website but wasn’t ready to purchase just yet.

Second Click: Research Phase – Specific Keywords

Later on, that same user decides to search for electric blue eye shadow, because she saw it on your webpage. Your text ad comes up and she clicks on it.

All of a sudden the boss comes in and before getting in trouble, she closes the browser and doesn’t convert.

Last Click: Immediate Purchase Intent – Brand Keywords

At the end of the workday the user has time to sit down with a cup of coffee and comfortably buy online with no distractions.

She remembers seeing what she wanted on your website, so instead of using a product-related keyword, she types in your brand name. Your branded AdWords ad appears; she clicks on it and finally makes the purchase.

Assisted Conversions in Google AdWords - White Shark Media Blog

The Real Reason for the Purchase

So what transpired was that the Display campaign actually assisted the search campaign with the keyword “electric blue eye shadow”. One campaign assisted the other with a branded keyword to in fact, help register the conversion. It was definitely a great team effort.

Another example could be someone who is solely using Google search.  Let’s say that a user is looking to buy a new basketball:

First Click: Interest is given – Display Ad or Generic Keywords

The user first types in NBA Chicago Basketball. Your keyword +nba +basketball triggers your text ad to appear. The user browses your website but isn’t ready to buy, so he logs off.

Second Click: Research Phase – Specific Keywords

Later that week he decides that he wants to buy a collector’s basketball and types in collector’s NBA basketball for $2000. The keyword “collector NBA basketball” triggers your ad, he clicks on it but a friend interrupts him and he doesn’t buy.

Last Click: Immediate Purchase Intent – Purchase Oriented Keywords

Finally he goes to his computer once more. He knows exactly what he wants, but didn’t remember your site name. He searches for buy Jordan autographed basketball. The keyword [buy Jordan autographed basketball] triggers your ad and takes him to the exact page. He finally makes the purchase.

So even though the first two keywords didn’t covert, they did assist the exact match keyword to convert. They may be getting clicks and impressions, but no conversions. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are useless.

Where to Check for Assisted Conversions?

Assisted conversions can be seen through either Google Analytics or via your Google AdWords account.

  • In Google Analytics you can go to the side tab labeled Conversions and then click on Multi-Channel Funnels

Where to Check for Assisted Conversions in Google Analytics - White Shark Media Blog

Through your Google AdWords account, you should first click on Tools and Analysis. Then Conversions, and finally on the left hand side, please opt on Search Funnels.

Where to Check for Assisted Conversions in Google AdWords - White Shark Media Blog

Where to Check for Assisted Conversions in Google AdWords - White Shark Media Blog


Under both of these tools, you’ll find the following options to help you best optimize your campaign. Assisted Conversions allow you to see how many assisted conversions you’ve had, through whichever period of time you choose, and the actual source of the Assisted Conversions.

Assisted Conversions Benefits - White Shark Media Blog

    1. Time Lag tells you how long it took the user to convert.

Assisted Conversions Benefits - White Shark Media Blog

    1. Path Length tells you how many paths the user took to finally convert. A path is basically the advertising channels that the user used to convert.

Assisted Conversions Benefits - White Shark Media Blog

    1. And finally, the one that I love to look at and that really helps me out a lot: Top Conversion Paths. This tab gives you a graphic view of the different interactions between channels, sources, campaigns, ad groups and keywords that users took to convert.

Top Conversions Tab in Google AdWords - White Shark Media Blog

Under this tab, you could customize your view to also check through which exact destination URLs the users navigated to convert, or if you have several ads under an ad group, which ones have helped convert.

Assisted Conversions is a great tool that will help you make the right decision when it comes to keeping, changing or pausing something that at first glance seems not to be working. It can also help you determine how to allocate your budget more appropriately.

So don’t judge a book by its cover; analyze it carefully before you turn it down.

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