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After a long time without any new content, today I'm writing about the topic of full-funnel strategies for search campaigns. I will provide a theoretical example of a full-funnel search network campaign for Google Ads.

What does full-funnel strategy mean in contrast to a search campaign?

Have you ever come across the term funnel or sales funnel? If not, here is a brief summary of the funnel or sales funnel.

Basically, we can divide potential new customers into three different clusters according to their level of maturity in the purchasing process:

1. upper-funnel or awareness phase

In the upper part of the funnel, we are in the awareness phase. At this stage, potential new customers are not yet really ready to buy. This may be due to the fact that further research still needs to be carried out or that the customer does not have a sufficient need for the product you are offering. This is also reflected in people's search behavior.

2 Mid-funnel or consideration phase

The mid-funnel is the link between the upper and lower funnels. People who are in this funnel step have already completed part of their product or problem research. However, they are still undecided as to which provider they want to purchase the desired product from.

3. lower-funnel or conversion phase

In the lowest part of the funnel, we are in the conversion phase. This is where people are about to make a purchase. In most cases, the product research has already been completed and the customer is only looking for a qualified salesperson and a qualified offer.

The proportion of people in the lower funnel is the lowest compared to the upper and mid-funnel. The conversion rate, on the other hand, is the highest. 

To illustrate this, let's play through the different funnel steps with an example.

We are a supplier of collagen powder and now want to introduce our collagen powder to potential new customers via a search network campaign on Google.

Why should you also choose a full-funnel approach for search campaigns? 

In search network campaigns, we use the search terms of potential customers to display the different funnel steps. The most obvious search terms are in the lower funnel and these are then generally also used to play out a search network campaign. However, if only lower-funnel keywords are used in a search campaign, the addressable market is reduced right from the start.  

Full-funnel strategy for search campaigns: Example Google search network campaign

1. upper-funnel or awareness phase

Name of the campaign: 

Upper-Funnel: Collagen powder

Includes 2 ad groups each with the match type "Broad" & "Exact" as well as the product brand name as a negative broad search term. The private label search terms should be displayed in a separate brand campaign. 

Selected keywords:

"Collagen"

"Collagen effect"

"Collagen experience"

"Collagen before sport"

"collagen sport"

"Collagen for bones"

etc.

The aim of the upper-funnel search campaign is not primarily the direct purchase of a product, as the probability of purchase is still too low for this. The primary goal here is to increase brand awareness among a very relevant target group. 

Increasing brand awareness in this funnel step significantly increases the likelihood of conversion in the next funnel steps. The initial contact also results in the possibility of a micro-conversion (e.g. registration for the newsletter or simply increasing the retargeting audience).

For the upper-funnel campaign, the conversion tracking period for clicks should also have a longer observation period than for the mid- and lower-funnel campaign. Depending on the product group, a 100-200% longer observation period is suitable than for the lower-funnel search campaign.

2. mid-funnel or consideration phase

Includes 2 ad groups each with the match type "Broad" & "Exact" as well as the product brand name as a negative broad search term. The private label search terms should be displayed in a separate brand campaign. 

Selected keywords:

"Collagen powder test"

"collagen hydrolyzate"

"Natural collagen"

"collagen and elastin"

"Collagen amino acids"

"Collagen vitamin c"

etc.

For the mid-funnel campaign, I usually work with a conversion consideration period that is 50% longer than the period for the lower-funnel campaign.

3. lower-funnel or conversion phase

Includes 2 ad groups each with the match type "Broad" & "Exact" as well as the product brand name as a negative broad search term. 

The own-brand search terms should be played out in a separate brand campaign. 

Selected keywords:

"Collagen powder"

"Collagen pills"

"Collagen tablets"

"Collagen capsules"

"Collagen DM"

"collagen Amazon"

"Buy collagen"

etc.

With the lower-funnel campaign, the objective is the desired main conversion and the campaign should also be evaluated and optimized based on this key figure.

Conclusion: Full-funnel strategy for search network campaigns: approach for Google Ads

In order to utilize the full potential of Google Ads for your brand, it would be negligent to only use a lower-funnel approach, as you will only reach a fraction of potential new customers. Often, the decision to buy has already been made in favor of a brand or provider, so your lower-funnel activities are not effective. 

When playing out the full-funnel strategy, each funnel step should have its own objective or conversion and should not be focused exclusively on the main conversion (in eCommerce, the order).

Tobias Dziuba

My name is Tobias and I am the founder and managing director of the Amazon agency Adsmasters GmbH based in Düsseldorf.

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