Adwords Conversion Lag Explained.

Adwords Conversion Lag Explained.


Adwords is not an instant-win solution.

There. I said it.

Many agencies and Google themselves are very good at creating the impression that anyone can throw an Adwords account together and the enquiries and sales just come sailing in from that very moment. This simply is not true.

Now there are a multitude of reasons that you Adwords Management may not be working for you (Some covered in a previous blog I wrote.) but one useful little tool that may well blow your mind is the “Time Lag” Attribution search funnel that shows you how long it takes on average for “ad-clickers” to become “converters”.


Accessing your Time Lag Conversion Tool.

If you have an existing Adwords account then you can check this easily yourself:

Log into your Adwords Account > Click on Tools (Middle, Top) > Click on “Time Lag” on the left > Filter by relevant info.

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Once there, you can change the date range over on the right, you’ve got conversion types, the historic data window and you can search from first impression / first click / last click.


A Surprising Result

In most cases, the majority of sales or enquiries will result in the first 24 hours as you might expect but the average days to convert may be significantly higher.

Now there may be a wealth of other factors contributing to this but you always have to remember that people shop around and may not make a purchase then and there.


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This example shows that on average, the account takes 4.59 days to convert. With 83 conversion of 518 in the given time taking over 12 days to return and make the purchase. Obviously the sales figures have been removed but it’s clear that visitors from Adwords do not always buy on the first visit as people often assume. They will likely shop around or wait to be paid perhaps, then return and make the purchase.


Learn From the Data

Knowing when your clients make purchases or enquiries is incredibly valuable and Google has tools to help you capitalise on this. If you take a look and notice that a decent cross section of visitors only convert after a few days then think of the ones you may be missing out on who could make the purchase or enquiry elsewhere.

You don’t want to ever miss an opportunity and if you have the budget, the know-how and the data then re-marketing may be the next logical step. It’s relatively straight forward to setup if you know your stuff with Adwords but it could bring clients back that you may have previously simply not seen again with targeted display ads and even compelling offers, potentially.

This is just one way that understanding what conversion lag is and how it works will actually help perpetuate more enquiries but the tool is often overlooked and vastly under-rated as part of a healthy Adwords campaign so if you’ve never looked, then log in and see what it says.

The results will likely surprise you.