It was just this week that we met with one of our clients who stopped by for a meeting to discuss his Google AdWords advertising campaign. As you can imagine, advertising goals differ amongst clients, and common Google AdWords goals include raising the company’s brand awareness, increasing traffic to a website, or increasing online sales and conversions. After 30 minutes of reviewing the data and analytics from the campaign, he fired back with the question “but how many customers are walking into my shop as a result of this budget that I’ve invested?”
Luckily for us Google is coming up with a method to relate clicks on an ad with actual store visits. Although this new feature is still under a test/development phase and is only available in the US, for now, once fully launched, this will help Google Partner Agencies like SEO TWIST ensure that the results we present to our clients are much more quantitative and measurable, in the way that really counts for them–customers walking through their doors.
In order for this “store visits” analytics to work, users will first need to have the Location History on their smart phone activated. Then Google estimates store visits based on the customers’ proximity to the participating retailers’ Google Maps location. The metric calculates clicks that were made on the ad from various sources–desktop computers, phone and tablets.
Merchants who want to participate and access this valuable store visit data must confirm their address with Google and associate their address with their campaigns. Of course in order for this to be most accurate the analytics will only count store visits that occurred within 30 days of the client having clicked on the retailer’s ad.
This information provided with the store visits data is invaluable to business owners who wish to invest in a Google AdWords campaign in the slow months of January or February, and who really need to know whether or not the campaign is effective, and if it does indeed bring customers into their business.
As with many methods of Estimated Total Conversions, it must be kept in mind that estimating store visits is also an approximation. To arrive at these numbers Google is actually using anonymized, totalled user data and inferring it to the broader population. According to statistics, there’s also an approximate 70-80% of users who actually never convert online, but do end-up going into the store to make a purchase.
At this point only store visits, and not actual store purchases, are measured. This is something that Google is also working on, which can expect to be launched in the future. The day when the data related ad clicks with in-store purchases will be a great day for business owners and Google Partner Agencies alike!