Given the ever-changing nature of digital marketing, 2015 is sure to bring a number of new features and enhancements to the world of PPC advertising. One of the driving forces behind this ongoing evolution of PPC is the growing need for accurate, reliable data that provides better insights into the true impact of digital ad campaigns.
People are constantly connected in today’s multi-device world, which makes it even more important for a business to understand how their online marketing efforts influence consumer interaction once potential customers are offline. Recent studies indicate that 65-70% of consumers have visited a store after seeing a local search ad online. Furthermore, 68% of U.S. internet users were likely to research a product online and then purchase it at a physical store during this past holiday season. This combination of online and offline shopping has forced digital marketers to reconsider performance and ROI measurement when it comes to advertising online.
Consumers might be inclined to visit a store and make a purchase after seeing ads from certain campaigns or on certain devices, and ignoring these purchases could cause a business to drastically underestimate the power and influence of their digital advertising campaigns. During the past year, Google has steadily improved cross-device and offline conversion tracking in an effort to eliminate the disconnection between PPC ad clicks and in-store visits. Over the next few weeks, they plan to start offering eligible businesses throughout the U.S their latest enhancement to conversion tracking: store visit conversions.
This new metric will represent the estimated number of store visits that occur after a visitor sees a PPC ad online, and the data it will provide should make the offline and multi-device conversion estimates in AdWords even more powerful and accurate. Knowing what campaigns, ad types and devices drive people to visit a store will ultimately allow businesses to make better decisions regarding the direction and scope of their digital advertising.
In order to be eligible to measure store visit conversions, businesses must meet a few basic requirements:
- Have a Google My Business account that is linked to their Google AdWords account.
- Set up location extensions that use the listing(s) from their My Business account.
- Consistently receive a large number of ad clicks and store visits.
- Have multiple physical retail locations in the U.S.
If your business meets these requirements, store visit data will be available at the campaign level without any additional set up required. Google doesn’t specify what they consider a “large number of ad clicks or store visits”, nor do they give specifics regarding the number of physical locations a business must have in order to qualify. Regardless, advertisers should keep an eye out for this new conversion data in the coming weeks if their business meets the above requirements.
By giving us a more complete representation of the impact that PPC advertising can have on a business, this new conversion metric should provide some powerful insights that will become more important to digital marketers as we move into 2015.