Connecting Paid Search Spend to In Store Visits

As PPC experts we understand the value that our work brings to our clients. Even if it doesn't directly or initially correlate with a lead or conversion, we know that its valuable. When Google first introduced Estimated Total Conversions back in October of ‘13, I know a ton of PPC marketers were super excited like:

We were finally going to have a way to tie mobile clicks back to desktop conversions. This was HUGE for us. Although we couldn’t directly come to clients and say “Look! Someone clicked one of our ads and then converted via desktop,” we had an additional metric to help express the purpose and, most importantly, the impact that PPC has on a user’s conversion path.

So Whats New In PPC?

On December 18th, Google announced the addition of a Store Visits metric to AdWords. This new metric will record store visits by iPhone and Android users who have location history activated on their devices and have clicked on a search, product listing, or local inventory ad in the past 30 days from their desktop, tablet, or smartphones. I’m sure at this point you’re like:

Having the ability to measure online PPC interaction with offline store visits can be huge. This is the next big step in connecting Mobile to other conversion sources. Since many PPC professionals have claimed each of the last few years as, “The Year Of Mobile”, I can see this being a great metric for the next “Year of Mobile” in 2015. Again, if we as PPC professionals are able to tie our spend back to in-store conversions, it only makes us look better. It’s important to note that this metric only reports visits and NOT conversions. Since we have no way of knowing if a transaction takes place, we clearly cannot report on that. While Google will never release actual customer location data, they will be providing these estimates based off of “aggregated, anonymized data from a sample set of users that have turned on Location History.”

Like usual, Google is rolling this update out in batches, so be sure to check your account to see if you have access to a new column for this metric. The store visits will be included in the “Total Conversions” column, or can be segmented out in a conversions report. Your business or client will have to have their business locations verified with Google in order to use this metric. Here is a set of instructions for verifying your business with Google.

Why Does This Matter For PPC Marketers?

As PPC marketers, clients always want to know how what we do helps to grow their business. Sometimes it’s as easy as showing them year-over-year or month-over-month of conversion growths, but reporting on Google’s traditional metrics sometimes isn't enough. Using additional metrics such as Multi-Channel Funnels, Assisted Conversions, and now Store Visits, makes it tangibly possible for PPC marketers to tie their efforts back to the conversion path of customers. Sure we may not be the final interaction for a converting user, but if we’re able to show C Suite Exec’s that our ads were responsible for assisting a user to convert, we are able to prove to them that the spend associated with paid search is worth while to them.

How Can This Get Better?

So you’re asking yourself, “How can things get even more interesting?” I’m not going to lie; this is the part I’m most excited about: With the adoption of mobile payment options such as Google Wallet, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar set of aggregated conversion data to be compiled from these samples that will provide advertisers with additional insights on if these users are actually converting once they come to the store. I think we are pretty far away from this being a reality, but I can dream, can’t I?

What Do You Think?

How do you think this new metric will provide value to your business or clients? Do you plan on reporting on this data? Let us know what you think in the comments.



We love helping marketers like you.

Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates and more: