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From Search to Shop: Google Tracks More Conversions from Digital Ads

Google knows where you are. Where you are online (thank you, Google Search). Where you’re going in the car (thank you, Google Maps). Where you live (thank you, Google Earth). And where you are when you’re not online (thank you, Google Location Service).

But most importantly, Google knows it’s a multi-screen world. And whether it’s an iPhone or a Nook or a Panasonic or a Surface Pro, you’ve probably got one in front of you – or at least in your pocket – no matter where you are.

At least that’s the thinking behind Google’s recently released AdWords measurement system called “Total Estimated Conversions” aimed at helping brands track Google Ad conversions through online sales, across multiple devices, and even via the phone and in stores. In this article, we’ll discuss two of these exciting new tools for digital marketers.

Cross-Device Conversions

According to Google’s AdWords Blog, “Cross-Device Conversions start as a click on a search ad on on one device and end as a conversion on another device (or in a different web browser on the same device).”

What does that mean in the real world? Let’s say you’re shopping for new shoes on your phone while waiting in line at the DMV. You run a search in Google and end up clicking on an AdWords ad on the search results page. You check out a few pairs. Read some reviews. And put your phone away. Later that day, you grab your laptop and complete the purchase, buying yourself a sweet pair of new kicks.

With Google’s new “Cross-Device Conversions,” businesses have a better estimation of these types of purchases made across multiple browsers and screens. On average, businesses are able to see 8 percent more conversions, thanks to this new tool, helping to better attribute sales and develop strategic marketing efforts.

Site Visits Tool

Tracking a potential buyer online – even if it is across devices – is one thing. But what about online ads that drive purchases in stores? There’s a Google conversion tool on the horizon for that, too.

Google’s new “Site Visits” tool helps brands boost, track and measure the brick-and-mortar end of their businesses. But why worry about in-store conversions, when the world is moving to online shopping, right? Not so fast. Forrester Research predicts that ecommerce will grow $150 billion by 2018, but offline retail will increase by $300 billion.

Turns out, there’s a piece of the shopping pie for everyone! And Google’s here to help you capitalize on it. According to a recent article by AdWeek, “Google’s store visits tool uses an algorithm to estimate how many people went into a store as a result of seeing an ad within 30 days.”

Who’s on board with this new level of cyber stalking? Famous Footwear for starters. The nationwide shoe chain says about 15 to 17 percent of the clicks from its online ads result in an in-store visit. How are they using this data? They’re combining the products they promote online with in-store merchandising strategies for an effective one-two retail punch.

So what does it all boil down to? Data. Data. And, you guessed it, more data. The rise of the Internet has paved way for the era of data. And data giants like Google and Amazon are tapping into this wealth of information to enable marketers to be smarter, more strategic and more effective than ever before. The secret to future retail success is knowing what tools are available to you … and putting them to good use for your business.