AdWords – Online meets offline!


How Google AdWords is now being be used to track physical store visits.

Google AdWords has proven to be a very effective marketing tool for many businesses, whether it’s creating brand awareness, generating online sales or simply driving more visits to the website. Advertisers can measure campaign effectiveness by using a range of online conversion tracking options, right down to tracking phone calls made when someone clicks an ad.

However, even with the exponential rise in online sales, 90% of sales are still made “in store” according to Google. Wouldn’t it be useful if businesses knew to what extent their ads had contributed to steering people towards a store visit? With Store Visits Conversions (accessible in the AdWords Account dashboard) this information is now available and is being used by some big brand businesses. This gives marketers access to some really powerful customer behaviour data.

Benefits of using Store Visit Conversions

  • Find out which campaigns, ads and devices are contributing best to store visits
  • Drill down into your campaigns to get a clearer picture on ad spend ROI and make informed decisions on future strategy.

How does Google get this information?

In essence Google uses a person’s phone history to see if the device owner made a visit to the store after they clicked an ad. Google can’t actually tell us if that customer purchased a product (not yet anyway!), just that they physically visited the store. The in store conversion data is totally anonymous and will only capture visitors who have their device history turned on. The visits can’t be tracked back to an individual.

Google is using sophisticated data from their Google Map’s team to accurately identify business locations and coordinates to identify if a person has been at the location. They also use GPS among a range of other techniques to look at behaviour such at movement patterns to exclude people just passing through a store en route to another location. Google have found an accuracy level of 99% when they conducted tests which is pretty impressive!

What are the set-up requirements?

Store Visit Conversions have been made available to more than 11 countries so far and Google is currently rolling it out to other countries.

In order to track store visits Google has specified that the following criteria needs to be met:

  • The business needs to have multiple physical store locations.
  • Have received “thousands” of ad clicks and “many” store visits.
  • Have a Google My Business account linked to your AdWords account.
  • Create each of your store locations in your Google My Business account.

The second point above is somewhat subjective. You can check your eligibility with your Google AdWords account manager directly or else you can contact Enhance and we will check to see what your status is for setting up Store Visits Conversions.