Online and offline activities continue to converge. Writing for Search Engine Land, media reporter Ginny Marvin reveals that Google has tracked more than four billion store visits based on ad clicks. In other words, Google has tracked the customer journey from ad clicks to physical store visits, which can provide marketers with increasingly granular data.
How Can Google Track Store Visits?
More than two years ago, Google rolled out the measurement program for store visits, but on a limited basis. The company now tracks ad clicks and store visits to more than 200 stores nationwide, and it has also added the store-visit measurement metric to the Google Display Network, which features cross-device retargeting.
Essentially, Google has used its vast resources — specifically those associated with Google Maps and Google Earth — as well as its advertising network to determine businesses' exact locations. When a customer clicks on an ad and sees a store's website, then later visits the store, Google can tell based on location data.
You might have noticed that you can search for a store and find out significant details, including:
- Address and phone number
- Photographs of the interior and exterior
- Hours of operation
- Busy and less-busy times
Users can interact with this data and add their own reviews, photos, and other information, which essentially makes this Google tool smarter.
How Can Advertisers Take Advantage of Google Store Visits Measurements?
Now that Google has embraced deep learning strategies, it can help you make mission-critical decisions about your marketing campaigns. For instance, you could conduct A/B testing to determine whether a certain ad format results in more store visits than another. You could also gauge the ROI of your display advertising efforts based on store visits.
To gain access to this information, you must verify your business with Google first. You must then associate your business page on Google with your AdWords campaign so Google can track store visits accurately and show you the data in your account.
Resist the urge to make big decisions based on store-visit data alone. Maybe a customer buys something from your website instead of visiting your store. This measurement is designed to fit into a well-rounded marketing campaign that captures and analyzes data from multiple perspectives. As your metrics become more granular and intricate, you'll see patterns emerge.
While you can't rely on store-visit measurements alone, consider adding them to your repertoire of metrics. In addition to tracking store-visit conversions, Google has also deployed surveys to help verify store visits.
Deciding how and when to deploy advertisements online can prove challenging. From store visits and bounce rates to SEO and CRO, many professionals like yourself struggle to keep up with the rapidly evolving marketing landscape. That's where Elite SEM can help. We're performance-driven marketers with a passion for data and a superb track record. If you're interested in learning more, check out our case study: Search, display, and social advertising boosts high-end retailer's YOY sales by 70%.