One challenge that Google has always been faced with has been the pressure advertisers put on them to track the offline benefits of Google Adwords ads. Recently Google announced the launch of the store visits insight metric a new figure that allows you to see the impact on the number of store visits your Adwords ads have.
How it works
Ultimately it’s an estimation, however there is some logic Google applies to determine a store visit. Google identifies a store visit based on the users location in relation to the store location picked up from Google maps. Therefore in order for this to work you must have verified your business location with Google and associate this location to your campaigns.
The metric draws on search ad clicks across all devices as well as product listing ads and store visit estimates are based on data within 30 days of an ad click.
The store visits metric is collected at a campaign level within Adwords so in order to successfully track store visits across multiple locations you must have an account structure that supports multi regional targeting.
What About Privacy?
Whether you believe it or not Google deems protecting your privacy to be very important, that is why all data given at this point is an estimation. Google maintain that they will never disclose your location to advertisers with the Director of Product Management for Mobile Search Ads Surojit Chatterjee stated the following:
“This feature has been carefully designed to keep data private and secure. We never provide anyone’s actual location to advertisers”.
How This Might Affect You?
Google wants this information to help you attribute your real return on investment by providing more information on your ads. By including this information Google believes it can help you see the affect your paid ads have in offline sales.
When releasing the information on the store visits metric Google stated that “roughly 95% of retail sales take place in physical stores” and that “online activities are influencing offline transactions more than ever”.
Googles own research has determined the following information further demonstrating the effect paid ads can have on offline sales:
Unfortunately the information is only currently available to a select few advertisers and it relies on having a large amount of data (as this helps to protect privacy further). It is however anticipated that over the next year we could see this metric become a lot more regularly available for smaller advertisers to help determine the success of campaigns beyond online sales.
Ultimately the more offline information Google can provide to you the more likely you are to increase your advertising spend through paid sources, therefore they will continue to strive to provide this information.