Perhaps, you’ve heard the buzz about Google tracking store visits. Recently, the two giants, Facebook and Google, have invested heavily on this tracking feature. Google first released its iterations back in 2014.
Since it was first released, its ability to track in-store conversions has improved steadily. It has become more accurate, and Google expanded the locations that can use the feature.
What are Store Visit Conversions?
Google estimates conversion by checking the phone location of anyone who clicks on your search ad and ends up visiting your website. Google tracks all the clicks regardless of the devices used – smartphone, desktop computer, laptop, and tablet.
The data gathered from Google tracking these conversions will help you understand which ads and campaign send more traffic to your store. You will be able to optimize your ads and maximize those that generate more return on investment. This is the goal – Google aims to provide you with accurate data, so you will be able to calculate the value of the money you spend on ads.
Does this violate people’s privacy? No. Data gathered from in-store conversions are based on anonymous data collected from people who have actually turned their location history on. Matt Lawson, Google’s Director of Performance Ads Marketing, says, “Simply being near a store doesn’t automatically count as a visit.” The amount of time that a person stays in a store, for instance, is accounted for. A one-minute visit isn’t a visit. Too much time spent in one location may not be a visit as well.
What Does Google Use to Measure Visits?
Google Maps allow businesses to pinpoint exactly where they are located. The Google Ads team works with the Google Maps team to match the location of hundreds of users using the data maps gather from millions of businesses.
Google utilizes a hybrid approach in order to measure visits. Some of the signals they use include:
- Data from Google Earth and Google Maps
- Mapping of coordinates of millions of stores worldwide
- Wi-Fi and GPS location signals
- Data from Google queries
- Visitors behavior
- Over a million opt-in users providing on-ground location history
Google surveys over 5 million people to confirm if they’ve actually visited a store. Using this information, they update their algorithm as well, so they would get 99% accurate results.
Google announced that it made an in-store visit to manufacturers in order to track store visits. Nissan UK, for instance, has been using visit conversion data to maximize their online ads. The data from Google helps them determine which keywords and campaigns are generating leads and bringing people to their dealerships. The data allows Nissan to map the buying journey of their customers.
Google has also started to use beacon technology, specifically Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons, to improve its algorithm. This will help with in-store analytics and visits. This would help people with smaller businesses and locations to get more accurate data.
How Can You Access Store Visit Conversions?
This feature has been made available to advertisers in over 11 countries, and more people will have access to it soon. If you would like to store tracking customer visits, you should contact your account manager. There are a few requirements to track store visits:
- Multiple store locations in eligible countries
- Generates thousands of ad clicks and thousands of store visits each month
- Google Ads account should be linked to the Google My Business account
- Must have enabled location extensions
Fairly soon, you will find store visit conversions in the “All Conversions” column of your campaign reports. You may want to add the column to your reports.