Google Shares AdWords “Store Visits” Metric Conversion Lift Data

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In December, Google launched the “store visits” metric as part of Estimated Total Conversions to help multi-location businesses tie the influence of  their AdWords ads to in-store visits. Wednesday, the company released data on what businesses are seeing from this new metric.

In a blog post, Surojit Chatterjee, Google’s Director of Product Management for Mobile Search Ads, says that US retailers measured 4 times more conversions overall and 10 times more conversions on mobile, on average, when including store visits data. Advertisers in the US travel and auto verticals saw 2 times higher conversions when including the store visits data — driving consumers to a dealer lot or hotel.

Businesses are then using the data to inform their mobile bidding strategies. Cosmetics retailer Sephora found that mobile Adwords clicks drive an 18 percent higher store visit rate than desktop clicks. The company says it improved return on ad spend by 25 percent after optimizing mobile bids accounting for the store visits lift from those ads. Similarly, restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings saw an 84 percent lift in conversion after optimizing bids incorporating store visits data.

Google is not alone in offering solutions to tie the connection between mobile advertising and in-store activity — quantifying what we intuitively know is happening. But, the search giant has a lot riding on being able to make the case that mobile search ads are worth investing in as more networks and apps compete for advertisers’ share of wallet on mobile.

Store visits is an estimated metric based on sampled and anonymized data from smartphone users that have Location History enabled on their devices. As with all of the measurements under the Estimated Total Conversions umbrella, Google says the estimate thresholds are held to a “strict, highly conservative confidence level”.

Google is also testing a “store transactions” metric to report on actual sales derived from clicks on Adwords mobile ads, but has yet to release any updates on its release.

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