Attempting to bridge the gap across devices and media for online and offline, Google began rolling out a feature that estimates total conversions using tracking metrics. The Estimated Total Conversions AdWords tool estimates online sales and conversions that require multiple devices to complete.
The tool will give advertisers a complete view of all conversions driven by Google
search advertising in an aim to help marketers assign bids and budgets. Google also plans to add to the mix metrics based on phone calls and store visits.
Google Estimated cross-device conversions launches first, as part of the Estimated Total Conversions tool set. It will roll out globally to AdWords users within the next few weeks. Cross-device conversions may start as a click on a search ad on one device and end as a conversion on another device, or on a different Web browser on the same device, according to Google. The tool calculates cross-device conversions using a sample of data from users who signed into multiple devices.
Consumers make more than 40 million calls to businesses each month from Google ads and are often looking for physical store locations through Google searches. Results from Google-Ipsos research released in September suggest that 70% of mobile searchers report they click-to-call directly from the search results to connect with a business.
Another study of multidevice users found that more than 90% move sequentially between several screens for daily activities, like booking a hotel or shopping for electronics. As consumers increasingly switch between devices, marketers need to see a more complete and accurate picture of how online advertising drives conversions that come from visits to stores, phone calls, app downloads and ecommerce.
Jim Yu, BrightEdge founder, said forecasting remains important. "You don't necessarily have the direct attribution for all media, but this is Google taking a stab at cross-device and cross-channel conversions," he said, suggesting that other channels will follow.
Overall, companies in retail attribute a 7% increase in sales. Sean Singleton, marketing manager at American Apparel, notes a 5.3% uptick in conversions attributable to cross-device conversions in AdWords, along with 16% more conversions through mobile ads.
Early tests with travel industry advertisers show that the tool measures 8% more conversions on average, and can now measure 33% more conversions that originated on a mobile phone and later converted on different device. Similarly, companies in the entertainment industry continue to see 12% more conversions.
Google launched cross-account conversion tracking and search funnels in August, enabling advertisers with multiple AdWords accounts to measure across accounts with a single tag and combined reports.