One of the challenges of advertising, both traditional and digital, is showing a return on investment for in-store sales. Without directly asking, it can be tricky to know if a customer came to a local store as a result of the ad or for some other factor. In the past, Google has tried to remedy this situation by offering some offline conversion data. Recently, Google has increased the functionality of the store visitation and local conversion reporting to help local marketers.
According to a recent report, Google has begun an expanded rollout of store visits reporting for Google Ads. Now, customers of all sizes can get reports that provides performance breakouts by individual store locations.
As Google explained in a help article on the subject, “The per-store report shows you an estimate of how many in-person visits you’re getting for each of your physical locations, and conversions from other shop-specific actions – like phone calls, website visits, getting driving directions and more. Using this information, you can move your budget around to increase the performance of shops that are already successful, or to shops that require more support.”
Originally, these location-specific reports were only available to large, enterprise customers who had thousands of ad clicks and impressions. Along with the new reporting changes, Google plans to make the reporting feature available to all customers using location extensions.
Here are the new offline actions or engagements that will be included by default in the reports, in addition to physical store visits:
- Calls — clicks on call buttons.
- Directions — clicks on “get directions” buttons.
- Website visits — clicks on website links associated with location-based ads.
- Orders — clicks on “order” buttons.
- Menu actions — clicks on menu links.
- Other actions — “Clicks on other tracked user actions (for example: share location, save, etc.) on any Google location-based ad or service after an ad interaction.”
Answers given to SearchEngineLand by Google indicate that “in order to access the data (in the new interface only), advertisers select the desired campaigns and then Locations in the left navigation, then click the “Geographic report drop-down” and “per-store report.” For more details, see the Help Center page.”
While this change doesn’t affect the nature of the ads, there are still many benefits for business owners and marketers. Offline conversions are the hardest metric to track for digital marketers, so anything that makes it easier to see which ads are working and which are not can only help create more effective campaigns.
Furthermore, have the information broken down by individual stores is extremely beneficial for businesses with multiple locations. Even within the same geographic area, the things that make an effective ad in one area may not work for another. Being able to see how each location is affected by an ad set makes it possible to see what changes to need to be made.
For more information about recent changes to ads on Google, read this article about the recent rebranding and consolidation of the various Google advertising products into Google Ads.