Tracking Store Visits Generated by Google Ads

Clients with physical locations (like retailers, cafes, yoga studios, etc.) always ask if we can track foot traffic generated by online advertising.  As a performance marketing agency, we track everything from newsletter signups to eCommerce purchases.  You will know when customers click for directions or call your business.

We use tools for heat mapping and click tracking, track page loads and then deliver simple messages dynamically inserted based on site visitor actions. So it's always frustrated us not being able to track the foot traffic we generate. 

But as always, the wizards at google build another super creepy & incredibly exciting way to track store visits from paid ads The catch: It's only open to advertisers meeting googles particular requirements.  Here's what Google says about tracking store visits.

Requirements for Tracking Store Visit Conversions

Store visit conversions are available to a limited number of Google advertisers. To be able to measure store visit conversions you will need several requirements... and here they are!

  • Have multiple physical store locations in eligible countries. Ask your account representative if store visit conversions are available in your location.
  • Receive thousands of ad clicks and viewable impressions.
  • Have a Google My Business account linked to your Google Ads account.
  • Create each of your store locations in your Google My Business account.
  • Have at least 90% of your linked locations verified in GMB.
  • Ensure location extensions are active in your account.
  • Have sufficient store visits data on the backend to attribute to ad click or viewable impressions traffic and pass our user privacy thresholds.

The conversion data for store visits is based on aggregated stats. That means it's just an estimation based on current and historical data. By using tools like google maps, wifi strength, search behavior, and GPS signals google tracks things like proximity and dwell time to determine a visitor's relevancy and ultimately reports a conversion when parameters are met. So if a customer pops in and then leaves quickly, the conversion isn't the same as a more extended visit that may indicate a higher relevance.

Google uses the following technology to measure storefront visits.

  • Google Earth and Google Maps Street View data.
  • Mapping of the coordinates and borders of hundreds of millions of stores globally.
  • Wi-Fi signal strength in stores.
  • GPS location signals.
  • Google query data.
  • Visit behavior

A panel of over 1 million opted-in users provides their on-ground location history to validate data accuracy and inform the modeling. Yep... Something as simple as connecting to a store's wifi and walking around results in providing google with stronger data.  We think they know too much too... Ready to say fkk it and head to the beach?  So while not every business qualifies for the conversion program, those that do will gain a new level of insight into the value of their marketing budget. MassConvert is a marketing agency in Austin, TX.

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