Google announces new store visit metrics in AdWords


Google has today announced new features for its store visits metric for AdWords users. 

The new metrics will give advertisers more insight into store visits, with the ability to view visits at a keyword or Ad Group level. 

Advertisers will also be able to view visits by day, week or month to give them greater insight into what works and when. This is particularly timely on the run up to Thanksgiving, here you can see the busiest times for Black Friday footfall.

According to Google:  

“By reviewing data at this level, advertisers can understand which keywords or ad groups drive the most store visits. For example, a toy store may learn that certain dolls or action figures bring in the most visitors.

With this insight, that toy store might invest in search terms that drive both online and offline sales, and display those products at the front of their store.”

What are store visits? 

For the uninitiated, it’s a way for retailers to measure offline ROI from online data. 

The store visits metric tells advertisers which products featured in adverts are driving visits to their physical stores. 

According to Google’s own data, advertisers are finding four times as many conversions overall and 10 times as many on mobiles by incorporating this data into ad performance stats.

How does it work?  

Well, you’ll have seen data like this in Google searches, showing data on popular times for stores, restaurants and more. 

Here’s an example from the Google map listing for Macy’s: 


Well, so many of us are logged into Google accounts, through Gmail, Docs, analytics and more. Even Google+. On desktop and mobile. 

We tend to stay logged in too, for the sake of convenience. 

This means that Google can track a click on a search ad, and then see if that logged-in user later visits the store. 


For most retail stores, this visit needs to happen within 30 days, but for some more considered purchases like automotive, this period will be as long as 90 days. 

Google, of course, has mapping technology which enables it to know the locations of the stores, and even the geography of the store itself. It can then use GPS location signals and WiFi to determine that a customer has visited a store, and even which part of the store they headed to.

The data is anonymized, and is only transmitted by those users who have turned Location History on. If you don’t like the sound of this, best change your settings. It’s also backed up by surveys which help to check and validate the data generated by Google. 

Google tells us that, for the moment, this works better for larger store chains and businesses with multiple locations.

These businesses have more clicks, more in-store customers, and can therefore generate more data for Google. 

However, I’d expect to see this rolled out for more and more advertisers as the ability to measure this data improves. 

For more detail, see Google’s AdWords Blog… 

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