Innovations in Google AdWords have greatly improved the success of advertisers’ PPC ads. One such innovation has been the ‘store visits’ feature which was first introduced by Google two years ago. Since it’s start, the feature has allowed advertisers to identify which ‘paid-ads’ generate the most visits to their businesses, and has tracked over 4 billion ‘store visits’ in AdWords for advertisers worldwide. We expect that Google’s most recent innovation will only build upon build upon its current AdWords success, but before we theorize the outcome, let’s first address how this feature has contributed to such success already. And then explain why we expect it will improve in the future.
The store visits feature is not available to all advertisers. Some of the requirements include having multiple store locations, receiving many store visits already, having a Google My Business account linked to your AdWords account, & creating a Google My Business account for each of those locations. If you are eligible, one of the most transparent features is the rather simple presentation of your conversion results. First you must add the store visits column to your ‘All Campaigns’ column in your campaign reports. Store visits are available at the campaign, ad-group, and keyword level, but to preview this feature separately from the rest of your conversions, you must segment that column.
Google’s new innovation is exciting because it will make ‘store visits’ available to more advertisers and report on more store visits to those already using the feature. So how will this store measurement be improved moving forward?
For one thing, there is just better measurement technology (ie. machine learning, mapping technology, etc.) to track these consumer journeys, so advertisers are provided with higher-quality insight reports when they use the feature. One such measurement technology is ‘Deep Learning’ which allows companies to measure ‘store visits’ in rather difficult locations, such as places where multiple businesses are congregated together. New Mapping Initiatives are also essential in this innovation. With refreshed imagery from Google Earth and Google Street View, as well as scanning tools to measure business boundaries based on Wifi strength, Google is improving its ability to map the exact geography of business locations. Exciting!
As a small business, it’s important to know about these changes so you can prepare for how you will adjust your strategy if the innovation affects you. For example, if you are now eligible for store visits with the new set of requirements, you will need to adjust your marketing strategy if you choose to use it. It can be quite a curve-ball and a major game-changer depending on how drastically it affects your goals—but really it’s a positive change, if you consider how much insight the enhanced feature will provide to you and your business. You just need to try the tool, and develop a plan-of-action which will bring you the success with it.