adwords conversions

Google Adwords Repeat Rate: Are You Under Reporting Conversions?

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What is a repeat rate and what does it mean to your business?

If you go into tools under measurement and go to the conversions sections of Google Adwords (new interface), you should see at least one conversion type (if you have this setup) and a bunch of columns.  One of those columns will say repeat rate.  Depending on how you setup your conversion pixel this can cause you to either over report conversions or under report conversions.

Let's step back a bit.  When you are in the process of creating a conversion in Google Adwords, the first step you will see will be the following:

 
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You have two options here, every or one.  According to Google "if someone clicks your ad, then makes 3 purchases, AdWords will count 3 conversions."  If you choose one, according to Google "adwords counts only one conversion per ad click."  At Relay PM, when we setup Google Adwords conversion tracking for a client we assess the type of conversion we are tracking for each client.  If we are tracking purchases we will choose every and if we are tracking leads we will chose one.  The reason is that if someone makes multiple purchases on a website, each purchase has revenue attributed to it and thus should be counted as a conversion because each additional conversion does add more value.  With lead generation, if one person submits multiple leads there typically is no additional value to counting every time the lead is submitted.

Depending on what your conversion window is set to (30, 60, 90...) the repeat rate is based on that window.  If someone clicks on an ad and makes more than one purchase at any point during that conversion window, it is counted as a repeat.  Same goes for submitting leads.  When you are looking at the repeat column in the conversion section in Google Adwords you will see the average number of conversions submitted per user based on whatever date range you are currently viewing.  Keep in mind no matter which option you choose, every or one, the repeat column still shows the average number of conversions per click or interaction, but they will only be included in the Adwords conversion columns if you chose every.

Now, there are potential issues to using the every conversion option that we have seen.  Users can bookmark a purchase or order confirmation page and visit that page again because the page might load too slow and the user tries to reload the page, or the user hits the back button to visit the page twice.  We have also seen unknown technical issues causing the conversion pixel to fire multiple times for the same user.  Any one of these options are fairly common.  Fortunately there is a way around this.  You can add an order ID to your conversion tracking pixel.  If Google Adwords sees two conversions submitted with the same order ID they will only count one.

Depending on if you are using a conversion pixel from the new Adwords interface or the old Adwords interface you can see the code to implement here: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6386790?co=ADWORDS.IsAWNCustomer%3Dtrue&hl=en&oco=0  Order ID's will not be used in any Adwords reporting.  

If you have any questions on this topic please let us know.

Google Store Visits Explained

Have you heard all the buzz about tracking store visit conversions?  Both Google and Facebook have been making heavy investments into this unique tracking feature with Google releasing it's first iteration back in 2014.  Facebook followed suit and released their own version in 2017, but theirs is still a limited invite only closed beta.  Since 2014 Google has been steadily improving their ability to track in store conversions which has improved not only its accuracy, but expanded the number of brick and mortar locations that qualify to use this feature.

 
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So what are store visit conversions and how can you utilize them?

If you are advertising your local business on Google Adwords, store visit conversions track users that click your ad to your website, but then later visit your brick and mortar location.  Simple right?  But how does Google get this data?  They use a variety of data points, but most specifically your cell phone's location history.  Before you get too concerned about their tracking, the data cannot be tied to an individual click or person and is anonymous and aggregated.  

Google uses the following to help provide this data:

  • Google Earth and Maps street view data
  • Mapping coordinates and borders of millions of stores nationwide and globally
  • Wi-fi signal strength in each store
  • GPS location signals
  • Google search query data
  • Visitor behavior in the stores
  • A panel over over 1 million opted in users provide their on-ground location history to validate data accuracy and help inform modeling

Here's a short video from Google Small Business explaining this feature:

 
 

To go even further Google surveyed more than 5 million people to confirm they actually visited a store if Google tracked them doing so.  This helps Google update their algorithm to ensure 99% accuracy.

There are some definite limitations to the data.  Since the data is anonymous the segmenting available in your Adwords account is limited.  Also, the data is much more accurate as the numbers get larger.  Google will only report a store visit if their near 100% sure it is accurate.

Last year Google made it's latest updates: See more on the latest updates on the Adwords Blog

There are a few exciting ways you can now see the data in your Adwords account. One of them is looking at days to conversion.  This shows how long it took a user from first clicking your ad to visiting your store location.  There's also a distance report and you can see how far a user was from your store when they clicked your ad if it let to an in store visit.

Distance report example:

 
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How can you access this data for your store location?  Here's what you need to qualify:

  • 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 many store visits.
  • Have a Google My Business account linked to your AdWords account.
  • Create each of your store locations in your Google My Business account.
  • Have at least 90% of your linked locations verified in Google My Business
  • Ensure location extensions are active in your account. 
  • Have sufficient store visits data on the backend to attribute to ad click traffic and pass our user privacy thresholds.

See more here at Google

If you qualify for store visit conversion tracking either the conversions will be added automatically from Google and if not you can contact Google and request it be added to your Adwords account.  The data will show in your all conversions column.  This is a great feature to see the value of your advertising when you have a brick and mortar location and we definitely cannot wait until Facebook opens their store visit tracking up to more advertisers.