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John Goll

John Goll Account Manager

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Has your paid search provider discussed Store Visit conversions with you?

Every digital advertising provider reports (or should report) how many leads their campaigns provided to your dealership. These leads are something you are familiar with, calls, chats and form submissions. But did you know there is a relatively new and hidden metric that nobody is focusing on that can REALLY accelerate your digital marketing to the next level? Let us introduce you to the Store Visit conversion!

What is a Google store visit?
The fine people at Google are continuously improving upon their tools to better help businesses track their customer journey and return on ad spend. This is precisely what Google Store Visits can do to help you better track and optimize your marketing strategies.

A Google Store Visit is an estimation of in-store conversions based on people who viewed or clicked on your digital ad from any of their devices (smartphone, tablet, computer).

Their goal is to provide the data to allow you to attribute ad spend to actual visits.

Google understands a visit doesn’t necessarily mean a conversion but that it is more likely a conversion. This is especially true since in the automotive world we know that a person visits less than 2 dealerships before making a purchase.

The data takes into consideration people walking by or employees that spend a large amount of time at the location and exclude them from the reporting. Essentially, Google is looking at buying behaviors and excluding those who don’t fit the criteria.

How does Google measure visits?
Google has an arsenal of tools to help them gather the necessary data to report on store visits. The Google Ads team worked with the Google Maps team to match hundreds of millions of users location history with millions of businesses.

For accuracy, Google then surveyed over five-million people to see if they actually visited the location and found their data to be 99% accurate. This survey helped the teams to optimize their algorithms to give the best data possible.

Here is the list of tools used:

- Google Earth and Google Maps

- GPS Location

- Wifi Signal in Stores

- Mapping/Coordinates of the store

- Google query data

- Visit behavior (not spending too little or too much time at location)

- A panel of over 1 million opted-in users who provide their on-ground location history validate data accuracy

Google is also experimenting with their (BLE) Beacons to improve its in-store analytics, so if you don’t already have one it’s a good idea to request one to further enhance your dealership data through Google applications.

For privacy reasons all data is anonymous but is still quite useful in determining return on ad spend. 

How to get the report.
So far, Google has only given access to a few thousand advertisers and your dealership may or may not qualify for access. Though the timing is not yet specified, they promise to open the reporting to more businesses soon.

  • Here are the current requirements for gaining access to the store visits report:

 

- Must have thousands of ad “clicks” and “Many” store visits in a single month (trending consistently)

- Google Ads Account must be connected to Google My Business Page

- Location Extensions must be enabled

- Have sufficient store visits data on the backend to attribute to ad click or viewable impressions traffic and pass our user privacy thresholds.

If you qualify, google will add a column to your “all conversions” report titled “Store Visits” so ensure you have this report enabled.

How we report this data.
In review meetings with our clients that have this data enabled, we can now see how many leads AND how may store visits their campaigns provided. Regardless of the campaign type, we estimate that around 75-80% of calls are general inquiries and service related, so at this point we focus on the 20-25% of calls and store visits for sales opportunities. When comparing store visits against in-store sales data from the last 6 months at multiple dealerships, we have seen that there is a correlation between the store visits metric and the dealership’s monthly sales. Our ability to optimize campaign performance for the unknown store visit is now possible with what we call this “Silver Bullet” Store Visit metric!

Think you might qualify for this awesome report? 
Contact your account manager for more details or feel free to message the automotive marketers at 445 Digital by sending an email to Mike Bloom: MikeB@445-Digital.com. We would love to help you out.

Read more from Google here.
 

Chris K Leslie

I’m sure we can all agree that an increase in store traffic correlates to an increase in sales. Not sure if we need a new report to tell us that. But I get what you’re saying. 

John Goll

The report is nice because it boils it down to store visits driven by specific campaigns so it's a great way to attribute actual sales to a campaign. We figure on the high-end that 80% of the store visits are service-related, the other 20% are for car sales but it still gives you a good breakdown of traffic.

Shelby  Youngblood

Organic searches can provide even greater lead conversions for your dealerships Implementing video marketing campaigns can lead to first-page search results for a customer searching for a vehicle in your, or your competitors, market.

 

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