Google Estimated Total Conversions Enables Advertisers to Better Quantify Cross-Device Value of Paid Search

On Oct. 1st, Google announced Estimated Total Conversions for search ads, a new conversion metric that provides advertisers with a holistic, cross-device view of all conversions driven through Google paid search (including conversions that take multiple devices to complete).  Estimated Total Conversions will feature three new conversions types:

  • Estimated Cross-Device Conversions (available now):  This conversion type tracks clicks on Google.com paid search ads on one device that end in conversions on other devices (or other web browsers on the same device).  Cross-device conversions use a “last click” attribution model, attributing credit to the last click before the conversion event.  To see cross-device conversions, advertisers must implement AdWords conversion tracking tags, and there must be sufficient cross-device conversion volume for the campaign.  In order to be tracked, users must also be signed into Google.
  • Store Visits & Calls: (coming soon): In the coming months, Google will also release phone calls and store visits in Estimated Total Conversions, enabling advertisers to better connect offline actions—calls and foot traffic—to paid search campaigns.

cross-device conversions

IMPLICATIONS for ADVERTISERS

The ability to visualize a more holistic view of conversions—directly within AdWords—enables advertisers to make better budget allocation and bid optimization decisions by device and web browser.  As advertisers are able to measure more conversions (like conversions on mobile that originate from clicks on desktop), they can better attribute leads and sales to paid search, thus quantifying the true value of each ad click. Google notes that advertisers leveraging Estimated Cross-Device Conversions have been able to measure between 8% and 12% more conversions, depending on the industry.  At Performics, we found 25% more incremental conversions for one retailer client.

Potential Uses for Estimated Cross-Device Conversions

  • Additional Attribution Insights: Devices & Browsers
    We’re excited to implement Google Estimated Total Conversions as another input into our clients’ attribution frameworks.  This is an added variable that will impact our clients’ overall measurement/attribution plans.  It’s one of many efforts to reduce the amount of lost attribution (across devices and browsers) caused by cookie-based tracking systems.  Estimated Total Conversions will aid in collecting and analyzing all cross-device and cross-browser participant data—in real-time—uncovering assist values to make faster, more informed paid search buying and optimization decisions.
  • Mobile Impact & Bid Adjustments
    Many participants use mobile devices for research, but buy later on desktop.  For instance, a morning commuter may click on a paid search ad on his smartphone, but ultimately purchase later in the day on his work computer.  Estimated Cross-Device Conversions uncover this behavior, helping you better visualize the true impact of mobile search.  Additionally, knowing the total value of mobile ad clicks versus the total value of desktop/tablet ad clicks can help you set more informed mobile bid adjustments in Enhanced Campaigns.
  • Increased Efficiency
    Where (and when) is the most efficient place to spend each paid search dollar?  Estimated Cross-Device Conversions can uncover keywords and campaigns that get more “bang for the buck.”  For instance, if Estimated Total Conversions show that desktop clicks impact mobile sales more than previously expected, the advertiser can more confidently boost desktop bids to increase overall efficiency.
  • Better Understanding of the Participant Journey
    How do searchers move across devices and browsers?  How do devices interact with each other?  Estimated Cross-Device Conversions can offer insights into the entire cross-device purchase path, uncovering areas for optimization in keywords, copy and bid.