Four years ago, Google AdWords started including metrics on cross-device conversions calculated only for conversion paths that start from a Google.com search. But the conundrum of how to capture cross-device conversions from ads on the search and display networks was still perplexing to the leading analytics company.
This year, however, it looks like AdWords will add full cross-device conversion tracking. Starting March 14, 2017, tracking complex, multi-platform conversions will become much easier - Google AdWords will add cross-device conversions for existing and new Search and Shopping campaigns to the Conversions column, letting you see all of your conversions in one place. However, users will have to wait a bit for the Conversions column to update for Display campaigns cross-device conversions until later this year.
To break this down further, the conversions column now includes cross-device conversion tracking for two main areas of AdWords:
If you're a retailer, you can use Shopping campaigns to promote your online and local inventory, boost traffic to your website or local store, and find better qualified leads.
Ads in a Search Network campaign appear near Google search results and other Google sites when people search for terms that are relevant to your ad’s keywords.
Why Does This Matter?
Conversion tracking is an excellent way to evaluate Google AdWords campaigns. However, accurately tracking conversions is seldom as easy or straight-forward as analysts would want it to appear. Often, a conversion will take place across a lengthy period of time and across multiple devices. The issue that arises from this is: how can you accurately track the interactions that led to a conversion?
By Adwords tracking cross-device conversions, marketers are able to compare conversions that their Google AdWords campaigns drive and redistribute investments to those that are converting. In essence, you are able to tie all of your custom conversions to users who are using multiple devices or converting over a lengthy period. This includes conversions like email signup, phone calls, in-store visits, ecommerce conversions, social shares, form submits, or anything else your data-driven heart desires!
If you're using automated bid strategies, this additional cross-conversion data can also help AdWords optimize your bids for conversions. You may notice an increase in bids and campaign spend as the system adjusts to a more complete view of your conversion data.
How it Can Work for You
If you’re like me, you are probably wondering how Google can track a conversion through multiple devices. This is done by taking aggregated and anonymized data from users who are signed into any of the services Google offers. It is important to note that Google only offers cross-device tracking when there is enough data to make an accurate calculation.
“There has to be at least 95% confidence that the calculation is within 10% of the actual value. The calculation is then run through our quality systems, such as our conversion spam filter, before appearing in reports.
Because of this, not every advertiser will see cross-device data in their account. In cases where we can’t confidently make a calculation, we will show no cross-device conversions.” (Source
When it comes to attribution, Note that when you segment by device, you'll see cross-device conversions counted for the device where the ad click occurred. For instance, if someone clicks on an ad on their mobile device but then purchases on a desktop the conversion will be recorded under mobile.
So how do you get this new feature? It will be automatically included for active AdWords users, as long as cross-device conversion tracking is activated in the settings. From there, you will be able to see ‘all conversions’, conversions across device, mobile or web app, browsers, by phone, and even in-store (available in some regions).
Working with many enterprise-level brands, we enjoy sharing new updates like these to help brands provide a more accurate understanding of how users interact with their business, and ultimately to better calculate the effectiveness of advertising investments. By working closely with Google as a Certified Partner, we advise brands across the globe on their Google Adwords and Analytics 360 platform – check out our Data Studio Start-Up Package
or our Google Analytics partner page
to learn more about our work.
Now that you’re aware of this powerful new tool, what conversions are you most looking forward to tracking? Let us know in the comments below!
Need help optimizing your Google AdWords campaigns? Contact us at info.US@ebiquity.com