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Conversion is usually preceded by multiple stages, some of which lie outside your usual tracking capabilities. Such phenomena as phone calls, retail purchases, or in-person bookings might look as perfectly separate events on paper. Yet, more often than not, they are just a part of a complex funnel, combining digital and real-world activities. Today we will attempt to cross all the t’s with the help of Google Ads.
It is important to relate those seemingly separate events to your campaign flow, because this is the best way to learn about your funnel performance and optimize it accordingly. One of the solutions is to compare the list of your offline conversions with the list of people who either saw or clicked on your ad.
Offline conversions 101
Importing offline conversions to your Google Ads is crucial because it can help you pinpoint the exact keywords or targeting criteria (such as GEO or time of the day), that drive the most cost-effective conversions. With this data, you can improve your campaigns even further. Even if you mostly generate your leads online, you should think about introducing an offline tracking tool if you see any of these indicators:
- Closing a sale offline (phone call, personal meeting) and tracking this sale in a customer relationship management system (CRM tool)
- 30 days after an online sale, so the transactions that resulted in a refund can be excluded
- A sale made to a new customer
- A second purchase by a customer
- Closing a sale online with no option to track it using standard Java-based tracking solutions
Conversions, at least for Google Ads, can be imported differently:
Google Ads Conversion Import allows the integration of other conversion systems. Particularly useful when your conversion started with an ad click or with a call from your ad. Depending on that, the conversions can be added via Google Click Identifier (GCLID), Enhanced conversion for leads, or Phone call conversions import.
In-store visits made visible
Google relies on user’s location data, stored in the mobile device, to see if the user has ever engaged with the ad before. Make sure your GEO is eligible for this kind of tracking, alongside the sufficient number of physical store locations with many clicks and high impression volume.
Next, check if you have claimed and verified your store locations on Google’s Business Profile. Business profile allows your clients to see your business while doing a local search. This information can appear on Google.com, Google Maps or Google Earth. To show business locations to the customers, you need to install the location extensions. They display your business name, address, and phone number with your ad.
Phone calls are not lost
Sometimes, phone calls are the main contributor to converting the lead into a paying client, particularly for service industries. Set up call extensions within Google Ads, this makes the phone number appear alongside the search results. Go to Ads & Extensions > Extensions to set up a new extension. From there, add a Call Extension.
Your call number can be hidden, so the user has to press on it to reveal it. Pressing on it counts as a click, resembling a classic CPC model. They can also be tracked just like a normal conversion, by turning on the call reporting feature. This will also allow you to match the calls with the ad keywords performance, helping you to optimize the campaign.
Furthermore, call extension can be disabled during certain time of the day, for example whenever the business is not open. Finally, you can set up the duration of the call, that can count as a successful conversion, e.g., 2-minute long
Setting up website call reporting is the next step. Each user led to your website will be given a unique trackable number. All you have to do is go to Conversions > Create a conversion > Phone calls and pick “Calls to your phone number”. This will make sure your calls are tracked.
Tracking can be implemented for traditional click-on ads and phone calls. In the case of booking a hotel or purchasing any goods online, call tracking becomes an invaluable tool to estimate your campaign performance thoroughly.
Offline conversion tracking helps you track all of your activities and see how much of the results can be attributed to particular ads. It is also helpful to measure your offline returns. Finally, offline conversion tracking enables you to better reach people offline and show them proper ads, based on their offline activities.