Google is doing everything it can to be the number one omnichannel advertiser, and they’re doing a great job of it. They introduced changes to allow advertisers to track the impact of online marketing efforts on their store visits and conversions better. This is something businesses that either have both a strong online and offline presence and those who bank principally on in-store visits and sales should take advantage of. You should also know what the various tools are that Google offers to help advertisers connect with offline shoppers. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can better reach online to offline customers and turn their visits into sales.
Local campaigns are one of the most powerful tools you can use to drive people to your store when they run local searches. The way they work is very simple. All you have to do is provide your store location, campaign budget, text, images, and videos. The rest will be handled by Google and its huge computing power. They will use machine learning technology to maximize bids for you. They will also maximize ad placements and combinations. Your ads will not only show on searches, but through display ads, YouTube, and Google maps as well.
Knowing the differences between the behaviors and purchase patterns of your online and offline customers is one of the things that separates good marketers from great ones. You might notice that the average order value between online and offline sales is vastly different, but there are many other fundamental differences between how online and offline customers behave.
Things like the type of items sold, repeat visit rate, and customer lifetime value will usually be very different as well. It’s up to you to understand these differences and acknowledge them when calculating the value of your campaigns. These metrics should ultimately be used to dictate bids and goals across your channels.
This can be done easily by using in-store visit reporting. All you have to do is segment reports by conversion name and see where you have the most activity. In some cases, some items that see poor activity online can be winners offline. Reporting will allow you to know what you should be marketing more aggressively through things such as local inventory ads, for instance.
Speaking of which, local inventory ads are another very powerful and underused tool you can use. Local inventory ads allow you to display not only your ads, but other information such as your availability, promotions, directions, and how much of an item you have left. This might seem like a minor detail, but it can be very powerful when used properly. You could use this to create a sense of urgency and offer limited-time promotions on the items that are running out. Either way, it allows customers to get a quick snapshot of what you have to offer and is a perfect way to attract nearby shoppers. These ads will work alongside your regular shopping ads and will only be displayed if the searcher is showing hyperlocal intent or they are in physical proximity to your store.
You might also see a massive difference in engagement and conversion between different devices. Knowing which devices drive the most results will be essential when tracking bids. Some things may drive many searches on PC, but not necessarily turn into sales. People are more likely to use a PC for research, while a search through mobile might show more direct intent. So, don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach with your devices and concentrate most of your efforts on the devices that work the best for you. This information could also help you choose the right extensions for your ads. If you notice that you get most of your sales through mobile customers, it would be wise to try something like phone extensions, for instance.
Numbers for “near me” searches have been skyrocketing over the last few years. Google Consumer Insights found that there was a massive 900% growth in these kinds of searches over the last two years and these continue to grow. You need to capitalize on them since they show strong buying intent. You should first make sure that you have location extensions set up. You should then create different “near me” variations using things like your brand, or product. You can use the name of your city in some of these as well.
Not all businesses qualify for in-store reporting, but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do. Here, we suggest you trust the knowledge and experience of your sales team. Knowing exactly which terms drive offline sales can sometimes be difficult, but they’ll be able to help. They know which items need that human touch. They also know which items have longer sales cycles. These are all items that people are more likely to buy in person.
When building Adwords campaigns, optimize categories that are more offline-centric. This is where the expertise of your team along with the data you’ve gathered will be very important. Offline-likely searches have to be reflected in your keyword choices. You also have to adjust your performance targets and consider offline behavior. You might have to adjust your location/device adjustments based on in-store conversions. If you don’t have in-store reporting, you can use your company data.
You should also use your sitelinks to drive more interest for in-store promotions and items you know are sold more offline. It’s all about knowing what’s going on in the real world and reconciling it with your Adwords campaigns.
Google ads are evolving by the day and are focusing more and more on connecting businesses with local customers. Use all the tools at your disposal and constantly work on combining your in-store data with online campaigns so you can fine-tune them.