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Google Launches Estimated Cross-Device Conversions for Display Ads

One year after launching its Estimated Total Conversions tool, Google announced that starting this week, the tool will now report cross-device conversions for Google’s Display Network. Previously available for search ads on Google.com, the Estimated Total Conversions tool helps advertisers better track the full value of their AdWords campaigns by providing insight into cross-device, call, and in-store conversions. Advertisers have had this tool for search on Google.com for just over a year and have been able to incorporate cross-device data into their bidding and budget decisions. The extension of estimated cross-device conversions to Google’s Display Network is a logical next step in providing advertisers with the means to gain greater insight into overall AdWords performance.  

Est Total Conv Screenshot_Crop

Google's announcement follows news from Facebook this week of an Atlas revamp focused on people-based matching instead of traditional cookie-based matching. As RKG’s Director of Display, Michelle Ulizio, explains, such a move allows for smarter targeting and more accurate attribution for cross-device campaigns – a promising development in an increasingly mobile world. When looking at the overall impact cross-device conversions can have on performance, RKG data has shown that, on average, orders increase by 7% when factoring cross-device conversions into the equation. When looking at only smartphone orders this percentage rises to 14%, suggesting that users are using their phones in part to research products they will then buy on another device.  

Lift in Conv from Cross-Device 

For example, a user interested in purchasing a new winter jacket may browse selections on the train on their way to work. Using their phone, they find a jacket they like at XYZ site, and once they get into work they navigate to XYZ site on their desktop or laptop and make the purchase. Additional data supports the fact that of all devices, smartphones are the most likely to see a boost in conversion rate when factoring in cross-device conversions. Data published in RKG’s Q2 Digital Marketing Report and using Google conversion tracking and estimates shows that smartphones generate 25% of all cross-device conversions, compared to just 12% of single-device conversions.  

Cross-Device Conv Share  

Even with the 14% increase in conversions associated with cross-device orders, smartphone revenue per click (RPC) continues to lag behind desktop and tablet RPC. Data compiled from RKG’s clients in Q2 shows that smartphone RPC is, on average, 35% of desktop levels. It is important to note, though, that this percentage has steadily increased each quarter since Q2 of 2013, when smartphone RPC was just 22% of that for traditional computers.

 RPC Comp to Desktop

The upward trend of smartphone RPC is paralleled by an increase in smartphone spending, which reached 9% of total paid search spend last quarter (compared to 5% at the end of 2012). As advertisers continue to gain insight into the full value of mobile - including cross-device and non-traditional conversion events - investment in this area should continue to increase. To learn more about how advertisers are using the Estimated Total Conversions tool and what results they have seen, tune into Google’s Hangout on Air, featuring RKG’s VP of Paid Search, Rachel Schnorr, on November 12th at 2:30 pm EST. To register, click here.
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