After a short Christmas break, Google’s HoA series, Elevenses, returned with David Whelan and James Henry, the UK/I Agency Team’s “Mobile Champions” kicking off 2016’s first edition:

Google Elevenses - cross device conversion tracking - agenda

There’s no reach without relevance

I’d be willing to bet that there are very few of us in digital marketing that haven’t heard the term “micro-moments”. It’s the label Google’s given for reaching your audience at the exact right time in order to have the biggest influence on conversion.

However, now it’s about more than just reaching your audience at the right time. David Whelan stressed the importance of getting ahead of the vast range of different media competing for attention by being relevant. To do that, we must understand context and intent.

People now use multiple screens to consume, so what might start as researching holiday destinations via a mobile device could eventually lead to a purchasing that cheeky all inclusive on desktop. Indeed, 40% of smartphone users conducting research on their mobile device go on to purchase on desktop, so you see, it’s not just about the last click, and same device metrics oversimplify the path to conversion.

The user journey is now fragmented

Google Elevenses - cross device conversion tracking - connecting the dots

1. To identify micro-moments, we need to first identify our audience, and then really understand them, what makes them tick.

2. We can deliver on needs in the moment by bringing together relevant messaging and exceptional user experience.

3. Extensive measuring of moments means we can be constantly testing to close the gaps in the fragmented user journey.

“Everyone estimates – but we do it the best”

Google Elevenses - cross device conversion tracking - what is it

James Henry explained that we’re basically looking at how other devices play a role in the customer journey, and attributing value to mobile devices in the run up to a conversion.

These cross-device conversions are calculated by comparing the behavioural signals of a sample of signed-in users (to understand where “true cross-device conversions” occur) with a sample of non-signed-in users to estimate other occurrences of cross-device conversions. This information is brought into AdWords after the algorithm used to compare the two samples reaches a 95% confidence threshold.

Google Elevenses - cross device conversion tracking - how to

Among the ‘behavioural signals’ used by the algorithm are: country of search, conversion type, date of conversion, landing page and device used.

Using the power of cross-device conversion data

NEW FEATURE ALERT. We can instruct AdWords to pull this new cross-device conversion data into the All Conversions reporting column, or add cross-device conversions as a separate column. Not only that, this data can then be used in any automated bid strategies you’ve got running to optimise campaigns.

Google Elevenses - cross device conversion tracking - add to reporting

Head to Tools > Conversions > Settings and then tick “include advanced conversions” and click save.

Best practices for getting good cross-device data

Google Elevenses - cross device conversion tracking - best practices

Measure and take action based on cross-device behaviour

The session finished with a list of short and long term actions and take aways. Short term, we must ensure we’ve got AdWords conversion tracking setup, and then add the cross-device conversion column in the AdWords report. By doing so, we’re able to begin accommodating cross-device behaviour by analysing keyword choices and polishing ad text to make sure the most relevant ads are being served at the most relevant time.

Long term, we can be using multi-device metrics (such as blending CPAs across devices and using total conversions) to assess the performance of campaigns and bidding across devices. As with any campaign, there is some trial and error, and therefore adjustments will be made on mobile to again ensure we’re targeting people at the right time.

It’s obviously good to have some light shed on how multiple devices are attributing to conversions, but I would be cautious about using automated bidding without any testing. For bigger brands with loads of campaigns, it has to be worth experimenting, but it’s definitely not a “no ongoing maintenance” activity!