PPC - tracking offline success

In the last few blogs, I've discussed how PPC can be far more than a simple one-click-to-conversion medium. By this, I mean that people don't simply click on an advert and then go ahead and complete their purchase or contact the website straight away. Instead, they weave in and out of different campaigns, multiple marketing channels and even change devices (from mobile to tablet, to desktop computer, for example) before they complete their purchase or become a qualified lead.

One thing we have come to learn over the last few blogs is that Internet shoppers are a complex bunch - this curious species are a savvy breed that know exactly what they want, and aren't afraid to find another website that can deliver the product or service they seek in a timely, price-competitive, stress-free manner.

But when it comes to driving revenue for your business via the medium of PPC, often it is the subtle conversions that contribute greatly to long-term revenue generation. This time I'm not talking about online leads or purchases, but rather the minutiae that often gets overlooked, but which can contribute greatly to any online campaign. Driving visitors to a bricks and mortar storefront is no exception.

In-Store Visits

Let's imagine for a moment that you're a traditional bricks and mortar business, and most of your revenue is generated by in-store purchases. However, your website is also driving a significant amount of profitable revenue through various marketing channels, including PPC. You know that your website is therefore crucial to your long-term success, but you also rely on keeping your storefront full of paying visitors.

In these instances, it can become difficult to gauge the effectiveness of your online activities on generating visits to your physical location. Perhaps certain campaigns have failed to generate any online revenue for your business, but you are reluctant to pause them for fear damaging your in-store visitor flow.

We've run a number of campaigns that aim to generate both online and in-store visitors, and aside from regular communication with clients (and occasional mix of near field technology to monitor store visits), often the success of generating interest to your storefront can be determined through certain interactions with your PPC advert, many of which can be carefully tracked.

Meaningful Advert Interactions

The following conversion types are often neglected from client reports, but we feel the need to include them, particularly if part of our on-going strategy is to drive in-store visits to your business.

Address Details - the user has expanded the PPC advert that appears in Google Maps in order to view your business's address and other contact details. This action is useful to know, because it shows that the user has some intent/interest in your business with regards to its location.

Get Directions - the user has clicked on the Directions button on their mobile device, thus providing them with directions to your business in relation to the user's current location. This user is likely very interested in visiting your business premises/store, whether they choose to do so that day or some point in the future.

Save Location - the user has saved the location for use at a later date, suggesting that they may consider visiting the location at a later date.

Share Location - the user has shared the location of the business via email or social media. This type of interaction is free for the advertiser (no charge for the click), effectively resulting in free online word-of-mouth.

Mobile Click-to-Calls - while this may not necessarily lead to an in-store visit, phone calls can lead to other meaningful results for your business. If your PPC advert displays a phone number to mobile phone users, then this metric provides an insight into how many mobile phone users tapped on the ‘Call Now' button that appears next to the PPC advert. In a nutshell, the PPC advert generated a phone lead for your business, straight from the user's mobile phone.

Phone Tracking - your PPC advert might display a phone number, but what about users who arrive on your website after clicking on a PPC advert? How can you be certain that PPC is generating profitable offline leads for your business? The answer is with intelligent, session-based phone tracking, which displays a unique tracking number to each visitor that arrives on your website from various marketing channels, whether through PPC, organic search, or other referrals. Any user that calls this tracking number is logged as a meaningful conversion, in order to better understand the impact each channel is having on generating leads.

For many business, online sales are paramount to the success of your business's growth. But for many organisations, driving visitors to their business location/storefront is equally as important. Having an effective strategy for raising the awareness of such locations, as well as optimising the campaign for continued growth, is necessary for continued success.