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Google Ads can now track offline store visits.

This. is. critical. if. you. own. retail. stores.

Finally, we can now measure effectiveness of our Google Ads and other PPC strategies that drive footfall to your physical bricks and mortar store.

Google generously wants to help you understand how AdWords paid search campaigns influence those physical store purchases.  They deliver that generosity for the lucky businesses that can see “Store Visit” conversions in their AdWords account.  This is generally going to be hotels, restaurants, and retail stores. It is released in beta format.

This is an amazing addition for businesses in Northern Ireland especially, where a high percentage of online activity leads to an actual in-store purchase.

Google store visit conversions are available to a limited number of AdWords advertisers. In order to be eligible to measure store visit conversions you need to:

  • Have multiple physical store locations in eligible countries.
  • Receive thousands of ad clicks and many store visits.
  • Have a Google My Business account linked to your AdWords account.
  • Create each of your store locations in your Google My Business account.
  • Have at least 90% of your linked locations verified in Google My Business.
  • Ensure location extensions are active in your account.
  • Have sufficient store visits data on the backend to attribute to ad click traffic and pass Google’s user privacy thresholds.

Store visit conversions are determined using data from users that have opted-in to share their mobile device location history and are signed into a Google account, and also from users that are like them based on a highly accurate algorithm, which extrapolates data for non-signed in users.

How it works

Store visit data is based on anonymous, aggregated statistics. Google Ads creates modeled numbers by using current and past data on the number of people who click or view your ads and later visit your store.

Store visit data can’t be tied to individual ad clicks, viewable impressions, or people. Google use industry best practices to ensure the privacy of individual users.

Small numbers in store visit reports

Occasionally, store visit reports may show low numbers, even “1.” This can happen if you’re looking at data on more detailed level, such as segmenting by device. Because numbers are modeled and anonymized, “1” does not actually mean that that one person clicked or viewed an ad and then visited your store. Instead, it’s better to read this as a value close to one, or an average of one.

While this data can give you a sense of the breakdown of your campaign performance, store visit reports are more precise when the numbers are larger. So, to evaluate your campaign performance, we recommend using reporting levels with at least 100 store visits.

It’s also important to note that even when the reports present small numbers, our privacy techniques ensure that store visit data can’t be tied to individual people.

Get registering on-site store visits.

Want to get set up with this latest tracking conversion? Just email Marco at to find out more.

5 mistakes companies make when advertising on Facebook

There have been thousands if not millions of articles written about Facebook advertising, and I want to take this opportunity to deal with Northern Ireland exclusively.


We have been running Facebook campaigns for many years now. I’m constantly surprised at the lack of knowledge out there regarding the potential of Facebook – and Instagram – and how it can help local businesses generate valuable new leads.

First of all, I want to make something clear: Facebook is NOT a PR tool.

Whilst PR can form an engaging part of Facebook as part of an overall content strategy, if you constantly post pictures of “look at me” type content, you are missing out on huge areas of lead generation and new business opportunities.

Social media, and indeed Facebook, is not a “young person’s” platform. The younger demographic would primarily use instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Snapchat and utilise Instagram when sharing peer to peer.

Here are five things to consider when advertising on Facebook:

1. Liking a post is not the same as liking a page

We’ve all been there. A post is generating hundreds of likes but your Facebook page audience doesn’t appear to be growing at the same rate.

This comes from a change Facebook brought in a few years back to stop spam competitions and “fake” likes, and to improve the overall experience for Facebook users.

But there is a way to counter this – even in retrospect.

Simply click on the sentence below the post detailing the number of likes and reactions – up pops a list of people who have interacted with the post.

Then “invite” them to like your page, and they will receive a notification to do just that.

It’s a good way of organically getting people to follow your page.

2. The targeting is superb, but the numbers aren’t accurate-

Facebook trumps Google when it comes to targeting. There’s no better platform for demographic and interest-based identification than facebook. However, did you know there are more 18-year-olds on Facebook than there are on planet Earth? How does this happen?

-Put simply, a lot of teens will set their default age to 18, thinking it’s a pre-requisite to having a Facebook page. Thus Facebook believes there are millions more 18-year-olds than there are.

According to Facebook, there are 1,000,000 people in Northern Ireland on Facebook & Instagram.
This simply isn’t accurate. In reality, there are around 200,000 active individuals on these channels in Northern Ireland. So take the targeting with a pinch of salt. However, bear in mind that the targeting is highly effective, and advertising costs reflect this. And so 200.000 engaged is a huge number in the local context.

3. Campaigns automatically select Instagram as a placement

Facebook owns Instagram, and when creating campaigns using Facebook Power Editor it will pre-select Instagram as a placement. Instagram’s primary audience would be the under 25s and Facebook informs us there are approximately 200,000 people on Instagram in Northern Ireland (see above).

What this means is that unless you wish to target the under-25 market, you would be better deselecting Instagram as a placement and ensuring your whole budget goes on your Facebook demographic instead. Think of context here, and getting a better bang for your buck.

4. The dreaded 20% rule on images

Unfortunately, Facebook has invented a crazy rule stating that text should not exceed more than 20% of an image area. We have never worked out why this rule is there, but it means that text should be kept at a minimum.

Utilise Facebook’s 20% grid template to ensure you fall within their guidelines. Failure to do so may see your ad approved but highly limited in terms of exposure to your market – and yet you will be paying for it.

If creating an ad, we recommend having a title on the image or a logo, and then put any copy in the text spaces allowed accompanying the post.

5. Track your success

Facebook is a phenomenal marketing tool and without question should be used by most businesses. There are pitfalls however, and only trial and error can determine how effective it is for your company.

We suggest you add Facebook pixels to your website so you can track and measure any conversions you receive from your ads. This will give you infinitely more targeting options including re-marketing, which is a great way of showing your product or services to individuals who previously visited your website.

If you would like to know more about advertising on social media feel free to contact us for a chat and to download our free Facebook cheat-sheet.