Achievement Unlocked: Google Analytics Store Visit Tracking

Recently, we unlocked a very meaningful metric in Google Analytics: store visit tracking from website sessions! And for a multi-location family entertainment business looking to drive higher in-store attendance rates, this is a huge deal.

What it means.

In the past, Google Ads and Facebook have been working to help attribute store visits to ads users have seen or interacted with, but these still only gave data on ads that drove store visits. However, with Google Analytics store visit tracking, users that visited the website from any marketing channel can be tracked. For example, website visitors that entered the website via organic search, direct entrance, organic social interactions, and referral traffic can now be tracked if they later visited a brick & mortar store location. The key aspect to remember with this conversion metric is that these are store visits driven by website sessions; the user must have visited your site prior to visiting a store location. 

Google Analytics store visit tracking 1

This feature not only allows you to view how the consumer got to your website, but also from where. This is helpful when trying to understand the likelihood of a store visit across all your connected locations. Of course, it gives the international breakdown, and for regional businesses, you can go down as far as the metro area of the location, which helps to pinpoint exactly which store if there are multiple in one region.

Google Analytics store visit tracking 2

Why it’s important.

In digital marketing, one of the most important returns on investment you can show your clients is cost per acquisition. But when a point of sale is made in person and no information is collected on the consumer, this makes real-life conversions difficult to track. However, with store visit tracking, we have a better perception on the user journey and what led them to the site and later caused them to visit a location. In the long run, this new element of tracking helps us make informed decisions about creatives, budget by location, website optimizations, and other elements of each digital marketing campaign.

How to get it.

Google has a million and one articles on how to track store visits across different user channels. Lucky for our Sweet Ramblings readers, we’ve compiled all the key points here for you to follow:

  1. Have Analytics, Google Ads, and Google My Business accounts for your business.
    1. You can have just one Analytics and just one Google Ads account, but each location of your business must have their own Google My Business account.
  2. Ensure location extensions connected from Google My Business are active in your Google Ads account.
  3. Have your Analytics property linked to your Google Ads account that contains location extensions from Google My Business.
  4. Activate Google Signals for the Analytics property.
    1. This is done by entering the Admin tab in Analytics > Property Settings > Tracking Info > Data Collection > Toggle on Google Signals.

Please note, however, that your website, Google Ads, and Google My Business must have substantial traffic to activate store visit tracking. Once your Google Analytics account has been whitelisted for store visit tracking, it will appear under the conversions report as its own section (similar to the e-commerce reporting section), just under Goals. Bear in mind, this feature is still in Beta with Google, and it’s still got some bugs to work out, but it’s a start we’re happy to have. If you’re looking for more information on Analytics store visit tracking and how it can benefit your business, contact us here and we’ll talk. 

Bonnie McDermott