Cynical about cross device tracking?

Do you find yourself questioning cross device tracking or always relied on a linear attribution model?

The digital landscape has changed. With the growth of mobile and decline of reliable cookie-based tracking due to cross-device activity (which made PPC ever so measurable), the industry is faced with a series of challenges.

If your brand is struggling to adapt or you're just accepting you need to bid on mobile, how are you tracking and justifying mobile spend and conversions?

Google thinks it has the solution, but is it all that?

You may, or may not, be aware of the cross-device column in AdWords. Google uses a subset of your logged in mobile users data to inform its algorithm and provide you with estimated conversions from mobile devices.

Google is so confident in this algorithm that it's merging the cross-device conversions directly into your conversions column by 6th September 2016.

Cross device conversions will only be included in your account if Google has a high level of statistical confidence based on the logged in users mentioned previously. Read their post for more information about how they count cross device conversions here.

SearchStar believes that with enough data Google’s model has legs and is the best solution, at the moment...

Case studies in the above article by Google help highlight why we believe you should take these conversions seriously and monitor these specifically for your brand moving forward. By using the cross-device conversions data for one of our clients, we were able to justify spend that delivered a 50% increase in revenue over a key period. Another advertiser saw a 50-60% revenue increase over a year when we used the data to inform our strategy.

Growth of mobile and defining website micro moments

With continued growth of mobile and its ever-growing importance, life would be easier if all users bought during their first interaction, but this doesn't always happen and depends on the value of products or type of service.

Companies must adapt, making their sites mobile responsive as well as defining the relevant conversion actions by device.

What are your micro moments?

Have you ever identified which actions on your site help conversion rate - if you are, you're almost there. It might be reading trip notes on a travel site or using a fitting guide on a clothing site It's worth spending the time to identify key moments to inform your bidding strategy moving forward.

There is more to come with increasingly complex algorithms being worked on by Google, and we're always keen to continue to deliver the market-leading solution. As we move into a programmatic media buying world, where it will soon be possible to buy TV and outdoor advertising, we could soon be looking at delivering a custom attribution model to track this. There is the potential to target by proximity around certain locations, based on logged-in users, their interests or the TV shows they watch.

People and cookie-based marketing

The ideal scenario which would make a marketers dream is the combination of people-based and cookie-based marketing. As an example, if Facebook ever merged with Google we would have a near complete attribution and targeting model.

There is hope for this (or an equivalent) with the little spoken about Facebook Atlas which the programmatic industry is aware of but don't shout about, yet. Atlas in its own definition is an "ad serving and measurement platform that is based on data from real people and real actions”. As an aside, Facebook has already started display buying where you can track a Facebook user over multiple websites.

What has been talked about softly is the move of Facebook into search...

It's a massive step to challenge Google, but look what happened to Yahoo, a partnership in the future this could be exciting.


Google offers a great solution to measure cross device conversions, but make sure you set yourself up for success and measure your customer’s key actions for the entire purchase journey over multiple devices.

There is more to come in the future, SearchStar does and will always continue to stay on top delivering the latest news about online media buying and attribution.