Google’s recent roll-out of “Store Visit Conversion Tracking” is the holy grail of paid search. Finally, as both marketers and dealers, we can definitively see how many customers walk into your dealership as a direct result of your paid search spend.


Look, I admit it. I’m a huge paid search nerd. I love putting PPC strategy into action and seeing the results of my AdWords campaigns. If you’re anything like me, you know that seeing the numbers is SO. DANG. SATISFYING.

But too often, dealers are left wondering how exactly all these paid search numbers and metrics translate to inventory moving off of their lot. It’s one thing to know that PPC is essential to your dealership’s marketing strategy, and that it’s a big part of driving in-store traffic, but how do you validate the amount of budget  you put towards it? To date, we have been able to measure success by matching sales against form submissions, but only if the customer’s personal information matches up online and in-store. With so few customers converting online — because they find what they need on your site, and then visit in-person —  how can you get a complete picture of the customer’s journey after simply clicking on an ad?

That’s where Store Visits come in. Store Visit conversions are a new metric available only to select Google Partners that allow advertisers to see the exact influence paid search has on walk-in traffic. Google models anonymized data to reflect store visits from ad clicks. This information is extrapolated from users who are logged into Google on their mobile device when visiting that location after clicking on an ad. For dealerships, this is huge—it closes the gap between actions taken online and in real life by their customers and lets dealers determine the actual ROI of their PPC spend (which, as it turns out, is AH-MAHZING).


The First Store Visits Case Study

Launch Digital Marketing worked with Google to implement Store Visits for a dealership to determine the true value of paid search to their bottom line. During a 41-day period, the dealership received 11,104 clicks from search efforts which resulted in 983 store visits at a $54.85 cost per visit across all campaigns.

This means 8.13% of all clicks on the dealership’s paid search ads resulted in a store visit within a 30-day window. At the campaign level, the data gets even awesomer. Some highlights:

  • 16% visit rate on the brand name campaign at $10.63 per visit
  • 9% visit rate on their Dealership campaign at $83.12 per visit
  • 5.45% visit rate on their New Vehicles campaign at $103.01 per visit

Let’s take a look at the path to one sale at this dealership. They have a $4.46 average cost per click, and an estimated 20% walk-in close rate. If the dealer gets 63 clicks with the 8% store visit rate, they will see 5 customers on average from paid search. One of these visitors will buy a car. All this combined means a $281 spend for one vehicle sale!

tracking paid search ads to in store visits

For all you data nerds out there like me, this tells a compelling story and signifies a new era of paid search. The online/offline gap is closed, which means advertisers can calculate direct ROI in industries where it wasn’t previously possible. If you want more information on href=””>Store Visits or just to geek out together about paid search, shoot me an email at!

Meet Cara Garvey

Cara Garvey is the Paid Search Director at LDM. She graduated from Roosevelt University in Chicago with a degree in Integrated Marketing Communications, minors in Spanish and Psychology, and a penchant for Netflix. Cara enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing with her dogs, and analyzing conversion data (don't judge).