Over the years, mobile traffic has continued to increase, which has made it increasingly difficult to track customers as they cross over from one device to another. The traditional marketing funnel that used to be awareness, consideration, and then purchase has almost become obsolete. No longer is the buying cycle a linear path. In fact, it’s become necessary to identify the right attribution model for your business.

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Internet Meets The Mobile Evolution

The internet started long before 1994, but some of these major search engines changed the way businesses marketed their websites.  Around 2005, the introduction of mobile 3G began to change how everyday searchers used the internet. The biggest turning point occurred in 2009 with the introduction of 4G.

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The rollout of search engines and social platforms

Mobile devices and tablets have made the traditional funnel a thing of the past. Now, customers are able to enter and leave the buying cycle at any point and time. In addition, social channels have also shaped marketing communication and influenced buyers. Plus, you have websites like Amazon that help customers quickly read reviews from other consumers. Don’t forget about all the mobile apps that continue to influence buyers.  All of these factors have changed the behavior of shoppers.

The big issue has been how to analyze search activity across devices, especially as it relates to marketing. Customers can begin searching for a job, house, or car on their phone and complete an action from their home or work computer.

Cross-Device Shopping Measurement

Google estimates that 60-80% of users start their shopping on one device and finish on another. They estimate that 6 out of 10 users will cross-over to another device when they convert. Google certainly realizes how important cross-device tracking is in measuring mobile performance. This cross-device gap has made it difficult for marketers to make decisions. So, Google is constantly creating benchmarking and data points to bridge this gap.

  • In 2013, Google rolled out Estimated Total Conversions which also included estimated cross-device conversion tracking. This data helped you analyze how many customers began their search on one device but ended up purchasing from another one.
  • In 2014, Google expanded the Estimated Cross-Device Conversions for Display Ads. This gave us additional insight into the cross-device purchases that occurred after a searcher was exposed to ads on the Display Network.
  • In 2015, Google Adwords launched New Benchmarks and Key Tool metrics that helped you monitor cross-device conversion performance. Also, in this same year, websites began to experience organic ranking penalties if their websites were not mobile-friendly.

Mobile-Friendly Websites And Quality Score

These penalties haven’t been rolled out to AdWords yet, but your mobile conversion performance could impact your overall quality score. When searchers land on websites that are not mobile optimized, they may have a difficult time completing the conversion. You could choose to opt out of mobile, but you will greatly reduce your available impression share and give your competitors an advantage. If you are not convinced your website needs to be mobile-friendly, it might be time.

Cross-Device Attribution Reports And Benchmarks

Now in 2016, Google Adwords will launch cross-device attribution reports and benchmarks to help advertisers measure cross-device conversions. This new reporting feature should be available to all advertisers within a few weeks.

These new reports will show you the cross-device conversion activity, analyze how mobile is assisting conversions, and view the top device conversion paths.

You will be able to locate these new reports under Tools > Attribution reports and they will be able to help you measure how much cross-device activity is occurring. This data will help you determine your mobile strategy.

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