People are constantly connected, using multiple devices throughout the day to shop, communicate and stay entertained.  A September 2013 study of multi-device consumers found that over 90% move sequentially between several screens for everyday activities like booking a hotel or shopping for electronics.

As consumers are increasingly on the go and switching between devices, marketers are telling us they want to see a more complete and accurate picture of how their online advertising drives conversions.  Conversions can come in many forms: visits to stores, phone calls, app downloads, website sales or purchases made after consulting various devices.  Getting better insight into these complex purchase paths can help you optimize your online advertising and allocate budget more effectively.

Introducing Estimated Total Conversions

Today, we are introducing Estimated Total Conversions for search ads on  This is an exciting first step to give marketers more insight into how AdWords drives conversions for your business by showing you both the conversions you see today, like online sales, as well as an estimate of conversions that take multiple devices to complete.  Over time, we’ll be adding other conversion types like phone calls and store visits as well as conversions from ads on our search and display network.

Estimated Total Conversions will provide you with a holistic view of all of the conversions driven by your Google search advertising that can be used to make important decisions like how much to bid and how to assign budget across your various marketing channels.  For the last few years, many sophisticated advertisers have been using their own analysis to get to these insights.  Today, we are beginning to bring this level of insight and measurement to all advertisers.

Estimated cross-device conversions

Estimated cross-device conversions is the first new conversion type to launch as part of Estimated Total Conversions. Cross-device conversions start as a click on a search ad on on one device and end as a conversion on another device (or in a different web browser on the same device).

For example, say someone shops for “blue jeans” on her mobile phone while waiting for the morning train.  She clicks on a mobile ad for ABC Blue Jeans.  When she gets to her office, she goes directly to the ABC website to make a purchase.  This is an example of a cross-device conversion.  We calculate cross-device conversions using a sample of data from users who signed into multiple devices.  Learn more about how this works.

Estimated cross-device conversions will begin rolling out globally to all AdWords advertisers starting today and continuing over the next few weeks. To see these new statistics, you’ll need AdWords conversion tracking and a sufficient volume of conversions on which to base a reliable estimate.

In the last few months, we’ve analyzed data across thousands of AdWords advertisers to learn more about cross-device conversion patterns.

When advertisers in the travel industry use AdWords estimated cross-device conversions, they are able to measure 8% more conversions, on average, than they did before.  In addition, they can now measure 33% more conversions that originated on a mobile phone and later converted on different device.  This helps them attribute all those sales -- from customers who searched for flights and hotels on their mobile phones and then made a purchase from another device -- to the right ad.

Similarly, other verticals, like entertainment and retail are also seeing positive results.  Businesses in these industries are now able to measure 12% and 7% more conversions, respectively, than they could before using Estimated Total Conversions.

Sean Singleton, Marketing Manager at American Apparel noted that, "We always knew our online ad investment was influencing conversions across devices, but we didn't know how to begin estimating these numbers. Once we saw that 5.3% more conversions could be attributed to cross-device conversions in AdWords, we knew we could more accurately calculate the value we were receiving from each ad click.  We also learned that mobile ads are driving 16% more conversions than we thought, so we are now investing more into this channel to gain more sales.

More results from other verticals can be seen below.

Paving the way for marketers to measure the full value of their online advertising

We are committed to helping you gain insight into the new conversion types that are part of a constantly connected, multi-screen world so that you can make the best advertising decisions possible. In addition to cross-device conversions, both phone calls and store visits will be included as part of Estimated Total Conversions in the coming months. These are important conversions to consider — people make more than 40M calls to businesses each month directly from Google ads and are often looking for physical store locations when they search on Google, particularly on the go.

We look forward to your feedback on estimated cross-device conversions and are working hard to add new features.  Over the coming weeks we’ll dive into the new features with tips and best practices on the Inside AdWords blog and on the new Think Insights page for conversions. We hope you will join us.

Posted by Sridhar Ramaswamy, SVP, Ads and Commerce