Metrics are synonymous for measuring success, especially aboard marketing channels, when it comes to examining data that will show the effectiveness of any given campaign. But sometimes those results can be skewed for a variety of reasons and therefore their outcome may result in information that sometimes can’t necessarily be trusted.

There are many analytical tools available to the online marketer that can show everything from pageviews to clickability using free services like Google Analytics. But recently one of the search engine’s most important, relevant forms of advertising results have come into question with regards to the effectiveness of online marketing.


2015 digital banner

The new “viewable” topic for metrics

In the later part of 2014, Google released data showing that over 56% of their paid online advertising is unseen by their vast internet audience. It is important to note that Google didn’t bury this information in a mountain of data in some boring document to remain almost invisible online. Instead, the leader in search openly admitted it — which had many an online marketer scratching their heads and wondering why.

Google is attempting to gain more attention on the topic of online advertising viewability.

They are also hoping to get more understanding aimed towards developing new, online standards for advertising viewability and mobile accessibility. It is still uncertain exactly how Google will promote the use of viewability/accessibility standards in the future, but look for more attention paid to this topic in 2015.

More offline attention

Online metrics will be coupled with other more traditional standards and statistics we all thought were dying off, in the form of offline statistics.

While Google will continue to promote increased ad viewability as a standard shaping the future of online advertising, more purchases are actually transpiring locally, off the internet, to the tune of $4 trillion in sales, and local services add trillions more.

While online marketers are busily measuring online impressions and clicks, the real action is happening inside retail stores and local marketplaces. According to the US Census Bureau, only 7% of retail transactions happen online so it would appear that some marketers are missing the boat when it comes to tracking campaigns. But in all fairness, these in-store transactions are difficult to track on a per campaign basis.

Mobile monitoring

With the continued popularity of mobile, handheld devices comes a valuable location-based tracking system. Many shoppers are comparing prices and checking reviews online while they are inside retail locations before they ultimately reach the check-out line at the end of their buying journey.

Using mobile monitoring and geofencing (a software interface that locates mobile users via radio frequencies or GPS tracking) a retailer can gauge store visits, identify a shopper’s location and route through their brick-and-mortar stores.

AdWords, store visits, etc., etc., etc.

ETC (Estimated Total Conversions) was launched by Google in the latter part of December 2014 and goes hand-in-hand with AdWords with a metric that will measure the number of store visits in real time. Coupled with a thirty day window associated with the client’s online AdWords campaign, the effectiveness of online marketing can then be compared with offline retail shopping habits. In a nutshell, Google will be calculating in-store, retail traffic against online marketing efforts.

In essence, in its ultimate wisdom, Google will be paying more attention to online advertising viewability while tracking retail shoppers offline. At the end of the day, or perhaps more precisely at the end of the month, marketers will have the ability to receive more relevant purchasing metrics as a result of their online marketing efforts.


About the Guest Author: Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. He has contributed articles to, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas.