If you’re running campaigns where your customer’s intent is to “go” local, you may be missing out on a whole other level of insight if you haven’t adopted the use of Google’s Local Action Conversions.
What are Local Action Conversions?
Simply put, they are conversions based on a local action that takes place off of your site but are attributed to your Google ad efforts. Tracking these conversions allow you to see the effect your ads have off-site.
These conversions are particularly useful to businesses that rely on local customers who may call or do some other valuable action on Google products such as Google My Business or Map listings after they have interacted with one of your ads. Remember that last part – the conversions are counted only if the user has interacted with your ad.
How do Local Action Conversions work?
Let’s say you run an Urgent Care center. Here are several possible scenarios where a local action will be recorded as a conversion.
Scenario 1: Interaction after site visit
After searching “urgent care near me,” a user clicks on your ad and goes to your website for more information. Perhaps the user is still evaluating different Urgent Cares before making a final decision. Then let’s say this same user has now decided that your Urgent Care best fits their needs and performs another search but instead of clicking on your ad again, they click on the call button in a Google My Business Listing.
Scenario 2: Interaction on ad within location based listings
User clicks on the call button on a location based ad that appears within the Google My Business listing when a map is shown in the search results.
Scenario 3: Interaction with location extension
The users sees your ad and clicks on the location extension, taking them to the map. Here they can then choose to click-to-call (or other actions such as get directions or share) from the Google My Business listing in Maps.
How to Get Started
The first and really only step to getting started – linking your Google My Business account to your Google Ads account. To do this you must have admin access to both accounts. Then simply add a location extension and the connection is made.
The connection will be at the Google Ads account level but you can choose to apply specific locations from your Google My Business listings at the campaign level.
There is nothing else you need to do. As long as your Google Ads account is connected to your Google My Business account, these conversions track automatically.
Interpreting the Results
These are seen as Google Hosted actions in your Conversions with Google Ads (Tools > Measurement > Conversion). This differentiates them from those marked as Website (using Google conversion pixels) or Analytics (those imported from Google Analytics).
The conversions are not included in the Conversions metric column (and at this time can’t be added) so you don’t have to worry that your “normal” conversions will be padded. They are however, available in the All Conversions column so you can quickly compare the totals for both to get a sense of the number of valuable conversions that might be happening off-site.
However, it’s likely that not all of these local actions will have equal value to you. Currently there are 6 local actions:
- Clicks on the “Call” button known as “Clicks to Call”
- Clicks on the “Get directions” button
- Clicks on the website link on a Google My Business Listing either in the search results or in the maps
- Clicks on other tracked user actions such as “share location” or “save”
And if it applies to your business, you may have the following additional local actions available
- Clicks on the “Order” button on any Google location-based ad or service
- Clicks on the menu link in a Google My Business listing
In the reports, it’s possible to segment by the different local action conversion types so that you can focus only on the ones that are meaningful to your business.
An important point to keep in mind as you consider whether these new conversions are valuable for business decisions: the conversions have a 30 day attribution window. This attribution window means that the conversion will track if a user takes one of the 6 actions above within 30 days of interacting with your ad. Currently the attribution window can’t be changed as it can with other conversion types.
We definitely recommend taking advantage of this conversion type but doing your due diligence before reporting on these as a KPI.