Report on Floodlight cross-environment conversions

About Floodlight cross-environment conversions

In today's multi-device world, an increasing number of conversion funnels stretch across devices and web browsers. For example, a user might click a paid search ad on a mobile device while on the go, but convert from a desktop computer once at home. These cross-device and cross-browser conversions are known as cross-environment conversions, and are counted using various sources of aggregated and anonymized data.

To give you full insight into customer interactions, you can view metrics for both single-environment conversions and cross-environment conversions for Floodlight activities in the same report:

  • Single-environment metrics: Only conversion funnels that start and end on the same device or browser are counted in columns that report single-environment conversions, such as Actions and Trans. These metrics may be underreporting the total number of conversions your search ads are contributing to.
  • Cross-environment metrics: The total number of conversions---both those in which customers click a search ad and convert on the same device or browser, as well as those in which customers click a search ad on one device or browser but convert in a different environment. 

How is this different from Google Ads cross-environment conversions?

Google Ads conversion tracking can also report on cross-environment conversions, but is limited to Google Ads campaigns that use Google Ads conversion tracking. You can see this data in Search Ads 360

Since the conversion data for Floodlight cross-environment conversions comes from the Floodlight activities on your site, you can see cross-environment conversions for any of your Search Ads 360 engine accounts.

Should I expect Google Ads and Floodlight cross-environment conversions to match?

No, the number of reported cross-environment conversions is unlikely to match because the data and algorithm used in the two products are different. 

How fresh is the data in Search Ads 360? 

Cross-environment conversions are fresh as of yesterday. Reports that include cross-environment conversions for today won't have the complete number of cross-environment conversions. 

Seeing partial cross-environment conversions?

Because of the way Floodlight calculates and distributes credit for cross-environment conversions, it's normal to see decimal values in columns that report cross-environment conversions. For example, for conversion paths that spread across environments, Floodlight distributes a portion of credit to each keyword contributing to the conversions. Revenue and transaction quantity are similarly distributed. However, given the complexity of calculating cross-environment conversions, it's expected that these distributed amounts may not add up to the original amounts reported by the Floodlight tag.

Scaling and cross-environment conversions

Search Ads 360 may be unable to directly measure Floodlight conversions and imported Google Analytics goals and transactions when website cookies that store information about your ad clicks aren't available. This may be due to factors such as browser settings, even if you use one of Google's sitewide tagging solutions. In these cases, Search Ads 360 uses machine learning and historical data to model the number of conversions and amount of conversion revenue that cannot be directly measured. Reports and bid strategies in Search Ads 360 use the resulting estimate to scale conversion metrics and provide a more complete picture of how your advertising drives conversions.

If you include cross-environment conversions in a Floodlight column, the column will also include scaled conversions. It isn't possible to exclude scaled conversions from cross-environment reporting. 

Offline conversions and cross-environment conversions

The standard cross-environment reporting columns may or may not include offline conversions that you upload, depending on how and when the offline conversions were uploaded to Search Ads 360. To ensure consistent, accurate cross-environment reporting, exclude all offline conversions from your cross-environment reports. To do this:

  1. Create a Floodlight column that includes only online activities (and therefore excludes offline activities).

    Cross-environment conversions are included by default in new Floodlight columns.

  2. Use this column as your source of truth for cross-environment conversion reporting.

To include cross-environment conversions in existing Floodlight columns, edit the column and select the Cross-environment conversions check box.

You can't edit columns that are being used in a Search Ads 360 bid strategy.

Requirements for reporting on Floodlight cross-environment conversions

To see Floodlight cross-environment conversions:

  1. Create Floodlight activities and add Floodlight tags to your site.
  2. Record enough conversions for a Floodlight activity for  Search Ads 360 to aggregate and anonymize cross-environment activity. Until then, you'll see the same number of conversions in the cross-environment and single-environment conversion columns.

    The exact number varies for different advertisers because of how cross-environment conversions are calculated.

    In April 2018, Search Ads 360 introduced an improvement that reduces the amount of conversion data needed to detect cross-environment conversions. This change requires your advertiser to contain a mix of single-environment conversions as well as cross-environment conversions. In reports that include dates before April, 2018, you may see an increase in cross-environment conversions that is due to the change in the way Search Ads 360 detects cross-environment activity.
  3. View reports for ads, keywords, product groups, ad groups, or higher levels.
    Reporting columns that include cross-environment conversions cannot be added to other reports.

 

Ready to get started?

To see the total number of conversions--including cross-device conversions--you can:

  • Add cross-environment columns to an Engine accounts, CampaignsAd groups, Ads, Keywords, or TargetsProduct Groups reporting table.
    This makes it easy to compare single-environment with cross-environment conversions.
  • Create Floodlight columns that report cross-environment conversions.
    For example, create a Floodlight activity column to report cross-environment activity for a specific group of Floodlight activities.
  • Create formula columns that contain cross-environment conversions.
    For example, create a formula column to report the lift from including cross-device activity in conversions.
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