Earlier this week, Google announced that over the next few weeks they will be rolling out 'Estimated Cross-Device Conversions' in AdWords. By capturing these metrics, it now allows advertisers to get more insight into the conversions that were initiated via search ads. It also helps account managers better understand & explain to clientele the full value of paid search.

For now, the data is not incorporated into the bidding tools in AdWords, though that's expected to come. Google's Sridhar Ramaswamy, SVP Ads and Commerce, has stated that Google was committed to helping its advertisers gain insight into new conversion types in a multi-screen world in order to aid their advertising decisions.

He claimed that more than 40 million calls are made to businesses a month, coming directly from using Google ads.

This is just the latest in a series of AdWords feature releases designed to give advertisers better insights into conversions. Google has said by early 2014 phone calls and in-store activity will also be included in the new Estimated Total Conversions column that is rolling out to AdWords accounts over the next few weeks.

What Is Cross-device Conversion

As consumers, we are continuously on-the-move, so too are our devices. With Cross-Device Conversion Tracking, advertisers can now report on an estimate of the conversions that started on one device or browser, but ended on another.

For example, say you're shopping for a birthday present for that special someone on your mobile phone while waiting for your morning train. You decide to click on a mobile ad for a "DVD Box Set". When you get to the office, you go directly to the "DVD" website to purchase your "Box Set".

This is an example of a cross-device conversion.

How Cross-device Conversions Are Calculated

Cross-Device Conversion Estimates are calculated by using Google account holders who are logged in to multiple devices as a proxy for the greater population.

Cross-device conversions are currently calculated only for conversion paths across the Search Network.

Google states that they are still working on how to capture cross-device conversions that start on Search and end on the Display Network.

Who Can Use It

Unfortunately, to have any chance at seeing cross-device conversion metrics, your AdWords account must average at least 50 conversions each day. Hopefully Google will lower this threshold to give the smaller accounts a better chance at utilizing this new feature.

We are also hopeful that Google will move beyond estimating the cross-device conversions and will implement true cross-device conversion values, so that advertisers can accurately report their AdWords ROI.