4680911457_11c3b49a5d_mImagine the following scenario. You are sitting on the train on your way into work and as always, you are occupying yourself with your smart phone. On this particular day, you see an ad on Google that catches your eye. A pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on for quite some time is on sale for a limited time. You make a note to yourself that you want to check that out on your lunch break. Here’s the thing though. On your lunch break, you don’t go back to your phone. Instead, you visit the company’s website on your computer, and you make your purchase on your computer. In the past, for the person monitoring the shoe company’s Adwords program, this would not have been recorded as a conversion from an Adwords click.

As of October 1, 2013, Google is trying to change that. Based on aggregated data, Google will begin providing advertisers with estimates of what campaigns are converting the most sales amongst people who use multiple devices during the course of the day. There are a lot of gaps in the process currently. For example, Google notes that in order for this system to work, you need to record approximately 50 conversions a day to generate enough data for the estimates to be meaningful.

If you do not use Adwords, you might not find this news particularly riveting. However, the implications of Google’s “Estimated Total Conversions” program extends beyond the world of Adwords alone. Any kind of sales conversion may, these days, occurs across devices or across browsers. Why does this matter? Here are a few reasons.

• If your customers are increasingly purchasing from you via a mobile device even if their search begins on a computer, you need to make sure that your e-store and the rest of your site is mobile-friendly. It does not take much to convince someone to “bounce” away without completing a purchase.

• If your customer begins with a mobile search and then wants to go back and find you on a computer, it is important to make sure you are easy to find. An easy-to-remember URL and strong organic search results can help here (this is true no matter what)

• If more of your web visitors are visiting via a mobile device versus a computer, it is probably worth your while to make adjustments to your site so that it is optimized for a mobile experience.

How can you know from where your customers are coming to your site? Google Analytics can help quite a lot. You get a summary of how many people are accessing your site via a mobile device or via a computer, and the platforms and devices are also broken down. More than that, you can also talk to your customers or ask questions via an e-newsletter or your Facebook page. How do they prefer to interface with your company? The information you gather, much like Google’s Estimated Conversions Program, will be based on aggregated data and may require some guesswork over the long run. However, these conversations are most definitely worth having.We are living in a multi-device world. Time to work there as well.

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/viagallery/4680911457/ via Creative Commons