Turning Web Traffic Into Foot Traffic

Phillips Mitchell, Agency Strategist at Google

Phillips Mitchell, Agency Strategist at Google, gave a keynote presentation at High Point Market designed to help retailers inspire consumers to put down their smartphones and come into their stores to make a purchase.

[dropcap style=”letter” size=”52″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#e03333″]T[/dropcap]he customer journey is getting more complex and fragmented every day, but it’s not a problem; see it as an opportunity,” Phillips Mitchell told the High Point Market audience. “Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and YouTube have disrupted the TV market,” she explained, adding that consumer eyeballs are now on messaging apps such as Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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“If your site takes less than 3 seconds to load, you’ve lost 60 percent of those viewers.”


“We don’t just go online to get information quickly, we live online,” Mitchell noted. “There’s even a name for it: Nomophobia — fear of being without a mobile device. Our attention [as consumers] is going digital. [According to statistics] we log 2,422 minutes per week online via our mobile devices compared to 1,911 minutes per week watching TV. During last year’s summer Olympics in Brazil, NBC discovered that more viewers were streaming the games online than there were watching on TV sets.”

Furthermore, Mitchell stated that in the home furniture category, research shows 57 percent of online sales come from a mobile device versus 33 percent via a laptop/computer.

Google’s approach is to categorize every reason someone would be searching online: to know, find, buy, and watch. “We call these ‘micro-moments,’ a combination of intent, context, and immediacy,” Mitchell said. “This is useful when advertising to reach people searching for apartments or for sofas in San Francisco. To succeed in micro-moments, our advice is: Be There, Be Useful, Be Quick, and Connect the Dots.”

Be There

Mitchell cited the example of Red Roof Inn, which did research on key words such as “flight cancellation” or “cancelled flight,” to see if there was a way to target ads toward people looking for hotels by airports. “They decided to jump on this idea. Now if you search for hotels by O’Hare airport, a Red Roof Inn ad immediately pops up,” she explained.

Be Useful

“Home Depot created how-to videos on its YouTube channel designed to help consumers get things done around the house,” Mitchell noted. “Research shows that 1 in 3 people who watched a Home Depot video then bought an item from Home Depot’s Web site. They also took out ads on YouTube for 9 cents a click — a method much cheaper than TV advertising.”

Another example Mitchell gave was the company e-surance using mobile click-to-call ads on Google to engage consumers in several ways, such as “how to file a claim” or “instantly receive a quote.”

Be Quick

People have become impatient overall, but nowhere is this more evident than online. “If your site takes less than 3 seconds to load, you’ve lost 60 percent of those viewers,” she said. You’ll need to speed up your Web site.  In the previous example where e-surance experienced success with its click-to-call ads, Mitchell noted that its competitor Progressive was listed far down in the search. (To test your Web site, Mitchell recommended visiting https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com for a free evaluation.)

Connect the Dots

At Google, connecting the dots means anticipating your customers’ needs. “How about when people are renovating their homes, or looking to weatherproof the garage, or searching for schools in various neighborhoods?” she queried. “Having a mobile app may not be as necessary for home furnishing retailers, but why not activate Google extension, which is where you can provide your business’ phone and address for free?” Another tip that Mitchell gave was to have your company address on every page so that it is even more convenient for the consumer plus will more easily tap into the computer/phone’s built-in GPS capabilities.

If the customer has shopped with you before, “use their past behavior” to suggest additional items. “If they bought patio furniture previously, send them ads that offer accessories that coordinate with it. That’s what we call connecting the dots,” Mitchell remarked. “Mobile marketing can be surprisingly important to a home furnishings dealer. Mobile is driving the digital bus today, much more than laptops do. When people do a mobile search for a store, they are 55 percent more likely to go to that store.”

There are two additional things worth measuring: the number of phonecalls that come in (during and after an ad campaign) and the amount of app installs. “You can measure ‘cross device’ conversions, for example, going from mobile to laptop,” she stated.

Another tool that Google offers is “AdWords store visits.” According to Mitchell, Google will track whether someone clicked on your ad and walked in your door (this is done with GPS reporting). You can also target customers by zip code or by radius.

Mitchell urged the audience to visit thinkwithgoogle.com to access free case studies and research findings regarding buying trends so they could start winning those micro-moments that will, in turn, win over customers. 

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