Cross-Device Tracking for Improved Decision Making

February 27, 2015 9:08 am Published by

Analyzing Users By Desktops, Tablets, and Mobile

Internet users in the US are searching items on one device, but that same search can often end on a different device. Analyzing cross-device behavior is not easy, nor is it easy to track or target this behavior. However, all marketers agree that improved methods for targeting multi-device search users will be key as well as understanding the type of device along with user location and time of day will be important.

Paid search marketing has long been a discipline focused on maximizing the value of keywords. But the evolution of searches toward cross-device marketing leads many to conclude that keywords may no longer be enough. To help solve this problem, Adwords has recently implemented Cross-Device Conversion Tracking. According to Adwords, “Estimated Cross-Device Conversions are counted when a customer clicks an ad on one device and then converts on another device. Furthermore, it includes website, cross-device, and phone call conversions.” This can be used to understand your return on marketing dollars and improve decision making on bids and budgets.


Google Analytics is helping the issue with their User ID, which can identify users who arrive to the website through a laptop, tablet, and mobile device. This resource eliminates confusion about which traffic contains site visitors who arrived to a site using two or all devices.

Adding a User ID requires a modification to the tracking script and an adjustment in the admin settings. From there, there are two reports that highlight segments by device usage sequence, and an acquisition report, which highlights which devices most influenced a sale. All of the reports can help analysts identify a general user behavior pattern before a conversion action. The caveat for real estate is that implementing the Google Analytics User ID requires you to login to the website in order to track. Therefore, it is more useful for ecommerce sites at this time.

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