Intercoastal Advertising Blog

Understanding Google Signals and Its Enhanced Advertising Features

Recently, Google unveiled a new feature to help advertisers track and market to users across all device types. This feature allows remarketing with google analytics, improved reporting features, demographics and interest reports, and cross-device reports.

It’s name, Google Signals.

How to Activate

In order for Google Signals to be activated, the ads personalization feature needs to be turned on by the user. More and more data is supporting that people want to see ads that pertain to their interests, lifestyle, and overall purchase history. Ad personalization is easy to activate within your google account.

Within the settings feature there is an option for data & personalization. Click that link and then go to ad settings. Click on it. Then select ‘turn on ad personalization.’ From here, you can select your interests to ensure you are only seeing promotions that you like or enjoy learning about.

This is where Google Signals performs its magic.

Cross-Device Targeting

Google Signals gives even more insights into audiences and demographics and tracks how people interact with your media campaigns on multiple devices.

To understand Google Signals, it is important to know what cross-device targeting is in digital marketing. Cross-device targeting allows you to reach your target audience with personalized messaging to track conversions from a device differently than the one the ad was served.

This extends the reach of your retargeting audience and can greatly help with attribution if you’re tracking conversions.


Let’s say you were served a targeted display ad for running shoes on your mobile phone. You clicked on the display banner and it took you to a website that provided more information on the shoes. You opted not to purchase the shoes at that time, but you were interested to research those shoes more at a later date.

3-days later, you visited that website again through a google search, and you purchased the shoes online with your laptop.

Tracking that entire process, on multiple devices, is the beauty of cross-device technology. It helps communicate the full story of ad performance and provide accurate campaign attribution. It is a truly detailed & segmented reporting strategy.

Cross-device reporting is a new addition to analytics. This report connects data about devices and activities from different sessions so you can get a better understanding of user behavior. Particularly in each step of the conversion process from initial contact to long term retention.

Just a heads up, admin access is required in google analytics to access cross-device reports and activate within google analytics.


Google’s domination of the search eco-system puts them in a premier position to identify who we are on any device we use. This means that Google’s cross-device tracking technology is going to (ultimately) be more accurate than any customized solution the rest of the digital media landscape can put in place.