Does your business run Google Ads?
If you do, you may have noticed that Google has added multiple new features and campaigns in recent months.
In fact, this may be one of the most disruptive years for marketers and businesses working in the Google Ads platform.
Google has added new features including an updated version of diagnostic insights, a new Google Ads scripts experience, flexible custom columns, and the all new Performance Max campaign.
This has also meant the end of beloved features like Expanded Text Ads, Smart Shopping campaigns and more.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel…
Among all of the latest updates is a new feature called “Enhanced Conversions” and it’s one of the most powerful features that we’ve seen in practice. However, due to the limited available information and complexity of setup, Enhanced Conversions are often overlooked by marketers and business owners.
Enhanced Conversions and Cookie Tracking Issues
Since the last couple of years, online privacy issue has become a hotly debated topic in mainstream media and politics. To combat the issue, many countries are tightening their laws about third-party cookies (for example, CCPA, GDPR, COPPA).
You can find here more information on cookie consent policies in different countries. Besides, the Apple’s IOS14 update and Google’s plan to completly get rid of third party cookies by 2024 have made conversion tracking incredibly difficult for the marketers.
With the increasing restrictions on third-party cookies, it’s become more challenging for marketers to report accurate performance of their ads, and that’s where Enhanced Conversion tracking can help.
According to Google, the Enhanced Conversions feature can effectively close the gap between conversion-tracking and cookie restrictions, improving the accuracy of your conversion-tracking and even unlocking more powerful smart bidding options that improve the performance of your campaigns.
In Google’s Ads Academy report, they showed that advertisers who use Enhanced Conversions see an average increase of 17.1% in measured conversions on YouTube.
So today, we will deep dive into Enhanced Conversions and see how it works, types, benefits, and different setup options.
How Do Enhanced Conversions Work?
Enhanced Conversion tracking sends the first-party conversion data (name, email, phone number, address etc) from your website to Google using a securely encrypted method.
To do this, Google uses a secure SHA256 hashing algorithm. It enrcrypts your first-party data before sending it to their servers, protecting the privacy of users’ personal information.
Using this first-party data, Google then matches the conversion data to the correct user and gives credit to the related ad, which in turn, enriches your conversion data without violating any privacy policies.
Enhanced Conversion Tracking Example
Now, lets see some practical examples to understand how it works…
Imagine, you are running a ecommerce apparel business and you have recently set up Enhanced Conversions for your Google Ad campaigns.
Now, someone is logged in to their Google account on Chrome and searches for ‘buy t-shirts online’, which is one of the keywords you are targeting with your Google Ads.
From the search results, they click your Google Ad and land on your website.
On your website, they browse multiple categories of t-shirts, watch a video, add one t-shirt in their cart, but then get distracted and leave your website.
After few days, the same person returns to your site and completes their purchase.
Now, when the user has visited your website for the first time, their email address was captured in your Enhanced Conversion tracking tags, encrypted, and then sent to Google in the hashed version.
This data is later used by Google to match your conversions to correct Google accounts, which were logged-in to when they interacted with your Google ad.
In our previous example, Google attributes all the conversions (add to cart, video engagement, purchase) to the original ad that the user had engaged with, providing you valuable insights on your campaign performance.
Enhanced Conversions Types
Depending on your business model, you can set up Enhanced Conversions for your online or offline conversions. Google has distinguished it into two types: Enhanced Conversions for web and Enhanced Conversions for leads. Here’s a breakdown of each:
1. Enhanced Conversions for web
- This is relevant for the businesses who want to track online transactions and events.
- This type of setup improves the accuracy of your online conversion tracking and attribution.
- In this type, encrypted user-provided, first-party data (name, email, phone number, or address) is sent to Google when the user converts on your website.
2. Enhanced Conversions for leads
- This is relevant for the businesses who want to track store sales or off-website events such as store visits, phone call, or email.
- This type of setup improves the accuracy of your offline conversion tracking and attribution.
- In this type, you upload your converted uers’s first-party data in hashed version from your CRM to the Google ads platform under enhanced conversion tracking. Google then uses this hashed data to attribute conversion to the relevant Google ad campaign.
Enhanced Conversions Benefits
Here are some of the primary benefits of setting up Enhanced Conversion tracking in your Google Ads account:
Accurate Return on Ads Spend (ROAS) Reporting
Enhanced conversion tracking improves the accuracy of your conversion attribution by matching the user data with the relevant ad.
As your ads will get the credit for the all conversions they deserve, it will improve the accuracy of return of ads spend (ROAS) metric for your ads. In turn, it will help you to understand the overall impact of your Google Ads campaigns on your sales or leads and make a better decision for your future marketing campaigns.
Also, Enhanced Conversions reduced the data-loss in the overall user’s conversion journey, and recovers the conversions that often get lost in third-party cookie or other tracking-related limitations on multiple devices/platforms/browsers.
Data-Privacy Compliance Tracking:
Google’s secure SHA256 hashing algorithm allows you to pass the first-party data of your customers in the safest way possible without worrying about any privacy issues.
Powerful Smart Bidding:
This is one of the most important benefits of Enhanced Conversions.
With the launch of Performance Max campaign and sunset of Expanded Text Ads, Google has hinted its focus on smart bidding strategies. Google is shifting to smart strategies that will rely heavily on user signals from first party data.
Based on the collected first-party data, Google’s AI will map-out the user behaviour and journey. Similarly, this data will be used to identify more accurate lookalike audiences and users that are most likely to convert in coming days (For more information on Google’s upcoming changes, please check out Google Marketing Live Keynote 2022).
With the combination of smart bidding such as maximize conversions (Target CPA), or maximize conversion value (Target ROAS) and Enhanced Conversions, you are likely to optimize your campaigns in the most effective manner.
Google has reported a 17.1% average increase in conversions for advertisers that have implemented Enhanced Conversions.
Example: One of our Ollo Metrics’ clients saw a 7.14% increase in recorded conversions for search campaigns and a 173% jump in overall return on ad spend (ROAS) within 6 months after implementing Enhanced Conversions.
How to Setup Google Ads Enhanced Conversions
Enhanced Conversions for Web
- Identify the conversion trigger (confirmation page url or event) for the conversion action that you want to setup enhanced conversion tracking.
- Ensure the first-party data such as email (required), name (optional), phone number (optional), or address (optional) is available on the confirmation page.
There are two methods to set up Enhanced Conversions for web:
- With the Global Site Tag: If you have implemented your Google conversion tags manually using global site tags then you can use this method. You can refer Google’s detailed instructions to implement the Enhanced Conversions.
- With Google Tag Manager: This is the easiest method to implement the tag. We will recommend using the Google Tag Manager to setup the tracking. If you are using the global site tags for your existing conversions, you can switch to the Google Tag Manager to set them and then implement the Enhanced Conversions by referring to the Google’s instruction guide.
Enhanced Conversions for Leads
- Please make sure either email (recommended) or phone number data is captured on the confirmation page of lead form.
- Ensure auto-tagging is enabled in order to import offline conversions.
- Make sure you have read and accepted to compley with the Google’s customer data policies.
Link your CRM with Google Ads and import offline customer data either by hashing yourself using SHA256 algorithm or Google will hash it for yourself.
Same as above, there are two methods to set up Enhanced Conversions for leads:
- With the Global Site Tag: If you are using the global site tags for your conversion tracking then you can use this method. You can refer Google’s detailed implementation guide here.
What to do after Setting up Enhanced Conversion Tracking
Once you have set up Enhanced Conversion tracking successfuly, you will notice “processing Enhanced Conversions” in your conversion “status” column under Tools & Settings – Conversions after 2-3 days.
Typically, it takes up to 30 days for Enhanced Conversions to take effect on your reporting. Meanwhile, your tracking will work normally, and once enough data is collected, you will begin to see the impact of your enhanced conversion data in your reports.
After 30 days, the conversion “status” column will be updated to “recording Enhanced Conversions”. You can find it under Tools & Settings > Conversions > select the conversion with enhanced conversion setup > click Diagnostics
After 90 days, you will be able to see impact cards which will show you the impact of Enhanced Conversions on your campaigns performance. These cards are shown periodically for a limited time only.
Get Started with Google Ads Enhanced Conversions
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Having valid data and interpreting it right is crucial for success. Every time a user engages with your website, organic social media, or digital advertisements, it leaves signals that can be used for understanding behavior, preferences and attitudes of your target audience. Turning this stranger into a loyal customer is an attainable challenge with the right strategy and methodology.
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