How To Improve Google Tracking With Enhanced Conversions [New Feature]

Introduction

Google has recently implemented Enhanced Conversions, which is a new feature that makes it easier to manage your ad campaigns, and it can improve the accuracy of your conversion tracking.

Enhanced Conversions will let you view conversions from Google Ads campaigns, even if interactions occur on multiple devices or emails.

Additionally, this new feature is hopefully going to empower businesses to properly track campaign results with adherence to consumer privacy. It’s a feature that offers increased visibility into your data, which in turn makes it easier to tailor your campaigns in the future.

How Google Enhanced Conversions Work

As I mentioned above, Enhanced Conversions will help to improve the accuracy of your conversion data. By using a secure one-way hashing algorithm, it will supplement any existing tags with non-personally identifiable data from your website. What this really means is that Enhanced Conversions will inject user data from your website, into your existing tracking tags. You’ll get better visibility into your results, without compromising user privacy.

First-party customer data is still encrypted before it’s sent to Google. Information like an email address or a phone number will remain encrypted, which ensures that personally identifiable data remains anonymous, but it can still be matched to business records in order to attribute campaign conversions accurately. Google does this by pairing hashed data with the signed-in accounts to attribute your campaign to ad events, like clicks or views. This enables a business to attribute successful ads in order to improve campaign effectiveness in the future. AKA you’re not flying blind, while still respecting user privacy.

When customers complete a conversion on a website, companies can receive first-party customer data, including name, email address, home address, and phone number. By capturing this data using your conversion tracking tags, this data is then sent to Google in hashed form. This means that the information is transformed into a unique, fixed-length of characters. Google uses SHA 256 algorithm for hashing your customer data, which is the industry standard for one-way hashing of data. This data is utilized to match your customer’s Google account. This process allows you to measure the effectiveness of your ad campaigns by linking conversions back to the ads that customers clicked on. In addition, it also provides businesses with insights about your customers, such as their demographics and interests. This data can be used to improve the reporting of online conversions driven by ad interactions.

Businesses can benefit from Enhanced Conversions to improve the accuracy of their current conversion measurements and supplement conversion tags that already exist by sending first-party hashed conversion data from your website privately and safely. Users can better understand the impact of data with Enhanced Conversions quickly, with new impact results seen in your conversions summary page in Google Ads.

Why Use Google Enhanced Conversions?

As marketers start to see decreased ad performance due to privacy measures like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the launch of iOS 15, many platforms are turning to first-party customer data to track performance. This way, it’s possible to see which ad captured a customer’s attention, regardless of which device or email they initially used to click the ad. Google’s latest feature provides the ability to track conversions in a time of data privacy, all within your existing Google framework. With these features in mind, Enhanced Conversions are being touted as the bridge between privacy concerns and improved conversion data.

Enhanced Conversions allow first-party data to be captured on your website, and then this data is matched to campaign data such as ads that were viewed on multiple devices.

Here’s an example of how Enhanced Conversions work:

  • Fred uses his work computer, which is logged into Google with a company email. He performs research on a new Bluetooth record player. Fred clicks on an ad for a local music shop, but he does not make a purchase.
  • Later Fred uses his mobile phone, which is logged into his personal email, and he goes back to the music shop’s website and purchases the record player.
  • During this transaction, key moments are tracked using Enhanced Conversions. During the checkout process, Fred inputs first-party data like his shipping address, email, and phone number to make the purchase, this data is then encrypted and sent to Google.
  • Even though this transaction started on a company email, Fred uses 2-factor authentication on his cell phone like many users. This allows Enhanced Conversions to connect his purchase from his phone with his work email to create a complete picture of Fred as a consumer only using his first-party data.

Without Enhanced Conversions, Fred’s purchase might not be attributed back to the Google ad he clicked on at work. Without this data, the music shop may believe their ads were ineffective. However, by enabling Enhanced Conversions, Fred’s first-party information like phone number and home address is shared back to Google Ads. It allows Google to match Fred’s information to ads he had clicked on, effectively attributing his purchase to the music shop’s campaign.

From a privacy perspective, customers still have complete control over their data. Google states this technology only transfers customer data in hashed form, encrypted with the SHA 256 formula, a standard for data encryption at companies like Google and Facebook. This ensures only Google has access to customers’ data; Google users can control how it is used within their My Activity control panel’s “Web and App Activity” settings. Google says customer data is not shared with other advertisers, and access controls and encryptions are put in place to prevent unauthorized access. Still, businesses must address baseline privacy concerns. For these reasons, Google requires advertisers to use Enhanced Conversions to tell customers that their information is shared with third parties to conduct ad measurements services. Advertisers must obtain content from customers for such sharing and use of customers’ data where legally required.

How To Install Google Enhanced Conversions

When users are ready, they can manually set up Enhanced Conversions with Google Tag Manager by following these instructions. Companies can also enable Google’s Enhanced Conversion feature by setting up the conversion manually with the global site tag. Businesses can also set up Enhanced Conversions using an API connection. By utilizing Enhanced Conversions, businesses benefit from better optimization and measurement of online campaigns. Enhanced Conversions can be set up using the Google Tag Manager.

Setting up Enhanced Conversions manually using the global site tags means that it can be done using Javascript or CSS selectors. This allows users to find Enhanced Conversions variables taken from their conversion page or identify CSS selectors inputting this into Google Ads. You can apply Enhanced Conversions directly on your page instead of iFrame or a third-party tool if you currently use Google global site tag for conversion tracking.

Google Ads API lets users get the most out of Enhanced Conversions by sending first-party customer data as conversion adjustments for up to 24-hours. To implement Enhanced Conversions using the Google Ads API, one must record conversion on their website using a regular conversion tracking tag. After registering a conversion, the hashed first-party data can be sent via an API connection. This is allowed up to 24 hours after the conversion. While the API method is similar to other processes, there are some key differences.

Benefits of the API installation method compared to other processes include first-party data being provided after the conversion event. Other Enhanced Conversion methods, like tagging, require companies to send the first-party data when the conversion occurs. With APIs, hashed first-party data can be sent up to 24 hours after the conversion happens. This allows first-party data to be located from other sources, such as CRM systems or databases. Using APIs, app conversions can be sent for incremental experiments. While app conversions aren’t available in Google Ads bidding or reporting, API conversions can be sent through the Enhanced Conversion API.

Conclusion

We hope that you decide to start using Enhanced Conversions. Doing so will improve your ability to track campaign performance, and it will make it easier for you to manage your Google Ads campaigns. This feature offers a way for you to track click conversions in a way that respects user privacy (obviously a big win!). And it’s a big deal for businesses that need an edge in a world where user data is becoming increasingly difficult to attain. Marketers and advertisers alike need to stay up-to-date with these changes because it will help them find better ways to increase their conversion rates without sacrificing customer data.

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