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22.12.2023

3 min read

Improve conversion accuracy with Enhanced Conversions

Google’s Enhanced Conversion tracking is a feature by Google designed to recover conversion data where important identifiers such as Google Click IDs are missing. With these recovered conversions, campaigns can be better optimised to target more appropriate audiences. Whilst being listed as a ‘Beta’ feature for some time, it’s still a valuable tool to implement in a privacy centric industry.

Given the increasing challenges of tracking and targeting consumers across devices due to stricter privacy regulations, marketers may see diminishing ad performance over time as fewer conversions are reported. Google’s response to this issue is the introduction of enhanced conversion tracking, aligning with the efforts of other platforms in addressing the evolving landscape of user privacy.

So, what exactly is Google Enhanced Conversion Tracking?

With many different privacy acts and the death of 3rd-party cookies, tracking has become increasingly difficult to maintain across devices. In an effort to offset these challenges, new approaches to tracking have been created that use first-party data to deduce which ads are carrying customers across different devices. Different platforms are utilising this, beginning with Meta and its “Advanced Matching”, and then Google unveiled its “Enhanced Conversion Tracking”.

Google’s Enhanced Conversion, in a nutshell, is essentially a feature that enhances the precision of your conversions. First-party data such as email, phone number and address of the user is securely encrypted and then sent to Google within the conversion payload. This encrypted data is then matched against registered Google users accounts in an attempt at finding a match where the same user has interacted with an ad. If a match is detected and the user has indeed interacted with one of your ads, a conversion can be counted against the related campaign.

The method by which Google securely encrypts the data is through a hashing algorithm: SHA-256. Nobody but Google will have access to the customer’s data, as stated by Google’s privacy policy. It is however important (and required by law) that customers are made aware that their data is being used in this manner, such as in a privacy policy.

How is it implemented?

The easiest way to set up consent mode is through Google Tag Manager. Specifically for this purpose, there is a new built-in variable called ‘User-provided data’. This variable can be set to automatically attempt to collect the appropriate data by analysing each page and trying to detect values which match email addresses, telephone numbers etc. Whilst this can work, we always recommend manually specifying each variable as this will result in more accurate results.

With any event you’re tracking on your website, we always recommend using a data layer which contains all the key information about the conversion. This makes it easy to populate your conversion tags with the right data. Alternatively you can extract the inputted values using other means such as custom Javascript variables.

Once you have your new variable set up, the next step is to configure your tags. For this example we’ll be setting up Enhanced Conversions for a Google Ads conversion tag, specifically a purchase event. In setting this up you’d enter the appropriate ID and Label provided in Google Ads and add a revenue and Transaction ID variable in the appropriate fields. To then enable Enhanced Conversions, you tick ‘Include user-provided data from your website’ and select the new variable you’ve set up.

After saving and publishing your new tags, you also need to ensure that Enhanced Conversions is enabled within your Google Ads account. These settings can be found in the main settings area within your ad account and within individual conversion actions. Make sure you select ‘Google Tag Manager’ as the implementation method when enabling these settings.

For support in implementing Enhanced Conversions and similar tracking technology, our Solutions team at Impression have hands on experience and can help you prepare you website for a privacy focused future.