A Guide to Using Google’s Enhanced Conversions
Jun 19 2023
Perhaps the single most important data point for determining ad campaign success is conversions. Though tracking, attribution, and measuring online and offline conversions may never be 100% accurate, advancements in tracking technology have made following the path from initial contact to that final, pivotal customer touchpoint more precise with each system improvement.
Of these recent developments, Google Ads’ enhanced conversions are among the most critical components of accurate digital campaign measurement. Learn more about how enhanced conversions provide the valuable insights marketers need to analyze campaign performance while also abiding by evolving data privacy regulations below.
How Enhanced Conversions Improve Data Accuracy
Enhanced conversions provide an accurate report of where and when conversions occur without relying on third-party data. Even as more users opt out of tracking and third-party data becomes increasingly scarce, teams will be able to create relevant customer experiences for their future campaigns using enhanced conversions.
With enhanced conversions, Google matches hashed first-party user data to Google account login information. The first-party data comes from information entered on a webpage where online conversions typically occur, such as a checkout page that asks customers to fill in their name, email address, and phone number.
Here’s how the process looks in action:
1. Let’s say you’re in need of a desk lamp. You’re signed into your Google account and begin an online search. You see an ad for desk lamps and click on it, but don’t immediately purchase anything.
2. You later return to the site where you saw the desk lamp, add the lamp to your cart, then fill in standard contact information — name, email, phone number — on the checkout page.
3. The conversion tag on the site captures this first-party data, hashes it, and securely sends it to Google.
4. The hashed data is matched to Google user data, successfully accounting for a single (and properly attributed) conversion.
How Enhanced Conversions Change the Game
Enhanced conversions benefit both consumers and businesses. Whether they realize it or not, consumers enjoy a more secure ecommerce experience when third-party cookies are removed from the equation. The combination of machine learning and smarter algorithms allows consumers to preserve their data privacy while still receiving digital ads tailored to their specific wants and needs.
Businesses taking advantage of enhanced conversions stand to gain valuable insights, even as they observe increasingly strict data privacy requirements. Consumers prefer to shop with businesses they trust, and enhanced conversions are another step in the right direction for both users and marketers as privacy concerns and regulations continue to evolve.
Enhanced conversions also help improve data accuracy through better online and offline conversion tracking, as the chance of conversions being missed or erroneously counted more than once is greatly reduced through the secure exchange of hashed data.
Additionally, the combination of enhanced conversions, smart bidding, and data-driven attribution introduced in GA4 provides better data overall — meaning marketing teams can make more informed decisions for future campaigns and utilize their budgets more effectively.
How to Set Up Enhanced Conversions for Web
Before setting up enhanced conversions, you’ll be asked to agree to Google’s customer data policies. From there, enhanced conversions can be activated by using Google Tag Manager or Google tag. Before you begin, be sure Google Ads tracking is already set up through Google Tag Manager and first-party data fields appear on the page registering conversions.
1. Confirm that you’re signed into your Google Ads account.
2. Locate the tools icon, then go to Measurement → Conversions.
3. Select your primary conversion action.
4. Scroll down until you see “Enhanced conversions,” then click “Turn on enhanced conversions.”
5. Select “Google tag or Google Tag Manager” to proceed.
6. Click “Check URL” to confirm that your website has a Google tag.
7. Check that “Google Tag Manager” is selected for tag type, then follow the instructions to finish setting up enhanced conversions manually before saving.
Keep in mind that enhanced conversions may take a few days to make an impact on your reporting; Google notes that it can take up to five business days for the change to take effect. Users can expect to see changes in their conversion reporting after 30 days.
Implementing this simple change can improve the accuracy of your brand’s conversion reporting and empower marketing teams to more effectively shape the future of their digital strategy.
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