ENHANCED CONVERSIONS: WHY, WHAT & HOW

Gone are the days when you hear the word cookie and you associate it with a blue monster from Sesame Street. Now every time you go onto a website you have banners cropping up all over asking you to accept cookies, but we’ll soon be heading away from relying so much on cookies and it’s this that we need to be ready for and prep for.

 

WHY MOVE TO ENHANCED CONVERSIONS

We’re heading towards a cookieless future and as users are savvier now than they ever have been the expectations for extensive privacy have and continue to result in additional privacy regulations and restrictions on cookies. So for you, an advertiser, these regulations are impacting how data on users can be collected and used which ultimately creates data gaps and risks performance issues in your ads account. This will drill down as far as you seeing fewer conversions and overall less data reported to keywords, audiences and many more reporting metrics.

Over the past year or so there has been a wave of browsers limiting the use of cookies and similar user identifiers, which complicates how marketers can reach and measure the impact your Google Ads account will be having.

Safari, Firefox, Brave & Edge have already begun blocking advertisers tracking using third-party cookies and another big browser, Chrome is set to follow suit later this year. To give you an idea of just how much this might be impacting your reporting, in 2021, 34% of all searches were carried out on safari & 49% on chrome.

So to combat this, to improve confidence in advertising on Google, and to make sure you’re seeing a true reflection of performance, Google has introduced Enhanced Conversions.

 

WHAT ARE ENHANCED CONVERSIONS

The good news is that Google has been able to develop a solution to help you understand and optimise to get the best from online advertising in a privacy-safe way, which they’re calling “an essential strategy”. This strategy being enhanced conversions. What enhanced conversions does is supplement your current conversion action and match the anonymised data from a user (such as an email) with the same data in Google’s back end. This helps to understand and relay that information back to your ads account to credit metrics such as impressions, clicks & conversions if necessary.

As most accounts are now using smart bidding solutions this will help Google to reach your targets and grow your accounts. However, even if you’re still taking the manual approach, you’ll still see a more reflective representation of performance to know where to push bids. So no matter what approach you’re taking in your account this should be something that you’re looking at to get a fairer representation of your performance (with the accounts that receive 20 or more conversions per week seeing the most benefit).

Enhanced conversions have only recently started to be rolled out into Google Ads accounts, with eligible accounts seeing it as a recommendation in the recommendations tab. Advertisers who tested this in alpha (one of those being Google themself with their own advertising), have seen on average a 5% median increase in their reported conversion rates. With ASOS being one of those early implementers, they were able to see further success in their account with an 8.6% increase in conversions across the search network and 31% increase in conversions from youtube.

 

HOW TO IMPLEMENT ENHANCED CONVERSIONS

For the meantime, enhanced conversions are only eligible for conversion actions that are set up via Google Ads. However, if you’re using a Google Analytics import as your primary conversion action then don’t worry. The advice is that even though enhanced conversions are important to make sure you’re not missing out on vital data. Don’t change your conversion action just for the sake of enhanced conversions, as further developments are coming shortly to make it more widespread for analytics conversion sources.

The actual implementation of enhanced conversions has a few steps to it.

Firstly, no matter how you code your website, everyone needs to initially agree to the terms of service which can be done by clicking into the conversion action you wish to upgrade. Then from there, you should be prompted to enter your website’s domain so Google can scan your website to then give you the appropriate next steps based on your tag set up. This will either be Gtag or GTM with the advice changing depending on your setup.

If you’re wanting to set up via Google Tag Manager, then this will be the best official Google support link to follow which contains a step-by-step guide and some stumbling blocks you could run into and how to overcome them. – Setting up via GTM

However, if you’re wanting to set up enhanced conversions via Global Site Tag then there is a separate file. Again, with instructions of how to set up and regular pitfalls – Setting up via Gtag

After this, you just need to wait around 72 hours at which point a new tab called ‘diagnostics’ will appear when you click into the conversion action which allows advertisers to validate that enhanced conversions are working properly. It’s after this time that you will start to see the benefits of enhanced conversions which will help you optimise and grow your account!