Google Enhanced Conversion Tracking: An Ultimate Guide

Google Enhanced conversion tracking guide

Google enhanced conversion tracking is a relatively new service offered by Google to help businesses measure and improve their advertising effectiveness. It has been around for the last year in beta or so but not many people know about it, let alone use it. In this blog post, we will talk about what enhanced conversion tracking is, how it works, and why you should use this valuable tool in 2021 (and beyond)!

Consumers are increasingly difficult to track and target across devices as privacy regulations become more stringent. As conversions are downplayed, marketers may start seeing decreasing ad performance over time as conversions are underreported. Now, as other platforms roll out their own solutions to the problem, Google has caught on with enhanced conversion tracking. Continue reading to learn more about Google’s latest technology.

What is Google Enhanced Conversion Tracking?

The debut of iOS14, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and the end of third-party cookies in 2022 are all contributing to an increasingly difficult tracking and targeting of consumers across devices.

Over time, because conversions are underreported, marketers could start seeing reduced ad performance. To counteract this, many platforms are employing first-party consumer data to assess performance — allowing them to see what ad caught a customer’s attention regardless of the device on which they viewed it.

Facebook has been employing this technology in the form of its “Advanced Matching” function for some time. Now, Google is jumping on board as well. They’ve debuted their own enhanced conversion tracking solution, which aims to combine privacy concerns with more precise conversion data.

Google Enhanced conversion tracking is a feature that can increase the accuracy of your conversion measurement. It sends hashed first-party conversion data from your website to Google in a secure way, as part of an addendum to your existing conversion tags.

before sending to Google, the feature employs a secure one-way hashing algorithm called SHA256 on your first-party customer data, such as email addresses.

The hashed data is compared to signed-in Google accounts in order to attribute your campaign conversions to ad events such as clicks or views.

The Google Enhanced Conversions option benefits your optimization and measurement. Accounts with around 20 or more conversions each week generally profit the most.

How does Google Enhanced conversion tracking work?

How Google Enhanced Conversion Tracking works

Facebook launched Advanced Matching in 2016, with features incorporated into their pixel code to enable firms to collect and match customer data such as emails and phone numbers to occurrences such as product purchases.

The party is now well underway, with Google following suit and releasing their “Enhanced Conversions” to most accounts.

Google Enhanced Conversions is similar to Facebook’s approach in that it allows Google Ads to collect consumer data from a conversion action and then return it to advertisements seen on other devices. How does this work, exactly? Continue reading for further information.

  1. John uses his work computer to look into a new bike helmet. John clicks on an ad for a local bike store, but he doesn’t buy right away.
  2. Later, using his mobile phone, John logins into his personal email account and orders the helmet from the bike shop’s website. Enhanced Conversions is now keeping track of crucial moments throughout this transaction. When John finishes the checkout, he enters his email address, shipping address, and phone number to purchase, which are then scrambled and sent to Google. This is first-party data.
  3. John, like many individuals, utilizes his personal phone for 2-factor authentication, allowing Google to link his purchase phone number with his work email. John’s profile as a consumer is built solely from first-party data, which Google’s new Enhanced Conversions provide.

The helmet purchase might not be credited to Google by John’s clicking on an ad later that day if Enhanced Conversions aren’t implemented, and the bike shop may believe their advertisements are ineffective.

John’s name, email address, phone number, and home address are all shared back to Google Ads under Enhanced Conversions mode, allowing Google to link John’s data with past ad clicks and more appropriately credit his purchase to the bike shop’s marketing campaigns.

Is your data secure? Yes and no. Customers ultimately have complete control over their own data. Google claims that the technology encrypts consumer information with the SHA-256 algorithm, a common form of encryption employed by Google (as well as others, such as Facebook).

Nobody, that is, except Google, has access to a customer’s data. Even then, consumers can limit how Google uses their data through the “Web and App Activity” settings area of the MyActivity control panel.

Google’s privacy policy also states that customer information will not be shared with other advertisers, and that access controls and encryptions are in place to prevent unlawful access. Google’s full list of data policies relevant to Enhanced Conversions can be found on their help site.

However, even with the latest updates, brands must still confront basic privacy issues. As a result, Google demands that any advertiser using Enhanced Conversions inform customers (for example, in a privacy policy) about how their information is used to measure advertising and obtain consumer consent for such sharing and usage where required by law.

How to set up Google Enhanced conversion tracking?

When a visitor to your website converts, you may get first-party customer data such as an email address, name, home address, and/or phone number.

The name, email address, and phone number associated with your Google account can be used to match customers to their Google accounts. This data is collected in your conversion tracking tags, hashed, sent to Google in its hashed form, and then utilized to connect consumers with their Google accounts that were signed into when they clicked on one of your advertisements.

These metrics will be utilized to enhance the reporting of online conversions triggered by ad interactions. For hashing your customer data, Google uses the SHA256 algorithm, which is the industry standard for one-way hashing of data.

You can set up enhanced conversions tags in two ways:

  • Google Tag Manager: The Google Tag Manager is a tag management tool that allows you to easily and quickly modify tags and code snippets on your website. If you’re already using Google Tag Manager for conversion tracking, manually editing your configuration is all it takes to set up enhanced conversions.
  • The global site tag: If you have existing conversion tracking with Google’s global site tag directly on your page (not via a third-party tool or iFrame), you may manually set up enhanced conversions by tweaking your configuration.

Note: Customer data will only affect conversion types where it is available, such as subscriptions, sign-ups, and purchases. One or more of the following pieces of customer information must be accessible:

  • Email address (preferred)
  • Name and home address (street address, city, state/region, and postcode)
  • Phone number (in addition to one of the other two pieces of information above) when prompted.

Of course, the AdNabu team of data analysts are well-versed in this area and can quickly set up Enhanced Conversions using our Google Ads conversion tracking app.

What you’ll see after you set up google enhanced conversion tracking

#1: A new status in the conversions “Status” column

You’ll see “Recording (processing enhanced conversions)” in your “Status” column a few days after you’ve activated enhanced conversions. This indicates that we are currently processing your improved conversion data and will let you know when it has been incorporated into your conversion action.

EnhanceConversions may take up to 75 days to train, and during that time, you won’t notice any difference in your reporting. In the meantime, while your conversion tracking will continue to function normally, and after the training is completed, you’ll have improved conversion data in your reports.

#2: Enhanced conversions impact card

After your enhanced conversions learning period, they will be included in your reporting as well as the conversion “Status” column for that conversion action will say “Recording (enhanced conversions)”. This indicates that we’ve started utilizing enhanced conversion data in our reporting for your conversion action.

If you hover over the status, you’ll see that the date was added to your reporting and how this conversion action has affected reported conversions. We’ll tell you what campaign type it is, as well as the proportion of reported conversions.

This card will only appear for 30 days after you are eligible to see the impact on your reported conversions. The status will revert to “Recording conversions” afterward, and if you hover over the status, a card indicating that improved conversions are being recorded will appear, but the effect won’t be visible.

FAQ on Google enhanced conversion tracking

What is Google enhanced conversion tracking?

Google Enhanced Conversion Tracking is a tool that can help you get more accurate conversion data. It sends hashed first-party conversion data from your website to Google in a secure way, adding to your existing conversion tags.

How does Google use enhanced conversion data?

For certain capabilities such as automated bidding to improve the overall quality and accuracy, as well as spam and fraud detection, Google uses aggregated and anonymized conversion event data for the greater benefit of advertisers.

How do I set up enhanced conversions?

You can set up enhanced conversions tags in two ways:

  • Method#1-Google Tag Manager: The Google Tag Manager is a tag management tool that allows you to easily and quickly modify tags and code snippets on your website. If you’re already using Google Tag Manager for conversion tracking, manually editing your configuration is all it takes to set up enhanced conversions.
  • Method#2-The global site tag: If you have existing conversion tracking with Google’s global site tag directly on your page (not via a third-party tool or iFrame), you may manually set up enhanced conversions by tweaking your configuration.

Key takeaways about google enhanced conversion tracking

Even when users aren’t signed in to the same email account on each device, Advertisers may track campaign outcomes across devices by google enhanced conversion tracking.

  • Enhanced Conversion is a privacy-centric program, so ad providers should make it clear exactly what customer information is gathered and why. To put it another way now is a good time to update your privacy policy.
  • Finally, first-party data is more valuable than ever before. With tools like Enhanced Conversions and Advanced Matching, platforms such as Google and Facebook are experimenting with new approaches to data privacy. Advertisers also have access to this technology so that they can take advantage of data at their fingertips.

About the author

Ra Karthik

Ramachandiran Karthik is the Digital Marketing Manager at Adnabu. He loves to help Shopify stores grow their business with Google Shopping & Google Ads, using advanced features like multi-currencies, multi-languages, Metafields. Karthik has a lot of experience in digital marketing and enjoys exploring new ways to make advertising more effective for both advertisers and customers.

By Ra Karthik