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A Guide to Google Enhanced Conversions

Written by Daniel

What is Google Enhanced Conversions

If you’re like me, you’ve become acutely aware that it is becoming increasingly important to understand what, exactly, Google Enhanced Conversions is.  In short, it is Google’s way of making sure you have deeper insights into what happens to users after they click your ads.  I used to think it was just a new way to set up conversion tracking, however, Enhanced Conversions goes beyond traditional conversion tracking because it offers an understanding of engagement both online and offline.

Why is it Important?

You’ve most likely heard that third-party cookies are being phased out. This is important for maintaining data privacy but where does that leave us advertisers?  Don’t worry, just in the knick of time, Enhanced Conversions is here as a viable alternative.  After implementing Enhanced Conversions I have insights into user behavior and conversion paths all while respecting user privacy preferences. This ultimately helps me set my clients on the path to increased ROI and growth.

How Does Google Enhanced Conversions Work

So how exactly does Google Enhanced Conversions do all of this?  Let’s say a Google signed-in user views your ad and then converts on your website.  The new tracking setup will capture a field determined by you. In my case, I usually specify the user’s email.  The data is hashed and securely sent to Google via SHA256.  This is a secure one-way algorithm that ensures that the data remains private and secure while being transmitted.  That hashed data is matched against Google’s hashed user data and a conversion is reported in your account.

 

 

That’s not all. Another bonus of Enhanced Conversions is that I can still deliver relevant ads to customers while maintaining their privacy through custom audience advertising created from the hashed data.

You may have the instinct to jump right into setting up Enhanced Conversions after the last paragraph. But, I learned the hard way that you’ll need to make sure you are able to make minor changes to the client’s website or the dataLayer events.  My client wanted to make these changes to their site so it was important I could properly walk them through this process before I could start setting up Enhanced Conversions on my end.  It’s also important that you have the ability to make a dummy purchase if your account’s goal is sales or a form fill if your account’s goal is lead gen. These tests will ensure that you’re able to collect the user information you require.  

There are a couple of options that I’m sure you’ve heard about by Googling this topic, but, I am here to tell you that the most straightforward way to accomplish this is by creating Data Layer Variables.

Once you’ve verified that the correct data is being collected through a test purchase or form fill, you can continue to set up Google Enhanced Conversions using Google Tag Manager.

Implementing Google Enhanced Conversions With GTM

Step 1: Once you’ve completed the test purchase go to the Summary in GTM to see that the tag fired. Click Data Layer where you’ll be able to see the email portion of the data layer:

Step 2: Copy the section that says “email:” not the actual email, navigate to Variables – User Defined Variables – and click New

Step 3: Click Variable Configuration > Data Layer Variable:

Step 4: Paste the “email” portion in Data Layer Variable Name

Step 5: Name the Data Layer Variable and save.

Step 6: Click Workspace > Tags from the navigation menu in GTM

Step 7: Select the Google Ads conversion tracking tag you’d like to implement Enhanced Conversions with and edit that tag.

Step 8: Click Include user-provided data variable, then select the Data Layer Variables you Created:

Step 9: Make another test purchase or form fill and make sure that the information you require is being pulled.

Congratulations, you can now submit and publish the changes in GTM!

 

Setting Up Google Enhanced Conversions in Google Ads

Step 1: Click on “Tools and settings” and then “Conversions” under the Measurement section

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2: Select the conversion action where you want to use Enhanced Conversions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3: Look for the Enhanced Conversions drop-down menu

Step 4: Click “Turn on enhanced conversions.”

Step 5: Accept the Google Terms and Select “Global site tag or Google Tag Manager.”

Step 6: Click “Next”

Step 7: Fill in your website and click on “Check URL.”

Conclusion

I found the process of properly implementing Google Enhanced Conversions complicated, but, my hope is that you are now able to clear up any confusion you may have had about what it is and how the process works.  

Now that you are armed with the information you need, you can confidently take steps to future-proof your Google Ad Accounts with this key feature.  Implementing Google Enhanced Conversions has helped me offer unparalleled accuracy in tracking and attributing conversions.  Having these types of insights has helped me have more productive conversations with my clients about campaign performance and what to prioritize in terms of budget allocation, ad copy and targeting.  It has also streamlined the process of tracking the customer journey which, I must say, is always great for showing real value to my clients.

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