Google's Enhanced Conversions: What Is It & How to Set It Up

The online environment is a constantly changing place, companies that previously relied on third-party cookies to track, measure and build audiences are having to adapt as we move towards a privacy-centric online ecosystem. Google has recently made the push for adopting Enhanced Conversions to account for this shift.

The Push for Privacy

The pressure for increased privacy accelerated after the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke in the U.S. in 2019. Apple rolled out it’s iOS 14 update mid-last year, which changed app tracking to be an “opt-in” model versus an “opt-out'' model. The update hit advertisers particularly hard on Facebook, leading to fewer targeting options, less accurate tracking and less effective optimization capabilities. 

Android recently announced it would be making a similar move towards privacy, although they plan to give advertisers a 2 year runway and plenty of notice before pulling the plug on existing ad platform features. Google recognized the impact of other recent changes, citing “​​we realize that other platforms have taken a different approach to ads privacy, bluntly restricting existing technologies used by developers and advertisers. We believe that—without first providing a privacy-preserving alternative path—such approaches can be ineffective and lead to worse outcomes for user privacy and developer businesses.”

These recent updates and announcements are all designed to support one thing: user privacy.

Google’s Solution: Enhanced Conversions

Google first mentioned enhanced conversions last May as one of their initiatives to “future-proof your measurement with privacy-safe solutions.” Designed to improve measurement accuracy, enhanced conversions supplement existing conversion tracking using hashed first party conversion data, in a privacy-safe way. In order for enhanced conversions to work, customer data must be collected, and it must include one of the following: email, name, address, phone number.

There are two different ways you can utilize enhanced conversions:

  1. Enhanced conversions for web - used for tracking conversion events that happen on a website.
  2. Enhanced conversions for leads - used for tracking actions that happen off a website, from website leads.

Benefits of Enhanced Conversions

Implementing enhanced conversions can help account for the conversions that are lost due to browser settings and regulatory restrictions. Google’s ability to get a better picture of where conversions are coming from, improving their bidding models and allowing for:

  • Better CVRs
  • Higher ROAS
  • Lower CPAs

Another benefit to note is that Google is putting a lot of thought and effort into rolling out enhanced conversions, which will likely be taken into consideration as they continue to roll out platform improvements.

Get Started With Enhanced Conversions

The first step to get the ball rolling is to turn on enhanced conversions in the Google UI platform, and accept their terms:

1. In your Google Ads account, select Tools and settingsMeasurementConversions

A screenshot of a Google Ads account, with the "Tools and settings" button highlighted


2. Click on the conversion action you want to set up enhanced conversions for

3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Enhanced conversions

4. Check the box to Turn on enhanced conversion

A screenshot of Enhanced Conversions in the Google Ads settings

5. Click Agree to the compliance statement and click Check URL to check your site for the Google tag

6. Select how you want to set up enhanced conversions:

  • Global site tag or Google tag manager - send customer data by making slight changes to the configuration of your tag
  • API - set up a direct API integration to Google to send customer data for matching
7. Select whether you will use automatic or manual set up
  • Automatic (if eligible) - information entered by your customers in selected field times will automatically be sent to Google. Email will already be selected, but you can add other types of custom information.
  • Manual - if you’d prefer to manually implement enhanced conversions you can do this using the Global site tag or Google Tag Manager.

8. Click Save

According to Google, it can take up to 5 days after accepting the Terms of Service for enhanced conversions to actually be enabled in your account.

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