How to Set Up Enhanced Conversions in Google Ads

May 4, 2022

How to Set Up Enhanced Conversions in Google Ads

Google Ads' Enhanced Conversions improve conversion tracking accuracy, making it easier for DTC brands to optimize search and video ads and -- ultimately-- earn a better return on advertising spend (ROAS).

Using Google's global site tag, an ecommerce site can pass hashed first-party conversion data directly to Google Ads in a privacy-safe way.

👀 Why Enhanced Conversions Are Important 

Recently, new legislation, the demonization of tracking cookies, and changes to Apple's iOS have made it relatively more difficult to follow shoppers across sites and devices using "standard" ad attribution. Call it signal loss. 

Enhanced Conversions rely on first-party data transmitted in a privacy-protecting way, so it restores the signal. Here are two example scenarios.

🛍 Shopping at Work 

Jennifer works at an insurance firm in Vancouver. She had just finished a long, stressful video call when she decided to take a quick mental break. She searched Google for "self care" from her work computer, where she is signed into her work profile. 

Jennifer saw an ad for Sunwink, clicked it, and was interested in Sunwink’s "De-Stress Tonic Pack—fueled by over 4000mg of functional superfoods." But before she could complete the purchase, she was interrupted.

Later that evening, Jennifer returned to the Sunwick website from her mobile phone and purchased the tonic pack. 

If Sunwink is using Enhanced Conversions it can pass information like Jennifer's phone number and email address to Google Ads. Since Jennifer uses two factor authentication for her work email, Google Ads recognizes her phone number and connects the dots between the ad she saw and the purchase she made.

▶️ YouTube Ads 

Imagine that Juan is watching YouTube on his mobile while he rides the bus downtown. He sees an ad for Hubble contact lenses. Juan is excited about the company's "Try a box for $1" offer, and he is ready to buy. But he needs his prescription information and he is almost to his stop.

The next day, Juan opens his MacBook Pro, heads to the Hubble site, and places an order. If Hubble is using Enhanced Conversions it can safely and securely pass Juan's email address to Google Ads. Now Google Ads can attribute Juan's conversion to the video view.

To learn how to set up Google Enhanced Conversions (or to share with your Google savvy friends) read the full article here!

🚀 How to Set Up Enhanced Conversions 

There are three primary ways to install Google Ads Enhanced Conversions on an ecommerce website.

  • Manually with the global site tag,
  • Manually with Google Tag Manager (GTM),
  • Programmatically via the Google Ads API.

For this article, we will describe the first option, using a global site tag. It is, perhaps, the easiest implementation. And it is quite similar to the GTM install.

Before we describe the implementation, there are a few of prerequisites. 

  • Have the Google global site tag (gtag.js) installed. ✅
  • Have a Google Ads conversion action set up. A Google Analytics goal won't work. ✅
  • Know the URL of the landing page or conversion page. ✅
  • Ensure that the conversion or landing page has access to customer information, like name or email either as plan text or a global Javascript variable. ✅

🤯 Enable Enhanced Conversions 

Navigate to "Conversions," under "Measurement" in the Tools & Settings Menu in Google Ads.

Identify the conversion action you want to use with Enhanced Conversions and click to edit it.

The first time you turn on Enhanced Conversions, you will need to accept Google Ads Data Process Terms and affirm that your business complies with Google's customer data policies. DTC brands will be in compliance if Enhanced Conversions are used with purchases.

Next, open the Enhanced Conversions section and set the tag type to "Global site tag or Google Tag Manager." Then click "Next."

Google Ads will automatically detect gtag.js. 

Then you will be asked to enter the URL of the landing page or conversion page. After typing in the page address, click the "Check URL."

Google Ads will verify the page and determine if automatic setup is available for the account.

Don't worry if automatically setup is not an option. There is just a little more work to do.

🧑‍💻 CSS Selectors 

If customer data is submitted on the conversion or landing page in plain text —for example when a shopper enters her phone number or email address in a form field— a CSS selector may be used to pass this information to Google Ads Enhanced Conversions. 

In the image above, CSS ids are used to identify customer information as it appears on an order confirmation page. While the customer is seeing a review of what she ordered and where it will be shipped, the gtag.js is passing, hashed and privacy-safe information to Google Ads.

If you are using CSS selectors, you can click save. It may take 72 hours for Enhanced Converstion tracking to start working.

✍️ Javascript Variable 

It is also possible to pass customer information as a global javascript variable. These variables will need to be strings. If the terms "global javascript variable" and "string" —as in string data type— don't mean anything to you, get help from your website developer.

Each item of customer information, like first name and last name, must be passed as individual variables. Simply provide Google Ads with the variable name.

Here is a list of the information you may pass via javascript variables.

📊 Check Configuration 

After you have set up Enhanced Conversions wait about three days, and then check the set up. Simply return to the conversions section in Google Ads and check the status of the conversion action.

If the status reads "Recording (processing enhanced conversions), everything is working.

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