Enhanced Conversions in Google Ads

Google’s enhanced conversions improve conversion counting accuracy by using first-party data in a privacy-safe way. Find out how it all works and how to set them up here.

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Google has launched a new conversion feature that it says will improve conversion counting accuracy by using first-party data in a privacy-safe way. It uses “a secure one-way hashing algorithm called SHA256 (Secure Hash Algorithm 256-bit) on your first-party customer data, such as email addresses, before sending to Google.”

How does it work?

Enhanced conversions

When a user makes a purchase or completes a contact form on your website, it is likely that they will part with personal information such as an email address. This is so that they can receive an email confirmation or tracking information about their purchase or so that the company can get back in contact with them to follow up on a lead. 

This new conversion feature (enhanced conversions) uses that email address/name/home address/phone number, capturing it in the conversion tracking tags and hashes it (for privacy reasons) before securely sending it to Google. Google can then marry that data with the hashed Google user data and the conversion is reported in Google Ads.

How to set up enhanced conversion tracking

There are 2 ways you can set up enhanced conversion tracking; using Google Tag Manager or the global site tag.

Note: Conversions measured by importing Google Analytics goals are not supported for enhanced conversions. If you’d like to use enhanced conversions, consider setting up a new Google Ads conversion action with a global site tag or Google Tag Manager.”

This means that where you are using the Google conversion code to track conversions, and are not importing goals from Google Analytics, you can change them to ‘Enhanced’ with a few clicks.

Simply visit the conversions section of Google Ads:

Google Ads conversions

Click on the name of a conversion (remember that the conversion source must be ‘Website”) and then click on the enhanced conversions bit:

Enhanced conversions

Check the box to ‘Turn on enhanced conversions’ and you’ll see the following options:

turn on enhanced conversions

If you select the first option, you are asked to provide the URL to be checked for the tag (global site tag/GTM). If they are both on there you are asked to “choose one of the two tags that we detected on this website to activate enhanced conversions”. Simply choose one and then you’ll see the following:

When choosing ‘Automatic setup’ (as recommended) and hitting ‘Save’, you’ll see:

If you want to set them up manually using GTM, see here: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/10172785

To set up them manually using the global site tag see: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/9888145

What happens after you have set up enhanced conversions?

If you have set up the tracking correctly, a few days after doing so you will see “Recording (processing enhanced conversions)” in your conversion “Status” column. This means the data is still processing and you’ll be notified once it has been added to your conversion action.

It could take up to 75 days to start seeing the impact, as it needs a period of “training” before including the extra data within your reports.

Once the learning period is over the status will change to “Recording (enhanced conversions)” and the data is now being used for your conversion action. You can find out what date that started by hovering over the status. You’ll also be able to see the impact they are having on your conversion action, along with the campaign type and percentage of reported conversions.

Please note that the impact card will only be available for 30 days. After that the status will return to “Recording conversions” and you will no longer be able to see the impact.

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