Why Google Delayed Its Cookie-Killing Effort to 2024

Why Google Delayed Its Cookie-Killing Effort to 2024

Google

To no one’s surprise, Google announced that the company is postponing its plans to kill third-party cookies on Google Chrome. The deadline, originally scheduled for 2022, will now be late 2024. If this news seems familiar to you, you are not alone. In 2021, Google announced a delay to 2023, but now 2023 no longer is feasible.

Why?

The problem for Google comes down to the reality that the company raked in more than $209 billion in advertising revenue in 2021.

Google Ad Revenues

As a result, Google needs to proceed very carefully in its phasing out of third-party cookies, which advertisers use to serve up targeted ads to people by tracking their browsing habits across the web. The fact that Google announced the delay after it disclosed subpar quarterly earnings shows just how wary Google is of rocking the boat. To protect its advertising business, Google must:

  • Come up with an alternative to third-party cookies that will satisfy advertisers. If Google fails to do that, Google will lose business to competitors such as Amazon Ads. Amazon Ads deliver targeted ads based on their own data beyond the reach of Google’s privacy controls. And Amazon Ads isn’t the only one, as I blogged recently.
  • Mollify regulators. Because Google is the largest online ad platform in the world, Google must convince regulators that its consumer privacy changes won’t give Google an unfair advantage. As we blogged in 2021, U.K. regulators have already slowed down Google’s efforts. Regulators are concerned that the demise of third-party cookies could give Google too much power because Google can rely on first-party data on sites such as YouTube (which Google owns) to support its ad business.

Google’s approach to satisfy advertisers consists of the Privacy Sandbox, where Google experiments with alternatives to third-party cookies that enable targeting with stricter privacy controls in place. Those alternatives include:

  • Fledge, for remarketing new ads.
  • Attribution reports, for telling advertisers which ads work without compromising consumer privacy.

But it is taking some time for Google to devise solutions as noted above, and not without some considerable trial and effort. For the record, here is Google’s rationale for the delay this time:

The most consistent feedback we’ve received is the need for more time to evaluate and test the new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome. This feedback aligns with our commitment to the [U.K. Competition and Markets Authority] to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox provides effective, privacy-preserving technologies and the industry has sufficient time to adopt these new solutions. This deliberate approach to transitioning from third-party cookies ensures that the web can continue to thrive, without relying on cross-site tracking identifiers or covert techniques like fingerprinting.

That rationale underlines both the impact of regulators and the difficulty in developing an answer to third-party cookies.

This latest delay has annoyed advertisers who had been taking measures to adapt to a cookie-less world and now find themselves delaying their plans. Others simply do not like the uncertainty of living in an extended transitional period while Apple enacts privacy control measures of its own. We suggest that for now, advertisers:

  • Accept the reality that as third-party cookies crumble and technology companies enact privacy controls, your ads will be less targeted than they were – at least until the industry adapts to alternative tools being developed. This does not mean you should stop advertising online. Online advertising remains the most efficient and cost-effective way to reach your audience.
  • Try alternatives beyond Google’s Privacy Sandbox. These include alternative IDs, contextual targeting, and seller-defined audiences.
  • Work with your advertising agency to understand what’s happening and how you may be affected. That’s exactly what our clients are doing with True Interactive. That’s what we’re here for.
  • Don’t abandon ship with ads that rely on web tracking. As you can see with Google’s announcement, things may not proceed the way Google plans.
  • Do invest in ways to leverage your own (first-party) customer data to create personalized ads. We can help you do that.
  • Consider ad platforms such as Amazon Advertising and Walmart Connect, which give businesses entrée to a vast base of customers who search and shop on Amazon and Walmart. True Interactive offers services on both platforms in addition to our longstanding work on Google, Bing, and other platforms. Learn more about our services with Amazon Ads here and Walmart here.

One other important consideration: remember, Google is not the only company doing away with third-party cookie tracking. Apple did so with Safari in 2020, and Mozilla with Firefox. The writing is on the wall: it’s time to adapt to a world without third-party cookies. True Interactive can help you do that.

Contact True Interactive

To succeed with online advertising, contact True Interactive. Read about some of our client work here.

Lead image source: https://unsplash.com/@laurenedvalson

For Further Reading

Where Amazon, Google, and Meta Are Headed

Where Amazon, Google, and Meta Are Headed

Amazon Google Meta

Technology earnings week is always watched closely. The rising and falling fortunes of Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft have a direct impact on adjacent industries such as retail, advertising, and marketing. During a topsy turvy year such as 2022, the most recent quarterly earnings announcements of the Big Tech firms were followed especially closely. And here are some of the highlights from the Big Three of online advertising – Amazon, Google, and Meta — with implications for online advertising:

  • Amazon beat analysts’ estimates and enjoyed a strong quarter with the exception of its core retail business. The big news was the continued strong growth of Amazon Ads, which is Amazon’s advertising business that has quickly challenged Google and Meta for leadership of the online ad market. Ad revenue climbed 18% in the period for its most recent quarter. All told, Amazon Ads raked in $8.76 billion in the second quarter. Notably, in its earnings announcement, Amazon highlighted the recent launch of Amazon Marketing Stream, which “automatically delivers hourly Sponsored Products campaign metrics to advertisers or agencies through the Amazon Ads API.” This is a sign that Amazon is developing ad tech data and marketing services, which is a direct challenge to Google. What it means: the success of Amazon Ads dovetails with the ascendance of a more privacy-focused era. Apple in particular has initiated privacy controls that make it more difficult for advertisers to target consumers with ads that use third-party data. Amazon Ads is beyond the reach of such privacy controls because Amazon Ads is based on first-party data that Amazon collects from its customers. Amazon is not the only retail business building its own ad network. But it’s the leader. We expect more businesses will choose Amazon Ads as an advertising platform, and we have developed services accordingly.
  • Meta suffered its first-ever revenue drop for the quarter. The reasons are complicated. First off, TikTok is threatening the popularity of Facebook and Instagram (both owned by Meta), and Meta’s response to TikTok, Reels, doesn’t generate money as efficiently as Instagram Stories and the main news feed. Meta has also reeled from the impact of Apple’s privacy controls. What it means: Meta is in a time of transition – but never count out Meta. The company is investing heavily into the emerging metaverse, which is dragging its profits down but may boost Meta over the long run. And although Reels are a work in progress, progress is being made. As analysts at JMP wrote, “With Meta making progress with Reels while AI improves recommendations across content and advertising, we expect growth to rebound from current levels while the company is more disciplined in its cost structure.” And, overall, the company’s base of monthly active users continues to increase. The real threat to Meta in the near term: how well the company can rebound from the threat of Apple’s privacy controls. The long-term threat: how well Meta can attract and keep Gen Z users.
  • Google is sitting pretty. Alphabet’s search ad sales grew more than 13 percent in Q2 2022 to $40.7 billion, beating analysts’ expectations of $40.2 billion. Search, of course, is Google’s bread-and-butter business, and Google’s investments into its core search ad units are paying off as advertisers lean into performance marketing tactics amid economic uncertainty. But life isn’t all rosy at Google. At YouTube, ad sales rose 0nly 5 percent after jumping 84 percent in the same period a year ago. This reflects the impact of TikTok’s popularity. What it means: Google is going to flourish in 2022 and 2023 especially as advertisers weather economic uncertainty. Google is a safe bet, and Google continues to develop new ad units that enhance its performance marketing capabilities. Watch for Google to continue to push artificial intelligence-related services and tools that automate online advertising — while managing the increasingly thorny challenge of developing alternatives to third-party cookies, which the company had said it would do by 2022 and now is rescheduling for 2024.

What Advertisers Should Do

  • Keep a diversified ad portfolio across the Big Three: Amazon, Google, and Meta. If you are satisfied with the results you are seeing, don’t let Meta’s challenges scare you away. But do a gut check with your agency partner on how your ads are performing.
  • Work closely with your agency partners to understand the impact of privacy controls, especially from Apple.
  • If Gen Z is an important audience, take a closer look at TikTok. TikTok looms large as it challenges YouTube and Meta especially.

Contact True Interactive

To succeed with online advertising, contact True Interactive. Read about some of our client work here.

TikTok and Instagram Challenge Google for Gen Z Searches

TikTok and Instagram Challenge Google for Gen Z Searches

Google Instagram TikTok

Google has a new challenger for product searches: TikTok and Instagram.

At a recent conference, a Google executive went on record as saying, “In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.”

This was a surprisingly candid admission from a company whose YouTube app has been battling TikTok especially for leadership in the video space. (Insider Intelligence predicts TikTok’s advertising revenue will overtake YouTube by 2024.)

Although Google is easily the world’s most popular search engine, when it comes to searches for things to buy, the company is not quite as popular. For example, Amazon is the Number One website for people to do product searches: according to a 2018 Jumpshot report, from 2015 to 2018, Amazon overtook Google in this area, with Amazon growing to claim 54 percent of product searches while Google declined from 54 percent to 46 percent. According to Marketplace Pulse, a majority of Amazon searches—78 percent, in fact—are nonbranded. Instead of pinpointing a specific company like lululemon, say, many customers are making broad searches such as “yoga pants for women” and seeing what comes up.

And we all know how easy it is to buy something on Amazon once you are done searching, right?

Well, Google has been trying to make itself a stronger destination for shopping amid Amazon’s ascendance. For instance, Google recently launched new commerce-related features such as:

  • Swipeable shopping ads in search. A new ad display pairs organic shopping results with shopping ads, which makes online shopping more visual. The new swipeable shopping feed is available for apparel brands via Search or Performance Max campaigns. These will be clearly labeled as ads and will be eligible to appear in dedicated ad slots throughout the page.
  • Product feeds for a shoppable YouTube experience. Advertisers will soon have the ability to connect product feeds to campaigns in order to create shoppable video ads on YouTube Shorts. With YouTube Shorts, people can quickly and easily create short videos of up to 15 seconds, similar to how TikTok and Instagram Reels are used. Shoppable video ads on Shorts helps Google capitalize on social shopping.

The problem with Instagram and TikTok is that they appeal to the surging Gen Z population, who look especially to TikTok for recommendations for things to buy.  According to The New York Times, two-thirds of TikTok users have been inspired to shop, even if that wasn’t their original intent when accessing the app in the first place. The phenomenon has gained enough attention that it even has a hashtag: #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has garnered more than 16.7 billion views on the app.

Even more worrisome for YouTube, TikTok and Instagram are both launching social shopping tools. For instance, TikTok recently launched the TikTokShop to make it easy for people to buy things right int the app. Instagram has launched a number of tools as part of Instagram Shopping, including:

  • Instagram Checkout, which facilitates simple, convenient, and secure purchases made directly from Instagram. Shopping from Instagram means protected payment information is kept in one place. So, Instagrammers can shop multiple favorite brands without having to log in and enter intel multiple times.
  • Instagram Live, which allows checkout-enabled businesses to sell products through “live shopping.” In live shopping, consumers might be inspired by a creator or brand’s live video content and subsequently buy promoted products in real-time.

In fact, 130 million people tap on an Instagram Shopping post and engage with Instagram Checkout every month.

All told, social commerce is exploding. eMarketer predicts that by 2023, 2021, U.S. retail social commerce sales will rise to $56.17 billion.

Google is also responding to these challenges. In addition to the features noted above, the company is making search more immersive and engaging by incorporating rich visual features and augmented reality. These should help the company make the search and shopping experience livelier.

Google is making progress. Morgan Stanley says that in November 2021, 57 percent of shoppers first went to Google platforms (including Search and YouTube) to research a new product, up from 54% in May 2021. In addition, the number of Amazon Prime subscribers turning to Google for initial searches increased to 56 percent from 51 percent in the same period.

What Businesses Should Do

  • Understand your audience. Are you reaching out to Gen Z? Boomers? Not all social commerce platforms are the same. As noted, TikTok and Instagram resonates with Gen Z. Boomers tend to gravitate to Facebook. Ask yourself: who am I trying to reach, and where can I find them?
  • Learn how to use the tools available to you. Each platform has its own requirements for creating content. In addition, these popular sites demand a strong understanding of how to use visuals — anymore, it’s essential that brands know how to create powerful imagery.
  • Capitalize on Google’s advertising tools that are designed to be more visually appealing. For instance, Google recently rolled out Discovery ads, which are image-rich ads designed for a more “laid back” search experience (more about that here). Google is clearly doubling down on the visual web, and advertisers should expect more visually appealing ad products as it attempts to become a stronger e-commerce player.
  • Take a closer look at video advertising and organic content sharing, given Google’s interest in building out a more robust search experience on YouTube.

Meanwhile, TikTok and Instagram will most certainly dial up their own advertising products to attract companies that want to have their sponsored content appear alongside search results. Gear up for more ad choices!

Contact True Interactive

To succeed with online advertising, contact True Interactive. Read about some of our client work here.

Why Google’s Predictive Audiences Feature Matters to Advertisers

Why Google’s Predictive Audiences Feature Matters to Advertisers

Analytics

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is more than an upgrade to Universal Analytics (UA). GA4 is a whole new analytics solution available now. Businesses should switch from from Universal Analytics (UA) to GA4 now in order to capitalize on GA4’s many features such as Predictive Audiences in Google Ads campaigns. Predictive Audiences relies on artificial intelligence (AI) to drive better results than currently possible with UA.

What Is Predictive Audiences?

Predictive Audiences makes it possible to classify users who are likely to perform an action in the near future based on a predictive metric. For example, a business might build an audience for “likely 7-day purchasers” that includes users who are likely to make a purchase in the next 7 days; or “likely 7-day churning users” for purchasing users who are not likely to visit your website in the next 7 days, just to cite two examples.

Audience data

Predictive Audiences are automatically shared with any Google Ads accounts you have linked to your property.

AI is not new to Google Analytics. UA properties have Smart Lists, which are audiences Google automatically builds using machine learning. However, Smart Lists are much more limited than the new Predictive Audiences available in GA4. Whereas Smart Lists are not customizable by advertisers, Predictive Audiences can be built with custom traffic/activity filters, as well as a membership duration that is anywhere between 1 and 540 days.

What Are Some Applications of Predictive Audiences?

With Predictive Audiences, an advertiser can improve marketing campaigns to target users before they take an action, potentially increasing conversions. For instance:

  • As remarketing audiences. A shopper who is considering your product but not ready to become a customer is a hot lead. For example, someone who has added a product to a shopping cart but has not yet made a purchase might be ready to buy, but they also might be checking out the competition. It’s important that the merchant act on those leads – to strike while the iron is hot. GA4 uses machine learning to find deep patterns of behavior that are unique to your property and show that a user is likely to convert. A persuasive follow-up from you via a well-crafted remarketing campaign can provide that last nudge they need to complete the process.
  • In re-engagement campaigns. Shoppers who are likely to churn are signaling a waning interest in your business. But they have also previously demonstrated engagement with your business. Why give up on them? Predictive Audiences makes it possible to approach them again with reminders of the value you offer in terms of product variety, quality, and price, or convenient shipping and return options.

Analytics

Why Does Predictive Audiences Matter?

Predictive Audiences illustrates how Google is using machine learning to understand future actions of a user. This gives marketers more ways to reach potential customers and increase revenue. When a machine teaches itself with minimal programming needed, it can ingest vast sets of consumer data and use it to determine things such as the best times to send emails or to run an ad. Proponents say machine learning can identify the clients or customers that would be most receptive to given messages.

Google continues to invest in machine learning to make marketing more effective. However, we caution against simply automating advertising. Human judgment is needed to ensure that a marketing campaign is adaptable and flexible as the behavior of users changes.

How Does an Advertiser Get Started with Predictive Analytics?

Availability of Predictive Audiences depends on the underlying predictive metrics being eligible for use by meeting all prerequisites. If you have exported Predictive Audiences to linked product accounts, those audiences will not accumulate new users if the property becomes ineligible for the predictive metric and new predictions are not generated. Google shares more insight on how to use suggested audience templates to create your own audiences with conditions based on those predictions.

Getting started with Predictive Analytics is but one of many steps an advertiser will need take in order to make the transition to GA4. Don’t wait until July 2023 to get ready. Only by acting now will an advertiser prepare itself to capitalize on the new features available in GA4.

True Interactive can help you do that. Read more about GA4 in this blog post.

Contact True Interactive

To succeed with online advertising, contact True Interactive. We design and develop successful marketing and advertising campaigns and know how to track results, including the use of Google. Read about some of our client work here.

Photo by Hannah Wei on Unsplash

Consumer Behavior Underscores the Value of Analytics

Consumer Behavior Underscores the Value of Analytics

Analytics

How does an advertiser reach consumers this summer?

On the one hand, consumers say they are living more frugally amid inflation. More than half of consumers surveyed by Numerator said that inflation and high gas prices are affecting how they celebrate major holidays such as July 4. Many are scaling back their spending. They say they’re eating out less, spending less money on decorations and fireworks, and spending less on food for holiday cookouts.

But on the other hand, consumers are opening up their pocketbooks on expensive choices such as summer travel. Airports are overwhelmed with people traveling all over the world. People have been so tired of being cooped up during the pandemic that “revenge travel” is a phenomenon in the summer of 2022, even as the cost of flying has increased.

In fact, as The Wall Street Journal reports, there’s been a surge in travel, concert going, and entertainment throughout the year as pandemic restrictions ease and people continue to get vaccinated, which makes them more confident to be in crowded spaces such as concerts.

A paradox has emerged: consumers are reluctant to spend money in some areas but are happy to do so in others.

Mind Your Analytics

For advertisers, the shifting sands of consumer behavior suggest that they need to pay very close attention to analytics. Data-driven decisions have never been more essential. For instance, search behavior is even more important than ever. Google Search has always been a barometer of consumer purchase intent, and it continues to be. For instance, in the days leading up to July 4 as I wrote this post, Google said that searches for inflatable tent houses and water balloon launchers were trending alongside affordable sports bras, suggesting an interest in affordable, at-home fun and fitness during the holidays.

In addition, your own mileage may vary depending on the type of consumer you are interested in. For example, the Numerator survey indicates that younger generations are more likely to spend more during holiday events, which makes sense: younger generations in general are more willing to spend money on experiences instead of material things.

Analytics do not exist in a vacuum. They need to be applied across a variety of formats – say, text-based ads versus video – and platforms (ranging from Google to Amazon to Pinterest) depending on where your customers spend their time and how they spend their time (e.g., doing searches with intent to buy versus more casual searches for ideas that may or may not be related to a purchase).

To cite one example: recently one of our clients experienced a challenge: its share of branded search was dropping. The client, a photo curating and sharing company, naturally wanted to improve. So, we launched a video-based awareness campaign that spanned display, YouTube, Google Display Network, connected TV, Yahoo Online Video, Facebook, and Yahoo Display. Our focus: mobile and connected TV. We also ensured that YouTube ads could target connected TV screens.

We tested different video ad formats with a large audience (women aged 25-54) with the purpose of hitting as many eyes as possible. That’s because the brand’s low levels of search volume told us that it lacked brand awareness more broadly. Targeting an audience would have been premature. Analytics helped us manage a successful campaign while keeping CPMs down. (Read more about that project here.)

We recommend advertisers take an agile approach with analytics, constantly testing and learning from consumer behaviors as they change quickly in response to important variables such as inflation. In addition, manage your analytics closely. As widely reported, by July 2023, Google Analytics 4 will replace the current version of the popular web analytics service, known as Universal Analytics (UA), and advertisers need to prepare now.

Contact True Interactive

At True Interactive, we manage our clients’ campaigns with a robust knowledge of analytics (as discussed here). We interpret the story that numbers tell. We happily work tirelessly to centralize, aggregate, segment and analyze your data, ultimately sharing insights with you in these ways. contact us to learn more.

Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/YNaSz-E7Qss

Amazon’s Next Frontier: Local Advertising

Amazon’s Next Frontier: Local Advertising

Amazon

Amazon recently announced for the first time just how big Amazon Ads has become. And the number is very big. As in $31.2 billion. Amazon said in its in 2021 earnings announcement that Amazon Ads had achieved 32 percent year-over-year growth, which includes sales of advertising services to sellers, vendors, publishers, authors, and others, through programs such as sponsored ads, display, and video advertising.

$31.2 billion is not quite the size of Meta’s and Google’s ad businesses. By comparison, Google achieved $209.5 billion in ad revenue for its most recent fiscal year, and Meta achieved roughly $115 billion for the same time period. But Amazon Ads eclipses Microsoft, Pinterest, and Snap, and the company has earned a place alongside Google and Meta as one of the big three online advertising platforms.

And now, it looks like Amazon plans to get bigger in an untapped market: location-based advertising. Business Insider reported recently that Amazon is building a local ad business by advertising positions for a Local Ads team in major cities such as Chicago and New York. Apparently Amazon Ads will offer a slate of ad units, including streaming TV ads and a demand-side platform that sells ads off Amazon’s website. (Note that Amazon generates the lion’s share of its ad revenue from search ads that appear on the Amazon website; but Amazon has invested more in ad tech to get bigger ad budgets from advertisers.)

This is an intriguing development, to say the least. Location-based advertising capitalizes on the fact that local searches by consumers are wildly popular. This is a big reason why hyper local sites such as Nextdoor have achieved strong growth: people typically look for things to buy at stores close to their homes. So, businesses have a strong motivation to rank well in those “near me” searches, and of course advertising can amplify their presence. Meta and Google both offer strong location-based ad services, but lately Meta has taken a financial hit because of the impact of Apple’s Application Tracking Transparency privacy controls, which limit the effectiveness of ad targeting, including location-based ad targeting.

According to a Deutsche Bank report from 2021, 75-percent of Meta’s advertising revenue came from small businesses. Meta could be vulnerable if Amazon’s plans are rolled out. And Amazon doesn’t have to worry about Apple’s privacy controls. The company can sell ads based on first-party data, or data that people on Amazon share when they search and purchase (Apple’s privacy controls do not affect first-party data). Now, consider the fact that Amazon operates brick-and-mortar businesses such as Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh, which rely on location-based advertising. An Amazon location-based ad service could benefit the company’s own stores.

But that’s not all. Just as Amazon sells online ads to merchants, the company is apparently banking on the ability to do that for retailers, automotive dealers, restaurants, and other merchants that need to be present in local search results.

For now, Amazon will continue to grow its ad business mostly through Amazon.com, where companies pay to be listed as a “sponsored product” high up in the search results. Amazon also offers video commercials and ads on Amazon’s FireTV device. Amazon Ads also helps brands with online advertising on sites that it does not own. And Amazon has developed advertising in devices and platforms such as Twitch.

It will be interesting to see how this development plays out especially with Walmart leveraging its own small but growing ad business that capitalizes on the company’s online/offline presence. Walmart could be a strong alternative to Amazon.

We recommend that advertisers manage the online ad solutions that are most relevant to their own customers’ journeys from awareness to purchase. Keep an eye on Amazon. The company has built incredible momentum, and an increasingly privacy-centric landscape favors the growth of its ad business.

Contact True Interactive

At True Interactive, we monitor new ad products all the time and help our clients prosper amid the evolving landscape. Contact us to learn how we can help you. Learn more about our Amazon Ads services here.

Google Enhanced Conversions for Web: Advertiser Q&A

Google Enhanced Conversions for Web: Advertiser Q&A

Google

Google continues to evolve its advertising products for a privacy-first world. One important way is to move businesses to more aggregated measurement solutions as the availability of individual level identifiers decreases with the value of third-party cookies eroding. One such tool that has capture more interest in the market is Enhanced Conversions for Web. This is a conversion tracking feature that enables more accurate conversion measurement by increasing observable data – and, according to Google, improving overall quality of conversion modeling. Enhanced Conversions for Web allows businesses to capture customer data that advertisers collect on their conversion page (e.g., email addresses) and then match it against Google logged-in data. The raw data (e.g., an email address in plain-text format) is captured“as is” on the website, and then automatically hashed by Google as it is sent to Google’s server. Following are answers to commonly asked questions about Enhanced Conversions for Web.

What exactly are Enhanced Conversions for Web?

Enhanced Conversions for Web are not a replacement to the standard online (gtag-based) Google Ads conversions, but are rather a complementary feature that improves the accuracy of conversion measurement.

Enhanced Conversions for Web is basically a setting under the online conversion that enables your website to send hashed first-party, user-provided data directly to Google Ads when a user converts in the form of email addresses, phone numbers, first names, last names, and street addresses. Although email addresses are preferred and often suffice, an advertiser can choose to send more information to Google to improve the matching rate. Google then uses the hashed user data to match your customers to Google accounts, which were signed in to when they engaged with one of your ads.

Why does True Interactive recommend enabling Enhanced Conversions for Web?

As the industry starts to move away from cookies, advertising platforms/providers like Google are already developing new privacy-focused conversion measurement methods that do not use browser cookies.

Today, standard online conversion tracking relies on the web browser/cookies, where the Google Click ID (GCLID) is stored upon arrival to your website right after someone clicks a Google ad. Once a specific conversion action is completed and the conversion tag is triggered on the website, the GCLID is sent to Google so that Google can attribute the conversion to the appropriate ad campaign, keyword, creative, audience, etc.

The Enhanced Conversions for Web feature helps Google match the conversion to its corresponding ad campaign, keyword, creative, audience, etc., by providing more keys (such as email addresses) in the event that the GCLID is missing.

This not only provides advertisers with better visibility into campaign ROI by recovering conversions that otherwise would not have been measured, but it also helps drive better performance by giving the Google algorithm (auto-bidding strategies) more data points to optimize ad delivery.

How does a business enable Enhanced Conversions for Web?

There are a few steps to implementing Enhanced Conversion tracking, all of which True Interactive can assist you with:

  1. Identify the online conversion(s) for which the Enhanced Conversions feature needs to be activated.
  1. Enable the Enhanced Conversions setting inside your Google Ads account.
  1. Depending on the current Google Ads tag implementation, advise on how to enable the Enhanced Conversions feature by editing the conversion tag on the site (if the tags have been deployed manually on the website), updating the conversion tag in GTM, or setting it up via the Enhanced Conversions API.

Note that Enhanced Conversions will only work for conversion types where customer data is present – such as subscriptions, sign-ups and purchases. One or more of the following pieces of customer data must be available:

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

Enhanced Conversions for Web underscores a larger point: it’s essential that businesses understand how a privacy-first world is affecting the way they manage their advertising and marketing. For more insight on Enhanced Conversions for Web, please consult this post from Google. And to stay on top of advertising, including developments with consumer privacy, follow our blog.

Contact True Interactive

To succeed with online advertising in a privacy-centric world, contact True Interactive. Read about some of our client work here.