Google has just announced that Enhanced Conversions, a feature that improves conversion tracking and that was exclusively used for Google Ads, are coming to Analytics 4.
This announcement is part of Google’s efforts to accelerate the rollout of the Protected Audiences API, which is designed to enable strategic decision-making while ensuring compliance with privacy regulations and comes in preparation for the deprecation of third-party cookies next year.
This will allow advertisers to connect with their customers after third-party cookies are gone.
What are Enhanced Conversions
When someone completes an action on your website, such a newsletter signup, contact form, or purchase, they will send first-party customer data such as an email address, name, phone, or more.
This data can be sent to Google in a hashed form through user-provided data collection, and will be used to enhance conversion tracking.
Up until now, Enhanced Conversions were only available for Google Ads, even though you could send User-Provided Data to Analytics (see the Privacy Concerns section at the end)
Enhanced conversions in Google Ads improve attribution when your conversions are set up using Google Ads Conversion tracking, however, they don’t work for conversions imported from Analytics.
Benefits of Enhaced Conversions in Analytics 4
Adding Enhanced Conversions to Analytics will enable improved reporting, and conversions imported to Google Ads from Analytics will see similar improvements as the ones using Google Ads Conversion tracking.
In fact, they will offer further improvements and even an edge over Google Ads Conversions, as they will improve cross-channel conversion attribution as well.
You will have a more complete picture of your cross-channel conversion attribution so you can better understand how all your channels are performing.
A good summary of Google’s announcement would be:
- Get more accurate cross-device conversion and attribution modeling and bidding
- Get more detailed demographic data through Google Signals data association
- Prepare for future first-party audience integrations
- Prepare your Analytics conversion measurement for third-party cookie deprecation
How to enable Enhanced Conversions in Google Analytics 4
If you’ve set up Enhanced Conversions for Google Ads, more than half of the work is done. You just need to meet the simple prerequisites for the Analytics implementation:
- Google Analytics connected to your Google Ads account
- Have a web data stream in Analytics 4
Enhanced Conversions is not recommended for App Data Streams, but everyone should have a Web Data Stream set up for their website.
You can consult Google’s Help Center article for more info. There are many ways of setting up User-provided data collection, and it will be different for each business and website.
While everything discussed in this article is good for marketers and businesses, there will definitely be some controversies and privacy concerns.
Until this update, you could send User-Provided Data to Google Analytics via the Google Tag (the same implementation as for Google Ads), however, Analytics didn’t hash the data, which is a significant privacy risk.
As only Google Ads hashed the data and Analytics did not, you were essentialy sending PII (Personally Identifiable Information) to Google, which is against their policy and could get your account disabled.
With Enhanced Conversions, data will be hashed. So it’s still PII, but hashed.
Another big privacy concern is that “Automatically detect user-provided data” is set to ON by default. We strongly believe that sending data to Google needs to be well thought out, and you shouldn’t allow them to automatically collect whatever they find on the website.
Simo Ahava wrote a quick LinkedIn post on how to disable that.