You’ve been using Google Ads for some time now and it’s going well: you’re generating conversions at an acceptable rate and making periodic adjustments to help maximize your results. That’s a great start.
But there’s still some mystery involved. For example, wouldn’t it be nice if you had more data to clue you in on how to best optimize your ads, particularly when it comes to attributing lead quality and revenue to Google Ads conversions?
Enter enhanced conversions – a great next step for your Google Ads strategy and its ROI.
Consider this scenario: Visitors to your website fill out a form and are added to your CRM. Then, they make a purchase in-person, via email or over the phone that isn’t attached to their data in your CRM. Sure, you can manually enter their info, but if they converted via a Google ad, it won’t be linked to their record – and not accurately measured. You are left in the dark and miss valuable clues for future advertising efforts. But what if you could use first-party data to take a privacy-first approach to improving conversion measurement and Smart Bidding? Let’s dig in.
How enhanced conversions work
Exactly as the name implies, enhanced conversions allow you to capture better, more useful information like email addresses, names, addresses and other first-party information through a hashing and matching process. Google does the sleuthing for you and matches the conversion data to your lead using data the lead provided and a super-secure process called SHA256. This can happen in two different ways: for web and for leads.
Enhanced conversions for web are most useful for tracking sales and events that happen on your website to improve your online conversion measurement. With enhanced conversions for web, first-party customer data is captured in your conversion tracking tags, hashed and sent to Google in its hashed form when a user converts. Then, it’s used to match your customers to Google accounts – specifically where they were signed-in when they engaged with one of your ads.
Once that match is made, you can pass data back to Google from your CRM. For example, you could clue Google in on lifecycle stage and value. That data helps them know what this stage is worth to you to better optimize serving your ads to higher value leads. Smarter bidding due to better, more relevant information like this can also boost your ROI and stretch your Google Ads spend farther. (This is an easy lift through HubSpot; check out the how-to section below.)
Enhanced conversions for leads help track sales that occur somewhere other than your website, like via phone or email. They heighten your ability to measure offline transactions that originated from a website visitor or lead.
One of the biggest conundrums in lead gen is knowing when, how and with whom your efforts are working – and how to best optimize that knowledge to get the most bang for your advertising buck. Particularly when the sale happens offline, it can be a challenge to attribute it to a source, online or otherwise. But knowing would certainly help clear up some of the mystery involved and help formulate future advertising plans.
If your CRM is already capturing your lead data, this is an easy tactic to employ. Think of enhanced conversions like a courier whose mission is to relay valuable info between Google and your CRM. You need to send important data (that your lead has provided to you and is housed in your CRM) to Google for optimization, and this feature helps you do it without modifying your lead forms or drastically changing things in your CRM (unlike standard version offline conversion imports.)
Here’s how it works regarding leads:
Basically, enhanced conversions connect the (oft-missed) dots between the sale and its conversion source, increasing the accuracy of your conversion data. Knowledge is power, and knowing which ads are turning your prospects and visitors into customers is a vital piece of the puzzle.
Three ways enhanced conversions can help your business
Being prepared: We’re moving toward a privacy-first world, so being prepared is crucial. Did you know only about one-third of consumers feel companies are using their personal information responsibly? It’s no surprise, then, that today’s consumers are becoming increasingly guarded with their data. As a business or organization, trust is key. So, as our prospective customers raise their standards surrounding privacy and security, so do we – and so does our advertising.
Improved accuracy: Besides being a good steward of consumer data, responding to privacy-first shift also gives you another advantage: By using first-party data – info consumers have agreed to share with you – you can better understand them and tailor your ads to what that info indicates is most relevant to similar potential customers.
Enhanced conversions afford organizations greater insight into conversions by increasing observable data and improved conversion modeling quality. By matching hashed, user-provided data from a conversion page (like an email address, for example) against Google logged-in and consented data for measurement purposes, we can get additional data for attribution as well as incremental and auto-bidding. The result? Higher accuracy and reliability – all while maintaining consumers’ data privacy.
Better performance:If you can track your conversions with higher reliability, it stands to reason you can then better optimize your Google Ads campaigns. For advertisers implementing enhanced conversions between March and Sept 2021, Google data indicates the performance lift is evident from the first conversion event sent. And that conversion lift is significant with averages of 5% on search and 17% on YouTube.
Setting up your enhanced conversions with HubSpot
The enhanced conversions for Web feature in HubSpot is available to Marketing Hub Pro and Enterprise users. While it’s in Beta, you will see a banner across your Ads interface where you can click to try it. If you’re not seeing the banner, you can contact your Customer Success Manager to gain access.
First, connect your Google Ads account and then you can create new, enhanced events or enhance existing ones through HubSpot. Two items to note: If you’ve not used HubSpot for ads or events yet, you’ll need to sign into Google Ads and accept their terms. (Just follow the prompts.) You’ll also need to have the pixel from the ad account installed within HubSpot.
Next, navigate to the Ads section in your Marketing tab and click “create event.” You then use the dropdown menus to do the following:
Select the form you want to send over to Google.
Create a new event or select an existing event for which you’d like to enhance conversion data.
Set a dollar value for the event.
Select the property you used to collect consent and what its value is.
Select data sharing info. For this, more data will result in a better match rate, so it’s recommended to share as much as you can. Note, if you want to share address info, you need to have all six (first name, last name, street address, city, region, zip code and country) info or it won’t share the address.
If you want your event to be used as part of bidding, be sure to select it as a primary event; secondary ones are for observation only and aren’t considered from a bidding standpoint.
Name your event.
Hit “create event.”
Setting up a lifecycle stage event trigger is just as simple. Instead of choosing Form Submission when creating your event, choose lifecycle stage, elect a lifecycle stage to send to Google. Note that any contact who has had a lifecycle stage within 90 days of interacting with your ad will be synced. Be sure to check the box under “Include in Conversions.”
These event-specific integrations will begin enhancing your conversions immediately, but it doesn’t backfill prior ones. (So, the sooner you get started, the better!) Also, you can pause, delete or edit your event any time. Your events will be visible under the events tab on your Ads dashboard. It’s as easy as that!
Magnify your Google Ads efforts with enhanced conversions
Clearly, the supplemental information provided by enhanced conversions is key to fully optimizing your Googles Ads endeavors and increase your ROI. Are you ready to unlock more powerful bidding by supplementing your existing conversion tags with hashed data collected, matched and sent in a privacy safe manner?
We’d love to help you implement enhanced conversions as part of your Google Ads strategy. Get in touch; let’s discuss how you can take advantage of this great feature and solve more of the mystery of Google Ads.
Christine is a Marketing Technologist at Simple Machines Marketing. She has a background in marketing, sales & journalism – and likes to blend them together to help clients expand their business. Outside of work, you'll find Christine whipping things up in the kitchen, hanging with family & friends or exploring all the fabulous things Minneapolis has to offer.