Understanding Enhanced Conversion Tracking in Google Ads

enhanced conversion tracking google ads

Enhanced conversions is a feature in Google Ads that allows advertisers to supplement their existing conversion data with first-party data. This shift from third-party cookies to privacy-centric practices has reshaped the digital advertising landscape.

As third-party cookies have become less reliable for tracking user behaviour, leveraging first-party data through Google Ads enhanced conversions offers a solution for accurate conversion data.

Enhanced Conversions not only optimises ad performance but also respects personal data privacy, reducing unsolicited tracking and enhancing online advertising strategies.

Table of Contents

How is the Phase-Out of Third-Party Cookies Changing Digital Advertising and Privacy?

Google’s 2020 announcement to phase out third-party cookies by 2022 marked a significant turning point in digital privacy. With Google Chrome being the most popular browser, accounting for over 63 percent of all global web traffic, this decision signalled the death of the third-party cookies and a fundamental shift in digital advertising.

Third-party cookies have long been a cornerstone for businesses that rely on digital advertising. According to Epsilon’s 3PC deprecation report, 80% of marketers reported reliance on third-party cookies for digital advertising. 

However, these cookies have raised significant data privacy concerns due to their ability to facilitate cross-site and cross-app tracking. As a result, on January 4, 2024, Chrome restricted third-party cookies for 1% of users to facilitate testing, with plans to ramp up to 100% of users by Q3 2024.

Now, marketers are focusing on collecting direct interactions with consumers through various means like customer relationship management (CRM) tools, subscriptions for emails, podcasts, newsletters, social media surveys, influencer collaborations, and direct customer feedback.

In this new cookieless world, the deprecation of third-party cookies presents a significant change in the digital advertising landscape. It also opens opportunities for innovation in data privacy and consent-driven marketing.

digital icons representing enhanced conversion tracking and data

What Are Enhanced Conversions on Google Ads?

Enhanced Conversion Tracking in Google Ads is a secure feature that improves the accuracy of conversion measurement. It supplements existing conversion tags by using hashed first-party data (like email addresses or phone numbers) from your website. The data is processed using a one-way SHA256 hashing algorithm for privacy compliance. The process includes:

Data Collection

A logged-in Google user clicks on an ad and completes a conversion on your website.


The conversion tag on your site captures a predefined user data piece, hashes it, and securely transmits it to Google.


Google then matches this hashed data against its own, marking a conversion in your account, thereby preserving the integrity of your ad performance data.

Importance of Enhanced Conversion Tracking

Conversion tracking within Google Ads is essential. It enables marketers to gauge campaign success by monitoring specific user actions post-ad click.

1. Privacy-Centric Practices

It ensures user privacy by employing encryption and anonymisation of data. The data is hashed and anonymised before it’s used, turning it into a unique string of characters that can’t be easily deciphered. This aligns with GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) regulations, addressing privacy concerns in the new privacy-led digital world.

2. Value of First-Party Data

Enhanced Conversions utilise first-party data, offering more reliable tracking. According to Think With Google and Boston Consulting Group, marketers using first-party data are 58% more likely to see it as a strategic asset, with brands achieving a 2.9X revenue lift and a 1.5X increase in cost savings.

3. Accurate Tracking

Enhanced conversions provide accurate conversion measurement, crucial in the era where third-party cookies are becoming less reliable. Without proper application, up to 60% of data can be missed, highlighting the importance of accurate conversion tracking.

4. Understanding User Behaviour

Lastly, it helps understand the audience’s online behaviour, leading to targeted and effective marketing strategies. By analysing conversion data, marketers can identify valuable user trends, high-traffic landing pages, most clicked calls-to-action, and drop-off points. These behavioural insights help refine website content, enhance user experience, tailor customer journeys, and improve conversions.

How Do Enhanced Conversions Work?

Enhanced Conversion Tracking works by collecting hashed first-party customer data when a user completes a conversion on your website. This data, including email addresses, names, home addresses, and phone numbers, is captured via conversion tracking tags. The data is then hashed using a method called SHA256, transforming it into a unique set of characters to ensure privacy. This hashed data is securely transmitted to Google to enhance your conversion measurement.

Once received, Google matches the hashed data with signed-in Google accounts, attributing campaign conversions to specific ad events like clicks or views. This process provides precise conversion tracking while upholding user privacy. Additionally, the hashed data can be used to create custom audiences, delivering more targeted ads while maintaining user confidentiality.

Benefits of Enhanced Conversion Tracking

Advertisers also benefit from this, as it positively impacts their automated bid strategies.

Improved Accuracy

It ensures accurate data on user interactions and conversions by reducing discrepancies and correctly attributing all relevant conversion events.

Powerful Bidding Capabilities

Precise conversion data facilitates better-informed decisions about bid amounts for ad placements, leading to effective budget allocation and bidding for relevant keywords.

Enhanced Understanding of Customer Behaviour

With more accurate data, advertisers can gain a deeper insight into customer behaviour, which aids in optimising their google ads campaigns.

Data Privacy

The hashing procedure guarantees privacy, as it converts customer data into a unique set of characters before sending to Google.

In addition, the adoption of Enhanced Conversions has demonstrated tangible results:

  • A 5% increase in search conversions.
  • A 17% rise in YouTube conversions.
  • Over a 10% boost in real estate conversions.

These benefits underscore the importance of Enhanced Conversion Tracking in modern advertising.

Types of Enhanced Conversions


Enhanced Conversions for Web

Enhanced Conversions for Leads


Suitable for advertisers wanting to track sales and events on a website.

Ideal for advertisers wishing to track off-website sales (e.g., phone or email) from website leads.


Enhances measurement of online conversions.

Enhances measurement of offline transactions originating from a website lead or visitor.


Allows sending hashed first-party, user-provided data from your website when a user converts.  The data is used to match your customers to Google accounts, which were signed-in to when they engaged with an ad.

Utilises hashed, first-party user-provided data from your website lead forms for offline lead measurement. When you upload your leads, the provided hashed information is used to attribute back to the Google Ad campaign.

How to Set Up Enhanced Conversions in Google Ads

Before implementing Enhanced Conversions, make sure you comply with Google’s Customer Data Policies. To implement Google ads enhanced conversions, follow these steps:

Set Up With Google Tag Manager

If you’re already using Google Tag Manager for conversion tracking, you can set up enhanced conversions with only minor adjustments to your current configuration.

To set up Google ads Enhanced Conversions with Google Tag Manager:

  1. In your Google Ads account, simply click on the Goals icon.


  2. Open the section menu and select “Conversions” from the drop-down options.


  3. Click Settings.


  4. Expand the “Enhanced conversions for web” panel.


  5. Check “Turn on enhanced conversions for web”.


  6. Review compliance statement. To enable enhanced conversions, confirm your compliance with Google’s policies and acceptance of the Google Ads Data Processing Terms.


  7. Click Agree to acknowledge your acceptance.


  8. Click the dropdown to select a method for setting up and managing user-provided data. Choose “Google Tag Manager“.


  9. Use ‘Check URL‘ to verify your website’s Google tag.

If you used Google Tag Manager for conversion tracking, follow the instructions in Tag Manager to complete the setup.

For setting up with code:

  • CSS selectors: No additional code is needed if first-party customer data is present on the conversion page.

  • JavaScript: Use JavaScript variables to implement enhanced conversions if customer data is globally defined on your conversion page.

You can also use the Google Ads API to utilise enhanced conversions by sending customer data as conversion adjustments.

Note: After approximately 30 days, you will see the impact of improved conversions in your reports.

Set Up With Google Ads API

If you want more flexibility and control over your data, you can use the Google Ads API to provide enhanced conversion data. You’ll need to make a ‘ConversionAction‘ resource request to the API and include the ‘enhancedConversionsSetting‘ field. This field should contain hashed customer data.

To set up Google ads Enhanced Conversions with Google Ads API:

  1. Log into your Google Ads account.

  2. Click on the “Goals” icon, then “Conversions“, and finally “Settings“.

  3. Expand “Enhanced conversions for web” and check the box to turn it on. Review and agree to the terms.

  4. Review compliance statement. To enable enhanced conversions you must confirm that you’ll comply with our policies and that the Google Ads Data Processing Terms apply to your use of enhanced conversions. Click Agree to acknowledge your acceptance of these terms.

  5. Click the dropdown menu to set up and manage user-provided data. Select “Google Ads API“.

  6. Ensure your website has a conversion tracking tag and is using the transaction ID function tag.

  7. Set up a server capable of sending data securely via HTTPS.

  8. Format and hash your data with SHA-256, then send it to Google using the Google Ads API within 24 hours of conversion.

Check responses received from Google for errors.

Set Up With The Google Tag

If you’re using the Google tag directly on your page (not within a third-party tool or iFrame), you can set up enhanced conversions by making slight changes to your configuration. You’ll need to add a ‘conversion_data’ parameter to your existing Google Ads conversion tracking tag. This parameter should contain your hashed customer data.

To set up Google ads Enhanced Conversions with The Google Tag:

  1. Log into your account.

  2. Click on the “Goals” icon, select “Conversions“, and proceed to Settings“.

  3. Expand the “Enhanced conversions for web” panel.

  4. Check “Turn on enhanced conversions for web”.

  5. Review and agree to the compliance statement.

  6. Click the dropdown and choose a method to set up and manage user-provided data. Select “Google tag“.

  7. Select Tagging Method: Choose “Google tag” from the dropdown. For help, click “Which method should I use?” and follow the prompts.

  8. If you see a message that your tag will collect user-provided data, save your settings. Otherwise, click “Tag details”.

  9. Decide how to capture user-provided data in your tag. Options include automatic detection, specifying CSS selectors or Javascript variables, or adding a code snippet to your website.

  10. Click “Save”.

Check that enhanced conversion is set up correctly and wait about 30 days to see its impact on your reporting.

Leveraging Enhanced Conversion Tracking for Optimal Google Ads Performance

Enhanced conversion tracking in Google Ads provides valuable insights into customer behaviour and preferences, enabling advertisers to attribute conversions more accurately. Implementing Google’s enhanced conversions feature, businesses can garner more control over their Google Ads campaigns, leading to more relevant results for potential customers. 

It also helps in formulating effective bidding strategies, ultimately maximising their return on investment (ROI). Thus, considering how enhanced conversions work is an essential step for any advertiser seeking to optimise their Google Ads account.

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