Conversion tracking is one of the most important tools in a PPC marketer’s toolkit. By tracking post-click actions that indicate value - like lead submissions, purchases, or registrations - you can understand the true ROI of your keywords, ads, and targeting parameters. This enables you to optimize bids and budgets to drive more of the conversions that impact your bottom line.
However, implementing conversion tracking has never been easy. Traditionally, it requires adding code snippets on your site to track conversions and/or integrating your CRM data with your Google Ads account through their API. For many advertisers, this involves engineering resources or dependency on other teams to execute the technical integration. Even for experienced PPC experts, this process can be time-intensive and risky to implement.
That’s why Google’s new Enhanced Conversions for Leads is a potential game-changer. By streamlining the implementation entirely within Google Ads, this new tracking method can help more advertisers unlock the benefits of conversion data in their campaigns. In this post, we’ll cover what Enhanced Conversions offers, how you can benefit, and best practices for getting started.
What are Enhanced Conversions for leads?
Enhanced Conversions provides an alternative way to enable offline conversion tracking without modifications to your existing CRM or analytics systems. Here’s an overview of how it works:
When a potential customer fills out a lead form on your site, that data including their email address, name, and contact details is captured by your site’s form handler or CRM. With Enhanced Conversions, that first-party lead data can be hashed and sent directly to Google Ads to match it with any corresponding ad clicks.
Later, when that lead converts into a sale or other goal, you upload the hashed lead information to Google. They match that lead to the original ad click, closing the loop on the conversion process. This gives Google a more complete picture of the customer journey and lead quality when optimizing your bids and ad placements.
The key difference from traditional methods is that this integration happens entirely within your Google Ads account, instead of via an API or manual uploads. You don’t need engineering resources to modify your CRM and can leverage the lead data you already have on hand.
Why do existing conversion tracking methods fall short?
To understand why Enhanced Conversions is an exciting update, it helps to know why existing conversion tracking has not been widely adopted.
Advertisers are used to being able to control most elements of their campaigns through self-service tools. But those same marketers usually don’t control the CRM systems where this valuable offline conversion data lives inside their organization. This dependency on other teams and sometimes even engineering significantly reduces the adoption of conversion tracking.
Modifying underlying CRM or analytics systems requires technical expertise that is beyond the access of most marketing teams. Even for those with engineering resources, it can be time-consuming and risky to build out a conversion data pipeline securely and accurately. Testing and troubleshooting errors add further delays.
As a result, many PPC marketers have simply avoided the hassle of offline conversion tracking. But that means missing out on critically valuable data to optimize bids and drive ROI.
Benefits of the New Enhanced Conversions
By removing the dependency on engineering resources, Enhanced Conversions makes this kind of conversion tracking far more accessible. PPC experts can enable it directly within their Google Ads interface in a simpler process.
More importantly, activating this deeper conversion data can significantly improve campaign performance:
Gain a more complete view of the customer journey.
What first touchpoints drive the most valuable leads? Enhanced Conversions connects those initial ad clicks all the way through the conversion process.
Optimize bids for quality over quantity.
Focus ad spend on conversions that impact ROI rather than vanity metrics like clicks. Value-based bidding leverages enhanced conversion data.
Eliminate wasted spend.
Identify low-quality leads that don’t convert and avoid bidding on them. Enhanced Conversions provides that feedback loop.
Conversion data reveals your best-performing audience segments, placement types, ad formats, and other factors to refine targeting.
Calculate true ROAS.
Without conversions, ROI metrics are only guesses. Enhanced Conversions provides real data on your return from ad spend.
The bottom line is that this richer conversion data powers more efficient spending and better quality leads. For savvy PPC marketers, it’s essential insights for driving campaigns to the next level.
Best practices for implementing Enhanced Conversion Tracking
Here are some best practices to follow as you enable it in your accounts:
Choose the Right Conversion Action.
Your first step is deciding what conversion or goal you want to track. A few key pointers:
Don’t start by tracking final conversions only.
Look for meaningful mid-funnel steps first like lead submissions, demo sign-ups, or email registrations.
If you track final conversions and they occur infrequently, the system won’t have enough data to optimize well.
Factor in time to conversion.
Longer time lags make optimizations slower. Shorter time-to-convert metrics are better.
Don’t merge all conversions together.
Isolate specific actions to avoid “junk” conversions skewing data.
Thoughtfully Estimate Conversion Value.
Next, think carefully about assigning monetary values to your conversion actions. Some tips:
- Leverage data from your CRM on customer LTV or average order value to estimate downstream revenue.
- If exact values aren’t known, use reasonable ranges or tiers for each conversion type. Just avoid only 2-3 wide buckets.
- Values don’t have to be precise! Relative differences between your conversion types are what matters most.
Manage the Transition to New Conversion Tracking.
Once you’ve decided on conversion actions and values, you can enable Enhanced Conversions in your accounts. But take care with the transition:
- Add the new conversion tracking but don’t change your bid strategy at the same time. Let the data accumulate first.
- Allow for an adjustment period of at least 1-2 weeks before optimizing bids based on the data. Avoid major changes in short periods.
- Watch performance metrics closely and pause aggressive changes if you see volatility or a decline in conversions.
- Implement in smaller campaigns first before rolling out more widely. This minimizes risk.
While proper setup takes patience, taking the time to do it right will pay dividends through improved performance.
Looking Ahead with Enhanced Conversions
Now that Enhanced Conversions removes major barriers to implementation, PPC marketers have an opportunity to more fully realize the benefits of offline conversion tracking.
As this method gains adoption, we should see more granular data-driven bidding, spent aimed squarely at profitable outcomes, and continuously improving performance as the system learns. When conversion tracking is democratized beyond just the most sophisticated enterprises, it raises the bar for sophistication across the whole industry.
And that’s greatly accelerated by inventory-level bidding technologies like smart bidding. The combination of conversion data and automated optimization makes PPC campaigns smarter and more efficient than ever.
For savvy PPC experts, staying ahead of these curves by implementing Enhanced Conversions today means you can outperform competitors who fail to level up their conversion tracking capabilities. That advantage will only compound over time as conversion data accumulation enables greater optimizations.
The opportunity is now yours. Get started with Enhanced Conversions and watch your ad spend get smarter.
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