Google recently revealed that Enhanced Conversions, previously an exclusive feature for Google Ads, will now be integrated into Google Analytics 4. This move is a part of Google's broader initiative to roll out the Protected Audiences API. The incorporation of these features into GA4 is a significant step, as it will enable businesses to maintain connections with their customers in a post-third-party cookie era.
As we explore these features, we will uncover the benefits they bring and the implications they have for the future of digital marketing and analytics.
Enhanced Conversions are designed to improve the accuracy and comprehensiveness of conversion tracking. This allows you to collect first-party data from your website (such as names, phone numbers, and email addresses) and send it in an encrypted format using the hashing algorithm.
For example, a user clicks on your ad, visits your site, and provides their email address. Even if they don't complete a purchase immediately but do so later, the hashed email address provided during the order confirmation allows Google to link the conversion back to the original ad click. It’s also effective in cases where a user might interact with your ad and website using different devices or email accounts, as Google can use other identifiers like phone numbers to link these interactions.
1. Open your GA4 property and on the left click on “Admin”. Go to “Data Streams”.
2. Choose your web data stream and scroll down to “Google tag”. Then click on “Configure tag settings”.
3. Scroll down to “Allow user-provided data capabilities”.
4. Toggle on the “Automatically detect user-provided data”.
6. (Recommendation for linking GA4 with Google Ads). Link your GA4 property with your Google Ads account to leverage Enhanced Conversion data in your ad campaigns.
For detailed guidance and information, you can refer to the full article on the Google Analytics Help page here.
The Protected Audiences API introduces a new method of audience targeting and data protection. It ensures that audience targeting is not only effective but also compliant with the increasing global data privacy regulations.
For example, a user visits an online clothing store and shows interest in a particular style of jackets but doesn't make a purchase. Later, when the user browses the internet, the Protected Audience API can enable the browser to display ads from that clothing store, specifically highlighting jackets or related items, without relying on third-party cookies.
Or here’s another use case: a user researches flights and hotels in a specific destination but doesn't book immediately. The Protected Audience API could later facilitate the display of ads for travel deals or hotel offers in that destination while the user is browsing other websites. This approach would be based on the user's demonstrated interest but done in a way that respects their privacy and avoids cross-site tracking.
Basically it works like this:
And if you're looking for specific API methods and parameters:
Take advantage of Enhanced Conversions and Protected Audience API, and use the first-party data while adhering to privacy norms. In this blog post, we’ve discussed how they can enhance conversion data accuracy, refine bid and budget management, and overall optimize your ad campaigns.
For assistance in setting up server-side tracking and to stay ahead in the evolving online advertising landscape in 2024 and beyond, feel free to reach out to us for expert guidance.
With the latest update of Safari, Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, and Google Ads scripts will be blocked in Incognito mode and when Advanced tracking protection is on, but server-side tracking is a solution.Edited Dec 29, 2023
Google has recently changed the preferred way of mapping a custom domain for the server Google Tag Manager container. Instead of using a subdomain (like sgtm.example.com) they encourage using the same origin (like example.com/sgtm).