How The GMP Improves With Enhanced Conversions

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If you're a Google Ads user, you've probably been aware of Enhanced Conversions (EC) for some time now. Although Enhanced Conversions has its roots in Google Ads, the feature is primarily configured in Google Tag Manager, but most recently, was added to the Google Marketing Platform (GMP). So, where do tools like Campaign Manager 360 (CM360) and Search Ads 360 (SA360) factor into the mix? That's something many advertisers are still figuring out, and in this blog we'll dive into the history of enhanced features in the GMP, touch on the first signs of Enhanced Conversions in CM360/SA360, and set the stage for a future blog where we'll dive into the specifics of how to configure them in Google Tag Manager.

A Brief Look at Enhanced Features of the GMP

If you've utilized any product in the Google Marketing Platform, you've probably noticed that updates come frequently. In addition to new feature releases, Google is constantly improving its existing features. Some updates fly under the radar, but Google publishes the majority within the announcements section of a specific product's help center. When Google makes a major change to an existing feature, they'll sometimes rename it. Think Smart Shopping and Performance Max in Google Ads or Budget Plans and Performance Plans in SA360. Every once in a while, however, Google will release a major change to a feature and prefix it with the word "Enhanced" instead of renaming it entirely. This typically happens when the improved feature is conceptually significant and integral to a high percentage of the platform's utility. 

Enhanced eCommerce for UA

For example, in May 2014, Google released Enhanced eCommerce tracking for Universal Analytics (UA). Tracking for eCommerce already existed in UA, but Enhanced eCommerce unlocked many more possibilities. Previously, users could only track the basics of an eCommerce conversion, which consisted of orders, product category, product quantity, cost/revenue, and calculated fields built from those fields and others standard to Google Analytics. 

Simply put, eCommerce tracking wasn't going away, so they "enhanced" the name to show the significance of the update. With Enhanced eCommerce enabled and properly implemented, Google Analytics users could now report on much more user activity through the entire funnel, including: adds to cart, coupons used, product detail views/clicks, product list activity, and more, ultimately providing richer insights and more actionable data.

Enhanced Attribution in CM360/DV360

More recently, Google introduced Enhanced Attribution. As easy to enable as checking a box in Campaign Manager 360 and Display & Video 360, Enhanced Attribution automatically adds a Display Click ID (DCLID) key-value pair to the end of click-through URLs originating from either of those platforms. Similar to the Google Click ID (GCLID) for Google Ads and SA360, the DCLID passes information about ads served from CM360 or DV360 for reporting and attribution in analytics platforms. Attribution obviously wasn't new, but the DCLID improved its accuracy for display advertising in the GMP.

Enhanced Automation Pool in DV360

In recent years, Google unveiled the Enhanced Automation Pool in DV360. Probably the most complex of the "enhanced" features, the Enhanced Automation Pool enables advertisers to pool their performance data and improve automation (bidding, budget allocation, etc.) to help algorithms make better-informed decisions in DV360.

Branching Out with Enhanced Conversions

Enhanced Conversions is actually a two-part feature, encompassing EC for Web and EC for Leads. The former entered beta in the fall of 2021, while the latter launched in March 2022. They follow Google's renaming trend of improving on a large and integral platform feature; however, what makes Enhanced Conversions unique is how many Google platforms it touches.

Past features like Enhanced eCommerce touched two platforms as it was built for Universal Analytics and largely configured in Google Tag Manager. Enhanced Attribution touched three platforms. You enable the feature in CM360 and/or DV360, but the DCLID is processed in Universal Analytics or GA4. Enhanced Automation only exists in DV360 but is affected by CM360 if linked for Floodlight tag management. However, Enhanced Conversions currently touches at least four different platforms: SA360, CM360, Google Tag Manager and Google Ads. 

Additionally, unlike many other "enhanced" features, Enhanced Conversions exists in both enterprise and free Google Marketing products, not to mention it also originally started out in Google Ads. So what exactly do Enhanced Conversions improve?

Enhanced Conversions for Web

EC for Web improves online conversion measurement. It makes it easy for advertisers to pass personally identifiable user information captured via website fields to Google, automatically hashing the data so it can't be traced back to any specific individual. That additional event information improves the accuracy and consistency of ad-click-to-conversion attribution, all while respecting end-user privacy. 

Enhanced Conversions for Leads

EC for Leads is very similar but involves a couple of extra steps. Focused on offline sales, EC for Leads requires storing lead information within a CRM database. When a lead becomes a customer, advertisers upload the hashed lead along with the new sales information to Google Ads for attribution.

Enhanced Conversions in CM360/SA360

Until recently, Enhanced Conversions didn't exist in any of the enterprise Google Marketing products. In November 2022, roughly seven months after its full release in Google Ads, Enhanced Conversions appeared in CM360. Less than a month later, it showed up within SA360 Advertiser Settings. Under the Advertiser Details tab, there's now a very short Policy & Terms agreement for Enhanced Conversions (you will only find this in the legacy SA360 UI for now.)

Example of where to find enhanced conversions in CM360

Example of where to find enhanced conversions in CM360

Enhanced Conversions will have pretty much the exact same role it plays in Google Ads. It improves the accuracy of conversion tracking and unlocks more powerful bidding, but for Floodlight conversions rather than for Google Ads conversions. We won't dive into the implementation process now, but like Enhanced Conversions in Google Ads, you can configure everything within Google Tag Manager. 

In my next blog, I'll work with a couple of Google Tag Manager experts to explain the Enhanced Conversions implementation process from start to finish so you can take advantage of this awesome feature. Stay tuned! And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.