To keep up with changes in browser technology and how cookies are handled, all retailers should replace their legacy conversion tags on their website as soon as possible with the new global site tag.
What is the Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.0?
Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.0 for Safari was announced in June, and when it launches, some or all of the conversion tags that you are currently using on your site(s) will be unable to measure conversions on Safari.
So, why is this happening? And what can retailers do to prepare?
To ensure that Search Ads 360 can measure all of your conversions regardless of the browser that your site visitor is using, this tag sets new cookies on your domain, which will store a unique identifier for a user or the ad click that brought the user to your site.
The cookies receive the ad click information from a GCLID (“Google click identifier”) parameter that is included in the conversion tracking tags.
This new global site tag (aka Gtag.js) measures conversions in a way that is consistent with the prior public recommendations for ad attribution.
This is a pretty big deal, so if you’re considering not taking action- think again. If you don’t implement the new global site tag, you will no longer be able to accurately measure conversions on Safari.
What is the New Global Site Tag?
Earlier this summer, Google sent out an announcement regarding the Safari Intelligent Tracking update, which will go into effect soon and will prevent proper conversion tracking attribution for Google Ads for a portion of Safari traffic.
If retailers operating via Google Tag Manager, Shopify, Volusion, Big Commerce and more choose NOT to update their sitewide tagging this will lead to Google Ads underreporting conversions.
As of now, Google is recommending installation of the Global Site Tag for those advertisers that don’t already have it installed.
They’re also recommending advertisers leverage the ‘conversion linker’ code that will help Google continue to track conversions properly through these technology changes by the Safari browser.
Here’s how Tien Nguyen VP, Technology at CPC Strategy explains it:
“There’s Global Site Tag and legacy tag (what most of our clients use now). The legacy AdWords conversion tag traditionally is only placed on the checkout page. For example, a user clicks on an ad, they get cookied, and make a purchase 10 days later. That cookie stays and the pixel tells AdWords ‘this user made a purchase via an AdWords click’, and logs it.”
“With the new ‘intelligent’ tracking, the ‘gets cookied’ portion is no longer in place due to (perceived) privacy invasion/issues – so AdWords has no idea that a user that made a purchase has already clicked on your ad.”
“The Global Site tag, as its name implies, is installed on all pages of a website (same way Analytics works). Now, every time you visit a page, information from a user is pushed back to Google at all times without reliance on cookies. You can now still track users that clicked on your ad.”
3 Benefits of the Global Site Tag
- Faster and easier integration with other Google products: The global site tag is not only used by Google Marketing Platform products, but also by other Google products such as Google Ads and Google Analytics. If you use these products, the global site tag makes website implementation easier by providing a unified tagging experience.
- More accurate conversion tracking: Using the global site tag sets new cookies on your domain, which will store a unique identifier for a user or the ad click that brought the user to your site. This ensures that Floodlight can measure conversions more accurately.
- If you use Floodlight iframe or image tags, Google recommends you migrate to the global site tag or use Google Tag Manager with the Conversion Linker. Floodlight iframe and image tags are not able to observe all of your conversions.
Pro-Tip: Since the global site tag is able to use the information from the new cookies that are set on your domain, please ensure you’re providing users with clear and comprehensive information about data collection, and obtaining consent where legally required.
How To Install the New Global Site Tag:
CPC Strategy is currently encouraging all of our clients to update with the new site tag. If you’d like to do it yourself, we’ve provided the appropriate directions on how to (based on your site).
- Global snippet
- Event snippet
Google Site Tag: The global snippet should be placed on all pages of your website, in the <head> section of your HTML pages. This will streamline your experience with using website code across Google products, you can use the global site tag to track your Google Ads conversions. This tag should be installed on every page of your website.
Event Snippet / Phone Snippet: You’ll also have to add another piece of code, an event snippet or a phone snippet — depending on the type of conversion you’d like to track, to certain pages on your site. These snippets work in unison with the global site tag to track conversions. The event snippet should be installed on the page with the event you’re tracking. It can be placed anywhere on the page after the global snippet. For the best tracking accuracy, place the snippet within the
<head> section just after the global snippet.
Depending on which platform you are using, updating the Global Tag will be slightly different. Below are instructions on how to update the global site tag via:
- Google Tag Manager
- Other (aka generic sites)
Google Tag Manager:
Google Tag Manager allows you to quickly and easily deploy and update tags on your website without changing the code on your page. To ensure that your Google Ads conversion tracking tags receive the necessary ad click information, also follow these steps:
- If you haven’t already, set up and install Google Tag Manager.
- In your Google Tag Manager container, click to add a New Tag.
- Click Tag Configuration and select the Conversion Linker tag type.
- Click Triggering and select a trigger to have the tag fire on All Pages.
The Conversion Linker tag automatically detects the information about the ad click that brought someone to your site in the landing page URLs and stores this information in new cookies on your domain.
Additional Instructions for Global Site Tagging via:
For more information on global site tagging, email firstname.lastname@example.org