July 2023 is coming sooner than you think. Do not be unprepared for the important changes that are coming in how Google Ads tracks conversions. Failure to take this seriously will impact your advertising, costs, the ability to measure the successes from your Google Ads advertising investment and may even cause a decline in sales.
Cookies are changing in July 2023. Google will be sunsetting Universal Analytics (UA), removing third party cookie access from the Chrome browser, and Google Ads will not record conversions in your advertising account from third party cookies after that date.
What Happens to Conversions in this New World in Google Ads?
Right now, most Google Ads conversions are tracked via third party cookies. That means if you have not embraced first party data and G4 Analytics, your Google Ads account may not show all conversions that are being generated from Google Ads. You still will get conversions, but you just won’t know where the conversion came from. For some clients, they will erroneously feel that Google Ads is not working for them, and cut ad spend budgets in error. For many this will create a loss in sales and may even drive some companies out of business.
The Impact of the Cookie Change for Google Ads Account Management is Significant
Conversions are not going away with this new cookieless world, but the ability to see which conversions are driven by Google Ads will be gone if you do not move to first party data and cookieless conversion tracking by July 2023.
Google Ads has stated that using G4 and Google Ads first party data in website codes will generate data that it will combine with AI to extrapolate conversion data points that it will use for the advanced bidding algorithm and conversion reporting metrics.
From the Google Ads Manager Perspective
Many clients are simply not aware of how automation is used in their Google Ads account. Bidding from the keyword level and even ad text inclusion by viewer is all driven by conversion results. Without strong and valid conversion data to base these decisions on, we return to manual bidding which drops conversion numbers and in many cases does not let an account be competitively placed in the Google Ads auction. And, the bidding algorithm drives up costs and escalates the cost per conversion as it has no idea what to bid based on no data or flawed data. The responsive ad engine does not understand which pieces of ad text generate a return and so does not create compelling ads that generate sales.
Performance drops and clients start to think that Google Ads is not a good investment. They stop advertising and their phone stops ringing, sales drop, and then suddenly everything becomes a crisis.
Without the first party data which powers the Google Ads advanced bidding algorithm and Google’s ability to fill-in conversion data using AI, Google Ads stops working for an account.
But, your competitors are moving forward and continuing to leverage their first party data in Google Ads to get results. What happens is those that did not embrace first party data, G4, and early preparation simply get left behind and lose business to others that could have been theirs.
Our Recommendations Is to Be Prepared
We recommend using the first party data of Google Ads tracking code to track conversions on your website and using G4 Analytics for a deeper insight into your website traffic.
Don’t wait and get caught in a spiral of confusion and lack of important decision making data. Plan ahead and actively work to assure your website and Google Ads conversion code is transitioned and ready for the cookieless future before the deadline.
For more information on this important topic we recommend this article at Search Engine Land.
For help with Google Ads optimization and how you should move forward with implementing first party data, please contact us from our website.