Why do you need a guide to conversion rate optimization? Because the ultimate goal for any website owner is to get as many conversions from their website as possible.
While it’s nice to have tons of organic traffic, it’s useless if none of these site visitors take the next step and convert into qualified leads or customers. The truth is that most websites struggle to get conversions even if they get tons of site visitors.
What’s the solution? Conversion rate optimization, of course.
That’s why we’ve created this beginner’s guide to conversion rate optimization. This guide will teach you everything you need to know to get started with conversion rate optimization.
So, let’s get started.
What is a Conversion Rate?
A conversion on a website can refer to site visitors taking any desired action, not necessarily just making a purchase.
The conversion rate is the percentage of people who visited your site and took the desired action (converted).
It is calculated as:
(No. of conversions/Total site visitors)*100.
Needless to say that the higher the conversion rate the better it is for your business. That’s where conversion rate optimization comes into the picture.
Let’s understand what conversion rate optimization is and why you should care about it.
Why Should You Invest in Conversion Rate Optimization?
Conversion rate optimization is the process of improving the conversion rate of a website. It’s important because the ultimate goal of any business is to get more leads and conversions, not just website traffic.
Conversion rate optimization can help you get more leads and sales, making it crucial to the success of your business. This is especially important for eCommerce websites as they depend on the conversions made through their websites. While CRO can help you get more orders, it’s up to you to manage your orders well and make your customers happy enough to make repeat purchases.
Now that we’ve understood the importance of CRO let’s discuss exactly how to get started with it.
Five Areas Where You Can Implement Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies
Here are five important aspects where you should start your conversion rate optimization process.
CTAs are at the core of CRO and that’s why they’re first in this guide to conversion rate optimization for beginners.
CTAs guide your site visitors to take the next step, be it signing up for your newsletters or making a purchase.
So how can you optimize your CTAs?
Here are a few tips:
- Keep them short and impactful
- Use strong action words
- Make sure they’re clearly visible
- Place them strategically to make them the focus of a page
- Use text-based CTAs along with buttons as these look more natural and get more clicks
The next aspect of great conversion rate optimization is forms. These are used to capture useful information about your site visitors that you can use for future marketing communications and other purposes.
How does conversion optimization come into the picture here? Using CRO tactics you can optimize your forms for more conversions. There are three aspects to optimizing forms—style, length, and placement.
Style – Make your forms visually appealing and engaging. Design something different than a boring email capture form and gamify it.
Length – The shorter the form, the higher the chances of people filling it. So, limit the length of your form by creating forms with only the essential fields.
Placement – Placing the forms above the fold is generally considered better for CRO. Still, you should use A/B testing and see what works best for your site.
3. Site Structure
One of the key rules of conversion rate optimization is to make your site easy to navigate. Keep your site structure simple, yet appealing. Make it easy for first-time site visitors to find what they’re looking for. Create category and product pages or any other form or site hierarchy that makes logical sense for your users. Hire a UX designer to improve the overall design of your site and its UX performance.
4. Website Speed
Another important aspect of this guide to conversion rate optimization is site speed. Most people will leave your website if it takes more than a few seconds to load. This makes page speed crucial for conversion rate optimization. Since images and videos are often the main culprits for slowing down the loading speed, that’s where you should begin your conversion rate optimization. Use image compression tools to reduce image size and make them easy to load. Also, use a content distribution network and caching to further optimize your site speed. Use optimized video templates to keep your video sizes in check while also making them engaging.
5. Landing Page Design
Coming to the most important part of this beginner’s guide to conversion rate optimization, let’s discuss how to optimize your landing pages.
After all, most of the conversions happen from landing pages as these are where your new site visitors often land.
While designing a landing page keep all the above elements in mind and structure it in a way to make everything come together beautifully. Use a mix of text and images, keep your CTAs the focus of your page, place your forms strategically, etc. Take Netflix’s landing page, for example, which has a clean and simple design, a one-line form, and a clearly visible CTA.
Also, use your primary keyword throughout your landing page content and keep the content impactful and to the point. These CRO tips will optimize your landing page conversion rates.
Ready to Use This Guide for Conversion Rate Optimization?
You now know what conversion rate optimization is and why it’s crucial for your business. Now it’s time to implement the CRO strategies mentioned in this guide to conversion rate optimization for your business.
Use this guide to get started with CRO and drive more conversions from your website. Start with the five most important areas mentioned above and then expand from there.
The post CRO in 2022: A Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization first appeared on PPC Hero.
- Getting traffic to a website can be difficult, so you need to make sure that visitors are as likely to convert as possible once there
- Quality site search implementation can increase conversion rates by 5-6x, and including elements like CTAs or a system that accounts for spelling mistakes can have a considerable impact
- When working with an online store, think about category pages like aisles and sub-categories like shelves within those aisles
- Breadcrumbs can not only help enhance the user experience but also improve rankings as they help search engines understand how your site structure and relevance
By many estimates, there are over twelve million ecommerce websites on the internet. That’s a lot of online stores, covering a lot of different niches. Getting traffic to these sites is one of the main struggles for businesses, so it’s important that once someone does land on the website, they have the best chance of converting as possible.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how good the rest of your site is, if the commercial pages are poor then you may be throwing leads away.
By ‘commercial pages’, we mean anything that leads to the generation of revenue, like the product, category, and service pages – even the checkout. What may seem like a minor change can have a huge impact on revenue for these pages.
For example, would you have guessed that simply adding a video to a product page would make users 144 percent more likely to add a product to their cart?
In this article, I take a look at five ways ecommerce websites can take their traffic – but most importantly, conversions – to the next level. We’ll start with the largest, and most underappreciated one, first.
1. Prioritise your site search
According to Econsultancy, up to 30 percent of ecommerce visitors use the internal site search available to them. This level of engagement means there is a higher level of purchasing intent, which needs to be capitalised on. Why?
Due to the increased level of purchasing intent from these searchers, they’re known to be 5–6x more likely to convert than the average visitor that doesn’t use the site search.
If someone invented a tool that reliably increased conversion rates by 5x, they’d be incredibly wealthy – and the tool would be very expensive. Instead, this is available on pretty much all site builds, but lies unutilized in most cases, even if site search optimization has led to conversion rate increases of 43 percent.
So, how can you optimize your search functionality?
First, include a CTA (call to action) in the search bar by default that encourages users to search, or even just explains what the bar is for more basic users. Below are some examples from major online brands:
In the first word of each of these, they are both educating the user on what the bar is for and are also encouraging them to use it. They also give people an insight into what they provide beyond just products, whether that’s services for Boots or styles for Depop. The eBay example is also great copywriting as it supports the brand’s character that you can buy and sell anything you want there; they’re not limited to brands or styles, you can search for anything!
A great site search would also be able to handle misspellings. For example, a website may have items listed as “red t-shirt”, but there are a lot of people that would simply search “red tshirt”. If your site search doesn’t show the same products for either, you’re likely losing out on sales.
You also want to make sure that generating new searches and applying filters don’t create new, indexable URLs. To test this, run a search on your website and then find what the search string URL looks like – basically everything in the URL before your search. Paste this into Google and see if these pages are being indexed/are appearing in the search engine results page.
It may be that every search is being saved as a new page (which we’ve seen many times before), which can lead to a huge crawl bloat. Consider search engines like Google as having a really short attention span. You don’t want to distract them with pointless pages like these, so make sure you no-index them.
Options like Fact Finder, Doo Finger, and SLI Systems are flexible choices that work fairly easily out of the box. These are great for smaller businesses with tighter resources. For larger businesses that need more from this functionality, Elastic Search and Solr are strong open source options but require a lot of work. This means that they can become totally bespoke, but that it may be overwhelming for businesses without the time and resources.
2. Have a Plan B for when a product is out of stock
Most products sold online are finite. Whether you have a lot of stock or a limited amount, almost every product runs the risk of becoming out of stock. This is the nature of an ecommerce business and is often a sign that something is selling well, but you should have a plan for when this happens.
It’s easy for a potential sale to end when they see that ‘out of stock’ message. However, the truly great ecommerce stores will know this isn’t the end of the customer’s journey – just because the product they originally wanted isn’t available doesn’t mean they can’t be sold on another.
After all, if you were doing your online grocery shopping and the usual meat feast pizza you buy isn’t available, that probably doesn’t mean you’re just not eating pizza anymore. Instead, you’d likely look for a similar meaty pizza from a different brand. This mindset works for other products, too.
First, you should consider related products on out of stock pages as absolutely essential. Take this example from John Lewis:
Source: John Lewis and Partners
In this case, the outdoor set is out of stock, but they are straight away suggesting similar products that would scratch the same itch the customer has. They’re also high up the page, which is important. If people see a product they want is out of stock, they may click away very quickly, so having similar products above the fold means you have a good chance of grabbing their attention before they move away.
As well as including related products, there should also be a channel for communication with the customer so you can contact them when the product comes back in stock. You can’t just assume that they’ll remember your website to check again in a few more weeks. It’s much more likely they’ll just find the product on a different website and give them their money instead.
While you can’t stop them from looking elsewhere, a section asking for their email address means that you can now communicate with them directly for marketing purposes but also let them know as soon as the product becomes available. This means that not only can you draw the customer back to the page for a purchase, but you could also sell them on more products over email!
Finally, if a product is out of stock and you don’t ever plan to restock it again, then consider removing it from your sitemap. For example, if you sell a calendar designed for 2018, this may very well be out of stock and very unlikely to come back in stock. With this in mind, deleting it from your sitemap would mean that search engines don’t bother looking at it and can instead focus on pages of yours that you actually want the likes of Google and Bing to be looking at.
3. Build a category structure that makes sense
A considered and effective category/sub-category structure is essential for online stores. Not only does this help search engines understand what it is you sell and what your most important pages are, but it also helps the user.
If there were no aisles in a supermarket, customers would be searching blindly for what they need. There’d be no structure and no space for using initiative. Instead, there are frozen aisles, canned aisles, fresh aisles; if you need some frozen french fries or some fresh peppers, you know where to go. Once you’re in that aisle, there are then shelves which can help you get even more specific. There likely wouldn’t be a tomato aisle, but a tomato shelf in the fresh aisle makes sense.
When working with an online store, think about category pages like aisles and sub-category pages like shelves within those aisles. Shopping online should be as seamless as this.
Consider what your biggest categories are and ‘zoom in’ smaller and smaller so you can find what your sub-categories are. It may be that you don’t have enough products to necessitate a sub-category.
Toby Dean, the Associate Director of SEO at Add People, believes that “As a rule of thumb, if there are more than 25-30 products in a category, you may want to sub-categorise that down to improve relevance, rankings and UX.”
Just like how people rarely click on page nine of Google search results, customers will rarely look at page nine of a category. Sub-category implementation will give them a better guide as to where they can find the products they want. For a clothing store, this might look like this:
Clothing > Men > Jumpers > Roll Neck Jumpers
Not having these is the equivalent of a supermarket having all of their food in one humongous aisle. Good luck trying to find what you need in there!
4. Include breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs aren’t on every category or product page, but they should be. They essentially show the user’s journey from the root category page to whatever page they’re on at that point. Using the example above, if you were on a product page for a roll neck jumper, you might see the “Clothing > Men > Jumpers > Roll Neck Jumpers” as a breadcrumb near the top of the page.
Each of these should be clickable, giving the user a chance to go as far back as they would like to in their journey. This massively improves navigation on these pages and means that if they end up down the wrong path, they can quickly ‘turn around’ and go back the way they came. This helps increase conversions and lower bounce rates.
Habitat, an online furniture provider, use this to good effect on their pages:
From a search engine perspective, it also helps pass link equity throughout all the pages. The more internal links something like Google detects going to a page, the more it will consider that page important. With that in mind, including breadcrumbs means that you will be linking to many pages at once. This means that they will quickly develop an understanding of how your website is structured, which should make ranking for relevant terms even easier.
These tips below don’t need a whole section to explain, but could still be key movers for your traffic and conversions.
- Include trust points and reviews on product pages
According to a BrightLocal survey, 91% of 18 to 34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This means that your product pages should include reviews of the item and the rest of your website should include testimonials from customers alongside your ratings on services like TrustPilot or Google.
- Use photos and videos to sell to the customer
Shoppers expect more than one photo per product now. They want to see it from different angles and in use, in both a photo and video format ideally. One study found that those shoppers who saw videos on product pages were 144% more likely to add a product to their cart.
- Add filters and sorts to pages
While some popular ecommerce platforms have this as a basic feature, plenty still don’t. With that in mind, make sure that you can apply filters that are relevant to your products. If a website sells shoes, it may need a size filter. If a website sells food, it may need a vegetarian-friendly filter. Regardless of the niche, all pages should also have the ability to sort by price and ratings.
- Include optimized copy
After a recent Google update saw some websites crash in rankings, it became even more apparent that optimized copy is crucial for ecommerce-focused pages. By including keywords and matching the intent of the typical customer, you can draw in organic traffic and help them convert while they are there; all while appeasing search engines and assuring them that you’re relevant to the searches your customers are making.
- Consider brand-focused pages
If you’re getting a lot of brand-focused searches and interest, you may want to create a dedicated page for that brand and connect all the relevant products to it. This will help establish your relevance for these searches, while also collecting all of the products people are interested in to one place.
Matthew Rogers is Head of Campaign Management at the top Manchester-based digital market agency Add People and has over 14 years of marketing experience. He is also a long-standing member of the Click Z Collective Advisory board.
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The post Five must-haves of a conversion worthy ecommerce website appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
Are you looking for ways to improve your website landing pages while offering a better user experience? PPC Hero has a few tips you’ll want to know about.
Read more at PPCHero.com
- Since Google now focuses heavily on user experience, using data as a pillar to uncover consumer insights will drive your digital marketing success
- However, marketing teams still need to understand these sources and their areas of impact on the consumer’s experience
- Atul Jindal helps you cover the ground with his advice and case studies
Studies have shown that businesses using data-driven strategies experience five to eight times higher ROI. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a process that largely depends on data. The core focus for most CRO strategies is to use consumer data to make their customer journey smoother and experience better.
With search engines also increasing emphasis on user experience, we find a point where SEO strategies start to complement CRO strategies.
But your SEO tactics can truly augment your CRO efforts when driven by data.
In this article, I share six data-driven SEO strategies to supplement your CRO efforts.
From content audit to website personalization, read till the end to find out how you can boost your search engine rankings and conversions altogether!
Data-driven SEO strategies to supplement CRO
Data-driven strategies are online marketing tactics fueled by consumer data. Unlike traditional marketing strategies, data-driven strategies are based on data-backed hypotheses rather than assumptions.
This reliance on solid data makes such strategies the star of the modern marketing world.
Here are six data-driven SEO strategies to make your CRO efforts more promising:
1. Website analysis and optimization
Website analysis is a process through which you test various elements of your website. It analyzes the overall performance of your website and highlights areas of improvement.
The elements that web analysis takes into account include the website’s on-page optimization and technical SEO, finding out about the keywords it ranks for, and what rank it has for different keywords.
Using various web analytics tools, this process also uncovers sources where your website gets traffic from, highlights the flaws in your website’s usability and UX, and provides the basis for the website’s load speed optimization.
Through all of these elements, it helps in enhancing your website’s overall user experience and contributes towards conversion rate optimization.
Additionally, it also provides your web traffic’s demographic and interest data, enabling you to optimize the website for a more relevant user experience.
Google Analytics is the most comprehensive and reliable tool to support your website analysis and optimization efforts. It integrates with your website and tracks all the data you need to optimize your website for an enhanced user experience.
A leading marketing automation software company experienced 10x higher conversion rates when they integrated their native real-time personalization tool with Google Analytics to use the personalization data. This was paired with the Google Analytics information to serve personalized remarketing ads through Google AdWords.
Not only did they experience higher conversion rates, but with the effective use of web analytics data, like demographic and behavior information, they also experienced a 107 percent YoY increase in qualified leads.
2. Content analysis and optimization
Content analysis is similar to website analysis, but instead of testing your website’s technical elements, it analyzes your website’s content and overall content strategy to uncover areas of improvement.
Conversion rates are almost six times higher for businesses that invest in content marketing. But results like this manifest only when your website brims with optimized content.
The purpose of your content is to compel users to take the desired action, or in other words, convert.
Content analysis finds out how well it serves this purpose.
You can uncover various metrics with content analysis, like which content type is the most popular among your audience, which content is bringing you closer to your marketing objectives, and which needs more work.
For example, a marketing optimization software company may have blogs and case studies in its content strategy. Their web analytics may reveal that case studies drive more conversions while blogs get the most social shares.
With its content marketing objective being increased conversions, content analysis will help them focus more on publishing more case studies.
An effective content analysis will also uncover whether or not your content matches the search intent of your target search queries. And therefore, whether or not you need to find new SEO keywords and re-optimize. If your content doesn’t match the search intent perfectly, even if it gets traffic, those users will not convert.
So, in essence, content analysis will help increase conversions by helping you create content that is proven to drive results. It will also help save time and resources from being spent on less-profitable strategies.
Here’s a case study discussing how changing content on your website can reflect a spike in revenue.
Brookdaleliving.com, a website offering community living solutions for the elderly, had a disappointing website conversion rate. But then, their website had nothing that would drive conversions.
The digital marketing experts they hired revamped their website and tested two different content types on their landing page – an image and a testimonial video – to see which one performs better.
Ironically, the web page with an image drove 3.92 percent higher conversions than the original page. This may seem like a small increment, but it resulted in additional revenue of $ 106,000.
3. Website design optimization
Tests like usability testing and A/B testing provide the data that drives website design optimization to improve a website’s design and enhance its user experience.
The purpose of CRO is to make the user journey smoother and experience better.
Website design optimization supports CRO by removing frictions in the buyer’s journey and making it easier for them to accomplish their goals.
But there are a couple of best practices the website design must adhere to to ensure that it really contributes to your CRO efforts.
- The design should be simple and somewhat similar to what the users are accustomed to
- The navigation bar should be designed intuitively, with the user’s search intent in mind, so they can quickly find what they came looking for
- The content arrangement should follow proven design techniques that enhance content readability and value delivery
For your web design to truly serve your business, you will have to continue to test various combinations of website elements, their placements, and designs.
Regardless of how you go about your web design, making the target audience’s journey easier should be at the heart of all your efforts.
Trucker Reports, a trucker’s community that helps truck drivers find jobs, struggled with low conversions.
The CRO experts they hired performed a web design audit and discovered multiple opportunities. Based on these opportunities, they tested different hypotheses.
They tested three different designs against the original ones in their final test and found out that the final design had 79.3 percent higher conversions.
Do you know why?
Because this last design had the least friction and made it easier for the users to convert.
4. Audience analysis
Audience analysis, commonly known as audience research, is the process through which you dig up information about your prospects so you can develop targeted marketing campaigns.
Since user experience is a massive part of SEO and CRO alike, audience analysis holds an important place as a data-driven SEO strategy for conversion rate optimization.
This process uncovers a wide variety of data, from core demographic information like age, gender, marital status, income, education, etc., to online behavior, internal and external challenges, and more.
Audience analysis helps develop a buyer persona, which then becomes the foundation of a highly-targeted marketing campaign.
Audience analysis is a core element of a successful CRO campaign because it makes your website relevant to the users. You find out about their pain points and struggles and are better equipped to address them through your content.
This shows that you care about your customers and inevitably builds trust between your brand and its prospects. Given that the modern customer prioritizes their connection with the brand when making purchase decisions, this bond of trust and reliability results in higher conversions.
Data-backed audience analysis also allows you to segment your audience based on their demographic information and interest. With this level of segmentation, you spend your efforts and resources on people you know matter to your business.
This is why studies indicate a 56 percent reduction in marketing costs for businesses that use audience analysis as a basis for all their marketing efforts.
5. Testing and optimization
Testing is the life of conversion rate optimization. You put samples of your content and design arrangements to test to see which one performs better and optimize using the results of these tests.
These tests are all data-driven, that is, they are based on hypotheses generated from existing data and provide insights into how valid the hypothesis is.
For example, data may show a higher conversion rate on websites with explainer videos. This forms the hypothesis of your test. So, you develop two different landing pages, one with a video and another with an image, to see which performs better. If the videos result in higher conversions, you know what to continue optimizing with!
You can perform different kinds of tests when optimizing websites for conversions. Two of the popular ones include usability testing and A/B or split testing.
Search engines also recommend A/B and multivariate testing for SEO as it improves user experience, which search engines pursue in the websites they index.
NatureAir performed A/B testing on their landing page to increase conversions. One of the samples had a CTA on the side, while the other had a CTA prominently placed in the content area.
Once the test results were in, they found that placing CTA in the content area increases conversions by 591 percent!
That’s how potent A/B tests can be!
6. Website personalization
According to Google, 90 percent of marketers believe personalization results in business profitability. And why shouldn’t it? In an era with so many similar websites, a web page that offers a customized experience deserves to make better revenue.
Website personalization is a relatively complex process through which you can serve a unique experience to each visitor. These experiences are designed based on consumer data, including their demographic data, interests, search history, and online behavior.
75 percent of consumers prefer that online sellers use personal information to enhance shopping experiences.
People want you to make shopping easier for them, adding a personalized product recommendation on your website will help improve your user experience and could boost sales. They don’t want to go out and search for what they want. They want you to know what they need and bring it to them. And that’s what website personalization empowers you to do.
It improves overall website experience, lowers bounce rates, boosts SEO, and of course, increases conversions.
Serving dynamic content makes the customer’s experience more intuitive and relevant. It lets you put out the content that interests them the most, and hence, contributes to better revenue.
The goal of an SEO and a CRO campaign have become somewhat similar ever since search engines have started giving value to user experience.
There are many SEO strategies focused on improving UX. And these strategies, when backed by data, can lead to increased conversion rates.
Therefore, I have discussed some of the most promising data-driven SEO strategies that can drive conversions in this article.
But the true results of a strategy depend on how well you implement it. So, ramp up your data analysis game, derive insights, implement them, and optimize your strategies for better results.
Atul Jindal is a web design and marketing specialist, having interests in doing websites/apps optimized for SEO with a core focus on conversion optimization. He creates web experiences that bring conversations and transform web traffic into paying customers or leads.
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The post Six data-driven SEO strategies that optimize conversion rates appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
Today, using data for driving business decisions has become common practice for most companies, with many having a dedicated analytics team checking the impact of marketing investments, which channels to invest in and effect. But the majority of these activities are focused on optimizing parameters before the audience click the ad. The question is: are you taking the same data driven approach to your website design?
If you don’t use data to optimize your site’s user experience, you risk low conversion rates and lost revenue. A well-designed user interface could increase your website’s conversion rate by up to 200 percent, and a better UX design could yield conversion rates up to 400 percent.
Now take your revenue, check your conversion rate, and calculate what it would be if the conversion rate would increase +200%. The number right there is why the companies that will thrive in the future most likely will be the ones that are data driven in, and focus as much on, both crucial moments during the user journey—before and beyond the ad.
Building this strength comes down to working with the research methods within conversion optimization and step by step A/B testing your way to a website your customers will love using.
Here are three steps on how to get started:
Find the weak spots on the site. Combine quantitative research in Google Analytics, qualitative research such as user testing (in the Optimize Resource Hub you can find easy instructions) and inspiration from best practices. The Optimize Resource Hub gives you best practice suggestions from Google and a library of test results from other companies.
Prioritize the most impactful tests. Give each test idea a score of one to ten according to the uplift you think it will generate, and subtract a score of one to ten depending on the effort the test will require.
Start testing. You can get started today by setting up Google Optimize—the tool that uses the full power of Google Analytics. A free version is available so you can have a test up and running within a few minutes.
For more in-depth knowledge around the process of conversion optimization, check out the CRO tips in the Optimize Resource Hub.
Learn from experts
We have one more treat for you, in the form of a new series of articles that will be published here on the blog: The Optimize CRO Series—Experts share their secrets. In this series, CRO experts from all over the world will give their best advice around these topics:
Favorite frameworks for analyzing sites
How to do a QA (quality assurance) of an A/B test
The experts’ best tests
Learn from the failing tests
Eager to know more? Make sure you start following the Google Analytics products blog through the channel that fits you to get the upcoming guides.
To increase conversion rates, marketers need to capitalize on users’ search intent. Learn how to make your content search intent-friendly.
Read more at PPCHero.com
Last year, we introduced Consent Mode, a beta feature to help advertisers operating in the European Economic Area and the United Kingdom take a privacy-first approach to digital marketing. When a user doesn’t consent to ads cookies or analytics cookies, Consent Mode automatically adjusts the relevant Google tags’ behavior to not read or write cookies for advertising or analytics purposes. This enables advertisers to respect user choice while helping them still capture some campaign insights.
Without cookies, advertisers experience a gap in their measurement and lose visibility into user paths on their site. They are no longer able to directly tie users’ ad interactions to conversions, whether the users are repeat visitors or whether those users have arrived from paid or organic traffic sources. To help close this gap, we’re introducing conversion modeling through Consent Mode. This will help marketers preserve online measurement capabilities, using a privacy-first approach.
Now, Consent Mode will enable conversion modeling to recover the attribution between ad-click events and conversions measured in Google Ads. Early results from Google Ads have shown that, on average, conversion modeling through Consent Mode recovers more than 70% of ad-click-to-conversion journeys lost due to user cookie consent choices. Results for each advertiser may vary widely, depending primarily on user cookie consent rates and the advertiser’s Consent Mode setup.
How modeling fills in measurement gaps
Conversion modeling can help fill in blanks in media measurement at times when it’s not possible to observe the path between ad interactions and conversions. Conversion modeling through Consent Mode specifically addresses gaps in observable data from regulations on cookie consent in various regions. Conversion modeling uses machine learning to analyze observable data and historical trends, in order to quantify the relationship between consented and unconsented users. Then, using observable user journeys where users have consented to cookie usage, our models will fill in missing attribution paths. This creates a more complete and accurate view of advertising spend and outcomes — all while respecting user consent choices. Conversion modeling also upholds privacy by not identifying individual users, unlike tactics like fingerprinting which Google has a strict policy against.
Using modeling to probabilistically recover linkages between ad interactions and conversions that would otherwise go unattributed means more conversion insights for optimizing campaign bidding and understanding what’s driving sales. It’s important for any modeling approach to account for the fact that people who consent to cookies are likely to convert at a different rate than those who don’t.
Holistic measurement for your Google Ads campaigns
It’s important for advertisers to have accurate reporting so they can make their marketing investments go further. Advertisers using Consent Mode will now see their reports in Google Ads updated: for Search, Shopping, Display, and Video campaigns, the “Conversions,” “All conversions” and “Conversion value” columns will now include modeled conversions for consent gaps. All other Google Ads campaign performance reports that use conversion data will also reflect the impact from adding in modeled conversions.
Modeled conversions through Consent Mode will be integrated directly in your Google Ads campaign reports with the same granularity as observed conversions. This data then makes its way into Google’s bidding tools so that you can be confident your campaigns will be optimized based on a full view of your results.
For advertisers who want to optimize their campaigns based on return on ad spend or cost-per-acquisition, they can use Target Return on Ad Spend (tROAS) orTarget Cost Per Acquisition (tCPA) Smart Bidding strategies with Consent Mode. If you had previously adjusted targets to account for cookie consent changes, you can now go back to setting targets in line with your ROI goals. Note that you’re likely to see gradual improvements in reported performance as we recover lost conversions through modeling.
For advertisers who want to maintain their campaign spend, conversion modeling through Consent Mode also works with the Maximize conversions or Maximize conversion value Smart Bidding strategies in Google Ads. We recommend you make sure that the budget you’ve decided on is well-aligned with your spend goals.
If you’re an advertiser operating in the European Economic Area or the United Kingdom, have implemented Consent Mode and are using Google Ads conversion tracking, conversion modeling from Consent Mode is available for you today.
And if you aren’t using Consent Mode yet, you have two options to get started. You can implement it yourself on your website by following our instructions. Or if you need some extra help, we’ve partnered closely with several Consent Management Platforms, a few of which already take care of critical implementation steps on behalf of advertisers.
We are continuously adding new privacy-forward techniques to help our machine learning solutions better understand the aggregate behavior of non-consenting users, and offer actionable insights in reporting for deeper clarity on your marketing spend. We’ll be bringing conversion modeling through Consent Mode to other Google advertising products, like Campaign Manager 360, Display & Video 360 and Search Ads 360 later this year.
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