Google Ads Enhanced Conversions for Leads vs GCLID; What's the Difference?

Tracking offline sales conversions coming in to your Google Ad Campaign is the best conversion data you can get into your Google Ad Campaign for lead gen campaigns. Instead of optimizing a campaign to increase leads and lower cost per lead, you're able to optimize the campaign to increase your return on ad spend. That can truly be a game changer for your Google Ad Campaign.

In the past, if you wanted to track offline sales conversions on your Google Ad Lead Gen Campaign, you had to collect the gclid in a hidden form field to pass along to your CRM. Of course, this is only for leads coming in through form submissions. To track offline sales conversions from calls, you'd just collect the phone number the lead called in from and use that as the unique identifier instead of gclid.

Now that Google Ads has released "Enhanced Conversions for Leads" you're probably wondering what the difference is and which one you should use. They can both work depending on your situation but here are the main differences:

  1. Enhanced Conversions for Leads  is based on the user's Google Account, so it is able to track across devices (mobile and desktop) so long as the user is logged into their Google Account on both devices. If they're not logged into a Google Account, Enhanced Conversions will not work.
  2. Enhanced Conversions for Leads is only tracking form submissions, so you'd still have to set up offline conversion tracking for calls the traditional way.
  3. With Enhanced Conversions for Leads, you don't have to modify your web form to collect the gclid in a hidden form field. The set up is handled via Google Tag Manager and the unique indentifier is the user's email address. That's how Google connects the dots instead of using gclid.
  4. With Enhanced Conversions for Leads, you need to make sure you hash the email address or phone number before uploading to Google Ads. You can do this using Google Sheets App Scripts. This isn't required when using gclid.

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