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If you’ve found that your Google Analytics and Google Ads have seen a decline in sales, here’s one thing to consider…

When Apple rolled out IOS 12 last summer, they also released a browser update. The changes had some pretty significant effects on us digital marketers because it made it more difficult for us to track web users, and in particular, conversions.

Apple’s update is called ‘Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.0’, and, as the name suggests, it makes it more difficult for users’ web activity to be recorded on Safari, Apple’s own browser. Safari consumes around 30% of the market share in the UK. As it’s the default browser with all new Apple products, it’s particularly prevalent on mobile. If you’re unable to track Safari users, then your reporting will be missing vast amounts of data, and you’ll lose out on valuable information on your customers, particularly with the growth on mobile.

Collecting data is always worthwhile to gain a detailed understanding of customers. Without detailed tracking, we’re unable to accurately monitor conversions, which makes it more difficult to recognize how successful our advertisements are.

Beyond tracking ad success, there may be vital information on how users interact with your site. If your bounce rate is particularly high, for example, this can highlight slow loading or poor quality pages. If users tend to spend very little time on a particular page, you could consider how to make it more engaging. Information on your visitors’ demographics can help you to tailor your messaging.

When Intelligent Tracking 2.0 was released, there were a few small changes for businesses to make if they were to continue tracking their web users. We’ve found that a lot of businesses are yet to make these changes, so we’re going to give you a helping hand on how you can ensure your reporting data is complete.

Tags

Tags are snippets of code that can be inputted into your website’s HTML code. They’re able to collect data, and they’re used for a wide range of purposes. With Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.0, the current Google Analytics site tag was unable to properly track users. Google promptly released an updated tag, which set new cookies that were able to store users’ information, regardless of the browser they were using.

Updated Global Site Tag (gtag)

Some businesses changed their site tag and were able to continue tracking, while others neglected to do so, and some are simply unsure whether they made the change or not. If you fall into the ‘unsure’ camp, you can easily check whether you’re using the new tag. The easiest way to do this is to view your site’s HTML code.

To do this, visit your site’s homepage and right-click. Select ‘View Page Source’. This will show your site’s HTML code. You can then use CTRL + F and search ‘gtag’. This will highlight this term in your code, allowing you to see your Google Tag.

You should see the following site tag:

<!– Global site tag (gtag.js) – Google Ads: CONVERSION_ID –>
  <script async src=”https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=AW-CONVERSION_ID”></script>
  <script>
    window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];
    function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}
    gtag(‘js’, new Date());

    gtag(‘config’,AW-CONVERSION_ID’);
  </script>

This is the updated version, which will allow you to track users on Safari. If you’re using the old version, you’ll want to update this ASAP. The new tag will need to be added to all pages across your site. If you have access to a developer, this should be a relatively simple task. If not, you can find more information on how to do it for yourself further down the page.

Event Tag

To track conversions, you’ll need to add an ‘event’ tag to the page that your customer sees immediately after they convert. For example, if you display a ‘thanks for purchasing’ page after a customer completes an order, or a ‘thanks for getting in touch’ after a user inputs their email, those are pages that users will see only if they’ve converted. Your event code should be added to purchase complete pages or lead confirmation pages. 

Your event code is as follows:

<script>
  gtag(‘event’, ‘conversion’, {‘send_to’: ‘AW-123456789/AbC-D_efG-h12_34-567’,
    ‘value’: 123.05,
    ‘currency’: ‘USD’
  });
</script>

Make sure you remember to edit the value and currency, and remember to remove any old versions of the tag.

Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a system that allows you to easily update your website’s code. It’s usually used in conjunction with Google Analytics and Google Ads to enhance reporting metrics. It allows users to input or remove site tags without editing the source code. This means that business owners or marketing managers are more able to complete this task themselves, without the help of a web developer.

If you can get to grips with Tag Manager, you’re able to avoid the outsourcing costs and make faster changes. If you have some coding knowledge, that will come in handy, but don’t worry about becoming an expert. There is a bit of a catch here, because to begin using Tag Manager, a snippet of code has to be installed on your site. There’s some advice here on how you can do this. This might seem like a tricky task, but it’s well worth doing to accurately track user data.

I asked Dan, Head of Paid Search here at Click Convert, what he thinks of the importance of updating your site tag. “Without updated tracking, you’re not going to get a true representation of your digital marketing efforts,” Dan told me. “With Safari holding such a large market share, this could be resulting in misinformed decisions.”

Ultimately, tracking conversions is vital to understand how successful your campaigns are. To stay ahead, you need to keep an eye on the ever-evolving online regulations and innovations.

If you would benefit from the advice of a Google certified expert, contact us below.

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