Prepare your Google Ads Campaigns for Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.0
You may have recently received an email from Google Ads about the impact of Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) 2.0 on your ability to track users on Safari: “Important: Update Your Google Ads tags to continue measuring conversions”.
You might be wondering what it all means, how it impacts you, and what you need to do.
Don’t panic! We’re here to help answer your questions.
What is Intelligent Tracking Prevention / ITP?
ITP 1.0 was released In June 2017, to limit cross-site tracking using third party cookies.
ITP was created in response to this, to limit the sharing of user web activity data.
How has ITP changed?
ITP got an update in March of this year to version 1.1, and it was announced in June that 2.0 would be released with Safari 12.
ITP 2.0 immediately partitions cookies for domains determined to have tracking abilities.
For previous versions, there was a general cookie access window of 24 hours after user interaction. This has been removed for 2.0.
What does this mean for me?
The update to ITP means that changes need to be made to your conversion coding if you’re adding tags directly into a website.
If you implement code directly into a website to track user activity and aren’t already using a global site tag,
you won’t be able to measure conversions on Safari.
I add code directly into my/my client’s site, what do I need to do to prepare for ITP 2.0?
Make sure you have a global site tag (gtag.js) installed on all pages of the site. This should be placed as high as possible within the <head> section of the page’s HTML code.
There should only be one, so double check to make sure you’re not adding a second.
Below is an example global site tag. The areas in bold need to be replaced with your account’s unique 9 digit conversion ID.
<!– Global site tag (gtag.js) – Google Ads: 123456789 –>
<script async src=”https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=AW-123456789“></script>
window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || ;
gtag(‘js’, new Date());
Find your conversion ID in Google Ads within the conversions action tab by selecting a conversion, opening the “Tag set up” section and clicking “Install the tag yourself”.
Your ID will be shown within the global site tag section, in place of the bold sections in the example above.
In addition to one global site tag, you’ll need to add an event snippet to the conversion page. These two tags work together to track conversions, so it’s important they’re both implemented.
Find your snippet tags within the conversion actions tab, underneath your global site tag.
If you’re tracking more than one action, you’ll need multiple event snippets, but you’ll still only need one global site tag.
Check out Google’s global site tag for Google Ads conversion tracking article for more information on the different kinds of event snippets available.
I use Google Tag Manager (GTM), what do I need to do?
The good news is, if you’re using GTM, all you need to do is set up a Conversion Link Tracker tag and set this to fire on all pages.
Doing so is easy, just follow the instructions below:
- Log into GTM
- Select ‘Tags’ from the menu on the left hand side
- Click the red ‘NEW’ button
- Name the new tag, so it’s easily identifiable
- Click the pencil in the top right of the ‘Tag Configuration’ box
- Select ‘Conversion Linker’
- Click the pencil in the top right of the ‘Triggering’ box
- Select ‘All Pages’
- Save the tag
- Click ‘Preview’ to ensure you’re happy with the change
- Click ‘Submit’ once you’re happy for the tag to go live
There’s no need to add a global site tag
if you’re using Google Tag Manager.
Should I consider using GTM instead of a Global Site Tag?
Both are fully supported methods, so this is down to personal preference.
Consider using GTM if you need the ability to deploy and modify both Google and third party tags for the web or mobile apps.
If you already use GTM, we’d recommend that you keep using it.
For those of you using the global site tag you can always upgrade to GTM at a later date if you choose.
What about the General Data Protection Regulations / GDPR?
As with any tracking activity, it’s important that you make sure you’re providing users with clear and detailed information about data collection, and that you have consent from users within the EU.
The ability to track activity and conversions is essential in understanding the true performance of your marketing activity. If you’re having any issues with getting tracking set up or preparing for ITP 2.0, please get in touch!