How to Report Conversions the Right Way and Increase Your RoAS

The cookie apocalypse is upon us, and we’re all trying to escape the inferno.

The cookie apocalypse is upon us, and we’re all trying to escape the inferno.  

 

It's no secret that Google is officially phasing out third-party cookies, and Internet browsers are continuously increasing their privacy features. While this is excellent news for consumers keen on protecting their privacy, it's been a dark cloud over digital advertisers for some time. 

In a post-cookie world, accurately reporting your conversions has become even more crucial to understanding how your data serves you, your ads, and your business. 

While third-party cookies may be effectively dead, their absence ushers in the opportunity to take more control over our data than ever. Accurately reporting conversions is just one way to rise from the ashes of the cookie apocalypse, and it will allow you to target customers with more precision, create and launch ads with confidence, and increase your Return on Ad Spend (RoAS).

The Way the Cookies Crumble

Online privacy has become a hot issue in recent years, and cookies have come under fire as a result. Beyond that, people want to streamline their browsing experience without seeing those pesky ads your business relies on. 

Thus, the widespread adoption of Adblockers and the implementation of enhanced privacy features by web browsers have gone from a secret of the Internet savvy to built-in components that casual users may not even notice. 

Major web browsers such as Google Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox have also responded to growing privacy concerns by implementing stricter privacy features and default settings. Samsung built an adblocker right into their browser. Safari's privacy features now limit tracking cookies to seven days. Safari’s adoption of these methods has a potent impact since the default browser on iPhone and iPad accounts for 55% of all mobile web traffic in the US and 25% globally. These features have only become more stringent with the recent release of iOS 17.

Increased privacy is essential for users (including us!) in a world with scammers and identity thieves afoot. However, strict privacy features are eroding marketers’ and advertisers’ ability to micro-target audiences in meaningful ways that make ads so effective online. Even so, cookies are not the only issue at hand. 

 

The Data Gap Dilemma

Another consequence of the disappearance of cookies is the inaccuracy of analytics and third-party data.  

Traditional analytics and attribution solutions have long relied on tracking events and clickstreams to provide insights into user behavior and campaign performance. However, with the deprecation of third-party cookies and the rise of ad blockers, the accuracy and reliability of this data have become significantly less reliable.

Without the ability to track users seamlessly across devices and platforms, we cannot attribute conversions accurately and may inadvertently bombard users with redundant or irrelevant ads. This lack of visibility not only hinders retargeting efforts but also tarnishes the overall customer experience, as users may be unnecessarily bombarded with repetitive ads long after a conversion. 

Misattributing conversions to channels that only deserve partial credit can lead to inaccurate reporting and cause you to continue paying for ads that you no longer need or are no longer yielding actual results. Additionally, this can lead to inflated RoAS and cause you to misallocate your budget. 

The Real Cost of Poor Reporting

By inaccurately inflating RoAS, you are likely overpaying for traffic and creating ads based on faulty performance metrics. What’s more, this can cause ad platform AI models to misrepresent their performance and misguide optimization efforts. Inflated RoAS undermines the effectiveness of your ad strategies and distorts the value of your advertising channels. 

Proper attribution also plays a significant role. Reporting conversions to all channels without the appropriate attribution can result in channels assigning conversions to themselves, even if they were not the first touchpoint. This goes back to wasting money on ads targeted to customers who have already converted. Stitching together user sessions for a comprehensive understanding of the customer journey is essential. 

By reporting conversions more accurately, you can ensure your budget goes toward the right ads, at the right time, to the right customers. You’ll be able to confidently launch ads and know precisely what your RoAS really is. 

So, what can you do? 

 

Take Control of Your Conversions

While you may be navigating the uncertainty of a cookieless future, many solutions exist. In fact, you may even fare better than before. 

Embrace First-party Data 

Collecting and storing data yourself means taking ownership of your data without relying on external solutions that may restrict access or downsample information. When you have more power over your data, you have an invaluable resource to inform all your advertising platforms and channels. Plus, having direct access to this data gives you deeper insights into customer behaviors and allows you to differentiate potential buyers from mere window shoppers and identify regular customers. 

 

First-party data lends especially well to Marketing Mix Modeling since it empowers you to experiment with different attribution models and tools. 

Establish Clear Attribution Rules

Establishing clear conversion attribution rules is essential for accurately attributing conversions to various marketing channels. Whether using last-click, first-click, or multi-touch attribution models, ensure that conversions are attributed based on predefined criteria to maintain consistency and accuracy. 

Match the reporting of conversions to the chosen attribution model—report conversions to the specific channel where the relevant touchpoint occurred for first-touch attribution or distribute revenue across channels for multi-touch attribution. 

Accurately Tag and Track Events

Event tagging and tracking are crucial in accurately attributing conversions to their respective channels. Tag conversion events with metadata or parameters that identify the source or channel of each event, such as adding UTM parameters to URLs or tracking pixels. This meticulous tagging ensures that conversions are correctly attributed, which will provide insights into each marketing channel's effectiveness.

Take this one step further by tracking in real time so you never miss anything. 

Regularly Monitor and Optimize 

Once you’ve been tracking your ads with this level of precision, you can confidently make changes to your ads with the powerful knowledge your first-party data affords you. Fear not—you can change campaign targets and budgets by 18% on Facebook and 25% on Google without them reverting to learning mode. You can also make one change per campaign per day on Facebook and one every 10 minutes on Google.  

You can confidently navigate the challenges of a post-cookie world by establishing clear attribution rules, meticulously tagging events, and regularly monitoring and optimizing ads. Embracing first-party data, however, empowers marketers to experiment with attribution models, identify valuable customer behaviors, and optimize advertising strategies that will maximize their impact. 

With the demise of third-party cookies and the tightening of browser privacy features, accurately reporting conversions has become more crucial than ever, and doing so will allow you to make better-informed decisions while saving time and money. 

Let’s see Revend in action!

Monitor, track, and analyse data faster than ever before so you never lose sleep over your webshop again.