In today's highly competitive digital landscape, online advertising has become an integral part of any business's marketing strategy. One of the most popular forms of online advertising is Google Ads. However, to make the most of this advertising platform, it's crucial to track your ad campaigns in order to properly measure your ROI and optimize ad performance. Having accurate data for these metrics is challenging no matter the size of the business. That's why in this blog post, we will explain to you how to use the Eversports conversion tracking extension and set up cross-domain tracking in Google Analytics 4 and Google Ads.
Using the Eversports Manager means that venue owners have to operate over two different domains:
The domain you use for your venue (for example, your.venue.website.de)
The Eversports widget or Eversports checkout for the booking process (eversports.de/eversports.at/eversports.nl)
For those that rely on using Google Analytics and Google Ads, there is a common struggle to see the true number of bookings that come from different acquisition channels. To enable this, Eversports has configured the checkout process to allow cross-domain tracking.
Cross-domain tracking refers to the process of tracking users’ activity across multiple domains. It enables proper tracking of a user who begins their journey on one website and finishes on another one.
In this blog post, we will explain what cross-domain tracking is and how to implement it using the Eversports conversion tracking extension by linking your GA4 account to Google Ads.
What is Cross Domain Tracking?
Cross-domain tracking enables marketers to track customer interactions across multiple domains. For example, if a user starts their journey on a website for booking sports (e.g. your.venue.website.de) and then the user clicks on the widget or the checkout to complete the booking, without cross-domain tracking Google Analytics would record it as two separate sessions, one on your.venue.website.de and another on eversports.de.
This is mainly because first-party cookies are created when a user enters your.venue.website.de and these same unique cookies cannot be shared onto eversports.de when the user is completing their booking. Rather, Google Analytics just creates a new cookie since they then entered a new domain (eversports.de), which then makes it impossible for the conversion to be tracked.
Luckily, with Eversports Manager you can now integrate cross-domain tracking with the Conversion Tracking Extension. This feature enables tracking customer interactions across multiple domains in a single session - as long as the booking widget is not integrated as an iFrame (there are some technical blockers to cross-domain tracking via iFrames unfortunately). These conversions can then be viewed in your Google Analytics 4 account, or in your Google Ads account.
In this next section, we will review how this can be set up in your Eversports Manager account.
Linking Eversports to your GA4 Account
Cross-domain tracking can be implemented using Google Analytics by setting up cross-domain tracking in the GA property settings, and by making sure the GA tracking code is present on all domains that need to be tracked. This can be done by adding the GA tracking code to all the domains or subdomains.
Here we will explain what you need to set up cross-domain tracking using the Eversports conversion tracking extension and step-by-step how to integrate this into your Google Analytics 4 and Google Ads.
Prerequisites for the implementation
Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
To implement Google Analytics, if you haven't done so already, create a Google account and set up a property for your website. Get the tracking code, add it to your website, and test it to ensure it's working properly. To know more about how to implement this, you can look at resources here.
Purchase the Eversports conversion tracking extension
When you access your Eversports Manager and navigate to the market, you will find a new extension for tracking conversions with Google Analytics.
Implement the widget as a link
In order to properly track your conversions from Google Ads, you will need to directly link to the class calendar in a new tab. The conversion tracking will not work properly if you have integrated the widget as an iFrame (!) at the moment. There are some technical blockers that prevent this proper tracking through the iFrame related to cross-domain tracking, which is a method of tracking user activity across different websites or domains. The Eversports widget is made with an iFrame which essentially is an embedded web page inside another. Because of the implementation of an iFrame, cross-domain tracking is then not possible with the widget on your website. This is why you must link to the Eversports widget in order for this system to work. We recommend that you link to the booking widget in a new tab (e.g. via a "Go to schedule" button). You can find the link to the booking widget in the settings - profile tab of your Eversports Manager:
Implementation of Cross Domain Tracking
Step One: Finding your GA Measurement ID
In Google Analytics 4 (GA4), a Measurement ID is used to identify a data stream, which is a unique identifier for a source of data that is collected in GA4. The Measurement ID is a string of numbers and letters, such as "G-XXXXXXXXXX". It is assigned when you create a data stream in GA4. To track user activity and events in a data stream in GA4, you need to include the Measurement ID in the tracking code on every page or screen that you want to track.
Once you purchase the Conversion Extension in the Eversports Manager, you will need to add the Measurement ID from your venue website to the Eversports Manager. This way, we can begin the process of domain tracking.
You can find your Measurement ID in GA4 using the following steps within GA4:
Step 1.1: Go to Admin
Step 1.2: Select Data Streams
Step 1.3: Select the website domain you would like to link to the Eversports Extension
Step 1.4: Copy the Measurement ID which you can see in the top right corner
The Measurement ID is a string of 10 numbers and letters, such as "G-LGHFP23CS5" copy this entire string from your Google Analytics account into the Eversports Manager.
Step 1.5: Adding the Measurement ID into the Eversports Manager
When you navigate to the Manager settings, you find a tab called “Integrations”. There you can see the relevant field where you have to provide your Google Measurement ID and save it accordingly.
Step Two: Sync your Google Analytics 4 account to the Eversports Extensions
The next step is to then add the Eversports checkout to your Google Analytics 4 account. To start, go to the bottom of the page of the data stream you selected (the same page where the measurement ID is). Under the section for “Google Tags”, select “Configure Tag Settings”.
Following that, select, “Configure Your Domains”
Then, enter the Eversports domain associated with your location. Then hit save.
Depending on the location of your venue, you will need to add the correct domain name.
Step Three: Exclude Referral Traffic from the Payment Processor
At Eversports, we use Stripe to handle payments. During this processing step, a call is made to the Stripe API, and a response is returned regarding the success of the payment. Because of this, Google may attribute the purchase to the Stripe API. Thankfully, Google Analytics provides a way to mark this as an external resource that should NOT be an attribution source. Follow the steps above to reach “Configure Tag Settings”. Then click “Show all”.
Select “List unwanted referrals.
Then enter “hooks.stripe.com” and click “Save”.
Step Four: Linking your GA4 to Google Ads
Using Conversion Linker, link your Google Analytics 4 account to your Google Ads account.
If visualizing your conversions in GA4 is enough for the needs of your business, stopping there will still give you more insights into your customer journey and how your users create bookings.
If you would like to better visualize these conversions in Google Ads Manager to see your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and better optimize your campaigns the next step would be to use the conversion linker to link your GA4 account to your Google Ads account.
Tip: In order to do this, ensure that you have admin access to the google ads account you would like to link.
3.1: Go to Admin in Google Analytics 4
3.2: Scroll down and select Google Ads Conversion Link
3.3: Select the Link button
3.4: You will then see your google ads account here (if you have admin access to it). Select the Google Ads account and then press confirm.
3.5: Within the link set up, click “next” for choosing a Google Ads Account
3.6: Choose how you would prefer auto-tagging and personalized advertising
3.7: Select “Submit” for your configuration settings
3.8: Ensure you see “link created” after submitting
There you have it! You should be able to start tracking your return on ad spend within your Google Analytics 4 account and your Google Ads account.
Ensure your GDPR compliance
It's important to note that Google Analytics is a third-party tool, and therefore GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance is essential to consider when doing cross-domain tracking. GDPR imposes strict legal obligations on organizations that process the personal data of EU citizens, and failure to comply can result in significant fines. Eversports works hard to ensure that we protect the privacy of our users. Because of this, when using the conversion extension, users have to accept the cookie banner on the Eversports checkout in order to be tracked for Google advertising.
To keep GDPR compliance on your website is it required that you ensure you have a cookie banner on your website which states that you are using cookies, specifically from Google Analytics and Google Ads Manager, which sends information to the United States. To ensure your compliance, it is important that you consult a lawyer on the process you are using for your cookie management.
Why do I have to link to the widget and I can’t have it integrated into my website to track conversions?
Cross-domain tracking is a method of tracking user activity across different websites or domains. The Eversports widget is made with an iFrame which essentially is an embedded web page inside another. Because of the implementation of an iFrame, cross-domain tracking is then not possible with the widget on your website. This is why you must link to the Eversports widget in order for this system to work.
Will conversions be tracked for users who don't accept the cookie banner in the checkout?
If a user does not accept the cookie banner, tracking their conversions with cookies is not possible due to General Data Protection Regulation.
How can my campaigns be optimized if not all users are tracked with cookies?
There are ways that you can still analyze and optimize campaigns without seeing exact conversions. You can still analyze data from users who do accept cookies and gather valuable insights and make informed decisions based on that.
Are there ways how I can still keep the Widget on my Website as an iframe and still use conversion tracking?
If you keep the booking widget integrated as an iFrame, the conversion tracking will not work properly.
If you have any further questions on the conversion tracking possibilities or the setup, please feel free to reach out to us.