Bing Ads Solution for Conversion Tracking With Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention

Apple made a change to its Intelligent Tracking Prevention which essentially allows marketers to track users via third party cookies for only 24 hours from the time of their visit to an advertiser’s website using Safari browser. After the expiration of 24 hours, these cookies are only good for supporting logins to an app or page. At the end of a month, the cookies are completely purged.

What this meant for advertisers?

For advertisers, Apple’s ITP means that unless a visitor converts within 24 hours of visiting their website (like clicking on an ad for instance), the conversion tracking is lost. As a result of this, advertisers will lose a means of keeping track of ad conversion. This new feature can adversely affect Bing ads reporting, which is why Microsoft is encouraging advertisers to take advantage of the update to Bing’s conversion tracking.

Bing’s solution

Bing announced its solution, a new Google analytics cookie that would help maintain conversion tracking in Safari. Some advertisers may have seen a notification in their Bing ad account requesting that they enable auto-tagging of Click ID which will allow for conversion tracking. Enabling this checkbox will automatically use Microsoft Click ID to tag destination URLs. This can be set under URL options in the shared library section under account level in your Bing ads account.

Bing ads make use of a Universal Event Tracking (UET) tag to control conversion tracking. When this tag is placed on advertisers sites, it records what users do on these sites, from when they click on an ad including any other action they take. What Bing is doing is creating a workaround in line with Apple’s guidance on working round ad attribution which allows for server side storage for features of ad impressions.

When advertisers enable auto-tagging for MSCLIKID or Microsoft Click ID, the following process takes place:

  • The Bing ads’ UET tag will place a cookie called _uetmsclkid on the advertiser’s website to record the unique click ID that brought the visitor to the website after he or she clicked on an ad.
  • Bing ads can now connect the conversion from any user back to the ads that assisted in the conversion via the click ID.
  • It will then set up a session ID cookie that will assist in improving the accuracy of the conversion tracking. (This feature is set to happen by default and has nothing to do with auto tagging)

For most advertisers who already have auto tagging enabled for some other purpose, this solution is already working. But for others, it will start working as soon as they enable auto tagging. It is also enabled at default when new conversion goals are created. However, this fix doesn’t address how retargeting works after 24 hours, it currently only works for tracking conversion attribution.

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