GA4 Conversions Event Dashboard Demo Account

Google Analytics 4 Conversions Replace UA Goals

Google Analytics 4

How do you create goals in Google Analytics 4? Technically, you don’t.

What we know as Goals in Universal Analytics are Conversions – or Conversion Events – in Google Analytics 4. But don’t worry – they’re basically the same thing, and in my opinion, easier to set up in GA4 than in UA.

Contents

  1. How to Set Up Google Analytics 4 Conversions
  2. How to Create Events in Google Analytics 4
  3. Google Analytics 4 Recommended Conversion Events
  4. How Many Conversions Can I Have in GA4?
  5. How Do I Turn Off Conversions in GA4?
  6. Are Google Analytics 4 Conversions Retroactive?
  7. Key Difference Between UA Goals and GA4 Conversions
Get help setting up your GA4 property.

How to Set Up Google Analytics 4 Conversions

Conversions are created in Google Analytics 4 simply by marking an existing event as a conversion.

  1. Go to the Configure tab on the left side of the screen in the GA4 dashboard
  2. Click the Events option
  3. In the right column of your list of events, you can change any of them to a conversion with a simple click, moving the toggle from the left to the right, changing the color from gray to blue in the “Mark as conversion” column
Google Analytics 4 mark as conversion

You can also “pre-create” events from the Configure tab.

  1. Instead of clicking Events on the left, click the second option, Conversions
  2. Once on the Conversions screen, click the blue “New conversion event” button
  3. Name your Conversion (it can have up to 40 characters) and click the blue Save button
GA4 Pre-Create Conversion Event

Following these steps does not create a Conversion in and of itself. But when you create an Event in the future by the exact same name as step 3 directly above, that Event will be marked as a Conversion from the moment it collects data, and you won’t have to go into the Events screen and mark it as such as outlined in the beginning of this section.


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How to Create Events in Google Analytics 4

Here are the full details on how to create an event in GA4. Otherwise, here’s a quick summary of the three ways to do so:

In Google Tag Manager

The process is similar to the way you do this for Universal Analytics. But instead of selecting the “Google Analytics: Universal Analytics” tag type, you would select “Google Analytics: GA4 Event.”

Choose Tag Type Google Tag Manager GA4 UA

From there you can create a tag that will feed an event into your GA4 dashboard. You can then mark that event as a conversion, just as you would for the following two options.

By placing code on your site

If you’re using the global site tag and not Google Tag Manager, you can use the event command to send data. Here’s what a sample piece of code would look like:

gtag('event', 'login', {
  'method': 'Google'
});

Within the GA4 dashboard itself

Something you can do in GA4 that isn’t available in UA is create events directly from the Google Analytics dashboard. You do this by going to Configure > Events and clicking the blue Create Event button.

From there, you would use data from existing events to create a new one. Here is an example of how you could create a “purchase” event based on the user landing on yoursite.com/thankyou after a confirmed transaction:

Google Analytics 4 Create Purchase Event from Dashboard Example

Notice that the Event is trigged when the Event “page_view” fires and the “page_location” parameter for that event is equal to /thankyou.

In order to make sure this Conversion – or any Conversion – only fires when an actual conversion occurs, make sure that all the criteria for the event can only be true when that Conversion fires. Otherwise, you’ll be counting unrelated actions as Conversions as well.

That’s why using page_location equal /thankyou is so helpful here. There can only be one page on your site with that location, and if users are only directed there after making a purchase and it’s not otherwise in your site navigation, you can be sure that a “purchase” has occurred with near-100 percent certainty*.

*Of course there is always the very unlikely possibility that someone reaches that page on your site by typing it directly into their browser navigation bar


Google doesn’t so much “recommend” conversion events as it does include five of them – one for both web and app and four for app only – by default:

  • purchase (web and app)
  • first_open (app only)
  • in_app_purchase (app only)
  • app_store_subscription_convert (app only)
  • app_store_subscription_renew (app only)

That being the case, you still have to “tell” Google Analytics what constitutes each of these events. In other words, you have to create Events with the same names you see in the aforementioned list. Google does not begin collecting data for Events with these names as soon as you install Google Analytics 4.

For example, in a web data stream, if you look at the default list of events upon setup, you’ll see that “purchase” does not appear. Again, you have to define for Google what a purchase is by creating a “purchase” event. Same for the other four default events listed above.

The way you can tell these are pre-created as Conversions by GA4 is by going into your Conversions tab, where you’ll see “purchase” already listed as a Conversion Event, should you create a “purchase” event in the future. You’ll also notice that it is “locked” as a Conversion. That is, you cannot toggle the “Mark as conversion” lever from right to left, thereby making “purchase” a non-conversion Event:

GA4 Conversions Dashboard Purchase Event

How Many Conversions Can I Have in a GA4 property?

In addition to the five default Conversion Events that Google “pre-creates” for you, you can include up to 30 additional Conversions in each Google Analytics 4 property.

When you count the five default Conversions that Google includes in your dashboard, you can actually have a total of 35 conversion events for your app(s) and 31 for web data streams.

If you run up against that limit, consider paring down your conversions to only the most important ones. This will also make your reporting much easier since you won’t be tracking as many KPIs. It may also help you to focus on what’s most important to your business.


How Do I Turn Off Conversions in GA4?

You turn off conversions the same way you turn them on, but you reverse the final step.

  1. Go to the Configure tab on the left side of the screen in the GA4 dashboard
  2. Click the Events option
  3. In the right column of your list of events, click any that are marked as a conversion so that the toggled goes from right to left and changes from blue to gray

Are Google Analytics 4 Conversions Retroactive?

No. Google begins collecting data on Conversions from the moment they’re created, but it does not affect historic data.


Key Difference Between UA Goals and GA4 Conversions

In Universal Analytics, each conversion (known as a goal), is only counted once per session, even if the user completes the conversion (goal) multiple times in the same session.

In Google Analytics 4, however, conversions are counted as many times as they occur within the same session.

If you have conversion events on your site that can logically be completed multiple times within the same session, you should expect your GA4 conversions count to be significantly higher than your UA goals count for that particular user action.

Exception: Note that although “purchase” is a conversion event in GA4, Google says that purchase counts should closely match between the two properties since UA also uses “purchase” events within the ecommerce model.


Also Read: Google Analytics 4 FAQs

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