Why It’s Important to Know that GA4 Updated ‘Conversions’ to ‘Key Events

ga4 key event

First of all, there is nothing to be panic about. The world is still turning. This update is for Google Analytics only. In Google Ads “conversions” remain “conversions”.

What is the Reason GA4 Updated from 'Conversions' to 'Key Events


Previously, events marked as conversions in Analytics were measured differently from those in Google Ads, causing discrepancies in data.

2. Unification of Definitions

To create a simpler and more intuitive experience, definitions of ‘conversions’ are now unified across Google Ads and Analytics.

3. Introduction of ‘Key Events’

Events important to business success are renamed as ‘key events’ to improve user experience across platforms and provide actionable insights.

4. Redefinition of ‘Conversions’

‘Conversions’ now specifically refer to actions used to measure and optimise ad campaign performance, aligning data across both platforms.


What You Need to Do When Conversions are now Called Key Events

1. Understanding New Definitions

Review the new terms and definitions for ‘key events’ and ‘conversions’ in GA4 to ensure alignment with new measurement standards in GA4 and Google Ads.

Answer: In GA4, ‘key events’ measure actions that are critical for your business’s success and can improve user experience across websites and apps.

A ‘conversion’, however, now specifically refers to an important action used to measure the performance of your ad campaigns and optimise your bidding strategy in Google Ads.

Key Events
Critical actions for your business’s success and improving user experience across your platforms.
Important actions used to measure ad campaign performance and adjust ad spending.
To track important business actions that help understand and improve customer engagement.
To help manage and improve ad campaigns in Google Ads more effectively.

2. Marking Key Events

  • Identify critical actions in your business to prioritise tracking of significant interactions.
  • Create events in GA4 to measure these actions to gather data on these critical actions.
  • Designate these events as key events in GA4’s admin settings to enhance analysis and reporting capabilities.

Answer: To mark an event as a ‘key event’, you first identify an action that’s critical to your business, create an event to measure this action, and then designate it as a key event in your Google Analytics admin settings.

3. Creating Conversions

  • Select key events that impact ad campaign performance to identify which interactions are most crucial for advertising success.
  • In Google Ads, create new conversions based on these key events to synchronise data across platforms for consistent measurement and optimization.

Answer: To create a conversion from a key event in Google Ads, identify a key event in Google Analytics that measures a vital interaction, then create a conversion in Google Ads based on this key event.
This ensures consistent data across both platforms.

4. Reviewing Current Strategies

  • Audit existing marketing strategies and tools to identify necessary adjustments due to the new GA4 changes.
  • Adjust strategies to integrate new definitions and capabilities to utilise the full potential of GA4 in improving campaign effectiveness.

Answer: The alignment simplifies the measurement and reporting of ad campaigns, allowing you to view consistent, conversion-based metrics across both platforms. This may necessitate revising your strategies to align with the new definitions and reporting capabilities.

5. Managing Conversions Across Platforms

Ensure all platforms are using updated conversion definitions to maintain consistency in data reporting and bidding strategies across all advertising platforms.

Answer: Yes, any event in Google Analytics can be used to create a conversion in Google Ads. If you do this, the event will automatically be marked as a key event.

Answer: There are no specific limits within Google Ads’ configuration; you can create as many conversions as necessary based on the key events in Google Analytics.

6. Adjusting Attribution Settings

  • Access the Attribution settings page in GA4 Admin to review current attribution models and settings.
  • Modify settings to align with your current marketing goals to accurately measure and credit interactions contributing to conversions.

Answer: Attribution settings for key events can be accessed and modified in the Attribution settings page in Admin. You can change the reporting attribution model and the lookback window to better suit your marketing objectives.

Answer: Conversions based on key events from Google Analytics will now appear in the advertising section of your Google Analytics, allowing for unified reporting and bidding across platforms.

7. Updating Google Ads Conversions

  • Review all current conversions in Google Ads to ensure they align with the new key events marked in GA4.
  • Create or update conversions to reflect changes in key event tracking to keep performance metrics accurate and actionable.

Answer: For new Google Ads conversions, create them based on your GA4 key events within your Google Ads account. There is no need to adjust existing conversions if they were already based on key events.

8. Continuing Education

Stay updated with any further changes in GA4 and related Google platforms to leverage new features and insights as they become available.

Answer: The changes specifically impact Google Ads and Google Analytics, and do not affect other Google advertising platforms directly.

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