ga4 conversions are now key events. Mode effect explains the impact and updates.

GA4 Update: Key Events

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Alright, folks, let’s talk GA4. In this blog post, we will discuss the recent (upcoming) update to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) regarding “conversions.” That’s right; buckle up, because GA4 metrics are changing… again.

Google has renamed conversions to key events

This change aims to address the confusion around conversion metrics between Google Ads and GA4.

Previously, in GA4, if you wanted to track a specific event, such as a form submission or a purchase, you had to mark it as a conversion. Now, these conversions will be called key events. The process of sending an event to GA4 and marking it as a key event remains unchanged.

Why the Sudden Shift, You Ask?

Because, surprise surprise, conversions in GA4 weren’t playing nice with their conversion counterparts in Google Ads. The discrepancy between conversion numbers in Google Ads and GA4, including look-back window settings and attribution models, can cause these metrics to differ. This can be confusing for users who are unsure why the numbers don’t match up.

So, What Does This Mean for You?

Tt’s important to be aware of the terminology change and to educate yourself and others about it. Here are some key points to have top-of-mind:

  • Conversions are now called key events in GA4.
  • This is a name change only; the functionality and calculations remain the same.
  • Key events can still be imported as conversions in Google Ads.
  • Reports mentioning key events are not referring to Google Ads conversions, but to any event marked as a key event in your GA4 property.
  • It is unclear yet if this will break Looker Studio dashboard GA4 widgets.

Users might still question why key events from paid ads don’t perfectly match conversion numbers. There will also be a need for additional education about key events and how they differ from conversions, especially for companies using multiple analytics tools.

What to Do Going Forward

To see the number of Google Ads conversions, go to the Advertising workspace and check the conversion performance report.
To see the performance of all important events (regardless of source), look at key events in reports like Explorations or standard GA4 reports.

Or… If you’re sick of having to manage GA4 and understand its many complexities, just call us. Our Digital Strategy team has custom reporting solutions to make the data more understandable for every business. We even do monthly analysis and reporting so you get expert advice without the headache.

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Cole Bednarski

Senior e-commerce strategist for Mode Effect. Midwest based and soccer mom with attitude.

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