GA4 Conversions Tracking | Complete Guide

Conversions are a crucial metric for any business, as they represent users’ actions on your website that align with your goals. Whether it’s making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter, tracking conversions allows you to measure the success of your marketing efforts and make data-driven decisions.

This article will cover two main methods of setting up conversions in GA4. 

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a solid understanding of GA4 conversions tracking and know how to set up conversions for your website. 

So, let’s dive in and discover how GA4 can help you measure and optimize your website’s performance through conversion tracking.

What is a conversion in Google Analytics 4?

Simply put, a conversion in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) refers to a user’s action on your website or app that you consider valuable. It could be any action that aligns with your business goals, such as purchasing, filling out a form, or signing up for a newsletter.

Imagine you have an online store, and your goal is to sell products. When a user visits your website and buys something, that’s considered a conversion. It means they have completed the desired action of making a purchase. Similarly, if you have a form on your website for users to request more information, it’s also counted as a conversion when someone fills out that form.

Tracking conversions in GA4 is like keeping a record of these valuable actions. It helps you understand how well your website or app is performing in terms of achieving your goals. 

By analyzing the conversion data, you can see which popular products, services, or marketing campaigns drive the most sales or form submissions and make informed decisions about where to focus your efforts.

To summarize, conversions in GA4 are the actions users take on your website or app that you want to track and measure. They could be purchases, form submissions, sign-ups, or any other important actions to your business. Tracking conversions helps you understand how well your website or app is performing and make improvements to achieve your goals.

Why are conversions so important for your analytics setup?

Conversions are significant for your analytics setup because they provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your website or app in achieving your business goals. Here are a few reasons why conversions are crucial:

  • Measuring Success: Conversions allow you to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. By tracking conversions, you can determine which actions users take that align with your business goals. This helps you understand how well your website or app drives desired outcomes, such as purchases or sign-ups.
  • Understanding User Behavior: Conversion data provides insights into how users interact with your website or app. By analyzing conversion patterns, you can better understand user preferences, behaviors, and motivations. 
  • Optimizing Performance: Tracking conversions helps you identify areas for improvement and optimize your website or app. By analyzing conversion rates and funnels, you can pinpoint where users may face obstacles or drop off. This information enables you to make data-driven optimizations to enhance user experience and increase conversion rates.
  • Efficient Resource Allocation: Conversion data assists in allocating your resources effectively. You can prioritize and invest in the most impactful areas by understanding which marketing channels, campaigns, or strategies generate the most conversions.
  • Informed Decision-Making: Conversions provide valuable insights for making informed business decisions. You can uncover trends, patterns, and correlations that inform your marketing strategies, product development, and overall business direction by analyzing conversion data. This data-driven approach increases the likelihood of achieving your business objectives.

In summary, conversions are essential for your analytics setup as they help measure success, understand user behavior, optimize performance, allocate resources effectively, and make informed decisions. By tracking conversions, you gain valuable insights that drive improvements and contribute to the overall success of your business.

Predefined conversions in GA4

In GA4, predefined conversions are ready-made options provided by Google Analytics that cover common conversion actions. These predefined conversions are designed to simplify setting up conversions and tracking important actions on your website or app.

They include;

  • first_open (App streams)
  • session_start (Web streams)
  • app_store_subscription_convert (App streams)
  • app_store_subscription_renew (App streams)
  • in_app_purchase (App streams)
  • purchase (Web/app streams, requires implementation)

By using predefined conversions, you don’t have to start from scratch and figure out how to track each action. Instead, you can select the relevant predefined conversion and apply it to the actions you want to track. It saves you time and makes it easier to measure the success of your website or app in achieving your business goals.

How to set up custom conversions in GA4

Creating custom conversions lets you track and measure unique actions specific to your business goals. Whether monitoring a particular button click, form submission, video view, or any other action necessary to your business, custom conversions allow you to monitor and analyze these actions. This section will explore different methods of setting up custom conversions in GA4. We will show you how to implement custom conversions using existing events and using custom events created via Google Tag Manager (GTM).

Using existing events in GA4

To use existing events in GA4 to create conversions, simply go to the Events section in your GA4 admin page by clicking on Admin->data display->events. Here, you will see the list of all events. Click on the toggle button “Mark as conversion” beside the event name to make that event a conversion.

Conversion Report in GA4
Conversion Report in GA4

By utilizing the automatically collected events and their parameters in GA4, you can create conversions by creating events. This approach eliminates the requirement for additional custom event implementation, as you can leverage the pre-defined events and their associated parameters to set up conversions effortlessly.

Using Google Tag Manager

To create a custom conversion in GA4 by using custom events created in GTM, you will first need to register the conversion in the GA4 interface by clicking admin -> data display -> conversions -> New conversions, input the name you want to use, and then click the save button to save it.

Creating New Conversion in GA4
Creating New Conversion in GA4

Next, go to Google Tag Manager and create a new GA4 event Tag by clicking Tag->New Tag->Tag Configuration-> Google Analytics->Google Analytics: GA4 Event. Put your GA4 measurement ID in the event name box and input the conversion name created above. Next, click on the Trigger ->New->Trigger configuration to set up the Trigger. In our example above, we created a newsletter signup conversion. So, for the Trigger, we will select the “Page View” type with the condition that it fires on pages whose URL contains the words “thank_you,” as seen in the image below.

Creating GA4 Event “Subscribed To Newsletter” in Google Tag Manager
Creating GA4 Event “Subscribed To Newsletter” in Google Tag Manager

You can also create custom conversions using GTM by dataLayer. The only changes required from the method above are to create a dataLayer variable and push a dataLayer code to your source code, and the trigger type will be “Custom Event.” Here’s a detailed article covering how to create custom events using Windows.dataLayer.

What are conversion counting methods?

In Google Analytics 4 (GA4), there are two methods for counting conversions: “once per event” and “once per session.”

  • Once per event: With this counting method, GA4 counts each event that meets the conversion criteria as a separate conversion. For example, let’s say you have an e-commerce website, and the conversion event you are tracking is “Add to Cart.” If a user adds three items to their cart during a single session, each instance of the “Add to Cart” event GA4 will count as a separate conversion. This method provides a more detailed view of conversions and allows you to track multiple instances of the same event within a session.
  • Once per session: With this counting method, only the first instance of an event that meets the conversion criteria within a session GA4 will count as a conversion. Any subsequent occurrences of the same event within the same session will not be counted as additional conversions. Using the same “Add to Cart” event example, let’s consider a user who visits your website and adds a product to their cart, triggering the “Add to Cart” event. Later in the same session, the user adds the same product to their cart again. In this case, only the first occurrence of the “Add to Cart” event will be counted as a conversion. The subsequent occurrence within the same session will not be counted as an additional conversion. This method provides a more aggregated view of conversions and ensures that each session counts as a single conversion, regardless of how often the event is triggered.

The choice of counting method depends on your specific business goals and the nature of the events you track. If you want to track each instance of an event as a separate conversion, such as tracking multiple items added to a cart, you should use the “once per event” counting method. On the other hand, if you prefer to have a more consolidated view of conversions and count each session as a single conversion, you should opt for the “once per session” counting method.

Consider the context and objectives of your analysis when selecting the appropriate conversion counting method in GA4.

Where to find conversions data in GA4 reports?

GA4 has a default conversions report that is under the Engagement report section. To view this report, click on Reports-> Engagements->Conversions.

Conversion Report in GA4
Conversion Report in GA4

GA4 also provides conversions data in various reports. These reports can be found under the Acquisition and Engagement sections. In each of these reports, you will notice a dedicated “conversion column” that provides valuable insights into the performance of your conversions. 

Conversions Data in GA4 Standard Reports
Conversions Data in GA4 Standard Reports

Another way to view conversion data is by creating a GA4 explorations report. In the report, you can add the conversion metric in the add metric section and include dimensions such as “event name” and “landing page + query string”. By doing so, you will be able to analyze the performance of your conversions.

GA4 Exploration Line Chart Conversions Over Time
GA4 Exploration Line Chart Conversions Over Time

How to add the conversion rate to GA4 reports?

To add the conversion rate to GA4 reports, you only need to click the customize button. Then click Add Metrics and select the conversion rate metric. You can choose the user conversion rate, session conversion rate metrics, or both, then click the Apply button. You can then save the report.

Adding Conversion Rate to GA4 Reports
Adding Conversion Rate to GA4 Reports

Please note that in GA4, there are two conversion rates: user and session. 

  • User Conversion Rate: The user conversion rate measures the percentage of unique users who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or submitting a form, out of the total number of unique users. This conversion rate considers individual users’ behavior over a specified time period, regardless of the number of sessions they have.

For example, if 100 unique users visit your website and 10 of them make a purchase, the user conversion rate would be 10%.

  • Session Conversion Rate: The session conversion rate measures the percentage of sessions that result in a desired action. A session is when a user interacts with your website or app. This conversion rate focuses on the behavior of sessions rather than individual users.

For example, if 100 sessions occur on your website and 20 result in a purchase, the session conversion rate would be 20%.

Final Word

In conclusion, tracking conversions in GA4 is essential for evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and achieving your business goals. Conversions represent the desired actions taken by users on your website or app.

Setting up conversions in GA4 can be done using existing events or custom conversions using GTM or window.dataLayer. Custom conversions allow tracking unique actions and parameters specific to your business.

By implementing conversions in GA4, you gain valuable insights into user behavior, measure conversion rates, and optimize your marketing strategies accordingly. Whether using existing events or custom conversions, GA4 provides the tools and flexibility to effectively track and analyze conversions, enabling data-driven decision-making and driving better results for your business.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are conversions in GA4?

Conversions in GA4 refer to the desired actions or events completed by users on your website or app that align with your business goals.

Which conversion counting method should I use?

The choice of counting method depends on your specific business goals and the nature of the events you track. If you want to track each instance of an event as a separate conversion, such as tracking multiple items added to a cart, you should use the “once per event” counting method. On the other hand, if you prefer to have a more consolidated view of conversions and count each session as a single conversion, you should opt for the “once per session” counting method.

How to set up conversions in GA4?

You can set up conversions in GA4 by using existing events, by turning on the “Mark as Conversion” button beside each event to make it a conversion, or by using custom events implemented via GTM or even window.dataLayer.

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