Advertising and attribution

[GA4] Create conversions in Google Ads based on Google Analytics key events

Experiment icon for Gradual feature rollout  Gradual feature rollout: This feature is not yet available for all Google Analytics properties.
Conversions are now called key events. We've updated our terminology to simplify conversion measurement and reporting across Google platforms. The term 'conversion' now aligns with how conversions are defined in Google Ads, addressing previous discrepancies across platforms. Important events previously labeled as 'conversions' in Analytics will be reclassified as 'key events.' These key events, when shared with Google Ads, will be considered conversions, facilitating more accurate performance measurement of ad campaigns and enabling better-informed marketing decisions. Learn more about this change

Overview

To create a Google Ads conversion, identify an Analytics key event that measures the important interaction and then in Google Ads, create a new conversion that's based on the Google Analytics key event. After you create the conversion in Google Ads, the conversion data is shared between Google Ads and Google Analytics so you're viewing the same data across platforms.

Google Ads conversions that are based on Google Analytics key events can help you see how well your advertisements from Google Ads are performing so you can improve your marketing strategy and optimize your bidding strategy through Google Ads Smart Bidding.

Note: If you use a Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 property on the same website, avoid duplicate conversions by either removing your existing UA conversions or marking them as "secondary" conversions in Google Ads before creating Google Ads conversions based on your Google Analytics key events. Learn how to migrate UA goals

Create Google Ads conversions

  1. In your Google Ads account, click create Create Button.
  2. Select Conversion action from the list.
  3. Click Import, select Google Analytics 4 properties, then click Continue.
  4. Select each Google Analytics key event you want to import, then click Import and continue.
  5. Click Done.

Migrate Universal Analytics 360 goals

As of October 3, 2022, if you recently imported Google Analytics 4 key events (formerly known as conversions), and Google Ads detects that you already have a Universal Analytics (UA) goal in your account, the GA4 key event is set as a "secondary" action by default.

Google Ads conversions that are based on GA4 key events are set to "secondary" actions to prevent counting the same event twice for bidding. You must set the conversion actions in Google Ads as your "primary" source before UA goes away. However, you can decide yourself when you move away from UA goals or ecommerce transactions.

Set as "primary" conversions in Google Ads

To start bidding on your conversions, you need to change the conversion actions in Google Ads to "primary" as follows:

  1. In your Google Ads account, click Goals on the left.
  2. Select Summary under Conversions.
  3. In the Conversion goals tab, find the goal that includes the key event you'd like to edit.
  4. Click Edit goal.
  5. Next to the key event that you'd like to update, click the drop-down.
  6. Select Primary action.
  7. Click Save changes.

Results

If there are no "primary" UA conversions already in your account, then the default setting for your newly created conversions is "primary", and you don't need to take further action to start bidding.

Google Ads creates conversions based on the data from Analytics starting from the day you click Import. Historical data from before this date is not added in Google Ads.

Google Ads uses your chosen lookback window (7-90 days, default: 30 days) to determine which Analytics key events to use to create Google Ads conversions. For example, if you use the 30-day default window for a key event named Registrations, Google Ads only creates conversions that occurred within 30 days of the click.

Frequently asked questions

How is credit attributed for conversions that are based on GA4 key events?

Web conversions: You can choose which channels are eligible to receive credit for web conversions shared with Google Ads: Google Paid Channels or Paid and Organic Channels. You can edit this setting in the Admin > Attribution settings page under Data display in Google Analytics, and the change will apply to conversions moving forward. As of June 2023, the default setting for properties creating a link for the first time will be Google Paid Channels. Learn more about selecting attribution settings
App conversions: When app conversions are imported from Google Analytics 4 to Google Ads, they are imported on a Google Paid Channels basis. Learn more about importing app conversions to Google Ads

Why don't I see view-through key event data or cross-device conversions in Google Ads?

To see cross-device conversions in Google Ads, you need to turn on Google signals for your Google Analytics 4 property. Learn more
You won't see view-through conversions if you are importing conversions from Analytics because native Google Ads conversion tracking is required for this feature.

Why is my Google Ads conversion marked as a "secondary" conversion action?

Google Ads marks a conversion as "secondary" when your Google Ads account already has goals from a Universal Analytics property. Conversion actions that are based on GA4 key events are set to "secondary" conversion actions to prevent counting the same event twice for bidding.

What's next

To learn more about how Google Ads conversion tracking works with Analytics and why you may see some discrepancies in the conversion statistics between Google Ads conversion tracking and Analytics, visit the Google Ads help center.

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