This article is part of the Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 migration guide. See the migration guide table of contents.

[UA→GA4] Goals migration tool

Automatically migrate your Universal Analytics goals to Google Analytics 4 conversion events

The goals migration tool allows you to quickly recreate eligible goals from your connected Universal Analytics property as conversion events in your Google Analytics 4 property.

In this article:

Goals vs. conversion events

Conversions are user activities that contribute to the success of your business. Examples of conversions include making a purchase, completing a game level, or submitting a contact information form.

In Google Analytics 4 properties, you measure these activities using conversion events. In a Universal Analytics property, you use goals to measure similar activities.

How the tool works

For each eligible Universal Analytics goal you select, the goals migration tool automatically does the following in your connected Google Analytics 4 property:

  • Creates a new Create event rule
  • Marks the created event as a conversion

Eligible goals

Universal Analytics properties can have several different goal types. These two goal types can be migrated using the tool:

  • Destination goal: When a user lands on a specific page, such as a "thank you" or "confirmation" page
  • Event goal: When a user triggers a specific event, such as social recommendation, video play, or ad click

The following types of goals can't be automatically migrated and won't appear in the tool: Pages/Screens per session goals, Duration goals, Smart goals, and any goal that uses regular expressions.

Limits

You can create up to 30 custom conversion events per standard Google Analytics 4 property. At the bottom of the goals migration tool, you can see how many conversion events you have left before you reach that limit.

Instructions

To use the goals migration tool, you need the Editor role on your account.

  1. In Google Analytics, click Admin.
  2. In the Account column, make sure that your desired account is selected. (If you only have one Google Analytics account, it will already be selected.)
  3. In the Property column, select the Google Analytics 4 property that currently collects data for your website.
  4. In the Property column, click Setup Assistant.
  5. Under Conversions, go to Import existing goals from your connected Universal Analytics property, and click Get started.
  6. In the Import existing goals from your connected property panel, select which goals you'd like to recreate as conversion events in your new Google Analytics 4 property.
  7. Click Import selected conversions in the top right.

A confirmation message will show in the bottom left of your screen when your selected goals have been successfully recreated as conversion events in your Google Analytics 4 property.

Where to find your new conversion events

To view these new conversion events in your Google Analytics 4 property, go to Configure > Conversions and look in the Conversion Events table.

It may take up to 24 hours for new conversion events to appear in your reports.

Edit or update the rules for a new conversion event

If you want to edit or update the rules for one of your new conversion events, go to Configure > Events, then:

  1. Click Create event.
  2. If you have more than one web stream, choose the correct web stream.
  3. In the Custom events table, click the event name that you entered in the goals migration tool.
  4. Click the edit (pencil) icon in the top right.
  5. Make your changes, and click Add modification.

Delete the rules for a new conversion event

If you accidentally selected a goal you didn't mean to migrate, you should: 

  • Turn off Mark as conversion for that event
  • Delete the rules for the new conversion event. To do this, go to Configure > Events, then:
     
    1. Click Create event.
    2. If you have more than one web stream, choose the correct web stream.
    3. Click the row that contains your custom event.
    4. In the top right, click the menu (3 dot icon), and select Delete.
    5. In the pop-up, click Delete.

    You'll see a Configuration deleted confirmation message at the bottom. When you delete the rules for an event, new events will stop being collected. However, previously collected events might still show up in:

    • reports for the period during which they were collected
    • the list of all events under Configure > Events

Next steps

After you've created conversion events with the goals migration tool, you can import these new conversion events into Google Ads and start bidding on them. Learn more

Note: Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics properties count conversions differently, so you should expect to see some differences in conversions between your connected properties.

Notifications in the tool

You might see some of the following notifications in the tool.

  • Event names: Your event names may have been automatically updated to follow Google Analytics 4 naming conventions.

    Google Analytics 4 properties have different event naming conventions than Universal Analytics properties do, so the goals migration tool might provide suggestions.

  • Currency: You selected a Universal Analytics view with currency that does not match the currency in your Google Analytics 4 property. Update your currency if this was unintended.
    You selected different currencies for your Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 properties. Update your currencies to match if this is unintentional. No currency exchange will take place.
  • Multiple web data streams: Your Google Analytics 4 property has multiple web streams, so some conversions will be added to each web stream.

    If your Google Analytics 4 property has multiple web data streams, the tool recreates destination goals as conversion events in each web data stream.

    The tool only recreates event goals as conversion events in web data streams that receive Universal Analytics events from a connected site tag. If you don't have a connected site tag at all, the tool defaults to recreating your event goals as conversion events in all web data streams.

  • Filtered Universal Analytics properties: Your Universal Analytics view has filters that treat data, traffic, and events differently than Google Analytics 4 filters. This may result in different conversion measurements in Google Analytics 4.
    In Universal Analytics, you can create filters on views that limit or change the data recorded by that view. Google Analytics 4 properties don't have views and have different filter features. If your Universal Analytics view is being filtered, it could be missing some traffic that is included in the corresponding Google Analytics 4 property.

Google Tag Manager and event goals

If you use Google Tag Manager on your site, you have 3 options for migrating event goals.

Option 1: Best practice

The best practice is to restructure your Universal Analytics events to follow Google Analytics 4's data collection model and set up Google Analytics 4 conversion events. If you do this, you won't need to use the goals migration tool.

Option 2: Create a new Google Analytics 4 Event tag in Tag Manager, then use goals migration tool

If you want to use the goals migration tool, you first need to make sure Google Analytics 4 receives events in the expected format. To do this, you'll need to create a new Google Analytics Event tag in Google Tag Manager. (If you haven't already, make sure you create a Google Analytics 4 Configuration tag before you create the Google Analytics 4 Event tag.)

  1. Create a new Google Analytics: GA4 Event tag in your Tag Manager container.
  2. Set the value of the Event Name field to your Universal Analytics Event name.
  3. In the Event Parameters section, click Add Row, and do the following:
    1. Set its name to event_category.
    2. Set its value to your Universal Analytics Category value.
  4. Add a second event parameter:
    1. Set its name to event_label.
    2. Set its value to your Universal Analytics Label value.
  5. Add a third event parameter:
    1. Set its name to value.
    2. Set its value to what your Universal Analytics Value is set to.
  6. Click Triggering, and select the same events that cause your equivalent Universal Analytics events to trigger.
  7. Save the tag configuration and publish your container.

Example screenshots of UA vs. GA4 equivalent

1. A Universal Analytics Event tag in Google Tag Manager

GTM UA event tag

2. The equivalent Google Analytics 4 Event tag in Google Tag Manager

GTM GA4 event tag

Option 3: Use goals migration tool now, restructure data collection later

You can also combine the previous two options to use the goals migration tool now, and then use Google Analytics 4's data collection model at a future date. To do this, follow the instructions in Option 2 to create an event with event_category, event_label, and value parameter names and values. You can also add any additional parameters that the event would need in order to follow your future Google Analytics 4 data collection model.

Troubleshooting

If you're not seeing your newly created conversion events in your Google Analytics 4 property, your data collection might be incomplete. To fix this, make sure your site is fully tagged.

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