[GA4] Mark events as key events

Measure actions that are important to your business and evaluate the marketing channels that lead users to take those actions
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

To measure a key event, you must create or identify an event that measures the important user interaction and then mark the event as a key event. After you mark an event as a key event, you can begin to report on the key events to understand user behavior.

You can also create one or more conversions in Google Ads based on the Google Analytics key event to help optimize your bidding strategy.

Note: For an end-to-end example on how to set up an event and mark the event as a key event, check out Tutorial: Set up a key event.

Before you begin

Before you mark an event as a key event, you must:

Mark events as key events

If Google Analytics has already received an event from your website or app, you can mark the event as a key event. New events, on the other hand, might not show up right away, but you can still mark them as key events ahead of time so that Google Analytics starts to treat the events as key events when they're collected.

You can mark up to 30 events as key events for standard properties and 50 events as key events for Analytics 360 properties. Learn more about the property limits

Note: In addition to the number of events you can mark as key events, Google Analytics marks these events as key events by default:
  • purchase (web and app)
  • first_open (app only)
  • in_app_purchase (app only)
  • app_store_subscription_convert (app only)
  • app_store_subscription_renew (app only)

When you enable Ads Personalization with a linked Google Ads account, these events are also marked as key events in your Google Analytics 4 property:

  • add_to_cart
  • add_to_wishlist
  • begin_checkout
  • session_start
  • view_item

Mark an existing event as a key event

  1. In Admin, under Data display, click Events.
  2. In the Existing events table, select the toggle under Mark as key event.
    If you can't select the toggle, you don't have the necessary permissions

Mark a new event as a key event

  1. In Admin, under Data display, click Key events.
  2. Click New key event.
    If you don't see the button, you don't have the necessary permissions.
  3. Enter the name of the new event.
  4. Click Save.

Stop collecting key event data

To stop collecting key event data, unmark the event as a key event on the Events page. If the event isn't on the Events page, go to the Key events page instead. Turning off a key event doesn't affect the data you've already collected; past events still show in reports as key events.

Results

Marking an event as a key event affects reports from time of creation. It doesn't change historic data. When you mark an event as a key event, allow for up to 24 hours for it to show up in standard reports. Realtime reports update sooner, at some time after a user triggers a key event.

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