[GA4] About key events

Gain insights into the actions that are most important to your business and use that data to enhance your marketing efforts
Experiment icon for Gradual feature rollout  Gradual feature rollout: This feature is not yet available for all Google Analytics properties.

What is a key event?

A key event is an event that measures an action that's particularly important to the success of your business. When someone triggers the event by performing the action, the key event is recorded in Google Analytics and surfaced in your Google Analytics reports.

Any event you collect can become a key event. To measure a key event, create or identify an event that measures the action and then mark the event as a key event. After you mark the event as a key event, you can see how many users perform the action and evaluate marketing performance across all channels that lead users to perform the action.

The following flow shows how to mark an event as a key event. In short, if an event is important to your business's success, you can mark the event as a key event in Analytics.

Event → Key Event

Report on key events

You can use Google Analytics reports and explorations to count the number of times users trigger key events and attribute credit to different touchpoints along a user's path to triggering key events.

View key event counts

Many Google Analytics reports, such as the Landing pages and User acquisition reports, include a Key events column. The Key events column displays the number of times users triggered key events on your website or app, separated out by the dimension values on the left.

To narrow down the counts by a specific key event, you can select the All events menu and choose a specific key event so you can view the number of times users triggered the key event.

To further investigate key event counts separated out by any compatible dimensions, you can build your own explorations using key event metrics like Key events and Session key event rate.

Attribute credit to touchpoints

In the Advertising section, you can use the Pathing and Attribution reports to attribute credit to different touchpoints along a user's path to triggering key events and see how different attribution models distribute credit differently to those touchpoints. Learn more about advertising reports

Create Google Ads conversions

A conversion is created in Google Ads from a Google Analytics key event and provides a consistent way of measuring important actions in both Google Analytics and Google Ads.

By creating Google Ads conversions based on the key events, you can:

  • Report on the same conversion counts between Google Ads and Analytics
  • Bid against the conversions in your ad campaigns
  • Build audiences for re-marketing purposes

Migrate from Universal Analytics

In Universal Analytics, you use goals to set up conversions. If you are migrating from a Universal Analytics property to Google Analytics 4, see how to migrate your goals to key events.

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