[GA4 Migration] Switch to Google Analytics 4 conversions manually

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has replaced Universal Analytics (UA). Starting July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties stopped processing data. (360 Universal Analytics properties with a current order will receive a one-time processing extension ending on July 1, 2024.) It's critical that you migrate your Universal Analytics property to Google Analytics 4. Learn how to Make the switch to Google Analytics 4.

Google Analytics 4 has replaced Universal Analytics. On July 1, 2023 all standard Universal Analytics properties stopped processing data. 360 Universal Analytics properties with a current order will receive a one-time processing extension ending on July 1, 2024. If you currently bid on Universal Analytics conversions imported into Google Ads, it’s important that you migrate to Google Analytics 4 in order to:

  • Continue to record your conversion events and use them in Google Ads for bid optimization
  • Familiarize yourself with the changes in Google Ads
  • Allow for more accurate conversion action reporting

Google Ads will recommend new action optimization settings to help you prioritize conversion actions from Google Analytics 4. In this article, you'll learn how to switch your conversion bidding optimization to Google Analytics 4 and how the recommendations work. Learn how to Make the switch to Google Analytics 4.

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How it works

You can make updates in the conversion summary page, or Google Ads will automatically provide recommendations to update to new conversion action optimization settings. You’ll notice this recommendation (or be asked to update to new conversion action optimization settings) if you:

  • Import both conversions from both Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 conversions into your Google Ads account. This includes all “Conversions (by conv. time)” and all “Conversions value (by conv. time)” columns.
  • Have imported Google Analytics 4 conversions for 15 days.

To switch your biddable conversions to Google Analytics 4, make the following updates to your action optimization settings (based on your current conversion actions):

  • Apply the new conversion action optimization recommendations provided in Google Ads. Once you’ve done this, no further action is needed.
  • Manually swap the action optimization settings on your current Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 actions.
Note: It’s recommended that you set the "action optimization" setting for all Universal Analytics conversion actions to “secondary” and all Google Analytics 4 actions to “primary”.

Projected changes to historical data based on new action optimization settings

After you’ve switched to Google Analytics 4, you may experience temporary performance changes while Google Ads learns. This is typically 1-2 conversion cycles, which is the amount of time it takes for a click to result in a conversion. If you’re importing conversions into Google Ads, conversion cycles will also include the time it takes for conversions to be reported in your account. To avoid the risk of double counting conversions, ensure that you set your action optimization setting as “Secondary” for any conversions imported from Universal Analytics.

Before you save your new action optimization settings, you’ll be able to review the projected changes to your conversion metrics. Google Ads provides a “Conversions” percentage and a “Conversion value” percentage to help you understand the potential impact of your switch to Google Analytics 4. These numbers are based not only on your “primary” and “secondary” settings, but also on information collected from a 15-day tracking period. Learn more about Conversion action optimization calculation.


Before you begin

Before you can switch your conversion actions to the newly recommended action optimization settings, complete the following tasks:

Follow the instructions below to import your Google Analytics 4 conversions into your Google Ads account.

Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the "Appearance" icon, and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the Search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.
Import Analytics conversions
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Goals icon Goals Icon.
  2. Click the Conversions drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Summary.
  4. Click + New conversion action.
  5. Under “Start tracking conversions” click Import.
  6. Choose “Google Analytics 4 properties” in the “Select what you want to import” section.
  7. Choose “App (Firebase)” or “Web” from the dropdown options.
  8. Click Continue.
  9. Select each conversion event you want to import, then click Import and continue.
  10. Click Done.

Learn more about how to Import Analytics conversions into Google Ads.


Instructions

A recommendation to switch to Google Analytics 4 conversions will appear at the top of your “Conversions summary” page or on the "Recommendations" page. Follow the steps below to ensure that you have enough historical data.

From the "Conversions summary" page
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Goals icon Goals Icon.
  2. Click the Conversions drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Summary.
  4. Navigate to the “Take actions to improve your conversion measurement” section.
  5. In the “Switch to Google Analytics 4 conversions” notification, click Get started.
  6. Review the following projected changes based on new action optimization settings in all of your conversion goal cards.
    • “New setting” column: Confirm that your conversion action optimization setting was updated to “Primary” or “Secondary”.
    • Conversions: Your “Conversions” percentage is based on historical data over the past 15 days. It’s important to note that this percentage includes changes made to other campaign settings.
    • Conversion value: Your “Conversion value” percentage is based on historical data over the past 15 days. It’s important to note that this percentage includes changes made to other campaign settings.

Note: You may notice discrepancies in your conversion metrics because Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 measure conversion events differently. Learn more about Comparing metrics.

  1. Click Save. Your new action optimization settings are saved.
From the "Recommendations" page
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click Recommendations.
  3. In the “Switch to Google Analytics 4 conversions” card, click View recommendation.
  4. Review the following projected changes based on new action optimization settings in all of your conversion goal cards.
    • “New setting” column: Confirm that your conversion action optimization setting was updated to “Primary” or “Secondary”.
    • Conversions: Your “Conversions” percentage is based on historical data over the past 15 days. It’s important to note that this percentage includes changes made to other campaign settings.
    • Conversion value: Your “Conversion value” percentage is based on historical data over the past 15 days. It’s important to note that this percentage includes changes made to other campaign settings.

Note: You may notice discrepancies in your conversion metrics because Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 measure conversion events differently. Learn more about Comparing metrics.

  1. Click Save. Your new action optimization settings are saved.
Tip: If you have created custom goals, you need to update them manually:
  1. In the conversions summary, click Edit conversion goal.
  2. Select “Primary” for actions that you want to bid toward when that goal is selected.
  3. Under “Conversion source”, unselect Universal Analytics conversions, and select Google Analytics 4 conversions.

Monitor your campaign

Now that you’ve updated your conversions, there are a few actions to help with the transition to the new conversions.

Note: Since updating your action optimization settings changes the conversion volume and value, you may experience performance fluctuations for 1-2 conversion cycles as the system learns. A conversion cycle is the amount of time it takes for a click to result in a conversion. Since you’re importing conversions into Google Ads, conversion cycles will also include the time it takes for conversions to be reported in your account.

Mitigate performance fluctuations

You might notice fluctuations in your Google Ads performance in instances where your campaigns are optimizing for varied conversion volumes, you’ve recently changed your account settings, or you set bidding information without considering your historical data, among other reasons.

To mitigate these fluctuations, you can adjust your budget and targets as needed. Learn more about mitigating performance fluctuations and changes in Google Ads campaigns.


Conversion action optimization questions

How are my projected conversions calculated?
Google Ads shows 2 projected change percentages based on your new action optimization settings. Your “Conversions” value is based on the difference between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics “All conv.” percentages from the past 15 days, while your “Conversion value” is based on the difference between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics “All conv. value” percentages from the past 15 days. Learn more about Conversion tracking data in Google Ads.
How does Google avoid double counting my conversions?
Google is unable to guarantee that your conversions won’t be double counted. However, you can help to eliminate risk by selecting “Secondary” as your action optimization for any conversions imported from Universal Analytics.
Why are my conversion metrics for the same user action for Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 different?
You may notice discrepancies in your conversion metrics because Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 measure conversion events differently. Keep in mind that Universal Analytics measures 5 goal types and counts only one conversion per session for each goal, while Google Analytics 4 measures only conversion events and counts every instance of the conversion event. Learn more about Comparing Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 measurements.
What is Google’s recommendation for Universal Analytics conversions used in custom goals?
In order to update your custom goal conversions, manually update each custom goal and replace the Universal Analytics conversions with Google Analytics 4 conversions.
Why am I missing my Google Analytics 4 conversions?

You may be missing your Google Analytics 4 conversions if:

  • You haven’t configured the desired conversion in your Google Analytics 4 property or they aren’t set up correctly.
  • You failed to link your Google Analytics 4 properties to Google Ads, you won't be able to import Google Analytics 4 conversions.
  • You haven’t imported your Google Analytics 4 properties into your Google Ads account correctly
You’ll need to make the necessary updates in your Google Analytics account. Learn more About conversions.
Why does Google Ads show multiple Google Analytics 4 conversions mapped to Universal Analytics?
If you import multiple conversions from Universal Analytics, you’ll want to replace each conversion with an equivalent Google Analytics 4 conversion action. The Google recommendation tool shows multiple conversions in this situation to help you switch each one.
Can I dismiss Google’s recommendation to switch to Google Analytics 4?
You can click “Hide” to dismiss the Google Ads recommendation to switch to Google Analytics 4. After a set time, you’ll see the recommendation again. Although you can dismiss the recommendation, Google encourages you to make the switch early to ensure that you build enough historical data to avoid a drop in conversions and campaign performance. Learn how to Apply or dismiss recommendations.
What happens if I haven’t already switched?
Your Universal Analytics conversion data will stop recording in Google Ads. If you don’t migrate to Google Analytics 4 and replace Universal Analytics with Google Analytics 4 in Google Ads, you may experience a drop in conversions and a negative impact on your campaign performance. Learn how to Make the switch to Google Analytics 4.
How does the switch to Google Analytics 4 impact Google Ads manager and client account users?
After Google Ads manager account users switch to Google Analytics 4, client account users will be able to view the updated data based on conversion action settings recommended by Google Ads. Client account users won’t be required to update any information in Google Ads. Learn more About cross-account conversion tracking.
How will the switch to Google Analytics 4 appear in my change history?
You’ll be able to view your Google Analytics 4 conversions in the change history tool.

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