Apr 03, 2024 / Marketing

What are Key Events and Conversions in GA4?

Google Key Events Long

What are Key Events in Google Analytics 4? And how will they impact your tracking?

In a recent update, Google Analytics waved goodbye to 'Conversions' and said hello to 'Key Events'. The change came after lots of people got mixed up between GA4 Conversions and Google Ads Conversions, with different numbers popping up on each platform. But what exactly does this change mean? And do you need to start changing how you track things?

First things first, don’t worry! You don’t need to do anything drastic to your tracking systems. The switch from 'Conversions' to 'Key Events' doesn’t mean you have to change everything. These 'key events' work just like the old 'Conversions'. So, if you already know how to set up and use Conversions, you’re all set for key events too.

But what about the names? Don’t worry about those either. The change in names doesn’t mean anything is different underneath. The only thing that’s changed is what we call certain measurements. For example, 'User Conversion Rate' is now called 'User Key Event Rate'. It’s just a change in labels, not how things work.

However, it’s important to know that even though 'Conversions' have disappeared from general analytics, they’re still around in GA4. They’ve just moved to the Advertising section, where they’re specifically linked to Google Ads Conversions. This helps keep things clear, showing which conversions come from Google Ads and which come from other places.

If you are not seeing Key Events in your Google Analytics account, don't worry. There is a gradual feature rollout taking place in so not all accounts have this just yet.

Even though the change from 'Conversions' to 'Key Events' might seem strange at first, it’s actually a sign that Google is working hard to make analytics reporting clearer and easier to understand.

Sophie Blaken
Marketing Director

For people who’ve been using Google Analytics for a while, this change might not seem like a big deal. After all, it’s just a different name for the same thing. But for those who are new to the platform or for businesses that rely a lot on getting precise analytics data, this change might seem confusing.

Some people might worry that this change will mess up their analytics setup. Will reports look totally different now? Will they have to mess around with tracking codes? The good news is, that everything should stay pretty much the same. Your reports will still look familiar, with 'Key Events' fitting in where 'Conversions' used to be. And you won’t need to change your tracking codes at all.

For businesses, this change is a chance to take a fresh look at their analytics strategy. Now that 'Key Events' are in the spotlight, it’s a good time to think about which actions matter for your business goals. By working out what these key events are and focusing on them, you can make sure your analytics give you insights that really make a difference to your business.

This switch also shows how digital marketing and analytics are always changing. As online platforms and what people do online change, the tools we use to understand them have to change too. Google renaming 'Conversions' as 'Key Events' is part of a bigger effort to make analytics reporting clearer and more accurate, so we can keep on learning from the data we get.

If you need a hand setting up your GA4 account or managing any of your tracking metrics, get in touch we can help.