Google Analytics - GA4 Conversions Become Key Events

In a significant update to Google Analytics, the platform is now unifying how conversions are defined and measured across Google Ads and Analytics. This change aims to create a simpler and more intuitive experience for marketers, addressing previous discrepancies in conversion measurement between the two platforms.

The term 'conversions' will now refer specifically to important actions used to measure ad campaign performance and optimize bidding strategies. Meanwhile, 'key events' will represent important actions that contribute to the overall success of a business, providing valuable behavioral data to improve user experience across websites and apps.

Key Takeaways:

  • Google Analytics now distinguishes between 'key events' for behavioral analytics and 'conversions' for ad campaign optimization
  • Key events can be marked from any collected event, providing enhanced behavioral reporting
  • Conversions are created in Google Ads based on key events, allowing for consistent measurement across both platforms
  • Historical conversion data remains accessible as key event data, ensuring year-over-year comparisons
  • Attribution settings for key events can be adjusted in Google Analytics, affecting reporting and lookback windows

Streamlining Conversion Tracking

The alignment of conversion definitions between Google Ads and Analytics is a significant step towards streamlining conversion tracking for marketers. By creating a consistent way of measuring important actions across both platforms, marketers can now make more informed decisions based on reliable data. This update eliminates the need for manual reconciliation of conversion data, saving time and reducing the risk of errors.

For businesses like Arising Media Inc., which specializes in digital marketing services, this update is particularly beneficial. With a unified conversion tracking system, Arising Media Inc. can now provide its clients with more accurate and actionable insights, helping them optimize their ad campaigns and improve their overall marketing ROI. The ability to create Google Ads conversions directly from Google Analytics key events ensures that the data is consistent and reliable, enabling Arising Media Inc. to deliver better results for its clients.

Enhancing Behavioral Analytics

The introduction of key events in Google Analytics opens up new possibilities for behavioral analytics. By marking important events as key events, businesses can gain deeper insights into user behavior and identify areas for improvement. For example, if a business marks a 'scroll' event as a key event on a lead-generation page, they can track how many users scroll through the page and view the sign-up form. This information can be used to optimize the page layout, content, and calls-to-action to increase conversions.

Arising Media Inc. can leverage key events to help its clients better understand their target audience and create more engaging user experiences. By analyzing key event data, Arising Media Inc. can identify patterns and trends in user behavior, such as which pages are most popular, where users are dropping off, and which actions are most likely to lead to conversions. This information can be used to inform website design, content strategy, and overall marketing approach, ultimately driving better results for Arising Media Inc.'s clients.

Preserving Historical Data

One of the key benefits of this update is that historical conversion data remains accessible as key event data. This ensures that businesses can continue to view year-over-year comparisons and track their progress over time. For Arising Media Inc., this is crucial for demonstrating the long-term value of its services to clients and showcasing the impact of its marketing strategies.

By preserving historical data, Arising Media Inc. can also identify trends and patterns in client performance over time. This information can be used to refine marketing strategies, identify areas for improvement, and set realistic goals for future campaigns. With access to comprehensive historical data, Arising Media Inc. can provide its clients with a more complete picture of their marketing performance and make data-driven recommendations for ongoing optimization.

Customizing Attribution Settings

Google Analytics now allows businesses to customize attribution settings for key events, providing greater flexibility in how conversions are reported. This means that businesses can choose the attribution model that best suits their needs, whether it's last-click, first-click, linear, or any other model. By adjusting the key event lookback window, businesses can also determine how far back in time an interaction should be eligible for attribution credit.

For Arising Media Inc., this level of customization is invaluable in helping clients understand the true impact of their marketing efforts. By selecting the most appropriate attribution model for each client, Arising Media Inc. can provide a more accurate picture of which channels and touchpoints are driving conversions. This information can be used to optimize budget allocation, refine targeting strategies, and improve overall campaign performance.

Conversion Tracking Comparison

PlatformConversion Tracking PurposeKey Features
Google AnalyticsBehavioral analytics and reportingKey events, customizable attribution settings
Google AdsAd campaign optimization and biddingConversions based on key events, consistent measurement across platforms

The table above illustrates the key differences between conversion tracking in Google Analytics and Google Ads. While Google Analytics focuses on behavioral analytics and reporting, Google Ads is primarily concerned with ad campaign optimization and bidding. By leveraging the strengths of both platforms, businesses can gain a more comprehensive understanding of their marketing performance and make data-driven decisions to improve their results.


The unification of conversion measurement across Google Analytics and Google Ads is a significant step forward for digital marketers. By providing a more consistent and reliable way to track conversions, this update enables businesses to make better-informed decisions and optimize their marketing strategies for maximum impact.

At Arising Media Inc., we are excited about the opportunities this update presents for our clients. With our expertise in digital marketing and our commitment to delivering measurable results, we are well-positioned to help businesses leverage the power of key events and conversions to achieve their goals. If you're looking to take your digital marketing to the next level, we invite you to contact us at to learn more about how we can help.