In order to maintain consistency in  reporting across Google Analytics and Google Ads, Google has recently renamed conversions to ‘key events‘ across both platforms.  Despite the name change, the purpose remains to highlight customer interaction steps that lead to triggering events that marketers deem significant. But what does this mean for you?  Data Scientist Charlie White explains…

What is a Key Event on GA4?

A ‘Key Event’ in GA4 (previously known as a ‘Conversion’) is any action that is important to you as a website or app owner. These important actions could be a first visit to your site, a form submission, or a purchase.  Previously, if you wanted to track an important action (such as purchase or a first visit) you would need to label it as a ‘conversion’.   Now, instead of conversions, these actions have been renamed as ‘key events’. Just like before, you can label any event you would like as a key event. They are tracked in the same way conversions were tracked previously. Any event you collect can become a key event.

In addition to this, as you might expect, some names for associated metrics have also changed. For instance, ‘session conversion rate’ is now called ‘session key event rate’.

Understanding the transition from Conversions to Key Events

As mentioned, with this update, conversions in Google Analytics and Google Analytics reports will now be called key events. This ensures that a conversion is the same whether viewed in Google Ads reporting or a Google Analytics report, addressing discrepancies in conversion reporting. 

The screenshot below shows how Conversions have now transistioned to ‘Key Events,’ as highlighted in the red box. However, not all accounts have migrated to this yet, so you may still see references to conversions in other parts of your GA4 property while it’s being rolled out over the next few weeks – with an anticipated completed roll-out date for the end of Q2 2024.

Key events on GA4

FAQs about GA4 Key Events 

Is there anything I need to do to transition? 

  • No, no action is required on your part. Existing conversions will automatically transition to key events. Additionally, conversions shared with Google Ads will be recognized and displayed within the Advertising section.  The roll-out is due to be completed by the end of Q2 2024.

Are key events calculated differently compared to conversions? 

  • No, there’s no change in the calculation method. They have the same functionality and calculation process as legacy conversions. 

Can an event function as both a key event and a conversion simultaneously? 

  • Yes, absolutely. In GA4, events can be designated as key events and also imported into Google Ads as conversions. This dual functionality ensures consistent reporting across platforms. 

Why haven’t I noticed this change in my account yet? 

  • The transition is being gradually introduced on a global scale and is anticipated to be fully implemented by the end of Q2 2024. 

Do I need to make adjustments to Google Tag Manager or Analytics Tracking Code? 

  • No, no adjustments are necessary. Your existing setups for GTM and tracking codes will accommodate the transition without any disruptions. 

Can I create custom key events tailored to my specific business goals? 

  • Yes, GA4 allows for the creation of custom key events to track user interactions that are most relevant to your business objectives.

Will key events impact my historical data or reporting? 

  • No, transitioning to key events will not affect your historical data or reporting. Your previous conversion data will remain intact and accessible for comparison and analysis. 

For any more information, please get in touch with the team