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How to set up goals and conversions in GA4

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How to set up goals and conversions in GA4

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Goals and conversions are the best way for you to understand how your site is performing.

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest and 4th version of Google Analytics. It was announced in 2020 that the existing Universal Analytics will be replaced by GA4 from July 2023.

In this article, we’ll walk you through how to set up goals and conversions in GA4, so you can start tracking your site’s performance from day one.

What are conversions in GA4?

A conversion is any activity that leads to a sale or other desired action on your site. 

For example, if a user views a product page and then proceeds to buy it, that is considered a conversion. Likewise, if a user signs up for your email list and then makes a purchase later, that is also considered a conversion. These are business dependent too so a conversion in one business might not be in another.

Google Analytics tracks all kinds of different conversions depending on how you’ve set up the system.

Conversions are events that you track in Google Analytics. 

They replace goals in the past versions. You can use them to see how users interact with your website after reaching your landing page or tracking what happens on a specific part of your site.

Initially, when you set up goals in Google Analytics, you’ll be able to track the number of conversions due to users taking specific actions on your website. For example, if you want to know how many people signed up for an email list after visiting your homepage, you can set up a goal for signups. You’ll also be able to see which pages and content generate the most conversions by looking at the reports for each goal.

Universal Analytics is “hit-based,” while GA4 is “event-based.” 

With GA4, the tool marks four mobile application events collected as conversions. Aside from this, the user can also mark 30 web or app events as conversions

Through this functionality, you can refine how you measure crucial user activities. In addition, these GA4 conversion events will make it easy for you to understand your followers’ and users’ activities. 

How do goals work in GA4?

Suppose you want to create goals in GA4. In that case, it’s best to know the tool’s mechanism. 

When you set up goals in Google Analytics 4, you can decide whether to track visits that lead to a goal completion or conversions. So if you’re tracking a particular page, for example, and want to know how many people who visit that page go on to buy something from you, then you’d set up a goal for that page.

If you have multiple conversion types on your website (such as sales and email signups), then you can use this feature to tell GA4 which conversion type is most important for your business. This way, when someone purchases but doesn’t complete an email signup form, for example, GA4 will still count it as a conversion.

  • The first step is to create a goal for each conversion you want to measure. You do this by going to the “Conversions” tab and clicking on “Goals.” Next, click on “New Goal” and follow the instructions for setting your goal.
  • Once you’ve created your goals, you’ll need to set up conversion tracking to ensure that your analytics system will recognize it as a conversion when someone does something that leads them towards completing a goal. You do this by going back into your Google Analytics account and creating a tag to track whenever someone meets one of your goals.
  • Once those two things are complete, you’ll be able to see how many people have completed each of your goals, how much revenue they generated, how long it took them, what pages they visited before achieving the goal, and more.

Alternatively, if you are utilizing Google Tag Manager you can set up an event that fires based on the criteria you set. You can then mark that event as a conversion within the GA4 interface.

What you can track on GA

You can track almost any interaction on your site – the most important thing to understand is what you want to track – and crucially – how you can use that information to improve your site performance.

Past Versions of GA

Under Universal Analytics – a conversion was called a goal. And you could set up a variety of goals based on:

  • Destination
  • Event
  • Duration
  • Pages/Screens per session

Whilst these have gone, you can still set up tracking in a similar way – just that all the tracking now has to be done via an event.

How are they different from Universal Analytics?

Google Analytics 4.0 is the latest version of Google’s web analytics software. It offers several improvements over Universal Analytics, the previous version.

GA4 is more flexible than Universal Analytics and has features that allow you to get more out of your data. With GA4, you can define goals and conversions as you want — instead of being limited by pre-defined options. You can also set up custom metrics and dimensions, which are helpful if you have a specific way you want to measure different aspects of your business.

How to create a conversion in GA4?

You can create goals in GA4 through the GA4 dashboard or the Google Tag Manager. If you opt for the former method, here’s what you need to do:

  1. First, go to the events tab.

2. Then, choose ‘create event.’

3. After that, once you’re redirected to a new window, select ‘create.’

4. Add a parameter and name your event. 
5. Next, choose a parameter from the ‘Matching Conditions’ drop-down menu. 
6. Choose an operator.

7. Finally, input your URL destination’s ending text – this will be your ending value.

How to create custom events in GA4

Here’s how you can create custom events through GA4: 

  1. From the GA4 property in GA, select ‘Configure’ (as in the previous process).

2. Next, select the ‘Events’ tab (default screen).
3. Then, click the ‘Create Event’ button.

4. Note how the next screen is where the new event is named.
5. After that, define the matching conditions that will trigger the event.

6. Click the ‘Create’ button to create the new custom event, which is now listed under ‘Custom Events.” 
7. Test it.

How to set up GA4 conversions in tag manager?

Here are ways how to create a GA4 configuration tag: 

  1. First, select “tags” and then “new.” 
  2. Afterwhich, choose “tag configuration.”
  3. Then, select “Google Analytics: GA4 4 Event.” 
  4. Next, input the “Configuration Tag.” 
  5. Create an event name – best practice dictates to have that event name lower case with underscores _ after each word
  6. It is here that you can create event parameters and tag sequencing etc if applicable
  7. Next, click the part that reads “Triggering.” After which, choose the events that would set the tag to fire. 
  8. After that, save your tag configurations.
  9. Finally, publish your container.

Marking the event as a conversion

You must set goals to mark an event as a conversion in GA4. There are several ways to do this:

  1. Click on “Configure” on the left hand menu
  2. Choose “Events”
  3. Find your event name – this may take 24 hours to populate
  4. Mark as conversion in the table

Alternatively you can:

  1. Click on “Configure” on the left hand menu
  2. Choose “Conversions”
  3. Click “New Conversion Event”
  4. Copy your event name into the “Name your event” field

Click “Save”

How many goals/conversions can you have in GA4?

In Google Analytics 4, you don’t need to set goals based on limited conversion criteria. Instead, the tool marks four mobile application events collected as conversions. Aside from this, the user can also mark 30 web or app events as conversions. Through this functionality, you can refine how you measure crucial user activities.

Transferring goals from UA to GA4

If you have goals set up in Universal Analytics, there are several ways to move these goals to conversion in GA4.

One simple way is to use the Goals migration tool which will help you to recreate goals from your UA property to your GA4 property. This will work for current goals that are set up as:

  • Destination goals
  • Event goals

If you are looking for a more manual approach, then copying the events in tag manager and configuring these for GA4 will work for event goals.

Destination goals don’t exist in GA4, so moving these across will have to be done via the goals migration tool. Alternatively, you can set these as events (and then mark as conversions) if that certain page is hit by a user.

It would be a good idea when migrating to assess the value of the goals set up in UA and understand if they are still linked to business goals – if not, then maybe there is no use in migrating them over.

Leverage Google Analytics 4

When you set up goals and conversions in your Google Analytics account, you can begin to understand what’s working on your website and what isn’t. You can determine which traffic sources lead to sales, which products are most popular, and what content works best for your audience.

By setting up goals and conversions in Analytics, you’ll be able to track important metrics that will help you understand how people interact with your site. In addition, tracking these metrics over time lets you see how things change and learn more about your target audience.

In this article, we’ve covered how to set up goals and conversions in Google Analytics. This is essential if you want to track your site’s performance and see what types of visitors are coming to your site.

Goals are the metric that will tell you if your content is working. They give you insight into what’s driving traffic and whether or not those visitors are taking action after they arrive. Goals can be used to track everything from signups to clicks on a CTA button.

Wrap up

Setting up goals and conversions in Google Analytics allows you to see how much money each channel is bringing in, where it’s coming from — and whether or not it’s worth continuing with that channel over another. 

If you want to amplify the capabilities of Google Analytics 4, check out
Reporting Ninja’s analytics reporting software. GA4 can already track the metrics you need to improve the success of your digital marketing efforts. If you pair GA4 with an equally powerful tool like Reporting Ninja, you’ll be unstoppable. 

Check out Reporting Ninja’s features and activate your 15-day no-hassle, no-commitment trial today!

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