GA4 tackles report discrepancies with conversion update


Google Analytics is shifting from tracking conversions to using “key events” for behavioral analytics, aligning its definition with Google Ads platforms.

This update ensures that what constitutes a conversion will be consistent and easily comparable between Google Ads and GA4 reporting, providing marketers clearer insights into user behavior across platforms.

What’s changing? In GA4, legacy conversions will now be referred to as key events. These events represent crucial actions for behavioral measurement in your business. Additionally, conversions in the report and explore modules will be transitioned to key events, maintaining the same measurement capabilities as the legacy conversion concept. Key events will be considered conversions only when shared with Google Ads, ensuring accurate performance reporting.

Cross-channel reporting. Additionally, the Advertising workspace in GA4 will introduce new cross-channel conversion performance reporting, extending beyond Google Ads. This section will serve as your central hub for monitoring Ads conversion performance, providing comprehensive insights across various advertising channels.

What Google is saying. Kamal Janardhan, Senior Director of Product Management, Measurement, at Google, said in a statement:

  • “In this improved, more unified experience, we are addressing the differences in conversions reporting that marketers have experienced across Google Ads and Analytics, a long-standing request that we are happy to have resolved for our customers.”
  • “Now, conversions in the existing report and explore modules will become key events. This way you will be able to define the most important customer actions for your business in Analytics and learn what’s working and what’s not to improve your product and experience across websites and apps.”

Why we care. Discrepancies in conversions reporting have long caused headaches for marketers, however, this solution aims to address that issues by ensuring consistency across Analytics and Google Ads platforms. By providing a clearer and more reliable view of conversion data, it helps streamline reporting processes and enhances the accuracy of analysis.

Action needed? Users of GA4 and Google Ads do not need to take any action. Legacy conversions will be automatically converted to key events, while any conversions shared with Google Ads will be labeled as conversions and reported on within the Advertising section.

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Deep dive. Read Google’s conversions vs. key events guide for more information.


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