Learn the difference between goals and conversion events in Google Analytics.

With Google Analytics 4, "conversion events" take the place of "goals." In this short post, I'll explain the difference and list some resources that will help you set up the new conversion events the right way. 

What Goals and Conversion Events have in Common

Both goals and conversion events are used to keep track of when users do things that are important to your business.

Unlike a typical click or page view event, you can share these with Google Ads to get the most out of your advertising dollars (for example, you might be willing to pay $20 for each lead form submitted).

Read this blog to get the detailed information about goals in Google Analytics: Which Goals are available in Google Analytics

Difference between Goals & conversion Events

Goals don't work well with Google Analytics 4 because they are based on sessions, but sessions aren't as important in Google Analytics 4 as they were in older versions.

The point of a goal was to give a simple TRUE or FALSE answer to the question, "Did the user complete a certain action during their session?"

When the old version of Google Analytics shows you the number of goal completions, it's really telling you how many sessions the goal was TRUE for (completed at least once). Goals don't get higher if the same action was done more than once during the session.

On the other hand, a conversion event just shows that an action has happened. If the action happens more than once during a session, the number of conversion events will go up each time. This puts Google Analytics in line with how conversions are usually measured, and the Google Ads conversion pixel already works this way (as you can see in the screenshot below).

Screenshot Below

One important limitation of conversion events is that you could only set up 20 goals per view in the old version of Google Analytics. If you needed to keep track of more than 20 conversions, you could make 20 copies of the view.

Google Analytics 4, on the other hand, doesn't have views. Google lets you set up 30 conversion events to make up for this.

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Reporting of Conversion Events

The "Conversions" column in the Acquisition reports is a lot like the "Goal Completions" column in Universal Analytics. But now you have a dropdown menu that lets you choose a particular event.

 Conversion Events

A new metric called "conversions" has also been added to the Exploration method. You can make a custom report that shows all of your conversions by combining this metric with "Event Name" as a dimension.


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