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Understanding Key Events and Conversions in Google Analytics and Google Ads

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Google has unified the definitions of conversions across Google Analytics and Google Ads, simplifying how these metrics are measured and reported. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

Key Events

  • Definition:
    • A key event measures a critical action important to your business success, such as a purchase or newsletter signup.
    • These events are recorded in Google Analytics and appear in Analytics reports.
  • Creating Key Events:
    • Identify or create an event that measures the desired action.
    • Mark the event as a key event in Google Analytics.
    • Example: If a user scrolls to 90% of a lead-generation page, mark this as a key event to track how many users engage deeply with your content.
  • Benefits:
    • Enhanced behavioral reporting.
    • Insight into user interactions across all channels.

Conversions

  • Definition:
    • A conversion is an important action derived from a key event that helps measure ad campaign performance and optimize bidding strategies.
    • Conversions provide consistent metrics across Google Analytics and Google Ads.
  • Creating Conversions:
    • Identify a key event in Google Analytics.
    • Create a new conversion in Google Ads based on this key event.
    • Example: Mark the ‘generate_lead’ event as a key event and create a Google Ads conversion to track when users complete a signup form.
  • Benefits:
    • Consistent conversion data across platforms.
    • Conversions are eligible for bidding and reporting in Google Ads.
    • Unified performance metrics for better optimization of ad campaigns.

Implementation and Benefits

  • No Action Required:
    • Existing setups remain unaffected.
    • Key events continue to be reported as they were previously.
  • Linked Accounts:
    • Conversions created from key events in Analytics appear as conversions in Google Ads.
    • Historical conversion data remains accessible for year-over-year comparisons.
  • Future Enhancements:
    • New tools and features will be added to the Analytics advertising section, enhancing conversion reporting.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why the change to key events?
    • To align conversion definitions between Google Analytics and Google Ads, simplifying performance measurement and reporting.
  • Do key events and conversions share the same attribution settings?
    • Yes, attribution settings for key events can be found in the Attribution settings page in Admin.
  • How to create Google Ads conversions from key events?
    • Create web and app conversions in Google Ads for each key event, ensuring consistent data across platforms.
  • Can non-key events create conversions?
    • Yes, any Google Analytics event can create a Google Ads conversion and will automatically be marked as a key event.
  • Does this affect other Google advertising platforms?
    • No, other platforms like Campaign Manager 360 and Display & Video 360 are unaffected.

For more detailed guidance, visit the Google Analytics Support page.

This update aims to provide a more intuitive and consistent experience across Google’s analytics and advertising tools, helping businesses optimize their marketing strategies more effectively.

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