New Google Analytics 4 Update Brings Greater Flexibility In Conversion Counting

GA4’s latest update has created new options for digital marketers and analysts to count conversions with two different methods.

ga4 flexibility conversion counting

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GA4, or Google Analytics 4, has announced a new update that can make tracking conversions more flexible for marketers and digital teams. In this article, we’ll help you understand what changed with the update and how marketers can benefit from the new “once per session” conversion counting method.

What is the New Conversion Counting Method?

GA4 now has two options for counting the conversion actions of users. The first is “once per event”, and is the recommended setting from GA4. In this method, GA4 properties will count an event as a conversion every time that it occurs. For example, if a user completes three conversions in a session, all three conversions will be counted in the Google property.

The second option is the new “once per session” method of counting conversions. This method is how Universal Analytics properties track analytics, which makes it so that you can get your GA4 and UA conversion metrics to match. In this method, the property will count conversion events only once within a particular session.

Taking the same example as above, if the user completes three conversions within a session, only one conversion will be counted.

Google recommends using the “once per event” method of counting conversions. This is because it gives you a better understanding of user behavior. It allows you to distinguish between sessions when multiple conversions occur, which can help you understand patterns of behavior with your individual users.

The “once per session” method won’t differentiate between different conversions taken within a single session, which means someone who completes ten conversions and someone who completes one will be counted the same on the property.

How Does The Change Benefit Marketers?

While GA4 has many metrics and analytics to pull from, a consistent critique from users is that it is difficult to manage and different from other analytics systems that they have more experience with.

With the option to track conversions once per session, GA4 will operate closer to how Universal Analytics operates. This allows marketers to bring their data together and align GA4 with Universal Analytics, which has been difficult to do in the past.

By having the two options for tracking conversions, users are now able to customize how they get their metrics and how conversions are tracked. Because conversions are such an important part of digital marketing, having options and being able to match analytics systems like GA4 and Universal Analytics, makes it easier for marketers to create reports that satisfy shareholders.

How Can You Change Your Counting Method?

If you don’t make changes, then GA4 will use a default setting. If you had Universal Analytics goals set up as a property in GA4, then “once per session” will be the default. All other conversions will use the recommended “once per event” default.

If you want to change your conversion counting method, you can easily make the switch with these simple steps:

  1. Go to Admin in Google Analytics
  2. Click on Conversions under the Property menu
  3. Go to the Conversion Events Table and click on the 3-dot icon for more options at the far right side of a row
  4. Click on Change Counting Method
  5. Pick which options you want for that event table row
  6. Click on Save

You can go in and update these settings at any time, but it’s important to keep in mind that your past data will use the method that was selected at the time the data was collected. Updating the conversion counting method will only work for future data.

The Bottom Line

The new update for GA4 allows users to have more flexibility and customization options for counting conversions. Based on your goals for your conversion metrics, you can pick the best option for your needs.

If you want to track user behavior and individual conversions, then the “once per event” setting is best. However, if you want your data to match with Universal Analytics and maintain consistency, then you can pick the “once per session” option.

When it comes to tracking analytics, variety is always helpful. Because every company operates differently, not all data sets have the same value. The new GA4 updates demonstrate how Google is listening to users and providing more options within properties. Digital marketers can hopefully look forward to even more updates and options from GA4 in the future.

Do you want to continue to be updated with Marketing best practices? I strongly suggest that you subscribe to The Beat, Rock Content’s interactive newsletter. There, you’ll find all the trends that matter in the Digital Marketing landscape. See you there!

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