Skip to main content
(02) 4948 8139 0421 647 317

Counting Methods for GA4 Conversions

In our continuing series of articles on the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) reporting tool – which will become the only version of Analytics to collect data from 1st July 2023 – we now take a look at how to change the counting method for GA4 conversions and also how to import them into Google Ads.

When you set up conversion events in GA4 there are now two different counting methods that can be selected, based on the likely tracking outcomes:

1. Once per event (Recommended)
This setting means that GA4 properties count an event as a conversion every time it occurs (e.g. a user completes 5 conversions in one session and so this setting counts 5 conversions).

This option is recommended for purchases in particular, or any repeat actions that you might expect users to take during a visit to your website. This is also the default setting because it should reflect the behaviour of users on your site or app, and allows the distinction between sessions where multiple conversions occurred and sessions where only one conversion occurred.

2. Once per session (Legacy)
This setting means that GA4 properties count an event as a conversion only once it occurs within a particular session (e.g. a user completes 5 conversions in one session but this setting counts 1 conversion).

There may therefore be some conversions – such as phone or email clicks – which should only be counted once per session as it would reflect one contact action, which is the more likely scenario. Also ‘once per session’ is how Universal Analytics (UA) properties count goals and so if you want to closely match your GA4 conversion count to your previous UA conversion count, this would be the desired option.

Whichever counting method you choose for your conversions, you should also compare recorded conversion actions with trackable outcomes, as closely as possible, to see which option produces the more accurate number compared to the reality of actions being taken on your website.

Note: Default counting method
If you don’t make a choice, Google Analytics 4 will automatically use the default counting method. The default depends on how conversion events were created.

Once per session is the default counting method for all conversions that were created from Universal Analytics goals, either in an automatically created Google Analytics 4 property or by using the goals migration tool in the Setup Assistant after April 2023.

Once per event is the default counting method for all other conversions.

You can read more about how to see which counting method each conversion event uses and how to change the counting method.

After your conversions have been configured, they should be imported into the Google Ads account because doing so provides these key benefits:

– Access your Analytics conversions and data related to your Google Ads clicks
– See Analytics conversion data in Google Ads
– Give Google Ads Smart Bidding access to data that helps optimise bids

You can read about how to import them into Google Ads.

If you want to know more about how the use of GA4 conversion tracking with Google Ads can help your business, please get in touch.