Learn the steps to Switch to Google Analytics 4 conversions in Google Ads.
After migrating to GA4, Google Ads users will need to update their conversion settings. Learn how to do this to optimize campaigns towards conversions.

You’ve made the switch from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. Now what?

If you’re currently bidding on and optimizing towards Universal Analytics conversions in Google Ads, you’ll need to update those conversions in the Google Ads platform. This switch will allow your smart bidding strategies to continue optimizing towards specific conversion actions that have been transferred into GA4.

After your GA4 property is set up, you can import the conversions into your Google Ads account in a few simple steps. This connection will allow data from both platforms to flow into one another. On top of the platform connection & conversion optimization capabilities, setting up your Google Ads account with GA4 also allows you to use Google Analytics 4 audiences with your campaigns.

The Analysts at Search Discovery have extensive experience with Google Analytics 4.

Get the Complete GA4 Guide to help your team successfully install the tool and train your teams.

Four things to check before you begin

  1. Does your Universal Analytics conversion volume match what you’re seeing in Google Analytics 4? These numbers should be as close as possible. Google recommends waiting up to two weeks after implementing GA4 for an accurate comparison. 
  2. Is your Google Analytics 4 property already linked to your Google Ads account? If not, you can edit this in your Analytics Instance.
    1. Navigate to the Admin section > Product Links > Google Ads Links
    2. Click Link and confirm the Google Ads account
  3. Do you already have auto-tagging enabled? If not, you can edit this in your Google Ads account.
    1. Navigate to the Settings > Account Settings > Auto Tagging 
    2. Check the box next to “Tag the URL that people click through from my ad”After your Google Analytics 4 property is set up, you can import the conversions into your Google Ad. Step 3: Make sure auto-tagging is enabled by editing this in your Google Ads account.

4.Change your current Universal Analytics conversions to “secondary” conversions or remove them altogether in Google Ads.

      1. Navigate to Tools and Settings > Conversions \
      2. Find the conversion actions you would like to change > edit goal > select Secondary Action in the drop-down menu > Save

This step is crucial to have clean data. If you don’t change current conversions to “secondary” or remove them before importing new GA4 conversion actions, it will lead to duplicate data and send incorrect signals to your smart bidding strategies. You should also do this step in the same session as the GA4 import so there aren’t any gaps in your measurement process.

Switch to Google Analytics 4 conversions in a few simple steps

Now that your accounts are set up for success, you can begin the simple process of switching your conversion events from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4-based events in Google Ads.

    1. Import your new Google Analytics 4 conversions as “primary” conversions in Google Ads.
      • Navigate to Tools and Settings > Conversions > +New Conversion Action > Import > GA4 PropertiesSwitch to Google Analytics 4 conversions in Google Ads by first importing "primary" conversions.
      • Select all the conversion events you would like to import > import and continue > doneSwitch to Google Analytics 4 conversions in Google Ads by first importing "primary" conversions.
      • Google Ads will automatically assign these new conversions as “primary” actions, and data collection begins as soon as you click import.  

With the new conversion actions in the account, campaigns and specific smart bidding strategies will automatically begin to optimize towards the new events, as long as campaign goals are set at the default account level. If goals are campaign specific, remember to update the settings at this level too!

How Search Discovery can help

Search Discovery is a premier Google Service & Sales Partner. As a trusted Google partner, we can help with everything you need to be successful with Google Analytics 4. Spend 5 minutes taking our free Migration Assessment to help you prepare for the switch. We’ll make sure you receive product support, training, and value-added services necessary to maximize your investment and drive business outcomes.

Our digital marketing and analytics experts stand ready to help you optimize your conversions, leveraging the full capabilities of GA4. Contact us today to get started!

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