How To:  Configure Events and Conversions for Google Analytics 4

By on 8th June 2022

Reading Time: 5 minutes

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Following on from the guide on how to configure Google Analytics 4 and Page Views, the next step for most of those new to GA4 will be to set up events and conversion tracking.

This is a fairly “quick” top level overview of how I understand it all to work, but if you want to deep delve into how it will all work moving forward, these are some useful resources listed at the end of the article.

It should also be noted that this article is specifically about website data, and not app data for which I have zero experience (but am always happy to learn if anyone out there needs this setting up).

Events and Goals in Universal Analytics

As a reminder, here is how they currently work in Universal Analytics:


To date, you set up an event with the following properties:

  • Action
  • Category
  • Label
  • Value

This allows you to track various user activity on the site via code or tag manager such as clicks, downloads, ecommerce activity etc.

You would view these as follows:



In order to measure engagement across key events and actions, you would set up goals that measure the conversion rate of site visitors.

These could be set up as:

  • Destinations, as in Page views
  • Event actions, categories or labels
  • Durations
  • Pages per session

Once configured, you could view reports on conversions / engagement as follows:


Events, Conversions and Goals in Google Analytics 4

The first thing to note is that goals as we know them are not a part of universal analytics, everything is done via events, including things like page views.

Default Events Tracked in GA4

Certain events are tracked by default and each contains relevant parameters to allow you to see more detail.  The default list of web events and properties that are automatically captured are:

  • click

  • file_download
    • file_extension
    • file_name
    • link_classes
    • link_domain
    • link_id
    • link_text
    • link_url

  • first_visit

  • page_view
    • page_location
    • page_referrer
    • engagement_time_msec

  • scroll
    • engagement_time_msec

  • session_start
  • user_engagement
    • engagement_time_msec

  • video_start
    • video_current_time
    • video_duration
    • video_percent
    • video_provider
    • video_title
    • video_url
    • visible

  • video_progress
    • video_current_time
    • video_duration
    • video_percent
    • video_provider
    • video_title
    • video_url
    • visible

  • video_complete
    • video_current_time
    • video_duration
    • video_percent
    • video_provider
    • video_title
    • video_url
    • visible

  • view_search_results
    • search_term

These then can all be viewed within your GA4 events report:

GA4 Events

You can then, for example, look at which pages have been viewed by clicking on page_view:

Page View Event

By default you see which pages have been viewed by page title:

page title

but you can change this to page path by selecting this in the User Engagement drop down:

page path

How To Set Up a Conversion in GA4

To set up a default event as a conversion, select configure from the menu.


You then see a list of current events – to mark any as a conversion simply click the select button to the right:


How To Set Up A Custom Event and Conversion in GA4

In the list above, it’s highly unlikely that you would want to, for example, track all instances of page_view as a conversion (or indeed any default event).  Instead, you are more likely to want to track specific pages – such as thank you page.

To do this, you need to create an event by clicking “create event”:

Create Event

From the custom events screen, again click create, where you see the configuration screen where you name the custom event and set the parameters accordingly.

If we want to set a page_view of my contact page (/contact/thank-you.php) we do this as follows:

custom event configuration

Once this event is fired, it will appear in the events list, and you can mark it as a conversion.

How to Set Up Custom Events via GTM

You may have noticed in the list above there were some custom events in place:

  • Contact Form Submission
  • External Link Click
  • Home Page Link Click

These are custom events that have been set up via Google Tag Manager, there are blog posts on how to track form submissions, banner clicks in the main content area of a page and PDF downloads, and this guide assumes you already know how to set up triggers – but for reference, the triggers used for the above events on my site are set up as follows:

Contact Form Submission Trigger

Contact Form Submission Trigger

Home Page Content Clicks Trigger

Home Page Content Clicks Trigger

External Link Click Trigger

External Link Click Trigger

Once you have your GA4 config tag and event triggers in place, you set up a custom event tag as follows:

GA Event Tag

If you just want to track an event just via its name and not send any properties, this is done as follows – select your configuration tag and give your event an appropriate name:

GA4 Event Tag

This will then start to appear in your events and can be set as conversion once it has been fired

How to Set Up Parameters for Custom Events

In some cases, it may be preferable to set up one custom event with unique parameters rather than setting up several individual events –in the name of keeping things tidy as much as anything else.

  • Contact

Then set up different tags and parameters for each method, e.g.

  • Method -> contact_form
  • Method -> email
  • Method -> telephone
  • Method -> newsletter_signup
GA4 Event Tag with Parameter

Custom events can then be set up on the method parameter if you only wanted to track contact_form or newsletter_signup as individual conversions.

Another useful way to track data here would be for example, to track which email addresses are clicked, you could set up an event named contact_email, then set up the properties as email -> {{Click Text}}, e.g.

event with parameter

So then in the report you could see which emails are clicked the most.

And That’s About It

So that’s it, it’s all fairly straightforward once you get your head round the fact everything is tracked via events and parameters.

Give it a go and let me know how you get in, and feel free to get in touch with any queries or questions.

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