Destination Digital

How to import GA4 events as conversions in Google Ads

We all know how to make events into goals in Universal Analytics, but now we are moving to GA4 by summer 2023, we have to set everything up in this new Google Analytics tool instead. But how? 👇

We previously wrote a guide to using Google Universal Analytics events as conversions goals in Google Ads right here, along with an accompanying guide on how to create those goals for import into Google Ads to help train the account to serve ads against your goals.

With the advent of 2023, there is a new dawn rising on GA4. Universal Analytics is a much-loved website traffic analytics tool that’s been around for longer than most digital marketer’s careers have even existed. But Google like to do what Google likes to do and announced many months ago its intention to get rid of this old favourite and move to GA4.

We’re still trying to come to terms with the loss, whilst trying to learn the new interface presented by GA4. So we are blogging as we make our way on this journey and will take you along with us too.

So, where do you start?


The first step in setting up events for conversions is to go to Google Tag Manager

Yeah? Right? This is why GA4 is so confusing.

However, the easiest way to set up bespoke events in GA4 is to add Google Tag Manager to your website and then administer all code changes within that tool  to pull data through to GA4.

So the first thing you need to do is set up a Google Tag Manager account and take a look on this blog to see common click event tracking you might like to set up in GA4.


Now you’ve set up the events, you can turn them into conversion goals in GA4

Once you have events set up successfully, you now need to wait. Universal Analytics used to have a lag of an hour or two before data showed up. GA4 has a lag of 24 hours, so that’s progress right?

Before you head off for 24 hours though, our advice is to trigger every event you just set up. The reason for this is that events will only show up in GA4 once triggered, and it’s only when they show up that you can create a conversion from them. So click around, downloading PDFs, submitting forms and clicking on important links. Then, see you tomorrow!


Turning events into conversions in GA4

Welcome back!

We are now ready to go into our GA4 account to turn those events into conversions. You do this by clicking in the left hand menu on ‘Configure’ and whereupon you will be presented with a list of events that have fired on your website in the at least the last 24 hours.

If you named your events in ways you can recognise easily (demonstrating the importance of choosing good names whilst building these out), you should be able to see them presented to you in the list.

In the below you can see then that it is as simple a matter as sliding to ‘on’ in the column labelled ‘Mark as conversion’. Note: not all of them need turning on, only the ones that are important to you for Google Ads or other conversion tracking purposes.

Back up in the top left you will then be able to click through and see all conversions in that view too.


Import GA4 conversions into Google Ads

First you need to establish a link between your Google Ads account and your Google Analytics account. Then you need to import conversions already set up in the Analytics account.


Link Google Ads and Google Analytics GA4 instructions

  • Start in Google Analytics and click ‘Admin’ and you will see a ‘Property’ menu and a submenu of ‘Product Links’. Under this subhead you will see an option to click ‘Google Ads Links’. This is the same for both UA and GA4, but in this example we will work through the GA4 interface. Go ahead and click ‘Google Ads links’
  • On the next page, click ‘link’ then click ‘Choose Google Ads accounts’
  • At this stage, this is where you need to be logged into the account that controls the Analytics and the Ads accounts – i.e. the ‘Master’ account.
  • Choose the Google Ads account you would like to link up by checking the checkbox and then clicking ‘confirm’.
  • On the next screen, click ‘next’ and leave the default settings in place on the next options presented on screen and click ‘next’ again.
  • Finally, click ‘submit’.
  • It will take up to 24 hours to approve, so go make yourself a cup of tea and get on with something else and come back again tomorrow!


Import Google Analytics GA4 conversions instructions

Once you have your conversions ready and firing in GA4, they should then present themselves for import into Google Ads.

  • To do this go to Google Ads and click ‘Tools’ at the top of the page. Then select ‘Conversions’ from the sub-menu.
  • Click the plus sign to ‘create a new conversion’ and you are presented with a page that asks you where you want to import your conversions from. In this example, choose the button on the right called ‘Import’.
  • You are then offered a series of places you can import from. In this example, we want to import from Google GA4, since GA4 is the future of Analytics. So choose GA4 and the submenu choice of ‘Web’ if you are following this guide. Click ‘Continue’.
  • On the next screen, all the possible conversion actions will be presented to you and you should recognize them from the work you have already done. Select all the actions you want to train your Google Ads account to optimize for.

And that’s it. Just repeat the process whenever you get new conversions through to help you train your account.


Read more

We hope that this series of articles will save you hours of searching for how to deal with small tasks. Take a look at the other articles we’ve put together:

As we work our way through small and always difficult to remember tasks at the coalface of marketing, we’re sure there will be additions to this list very soon, so maybe bookmark this page if you found it helpful.


Contact us

We’re Google Partners, so if you’d like help with Google Analytics, Google Ads, marketing data analysis or digital marketing strategy, please email us on or give us a call on 01629 810199.

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If you’d like help with digital marketing, ads management, SEO, copywriting, websites, branding or social media management… or anything else related to the internet and digital, then get in touch with us. We’re a friendly bunch.

You can email us on or give us a call on 01629 810199 or you can use the contact form at the bottom of this page.