One of the more puzzling omissions in GA4’s initial release was the inclusion of a conversion rate metric… Given the heavy emphasis of almost every website on conversions, maximising usability, and the existence of Google’s own “Google Optimize” tool which allows website owners to run tests to optimise their conversion rates, it would seem that retaining a “conversion rate” metric would be a given in Google’s new analytics platform. Fortunately it was announced on the 11th July ‘22 that alongside Bounce Rate, they were indeed reintroducing Conversion Rate as an available metric.
In Universal Analytics we have (or soon, “had”) the ability to track conversion rates in the standard reporting for campaigns, keywords, landing pages, ad groups etc, with the option of drilling down further to view the conversion rate of a particular goal, however in the new GA4 platform, as things stand not all of these are readily available. The good news is that the data is indeed available – we just need to jump through some hoops to find it!
Step 1: Create a new blank Exploration Report
At this time, Conversion Rate is unavailable within the “Reporting” section of GA4, however we can import the metric in an Exploration Report – click “Explore” in the navigation and then create a blank Exploration Report.
Step 2: Import Dimensions & Metrics
On the left hand side you will see a column called “Variables”, under which you’ll see Dimensions and Metrics. Click on the “+” next to Dimensions and search for “Session default channel grouping” – check this and click “Import”.
Now do the same with Metrics, but pull in whichever metrics you’d like to see alongside Conversion Rate – for this example, we’re selecting Sessions, Session Conversion Rate and Conversions:
There you have it – conversion rate, broken down by channel… But this is just for total conversions! If you want to see conversion rates for specific conversions, there are a few more steps.
Step 3: Set up a new report in Google Data Studio
Head over to Google Data Studio and create a new blank report (or add your GA4 account as a data source to an existing report).
Step 4: Create Scorecards for “Conversions” and “Sessions”
Once your GA4 account is set up as a data source, create a Scorecard and change the dimension from “Views” to “Conversions”. Then do the same again but change the dimension to “Sessions” or “Users” depending on whether you want to see a session-based conversion rate (as you would find in Universal Analytics) or user-based.
Step 5: Select both Scorecards and “Blend Data”
Be sure to select “conversions” first, and then “sessions” – right click and select “Blend Data” to create a new Scorecard named “Conversions / Sessions”… This is your conversion rate for all conversions that you’re tracking in GA4, as we saw in the Exploration Report.
Step 6: Add an Event Name Filter
In order to view your conversion rate for a specific conversion, complete steps 1 & 2 but then add a filter to your “Conversions” Scorecard – name it, and then select Include > Event Name > Equal to > [the name of your conversion event, as it appears in GA4].
Step 7: Rename “Conversions” dimension to [conversion name]
Give your filtered conversion Scorecard a more descriptive name so that it’s clear which conversion it refers to.
Step 8: Repeat Step 4
Select your new conversion Scorecard and the sessions Scorecard and blend the data to provide you new conversion-specific conversion rate.
Whilst this process is a little more convoluted than we’re used to, it would be a surprise if Google decided against adding the Conversion Rate metric into the standard reporting in the future (they are regularly introducing new features already), so this workaround may well only be a temporary requirement. In any case, it’s likely that more marketers will turn to Google Data Studio for their reporting in the future as the data manipulation within GA4’s standard reporting is less intuitive/flexible than Universal Analytics, and marketers will often use the same set of metrics to track over time so whilst a Data Studio report will require some time/effort to set up, once it’s there it can be easily tweaked to suit.
If you’re having trouble setting up conversions in GA4 or if you’re looking to access other reports, check out some of our other GA4 resources or get in touch to speak with one of our digital marketing specialists.