Google Analytics 4 (GA4) now allows users to modify the counting method for conversions, introducing a “once per session” option, which is similar to how Universal Analytics (UA) operated. This is a significant development for users of GA4, as it gives them more control over how they track conversions and how they measure the success of their digital marketing campaigns.
Conversions Once per Session in Google Analytics 4
For those who are not familiar with GA4, it is the latest version of Google Analytics, which was launched in October 2020. It is designed to help businesses gain a better understanding of their customers by providing more advanced insights into user behavior and engagement across multiple devices and platforms.
One of the key features of GA4 is the ability to track conversions, which is an essential metric for any business that wants to measure the success of its marketing campaigns. Conversions can be any action that a user takes on a website or app that is valuable to the business, such as completing a purchase or filling out a lead form.
Until recently, GA4 only had one option for counting conversions, which was to count each conversion every time it occurred, even if it happened multiple times within the same session. This could sometimes lead to inflated conversion numbers, making it difficult to get an accurate picture of how many unique conversions were actually taking place.
The new “once per session” option in GA4 allows users to change this behavior, so that each conversion is only counted once per session, regardless of how many times it occurs. This is similar to how conversions were counted in Universal Analytics, which was the previous version of Google Analytics.
Charles Farina, who is the GA4 & Adobe Analytics lead at Adswerve, identified this update, and it was subsequently verified on a Google help page.
This change will be particularly useful for businesses that have a high volume of repeat customers or visitors, as it will give them a more accurate picture of how many unique conversions are taking place. It will also make it easier to compare conversion data between GA4 and UA, as the counting method will now be more consistent between the two platforms.
To enable the “once per session” option in GA4, users simply need to go to the Conversion Events page in their account settings and select the relevant event. From there, they can choose whether to count each conversion every time it occurs or to count it only once per session.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) provides two different counting methods for conversion events:
Once per event– The “Once per event” method counts each individual conversion event as a unique occurrence. This means that if a user completes a conversion action multiple times, each completion is counted as a separate event. For example, if a user adds three products to their cart, the “Once per event” method counts this as three separate events.
Once per session (Legacy)– The “Once per session” method, also known as the legacy method, counts a conversion event only once per session, regardless of how many times it occurs within that session. Using the same example as above, if a user adds three products to their cart, the “Once per session” method counts this as a single event.
The choice of counting method depends on the specific business needs and goals. If you want to track every single instance of a conversion event, the “Once per event” method would be more appropriate. However, if you are more interested in the overall number of sessions that result in a conversion, the “Once per session” method may be a better fit.