Home > Tips > How to Avoid Duplicate Conversions and Recreating the Conversion Funnel for GA4

How to Avoid Duplicate Conversions and Recreating the Conversion Funnel for GA4

The creator’s views are totally his or her personal (excluding the unlikely occasion of hypnosis) and should not all the time mirror the views of Moz.

As you’re most likely all too conscious at this level, GA4 is coming. Outdated variations of Google Analytics can be switched off for just about everybody come June 2023.

Whereas GA4 is enhancing on a regular basis, there are fairly a couple of issues that individuals are used to seeing in previous variations of Analytics which, on the very least, take a little bit of creativity within the new world.

One instance is how conversions are dealt with. Within the previous variations of Google Analytics, a conversion might solely fireplace as soon as per session. In GA4 conversions are simply one other form of occasion, so it’s potential for a conversion to fireplace a number of occasions in a single session.

Drawback is, you is perhaps very if somebody indicators up by way of your contact-us kind as soon as. However that particular person may reload the thank-you web page, or join one thing else by way of a distinct kind on the location. That doesn’t imply you essentially need to monitor two conversions.

Talking of signing up by way of totally different varieties, on some web sites, customers might wind up on the identical thank-you web page having taken very totally different routes to get there. If we don’t have that a lot management, and we’re having to depend on thank-you web page views to trace conversions, it may be exhausting for us to separate out totally different sorts of conversions.

In previous variations of GA you can use funnels with a “required” step. You may need one aim with a funnel requiring your occasion web page, one other aim with a funnel requiring a distinct web page, and depend on them to provide you totally different conversions. There additionally isn’t an apparent approach to do that in GA4.

On this publish, I’m going to take you thru the way to:

  • Keep away from double counting in GA4.

  • Routinely ignore suspicious conversions (like individuals touchdown direct on the conversion web page).

  • Recreate the form of funnels we anticipated in Common Analytics (actually we’ll make them higher).

I’ll take you thru a couple of bits in GA4 and others utilizing Google Tag Supervisor. The GA4 method is extra easy, however the Tag Supervisor is extra strong and may help you ensure that all of your conversion pixels are displaying roughly the identical data (as a result of we’re long gone the purpose the place GA is the one place we’re recording conversions).

Managing conversions in GA4

This part is about modifications we will make purely by way of the GA4 interface. So long as you’re sending your web page views conversion occasions to GA4 it’s best to be capable to use these techniques with none code modifications.

Nonetheless: There are some limitations of doing issues by way of GA4, for instance it might imply that your GA information doesn’t line up with conversions recorded by way of different platforms.

Avoiding double-counting

Julius Fedorovicius (of Analytics Mania fame) has produced a improbable information to creating certain that conversions are solely recorded as soon as per session.

It is best to have a learn however broadly:

  • You create a customized viewers based mostly on a sequence that begins with “session_start”

  • You fireplace an occasion when somebody enters that viewers

  • You utilize that occasion as your conversion.

No shock that Julius has give you a very good option to deal with the issue of double-counting:

For those who’ve created Segments in Common Analytics Viewers sequences in GA4 look very just like the sequences we used to create for Segments. Nonetheless, the previous Segments had been only a approach of visualizing information, whereas Audiences in GA4 are a approach of grouping information. We will use Audiences to create one thing new.

That distinction is essential as a result of we will do cool issues like fireplace customized occasions when somebody enters an viewers (which Julius makes use of on this answer).

Common Analytics Section sequence creator

GA4 Viewers sequence creator

The constraints of utilizing Google Analytics audiences

This isn’t actually a limitation so far as GA goes however it’s a consideration nonetheless. Julius’ answer is nice for ensuring we’re not double-counting conversions in GA, however GA most likely isn’t the one approach we’re recording conversions.

The typical website most likely has a bunch of separate conversion monitoring pixels and people might find yourself double-counting conversions.

For instance: Fb and Google each describe how they keep away from double-counting conversions, however their options largely depend on precisely matching transaction IDs, and even when they’re dealing with it okay, there’s a bunch of smaller fish on the market which are additionally providing conversion monitoring and might want a bit extra hand-holding.

If we need to ensure that we’re solely recording one conversion per session, it’s helpful to ensure all of our conversion monitoring is working in an identical approach. Tag Supervisor is a superb answer for that (I describe an answer within the Tag Supervisor part beneath).

You too can run into issues if, for instance, your affirmation web page is in some way listed or bookmarked by customers — individuals touchdown instantly on it might result in bizarre surprising conversions. We will additionally use Tag Supervisor to protect towards that a little bit bit.

Recreating the conversion funnel

Sticking with the GA4 interface for now, we will additionally adapt the AnalyticsMania method to create our funnel-based conversions too by including extra steps to the sequence.

For what it’s price, conversion funnels are not the best option to categorize conversions. If you need to use something extra direct (just like the id of the shape they’ve stuffed out, a separate thank-you web page) then that’s a a lot extra dependable option to categorize conversions. That stated, we don’t stay in an ideal world, and typically there isn’t the choice to fully rebuild your conversion course of.

In Fedorovicius’ instance we simply have two steps in our viewers sequence:

  1. Session_start
    Not directly adopted by

  2. Conversion

Which principally means “somebody lands on the location after which at any level throughout their session, they convert”.

To recreate the aim funnels you is perhaps utilizing in Common Analytics – we will simply add one other step to the sequence. As an illustration:

  1. Session_start
    Not directly adopted by

  2. Visiting our event_page
    Not directly adopted by

  3. Touchdown on our thanks web page/changing

That ought to imply we will create one conversion which is: Customers who went by way of our occasion web page after which transformed.

And one other conversion which is: Customers who went by way of our sponsorship web page after which transformed.

There are some limitations right here although, for instance, what if somebody:

  1. Landed on the location

  2. Visited our occasion web page

  3. Then visited our sponsorship web page

  4. Transformed utilizing the shape on both.

They’d fulfill the standards for our occasion conversion and the standards for our sponsorship conversion. We’d file a conversion for every and we’d find yourself double-counting in any case.

That is additionally a limitation of the previous Common Analytics funnels: Simply because a step within the funnel was required doesn’t imply the person can’t get lost across the website between that step and their closing conversion. So, if it’s any comfort, this isn’t any worse than previous Common Analytics funnels (however we will nonetheless do higher).

The issue with utilizing “instantly adopted by”

You may say “properly that’s simply solved — in the mean time the sequence says is not directly adopted by and we will simply change that to is instantly adopted by”.

Certainly that may imply that somebody is on the sponsorship web page and goes instantly from the sponsorship web page to the thanks web page, proper?

Sadly that’s often not what “instantly adopted by” means as a result of there’s all types of issues that may get recorded in analytics which aren’t web page views.

For instance if somebody lands on the sponsorship web page, after which scrolls down and lands on the thanks web page, the thanks web page view doesn’t instantly comply with the sponsorship web page view. It goes:

  • Web page view: sponsorship

  • Scroll

  • Web page view: thanks

So “instantly adopted by” isn’t a simple answer.

How about “inside x minutes”?

GA4 has a very cool function within the sequence builder the place we will set a timer in-between steps. Even exterior of monitoring conversions inside a session we will use it to maintain monitor of cool issues like individuals who got here to our website, didn’t convert that point, however got here again and transformed throughout the subsequent couple days.

Jill Fast has been speaking a bunch about how highly effective these choices are.

We might use this to say one thing like: particular person landed on our occasion web page after which landed on our thanks web page inside 10 minutes.

However as I’m certain you’ve guessed, that finally ends up being a form of arbitrary lower off, possibly somebody spends a while serious about the way to fill out our kind, or possibly somebody actually shortly goes to one in all our different pages and converts there. This might be higher than the essential funnel, however we might additionally find yourself ignoring fully reputable conversions.

So what will we do?

Utilizing GA4 sequences for that is form of advantageous, as I say above it’s actually not worse than Common Analytics, however we might do higher with Google Tag Supervisor.

Managing conversions in Google Tag Supervisor

These approaches require you to run all of your monitoring by way of Tag Supervisor. Although even apart

from this, for those who’re not already utilizing Tag Supervisor, I’d advise you to look into it!

Since we have to hold monitor of what’s occurred to a person throughout a number of pages, these options are additionally going to utilize cookies. In case that fills you with dread, don’t fear:

  • I’m going to stroll you thru the way to create and delete these cookies (it takes a little bit Javascript however it’s copy-paste and simpler than you assume!)

  • These aren’t the sorts of cookies designed to provide away individuals’s data to different companies.

To reiterate what I say above: Whereas this method takes a bit extra effort than simply doing issues by way of Google Analytics it permits us to do two issues:

  1. Be sure that all of our varied monitoring tags are firing in the identical approach

  2. Have extra advantageous grained management, significantly if we’re making an attempt to classify totally different paths to conversion.

Avoiding double-counting

To recap what we need to do right here, we need to ensure that if somebody visits our website and converts we fireplace a conversion. Nonetheless, in the event that they revisit a thanks web page, or undergo a distinct conversion, we don’t fireplace a second conversion that session.

To do this, we’re going to:

  • Set a cookie when a person converts.

  • Ensure that the cookie mechanically disappears after half-hour of inactivity (that is the default timeout for GA4 classes however for those who assume that’s too quick you possibly can set it to no matter you need).

  • Each time we go to fireplace a conversion, verify if that cookie is current and, whether it is, don’t fireplace the conversion.

That ought to imply that if somebody involves our website and converts, we’ll set the cookie, and that may cease us from firing any extra conversions (GA4 or in any other case) till the person has taken a little bit time away from the location.

Setting a cookie in JavaScript

The very first thing you should know is that we will use Tag Supervisor to run any JavaScript we wish. The second factor to know is that we will use JavaScript to set cookies.

So first: Go to Google Tag Supervisor, create a brand new Tag and choose the Customized HTML kind

Give the tag the identify “[Tag] setCookieConverted” and within the html content material paste:

It ought to seem like this:

The customized HTML tag will add the content material there to the web page, and as quickly because the web page detects a brand new script (the one we’ve written) it’ll run that script.

What our script does is:

  • It finds the present time, and what time it’ll be in half an hour.

  • It makes use of that, and your area, to set a cookie known as “transformed” which might be learn by any web page in your web site.

Whenever you go to save lots of your tag it’ll most likely say “No Triggers Chosen”.

For now we’re going to click on “Add set off” and select the “All Pages” set off.

That is purely in order that whereas we’re placing this collectively we will simply check it..

Studying our cookie worth

Tag Supervisor has a built-in option to learn cookie values utilizing variables. So go to the variables part, create a brand new variable known as “convertedCookie” and set the Cookie Title as “transformed”.

Now, for those who click on the “Preview” button and open up your website we will begin to take a look at what worth the convertedCookie variable pulls by way of for you.

Click on into the “Variables” tab and it’s best to see convertedCookie someplace within the listing. Right here’s an instance with different cookies blocked out so you understand what to search for.

So now we will use the worth of that variable in Tag Supervisor as a part of our logic.

Utilizing conversion cookie in our conversion logic

Everybody’s conversion setup would be the totally different so this won’t match what you’re doing precisely however for those who’re contemplating utilizing GTM I’m assuming you might be firing conversions one thing like this:

  1. You have got a set off based mostly on some situation (most likely both a customized occasion or a pageview)

  2. You have got a tag (or a number of tags) that ship your conversion data every time that set off is activated.

What we’re going to do is tweak your set off so as to add one other situation.

Think about that your set off was beforehand firing on each thank-you web page go to:

What we’re going to do is add a second situation to the set off:

convertedCookie doesn’t include true

Whereas this instance makes use of the thanks web page path, it doesn’t should, it may be something.

When you make this modification, you possibly can go and check your conversion. As a result of you will have one other tag including the transformed cookie on every web page view, your conversion shouldn’t fireplace when it usually would.

Now we simply want to alter our transformed cookie in order that it solely seems after somebody has transformed.

In the meanwhile we’re setting the “transformed” cookie on each web page view, so we’ll by no means get any conversions.

We have to replace that so:

  • We set a cookie when somebody converts.

  • Each time we load a web page, if the particular person is marked as “transformed” we reset the cookie (I‘ll clarify).

Setting a cookie solely when somebody has transformed

First: we have to take away the set off from [Tag] setCookieConverted so it doesn’t fireplace in any respect.

Then we go to no matter tag we’re utilizing to ship our conversion, open up “Superior Settings”, click on “Tag Sequencing” and choose “Hearth a tag after”.

Then we choose our setCookieConverted tag and verify “Don’t fireplace if conversion tag fails”.

This could imply that every time we ship our conversion, we’ll mechanically then activate our cookie tag and mark the person as transformed.

So now our logic is:

  • If somebody converts, we verify if there’s a cookie saying they just lately transformed already.

  • In the event that they don’t have that cookie we ship a conversion.

  • Then we mechanically set that cookie.

To check this, you possibly can both clear the cookie or look ahead to it to run out. Listed below are directions for the way to clear cookies in Google Chrome (which you’re most likely utilizing for those who’re working with tag supervisor).

Now, for those who acquired into GTM preview and click on round it’s best to be capable to have a look at your variables and see that convertedCookie is again to being ‘undefined’.

For those who convert, it’s best to see that each tags fireplace — your conversion tag and your setCookieConverted tag.

However for those who convert once more (reload the web page, re-fill the shape, no matter you’ve acquired to do) it’s best to see that neither tag fires.

Congratulations! You’re filtering your conversions to keep away from recording a conversion greater than as soon as for somebody in a 30 minute window.

We simply need to make one final tweak now.

Refreshing the cookie if it has been set

Our cookie has a 30 minute expiration. Meaning it’ll stick round for half-hour after which mechanically be deleted from the browser. However what if somebody hangs round on our web site for greater than half an hour, studying a weblog publish or one thing, and converts once more?

To assist take care of that, we’re going so as to add one other set off which checks if the person has just lately transformed, and if they’ve, refreshes the cookie with every new web page load.

Head again to [Tag] setCookieConverted

At this level it shouldn’t have any firing triggers. We’re going so as to add one again in.

Click on the blue plus signal on this display screen, and once more within the subsequent display screen that comes up, we’re going to create a brand new set off.

Within the new set off, we set it to fireplace solely on web page views the place convertedCookie incorporates true.

So this will get a little bit bit round, however principally:

  • When somebody converts we set a “transformed” cookie for the following half hour.

  • Each time somebody masses a web page, if they’ve a “transformed” cookie we reset that cookie for one more half-hour.

  • If at any level the person doesn’t load a brand new web page for half-hour, the cookie will expire, which implies our refresh received’t be triggered.

You’ll be able to check this by clicking round your website with the GTM preview. When you’ve transformed, the [Tag] setCookieConverted ought to fireplace on each new web page load.

Wrapping up

All you should do now could be ensure that all of your conversion tags use that very same set off (the one which has the situation that convertedCookie isn’t “true”). As soon as that’s arrange, they need to all behave the identical — solely recording one conversion per session until somebody clears their cookies or simply hangs round on one web page for a very very long time.

What if we discover we’re getting bizarre conversions the place customers haven’t visited another pages on the location?

I’ve labored with websites up to now the place:

  • There’s helpful data on the thank-you web page and customers have been protecting it open/coming again to it.

  • Affirmation pages have been listed in Google or individuals are discovering their option to the conversion web page another approach.

That may result in bizarre tracked conversions that don’t correspond to precise conversions. Whereas these issues needs to be solved at supply, we will additionally clear up our analytics utilizing the steps in “Making a conversion funnel” beneath.

Making a conversion funnel

This builds on the cookie meddling we’ve executed within the final part, so for those who haven’t learn that bit, it’s price looking!

For those who’re right here not since you desire a particular funnel however since you need to take care of bizarre conversions the place customers simply land straight on the conversion web page – don’t fear you comply with these directions precisely the identical, you simply set the set off for each web page besides your conversion web page (I’ll take you thru that).

Setting a “path” cookie

Identical to the “transformed” cookie earlier than, we’re going to create a brand new cookie that data the placement of the present web page.

Create a brand new Tag known as [Tag] setCookiePath, select “Customized HTML” and add the next JavaScript

It ought to seem like this:

It will save a cookie that data the placement of the web page. The primary time it’s loaded it’ll create a brand new cookie with that data, each time after it’ll substitute the worth.

We’ll use this to ensure that whichever funnel web page our person interacted with final is the one we file.

Triggering in your funnel pages

In creating our “funnel” we’re assuming that there are specific pages a person passes by way of with the intention to convert. So we’re going to set this to set off solely when a type of funnel pages is concerned.

In your [Tag] setCookiePath tag – click on so as to add a brand new set off and create a brand new set off.

We’re going to configure our tag to activate on each person click on. Which means that if a person is hopping between totally different funnel pages, each will overwrite the cookie as they click on round however solely the one they interacted with final would be the one which sticks round within the cookie worth.

Getting our funnelCookie

As within the double-counting directions, create a brand new variable. However this time, name it funnelCookie and set the “Cookie Title” to conversionPath.

When you’ve executed that it’s best to be capable to check through the use of preview, going to any previous web page of your website (so long as it’s not one in all your funnel pages) and checking funnelCookie within the Variables (it needs to be undefined).

Then go to one in all your funnel pages, it’s best to be capable to see the cookie change.

As you go to different pages on the location, funnelCookie ought to keep the identical, until you go to one other funnel web page.

Altering our conversions based mostly on the funnelCookie

Now, there are good issues you can do right here with extracting the worth of funnelCookie and placing that right into a variable in your conversion tag however the setup for each tag can be totally different and I need to provide you with an possibility for for those who’re not in a position to try this.

It will create a little bit extra mess in your Tag Supervisor account since you’ll be duplicating a few of your set off and conversion tags.

First, let’s return to the conversion set off we had been engaged on earlier than. It seemed like this once we left it:

We’re going so as to add in one other situation:

funnelCookie incorporates event-page

This implies now that this conversion will solely fireplace if the final funnel web page our person handed by way of was the event-page.

After this we will duplicate this set off, our conversion tags, and, for our different set of conversions, change the funnelCookie worth for the set off.

Possibly as a substitute we make it:

funnelCookiecontains form-page

Now you will have two units of conversions, every of which is able to fireplace based mostly on which funnel web page the person handed by way of. From there you possibly can edit the values despatched.

A pair caveats

As a substitute of duplicating our conversion tags it could be a lot higher to tug within the worth of the funnelCookie variable and use that to simply dynamically change among the values we’re sending as a part of the conversion.

With this method, you additionally run the danger of not recording any conversions in any respect if a person hasn’t handed by way of one in all your funnel pages. That is perhaps what you need, however it’s price bearing that threat in thoughts in case you assume individuals may take legitimate-but-unusual routes to conversion.

Whereas I can’t take you thru the method of updating all your conversion tags, one choice to make this data extra prepared for filling out conversion tags (and to optionally set a fallback in case you need to keep away from dropping conversions) is to make use of a lookup desk like this, the place you are taking the funnelCookie worth and categorise the values.

Then as a substitute of including the funnelCookie worth in your set off, you retain the set off the identical and pull within the lookup desk worth.

Triggering on any web page besides your conversion web page

For those who’re not involved about setting up web page funnels however you need to ensure that customers have visited not less than one web page earlier than changing. There are a pair modifications:

  • You don’t trouble creating totally different conversion flows, you simply have one circulation, however you continue to add a funnelCookie requirement which says that your funnelCookie needs to be some web page relatively than undefined


Hopefully this has helped you get an thought of the way to get extra management of the conversions being recorded in your website, whether or not that’s totally by way of GA4 or utilizing the ability of Tag Supervisor.

Joyful monitoring!


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