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The way to Keep away from Duplicate Conversions and Recreating the Conversion Funnel for GA4

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

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 Outdated variations of Google Analytics shall be switched off for just about everybody come June 2023.

Whereas GA4 is bettering on a regular basis, there are fairly a couple of issues that individuals are used to seeing in outdated variations of Analytics which, on the very least, take a little bit of creativity within the new world.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 Within the outdated variations of Google Analytics, a conversion may solely hearth as soon as per session. In GA4 conversions are simply one other form of occasion, so it’s potential for a conversion to fireside a number of occasions in a single session.

Drawback is, you could be very if somebody indicators up through your contact-us kind as soon as. However that individual would possibly reload the thank-you web page, or join one thing else through a special kind on the positioning. That doesn’t imply you essentially wish to observe two conversions.

Talking of signing up through totally different types, on some web sites, customers could 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 arduous for us to separate out totally different varieties of conversions.

In outdated variations of GA you possibly can use funnels with a “required” step. You might need one aim with a funnel requiring your occasion web page, one other aim with a funnel requiring a special 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 put up, I’m going to take you thru find out how to:

  • Keep away from double counting in GA4.

  • Robotically ignore suspicious conversions (like folks touchdown direct on the conversion web page).

  • Recreate the form of funnels we anticipated in Common Analytics (in truth 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 simple, however the Tag Supervisor is extra strong and may help you be sure that all of your conversion pixels are exhibiting roughly the identical info (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 adjustments we will make purely by means of the GA4 interface. So long as you’re sending your web page views conversion occasions to GA4 it is best to be capable of use these ways with none code adjustments.

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

Avoiding double-counting

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

You must have a learn however broadly:

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

  • You hearth an occasion when somebody enters that viewers

  • You employ that occasion as your conversion.

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

If you happen to’ve created Segments in Common Analytics Viewers sequences in GA4 look very just like the sequences we used to create for Segments. Nonetheless, the outdated Segments have been only a approach of visualizing information, whereas Audiences in GA4 are a approach of grouping information. We are able to use Audiences to create one thing new.

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

Common Analytics Phase 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 in all probability isn’t the one approach we’re recording conversions.

The common web site in all probability has a bunch of separate conversion monitoring pixels and people may 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 might be additionally providing conversion monitoring and might want a bit extra hand-holding.

If we wish to be sure 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 under).

You may as well run into issues if, for instance, your affirmation web page is someway listed or bookmarked by customers — folks touchdown immediately on it could result in bizarre sudden conversions. We are able to additionally use Tag Supervisor to protect in opposition to that slightly 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 perfect technique 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 technique to categorize conversions. That mentioned, 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 mainly means “somebody lands on the positioning after which at any level throughout their session, they convert”.

To recreate the aim funnels you could be 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 means of our occasion web page after which transformed.

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

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

  1. Landed on the positioning

  2. Visited our occasion web page

  3. Then visited our sponsorship web page

  4. Transformed utilizing the shape on both.

They might fulfill the standards for our occasion conversion and the standards for our sponsorship conversion. We’d document a conversion for every and we’d find yourself double-counting in spite of everything.

That is additionally a limitation of the outdated Common Analytics funnels: Simply because a step within the funnel was required doesn’t imply the consumer can’t wander away across the web site between that step and their ultimate conversion. So, if it’s any comfort, this isn’t any worse than outdated Common Analytics funnels (however we will nonetheless do higher).

The issue with utilizing “immediately adopted by”

You would possibly 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 immediately adopted by”.

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

Sadly that’s often not what “immediately adopted by” means as a result of there’s every kind 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 immediately comply with the sponsorship web page view. It goes:

  • Web page view: sponsorship

  • Scroll

  • Web page view: thanks

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

How about “inside x minutes”?

GA4 has a extremely cool characteristic 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 observe of cool issues like individuals who got here to our web site, didn’t convert that point, however got here again and transformed inside the subsequent couple days.

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

We may use this to say one thing like: individual 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 minimize off, perhaps somebody spends a while enthusiastic about find out how to fill out our kind, or perhaps somebody actually rapidly goes to one in all our different pages and converts there. This may be higher than the fundamental funnel, however we may additionally find yourself ignoring fully legit conversions.

So what can we do?

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

Managing conversions in Google Tag Supervisor

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

from this, in case you’re not already utilizing Tag Supervisor, I’d advise you to look into it!

Since we have to hold observe of what’s occurred to a consumer 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 find out how to create and delete these cookies (it takes slightly Javascript however it’s copy-paste and simpler than you suppose!)

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

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

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

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

Avoiding double-counting

To recap what we wish to do right here, we wish to be sure that if somebody visits our web site and converts we hearth a conversion. Nonetheless, in the event that they revisit a thanks web page, or undergo a special conversion, we don’t hearth a second conversion that session.

To try this, we’re going to:

  • Set a cookie when a consumer converts.

  • Make it possible for the cookie routinely disappears after half-hour of inactivity (that is the default timeout for GA4 classes however in case you suppose that’s too brief you’ll be able to set it to no matter you need).

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

That ought to imply that if somebody involves our web site and converts, we’ll set the cookie, and that can cease us from firing any extra conversions (GA4 or in any other case) till the consumer has taken slightly time away from the positioning.

Setting a cookie in JavaScript

The very first thing you must know is that we will use Tag Supervisor to run any JavaScript we would like. 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 sort

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


// Get time half-hour from now (it’s because the default GA session day out

// is half an hour and we would like our cookie timeout to match)

var minutesToAdd = 30

var currentTime = new Date(); // Get present time

var newDateObj = new Date(currentTime.getTime() + minutesToAdd*60000); // Add our minutes on

// Set the area your’re engaged on, it’s because we would like our cookies to be

// accessible in subdomains (like take a look at.instance.com) if wanted

var yourDomain = “instance.com”

// Set a cookie known as ‘transformed’ with the worth being ‘true’ which expires in half-hour

doc.cookie = “transformed=true; path=/; area=”+yourDomain+”; expires=”+newDateObj+”;”


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 could be learn by any web page in your web site.

If you go to save lots of your tag it’ll in all probability 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 take a look at it..

Studying our cookie worth

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

Now, in case you click on the “Preview” button and open up your web site we will begin to take a look at what worth the convertedCookie variable pulls by means of for you.

Click on into the “Variables” tab and it is best to see convertedCookie someplace within the checklist. Right here’s an instance with different cookies blocked out so you recognize 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 in case you’re contemplating utilizing GTM I’m assuming you might be firing conversions one thing like this:

  1. You could have a set off based mostly on some situation (in all probability both a customized occasion or a pageview)

  2. You could have a tag (or a number of tags) that ship your conversion info at any time when 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 comprise true

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

When you make this alteration, you’ll be able to go and take a look at your conversion. As a result of you have got one other tag including the transformed cookie on every web page view, your conversion shouldn’t hearth when it usually would.

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

In the intervening time 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 individual 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 hearth 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 examine “Don’t hearth if conversion tag fails”.

This could imply that at any time when we ship our conversion, we’ll routinely then activate our cookie tag and mark the consumer as transformed.

So now our logic is:

  • If somebody converts, we examine 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 routinely set that cookie.

To check this, you’ll be able to both clear the cookie or anticipate it to run out. Listed below are directions for find out how to clear cookies in Google Chrome (which you’re in all probability utilizing in case you’re working with tag supervisor).

Now, in case you acquired into GTM preview and click on round it is best to be capable of have a look at your variables and see that convertedCookie is again to being ‘undefined’.

If you happen to convert, it is best to see that each tags hearth — your conversion tag and your setCookieConverted tag.

However in case you convert once more (reload the web page, re-fill the shape, no matter you’ve acquired to do) it is 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 wish to make one final tweak now.

Refreshing the cookie if it has been set

Our cookie has a 30 minute expiration. Which means it’ll stick round for half-hour after which routinely be deleted from the browser. However what if somebody hangs round on our web site for greater than half an hour, studying a weblog put up 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 consumer 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 should not have any firing triggers. We’re going so as to add one again in.

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

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

So this will get slightly bit round, however mainly:

  • 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 consumer doesn’t load a brand new web page for half-hour, the cookie will expire, which implies our refresh gained’t be triggered.

You may take a look at this by clicking round your web site with the GTM preview. When you’ve transformed, the [Tag] setCookieConverted ought to hearth on each new web page load.

Wrapping up

All you must do now could be be sure 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 every other pages on the positioning?

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

  • There’s helpful info 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 technique to the conversion web page another approach.

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

Making a conversion funnel

This builds on the cookie meddling we’ve achieved within the final part, so in case you haven’t learn that bit, it’s price having a look!

If you happen to’re right here not since you desire a particular funnel however since you wish 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

Similar 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


// Get time half-hour from now (it’s because the default GA session day out

// is half an hour and we would like our cookie timeout to match)

var minutesToAdd = 30

var currentTime = new Date(); // Get present time

var newDateObj = new Date(currentTime.getTime() + minutesToAdd*60000); // Add our minutes on

// Set the area your’re engaged on, it’s because we would like our cookies to be

// accessible in subdomains (like take a look at.instance.com) if wanted

var yourDomain = “therobinlord.com”

var pagePathName = window.location.pathname // Get location of present web page

// Set a cookie known as ‘transformed’ with the worth being ‘true’ which expires in half-hour

doc.cookie = “conversionPath=”+location+”; path=/; area=”+yourDomain+”; expires=”+newDateObj+”;”


It ought to seem like this:

This may save a cookie that data the placement of the web page. The primary time it’s loaded it would create a brand new cookie with that info, each time after it’ll exchange the worth.

We’ll use this to be sure that whichever funnel web page our consumer interacted with final is the one we document.

Triggering in your funnel pages

In creating our “funnel” we’re assuming that there are specific pages a consumer passes by means of with a view 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 consumer click on. Because of this if a consumer 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 Identify” to conversionPath.

When you’ve achieved that it is best to be capable of take a look at by utilizing preview, going to any outdated web page of your web site (so long as it’s not one in all your funnel pages) and checking funnelCookie within the Variables (it must be undefined).

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

As you go to different pages on the positioning, 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 possibly 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 shall be totally different and I wish to offer you an choice for in case you’re not in a position to do this.

This may 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 have been engaged on earlier than. It appeared like this after we left it:

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

funnelCookie comprises event-page

This implies now that this conversion will solely hearth if the final funnel web page our consumer handed by means 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 an alternative we make it:

funnelCookiecomprises form-page

Now you have got two units of conversions, every of which can hearth based mostly on which funnel web page the consumer handed by means of. From there you’ll be able to edit the values despatched.

A pair caveats

As an alternative of duplicating our conversion tags it could be a lot higher to drag 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 chance of not recording any conversions in any respect if a consumer hasn’t handed by means of one in all your funnel pages. That could be what you need, however it’s price bearing that threat in thoughts in case you suppose folks would possibly 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 info extra prepared for filling out conversion tags (and to optionally set a fallback in case you wish to keep away from shedding 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 an alternative 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

If you happen to’re not involved about establishing web page funnels however you wish to be sure that customers have visited at the least one web page earlier than changing. There are a pair adjustments:

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


Hopefully this has helped you get an thought of find out how to get extra management of the conversions being recorded in your web site, whether or not that’s solely by means of GA4 or utilizing the ability of Tag Supervisor.

Comfortable monitoring!



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