Table of Contents

What are Google Analytics 4 Custom Events?

How Can I Set Up Custom Events in GA4?

Setting Up Custom Events Directly in GA4

The Importance of Custom Definitions

Reporting on Conversions in GA4

What are the Limitations of Custom Events in GA4?

Start Tracking Your GA4 Custom Events With Narrative BI

How to Track Custom Events in GA4 and Get Accurate Data

GA4 Custom Events

Tracking custom events in Google Analytics 4 is one of the ultimate ways to unlock your marketing potential by leveraging analytics. However, there’s no denying that GA4 custom events come with a learning curve. You’ll have to invest time into understanding this process.

Beyond tracking crucial information to understand what matters, Google Analytics custom events hold several options to improve organizational performance. Setting up custom events for enhanced results is the first step to leveraging analytics like never before. While numerous opportunities are available through custom events, GA4 also has limitations you’ll encounter.

Read the following to set up custom events and dimensions in Google Analytics 4 to improve analytics, collect accurate data, and enhance business success.

What are Google Analytics 4 Custom Events?

Custom events are helpful for many organizations–but what are custom events in Google Analytics 4?

A custom event in GA4 is an event with set parameters defined by the user. Custom events allow users to collect data that Analytics doesn’t collect automatically. This provides a unique approach to your analytic capabilities.

Events involve any interaction or occurrence happening within a website or application. While Google uses some pre-configured events, a custom event requires the user to configure the parameter to measure user interactions.

There are four event types in GA4, broken down below:

  • Automatically collected events describe events that Google Analytics collects by default when used on your website or app.
  • Enhanced measurement events are automatically collected when you set up Analytics on your website or application and enable enhanced measurement.
  • Recommended events must be implemented by the user to be visible in Google Analytics 4. These events have predefined names and parameters and can unlock existing and future reporting opportunities.
  • Custom events are events defined by the user and are only used when no other event type fits the user’s specific needs for a use case. These events don’t appear in most standard reports. You must set up custom reports or explorations to collect crucial insights.

These custom events are highly useful for website owners to better understand their audience. These events could cover anything from clicks on a specific button to the number of times a video has played and more.

We noticed that many of our users are adding custom metrics and dimensions to Google Analytics. After talking to our users we understood how important custom dimensions like Audience, Company Name, or Industry can be for you.

With this in mind, we recently added a new feature, Custom Data. This feature allows you to track custom dimensions from GA4, giving you a more granular view of your website's performance and allowing you to make informed decisions based on your unique business requirements and goals.

GA4 custom data settings

Numerous examples of custom events in GA4 help businesses tailor their data collection and analytic capabilities. For instance, if you want to track the number of views or clicks on a specific image, you can set up a custom event with GA4 and Google Tag Manager. Other examples of custom events in GA4 that you might set up include the following:

  • File downloads
  • Button clicks
  • External link clicks
  • User sign-ups
  • Form submissions

How Can I Set Up Custom Events in GA4?

Now for the tricky part: setting up custom events in GA4 to optimize your analytics and enhance your marketing. Below is a breakdown of every step you need to take to maximize your GA4 potential and make a difference in your business.

Setting Up Custom Events With Google Tag Manager

One option for setting up custom events in GA4 is to send your new custom events to GA4 from your Google Tag Manager account. This option is relatively simple, depending on the action you’re attempting to track. This process is possible through the following steps:

  1. Create your new tag in Google Tag Manager. Select “GA4 Event” as your tag type.
  2. Name your custom event, including optional parameters necessary for reporting with the event.
  3. Choose your existing GA4 configuration tag.
  1. Create a trigger that causes the tag to go off when a specific action occurs on your website.
  1. Save your new trigger and the tag. Preview all of your changes before publishing your container.

Once you’ve set up your custom events with Google Tag Manager, you need an actionable solution to track these events. You can track custom events using the Narrative BI platform.

GA4 custom event tracking

Narrative BI provides reports and crucial insights via email or directly on the Narrative BI platform on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule.

Sign up for Narrative BI today to easily track custom events.

Setting Up Custom Events Directly in GA4

Setting up your custom events directly in GA4 is another option. Doing this allows you to trigger new events based on your current events, making creating new ones for conversions easier.

Before beginning the process, ensure you have editor/administrator permission for the specific property. You can set up events directly in GA4 in the following steps:

  1. Log into Google Analytics. Navigate to Admin Events.
  2. Select “Create Event”, found in the top-right corner. Select the data stream you use for the custom event if the property has multiple streams.
  1. Choose “Create” and name your new event. Ensure that your name is straightforward and concise; for instance, “sign_up” to create an event whenever a user signs up for your platform or “generate_lead” whenever your organization generates a new lead.
  2. Define the conditions necessary to trigger your custom event. Ensure that all conditions match, or the event won’t be reported in Google Analytics 4.
  1. When you’ve defined the conditions, click “Save”. If all conditions are met, you should see your custom event in your reports.
  2. Mark the event as a conversion. Typically, this is easiest after the custom event has been triggered. When this happens, navigate to “Admin → Events”.
  3. If you’d rather pre-configure your conversions, you can do this by selecting “Admin” and choosing “Conversions”. Choose the “New Conversion Event” option in the top-right corner and enter the name of your custom event.

The Importance of Custom Definitions

Any custom parameter created with Google Analytics 4 must be included as a custom definition in GA4. Custom definitions are crucial additions to your GA4 setup, especially when GA4 is tailored to your business needs.

Custom definitions are essential because they provide non-standard data in your GA4 reports, guaranteeing more thorough insights into your marketing performance. When built-in definitions are unavailable, a custom definition is the key to unlocking your potential. However, custom definitions will complicate your GA4 setup and 

To register custom definitions, navigate to “Admin → Custom Definitions” in your Google Analytics 4 account and click the “Create Custom Dimension” button at the top right corner.

Enter the name of your parameter and select the “Event” scope to ensure that it’s applied to one event. Next, choose your event parameter as it appeared in your GTM tag. 

Save your custom dimension.

Reporting on Conversions in GA4

Google Analytics 4 allows you to report on conversions in various ways. Users can use GA4’s pre-configured reports, which contain the “Conversions” metric, to identify the number of conversions across marketing channels, such as “Traffic Acquisition” report”:

Additionally, you can create custom exploration reports in GA4 to track metrics relevant to your goals:

By leveraging several reporting options, you can gain a thorough understanding of your overall performance. This information helps tailor your future efforts to better meet the needs and expectations of your audience.

However, the easiest way to track conversions is actually outside GA4. Narrative BI provides a number of different ways to track and generate reports based on conversion data generated by GA4 in a simple manner.

GA4 conversions tracking

Narrative BI provides thorough reports and valuable insights on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule to ensure that you have sufficient data to inform your decisions.

What are the Limitations of Custom Events in GA4?

While setting up custom events directly in GA4 has many advantages and is convenient, there are some limitations of custom events in GA4 to be aware of. Consider the following:

  • GA4 only allows you to create a maximum of 500 events.
  • Event names cannot exceed 40 characters. Exceeding this number means you cannot mark the event as a conversion.
  • The length of event parameter values cannot exceed 100 characters.
  • You can only use a maximum of 50 custom dimensions and metrics in GA4.
  • Event names must begin with a letter and only use letters, numbers, and underscores. Spaces can cause the event not to work.
  • Events have parameter limitations, only allowing you to send a maximum of 25 event parameters with the custom event. Automatically collected parameters set by Google Analytics are counted in this total.

Start Tracking Your GA4 Custom Events With Narrative BI

Custom events in GA4 have unique parameters that can collect key data not already collected by Google Analytics. By setting up and tracking custom events in GA4, you can understand your online performance and increase customer conversion rates. These metrics can help tailor marketing efforts to different customer segments. GA4 custom events can improve your analytics and promote accurate, real-time data for deeper insights.

Boosting your analytics capabilities using GA4 custom event tracking is best when you connect your Google Analytics account to Narrative BI.

Our platform provides a complete view of your crucial analytics. Narrative BI helps you automatically track crucial metrics to achieve your business goals and receive alerts to elevate your performance. 

Narrative BI’s holistic platform provides everything you need to understand your marketing performance in a single glance.

Narrative BI helps you make accurate, data-driven decisions through solutions to bring your performance to the next level. Sign up with Narrative BI today for more marketing reports to optimize your GA4 capabilities.

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