How to decide what event parameters you need | Google Analytics 4 Set Up

How to decide what event parameters you need | Google Analytics 4 Set Up

Are you struggling to understand when you should be adding event parameters? My team and I have done about 30 Analytics migrations between us now and I wanted to share a technique that has really helped us out...

Drawing your tables on a piece of paper



Quick recap, in the old days of Universal Analytics, Google gave us three parameters to work within:

  1. Category
  2. Action
  3. Label

So whatever we're tracking has to fit into that structure. Say it's a contact form:

Category: Contact form

Action: Form Submission

Label: {{Page Path}} e.g. /contact-us

And the resulting data sent to Analytics might look like:

Google Analytics 4 setup

Which would result in tables that could look like:

Event Category = Contact Form

Google Analytics 4 setup

Or maybe something like this, with another dimension added:

Event Category = Contact Form

Google Analytics 4 setup

So what's the issue with GA4? Too much choice.

You can now structure your data anyway that you want. And it's not just "conversions" but also things like social media clicks, email clicks, form submissions, clicks on CTA buttons, different forms and applications. You can track it all, much more easily in GA4. But understanding how best to structure that data can be extremely difficult.

And this all ties back to Event parameters, because these are the "column headings" you'll be using to build the tables to sort your data.

My low tech workaround?

Draw the bloody table first so you know what you're going to get.

Say you're setting up your Analytics and it's not just a contact form, but a variety of actions that you'd like to track:

  1. Contact us form submissions
  2. Sales brochure form submissions
  3. eBook form submissions
  4. Booked a demo

So what's the best way to track all these? Well, we have to consider a bunch of factors such as how important each event type is to the business. But for the sake of example, lets group them like so:

Form submissions

  • Contact Us
  • Brochure
  • EBook

Booked a Demo

  • Booked a Demo

Now we arrive at the crux of the problem - how will you know what event parameters you'll need? What kind of data will you be wanting to pull out? Here's what I would do:

No event parameters apart from the defaults, what's the basic report? Probably something like this:

Google Analytics 4 setup

But maybe I’d like to break out generate_lead into the different forms? Maybe I want a form_name parameter in there. What would that look like?

Google Analytics 4 setup

Hmmm lastly, maybe an additional piece of information I want included is that these form submissions are not equal. Some are marketing leads but others are sales leads.

Lets put the brochure and ebook form submissions as marketing qualified leads (MQLs).

And the contact us form submission can be a sales qualified lead (SQL).

Google Analytics 4 setup

Understanding exactly what you want BEFORE you start putting fancy custom parameters in can make the difference between salty tears and the sweet taste of success. 

So in your tag implementation plan (if you don’t have one, I’d recommend the one from Julius Federovicius’s GA4 course which is excellent), it could look like:

Action to track: Form submissions for contact forms, brochures and downloads

Event name: generate_lead

Event parameters: form_name, form_stage

Anyway, I hope that is in some way helpful. Visualising the setup on a piece of paper can save a lot of time, trial and error. Particularly with GA4 where you have to typically wait to see what data is coming through.

Any questions, comments, additions to that, do let me know! I’m always trying to improve the way I setup GA4.

Kim Voon

Kim Voon


With over 15 years of experience in search and online marketing, Kim is the Founder of Insight Online. Kim started Insight as he saw an opportunity to build an agency that focuses on business results and strong working relationships with clients.

As the face of the business, Kim will likely be your first point of contact, chatting with you about your work and what you’d like to get done. The best part of his job is meeting new people, getting to know their businesses, and making a tangible, measurable difference for them.

In his spare time, Kim loves playing disc golf, strumming a little guitar and is an avid bookworm.

His favourite charities are Zeal which supports youth in their development over a number of years and Lifewise, an organisation focussed on getting homeless into homes.