Custom Dimensions in GA4 Explained

Custom Dimensions in GA4 Explained

In the realm of digital analytics, data reigns supreme. To truly understand your online audience, you need to dig deep beyond the basics. That’s where custom dimensions in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) come into play. These dimensions offer a personalized lens through which to examine user behavior, providing insights that standard metrics can’t touch.

In this article, we’ll be your guide as we unlock the potential of custom dimensions and their impact on your business. Whether you’re new to GA4 or aiming to elevate your data analysis, join us on this journey to uncover hidden insights. 

Let’s get into it!


What is A Custom Dimension in GA4?

A custom dimension is a tool for getting specific data about your website or business. It’s a unique feature you can add to your GA4 data to gather extra info that the default measurements don’t cover. For example, while GA4 gives you essential data like page views, sessions, and user numbers, custom dimensions allow you to dig deeper into user details, interests, and behavior. 

You can slot these custom dimensions into your GA4 data using different methods, like the Measurement Protocol, Google Tag Manager, or other compatible integrations.

In GA4, there are two main flavors of custom dimensions:


User Dimensions

These dimensions focus on capturing user information, like age, gender, interests, or any data that helps you categorize your audience. User dimensions come in handy when you want to dive into the behaviors and preferences of your website visitors. 


Event Dimensions

When you need to monitor specific activities or events on your website, event-scoped custom dimensions come into play. This includes page views, downloads, button clicks, and more. This dimension type empowers you to refine your reports, providing insights into the performance of different events on your site. For instance, you can employ an event-level custom dimension to monitor how many users click specific buttons or links on your site. 

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How to Set GA4 Custom Dimensions

Here’s how to create a custom dimension in GA4:

  1. Go to your GA4 property and select “Custom definitions” in the “Admin” section. ga4 custom definition
  2. In “Custom dimensions,” choose “Create custom dimension.”
    ga4 create custom dimension
  3. Decide the dimension scope (user, event, item) and select the appropriate user property, event, or item parameter accordingly.custom dimension scope
  4. Provide a name and description for your custom dimension.
  5. In the end, click “Save.”


How to Edit GA4 Custom Dimensions

To modify a custom dimension in GA4, here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Go to your GA4 property and choose “Custom definitions” in the “Admin” section.
  2. Click “Custom dimensions” and select the custom dimension you wish to edit. 
  3. Next to the custom dimension, click the three-dot icon, then select “Edit.”edit custom dimension
  4. Make the required adjustments for your custom dimension, like changing the name or editing the description. 
  5. Finally, save your changes by clicking “Save.


How to Delete GA4 Custom Dimensions

In GA4, you can craft a maximum of 25 user-scoped custom dimensions, while event-scoped dimensions are limited up to 50 for each property. However, it’s important to note that once you’ve hit this limit, you won’t be able to create additional custom dimensions. In such cases, you’ll have to remove the ones you no longer need.

Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Go to your GA4 property and click “Custom definitions” under the “Admin” section. 
  2. Locate the custom dimension you want to delete and click on the three dots icon next to it. 
  3. Choose the “Archive” option.
  4. Finally, confirm the action by clicking the “Archive” button.


How to Work with Custom Dimensions in GA4?

To leverage custom dimensions within GA4, here’s a straightforward guide:


Define Your Custom Dimension

To kick things off, you’ll want to set up your custom dimension. This process involves selecting the dimension type (either user or event), giving it a name, and deciding whether it should have a user or hit scope.


Put Your Custom Dimension into Action

Once you’ve nailed down your custom dimension’s specifics, it’s time to make it active on your website. This can be done using the Measurement Protocol, Google Tag Manager, or any other integration method that meshes well with GA4.


How to Make the Most Out Of Custom Dimensions?

Let’s dive into how you can use custom dimensions to get to know your website’s visitors and make their experience even better. 

Ecommerce custom dimensions: 

  • Product Category: Create a custom dimension to track the product category of items sold on your ecommerce website. This can help you analyze which product categories are most popular.
  • Product SKU: You can establish a custom dimension to track the sales and performance of each individual product if it has a distinct SKU.
  • Promotion Code: If you run promotions or discounts, track the effectiveness of different promotion codes by creating a custom dimension to record which code was used for each transaction.
  • Customer Loyalty Level: For businesses with customer loyalty programs, you can create a custom dimension to track the loyalty level of each customer (e.g., silver, gold, platinum).
  • Payment Method: Analyze which payment methods (credit card, PayPal, etc.) are most commonly used by customers by creating a custom dimension to capture this information.

Lead Generation Custom Dimensions:

  • Lead Source: Track the source of leads by creating a custom dimension to identify where the leads originated (e.g., organic search, paid search, social media, email).
  • Lead Type: Differentiate between the types of leads, such as contact form submissions, newsletter sign-ups, or quote requests.
  • Lead Quality: Use a custom dimension to categorize leads as low, medium, or high quality based on lead scoring criteria.
  • Lead Conversion Path: Analyze the path leads take on your website by creating a custom dimension that captures the sequence of pages they visit before converting.
  • Lead Follow-up Status: Track the status of lead follow-up activities, such as contacted, not contacted, or converted, by creating a custom dimension.
  • Lead Originating Department: If different departments handle leads, you can create a custom dimension to determine which department received the lead (sales, support, marketing, etc.).


Benefits of Using Custom Dimensions

Leveraging custom dimensions in GA4 offers several notable advantages, such as:


1. Customization

Custom dimensions empower you to gather website or business-specific data, facilitating the creation of tailor-made reports and dashboards to meet your unique requirements.


2. Segmentation

Custom dimensions enable audience segmentation based on specific criteria, such as demographics or behavior. This segmentation can enhance the precision of your marketing strategies.


3. Analysis

Custom dimensions provide supplementary data that can uncover trends, patterns, and opportunities within your website’s performance.


4. ROI Maximization

With custom dimensions, you can gauge the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, track your sales funnel, and pinpoint areas for improvement. This data-driven approach helps you optimize your return on investment (ROI).


What Are the Limitations?

While custom dimensions provide a powerful tool for collecting and analyzing data in GA4, there are some limitations to be aware of:

  • Quota limits: As mentioned, GA4 limits custom dimensions to 50 per property, and you can only have up to 20 active custom dimensions at a time. This means you must prioritize which custom dimensions to collect data for and regularly review and update your custom dimensions as needed.
  • Implementation complexity: Implementing custom dimensions in GA4 can be more complex than in Universal Analytics, as it requires more configuration and integration with other tools, such as Google Tag Manager.
  • Data Accuracy: Custom dimensions are only as accurate as the collected data, and there may be issues with data quality or completeness that can affect the accuracy of your reports.

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Considerations for Using Custom Dimensions

Here’s some additional info to keep in mind when using custom dimensions: 

  • Each custom dimension is exclusive to a particular GA4 property, and they cannot be shared across properties.
  • Once a custom dimension is created, its scope cannot be altered. If you need to change the scope, you’ll have to create a new custom dimension with the desired scope.
  • You have the flexibility to utilize custom dimensions for tracking ecommerce data, including product categories, order IDs, and transaction IDs, enhancing your ability to analyze and optimize your online store’s performance.


Custom Dimensions: Your Path to Deeper Insights

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital analytics, custom dimensions in Google Analytics 4 emerge as invaluable allies. They empower you to uncover nuanced insights about your website visitors, setting the stage for informed decisions.

However, with great power comes the need for careful consideration. Remember, custom dimensions have their limits, and their setup may pose some challenges. But armed with the right choices and the flexibility to adapt, you can harness their potential effectively.

If you ever find yourself in need of guidance, our team is here to assist you on this path to data-driven success. Your website visitors have stories to tell—let custom dimensions help you listen and respond!

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