Table of Contents

What are Custom Dimensions, and Why Use Them?

Types and Scopes of GA4 Custom Dimensions

Limitations of GA4 Custom Dimensions

How to Use Custom Dimensions

Where Can I Find Custom Dimensions in Google Analytics 4 Reports?

Optimize Google Analytics 4 Reporting With Narrative BI

How to Set Up GA4 Custom Dimensions and Automatically Track Your Data

GA4 custom dimensions

The results are in. The benefits of the data that GA 4 generates are nearly endless. With the new Google Analytics' custom dimensions, you are empowered to gain a deeper level of insight into the performance of your online website or eCommerce platform.

But what are the types and scopes of GA4 custom dimensions? If you’re wondering how you can  use custom dimensions to enhance your marketing reports and performance, you’ve come to the right place. A Google Analytics custom dimension is one single part of a much larger picture. This article will dive deep, exploring everything there is to know about how to unleash to power of Google Analytics' custom dimensions for improved insights and results.

GA 4 is great for collecting and generating data, but have you ever wished there was a better way to consume it? Facts and information are only useful if they can be interpreted and applied in the real world. In order to take your custom dimensions and make the most out of them, you need to get the story behind the data. You need Narrative BI.

Narrative BI provides automated reporting and alerts so that you can just focus on the stats that matter to your website and business.

GA4 monthly report

Plus, we recently added a new feature that we’re calling Custom Data.

GA4 custom data settings

With Custom Data, you can get a detailed view of your website’s custom events and make better decisions based on contextualized data.

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.

What are Custom Dimensions, and Why Use Them?

Google describes custom dimensions as tools that allow you to report on critical information about user interactions. This information is valuable for you if you can’t access the data you want to analyze through Google Analytics’ predefined dimensions and metrics. These dimensions are built using user properties and custom event parameters for a website or application. Custom dimensions encompass the characteristics you want to track using an event or user scope, allowing you to configure their property, collect data, and gain actionable insights relevant to your online platform.

Custom dimensions collect tailored information and information already tracked with Google Analytics 4. By customizing your insights based on your company’s unique needs, you can make wiser business decisions in the future with accurate and thorough information, making GA4 custom dimensions a vital asset for any successful marketing efforts.

Among the various reasons to use GA4 custom dimensions, along with its ability to inform future business decisions, are the following:

  • Tailored data collection to define specific points relevant to your business and industry
  • Enhanced reporting capabilities for your standard reports, custom reports, and data exploration reports
  • Improved user segmentation by creating custom dimensions to segment audiences based on various interactions with your site or app
  • Access to event conversion tracking with increased granularity
  • Thorough understanding of your campaign performance to track and analyze the effectiveness of your current marketing efforts
  • Enhanced content analysis to understand the content that best resonates with your audience
  • Cross-platform tracking abilities to determine unique user attributes consistent across different channels
  • Improved user journey and session insights and analysis to understand how users progress through your content and tackle potential bottlenecks

Types and Scopes of GA4 Custom Dimensions

GA4 custom dimensions target different information for a well-rounded, comprehensive view of your website or application performance. By tracking key analytics for events and user behaviors, custom dimensions can transform your reporting capabilities and uncover new insights to enhance your overall performance.

There are two types and scopes of GA4 custom dimensions: event-scoped and user-scoped custom dimensions. Below are definitions of both types and how each type helps you understand your marketing efforts on a deeper level.

Event-Scoped Custom Dimensions

An event-scoped Google Analytics custom dimension tracks certain events on your website or digital application. Using event-scoped dimensions provides highly specific details in marketing reports to understand how various events are performing on your website.

Event-scoped custom dimensions are used when you send calculated or variable parameters for different events. They have a value calculated and sent for each event. Most actions in Google Analytics 4 are considered events, meaning that event-scoped custom dimensions are highly valuable to understand your marketing performance.

These dimensions can track various events on your website, including downloads, number of page views, clicks on different buttons or links, and other actions a user takes that impact your marketing efficacy.

User-Scoped Custom Dimensions

A user-scoped custom dimension in GA4 describes capturing relevant user information, including gender, interests, age, and other relevant information about your audience. These dimensions describe unique segments of your user base beyond surface-level information, such as their language preferences, music preferences, geographic location, and other information that helps personalize user content and marketing strategies.

Google Analytics 4 allows you to track the platform’s predefined user dimensions and configure your own user-scoped dimensions by including a maximum of 25 user properties for each Google Analytics 4 property.

User-scoped dimensions are used to send values specific to individual users. By implementing user-scoped custom dimensions, your marketing performance can improve through a deeper understanding of user behavior and preferences. After a user property is set up, it’s applied to all future events for the individual user but does not apply to any events that occurred before the property was created.

Limitations of GA4 Custom Dimensions

While there are several advantages to using Google Analytics custom dimensions, there are also limitations that you should consider when approaching this unique solution. A notable limitation of GA4 custom dimensions is the platform’s quota limits–GA4 limits users to 50 custom dimensions per property. Additionally, you can only have a maximum of 20 active custom dimensions simultaneously, making it necessary to prioritize which dimensions are most necessary for complete data collection.

GA4 custom dimensions also have risks with data accuracy because data collected from custom dimensions are only as reliable as the collected data. You might encounter data quality and accuracy issues, making some reports inaccurate.

Finally, you should note that GA4 custom dimensions are often challenging to implement. Because these dimensions require individuals to configure and integrate with other Google Analytics tools carefully, you might find it hard to navigate without external support. However, understanding the proper steps to setting up, using, and benefitting from GA4 custom dimensions is possible through careful research and a thorough understanding of using Google Analytics 4.

How to Use Custom Dimensions

Once you understand the specifics of Google Analytics 4 custom dimensions, you can determine how to use this asset to your advantage best. Because Google Analytics 4 can be complicated without proper knowledge of how different applications in this platform operate, knowing how to use custom dimensions is crucial if you want to approach this process independently.

Here’s a breakdown of how to use GA4 custom dimensions to collect metrics for improved marketing analysis:

  1. First login and click “Admin → Custom definitions”.
  2. From there, click “Create custom dimensions”. This will be a blue button to the right of the screen.
  1. In the popup window, you can name your custom dimension, choose the scope, and describe it.
  2. Finally, select the event parameter you want to track. For example, type payment_type and it will track that event parameter.

And that’s it–you can use this custom dimension for valuable insights if it’s correctly configured in Google Tag Manager. It’s fairly simple to set up a number of custom dimensions to collect data. From there, you can create custom reports and get alerts on the metrics that matter for your business.

Where Can I Find Custom Dimensions in Google Analytics 4 Reports?

Your custom dimensions in GA4 are helpful for long-term use and can provide crucial insights that benefit your marketing performance now and in the future. GA4 is an events-based platform, meaning that your events impact all reports in some way.

Below are some of the available GA4 reports where you’ll find your custom dimensions:

  • Reports → Engagement → Events
  • Admin → Events
  • Explore (or Exploration reports)

For Reports → Engagement → Events reports, you’ll find an overview of all events sent to your property along with charts. Below the charts is a list of events. Clicking on any custom event will allow you to look into the event’s unique data.

Optimize Google Analytics 4 Reporting With Narrative BI

Google Analytics 4 has numerous possibilities to maximize your marketing performance and reporting capabilities. By understanding this platform, you can unlock several benefits and optimize your analytics data for enhanced performance and wider reach to your target audience. Event-scoped and user-scoped custom dimensions in GA4 are challenging without proper knowledge; however, by educating yourself on the possibilities of custom dimensions, you can significantly benefit and scale your business.

Narrative BI offers our unique Custom Data feature to enable you to use Narrative BI’s artificial intelligence capabilities to track and build accurate reports based on your GA4 custom dimensions.

Track your dimensions and get a granular view of your site performance to make informed decisions with our Custom Data tool, designed to meet your unique business needs.

Google Analytics 4 has endless options to explore your marketing performance–sometimes too many to track simultaneously. 

By connecting your Google Analytics account to Narrative BI, you can receive essential alerts and insights for your most crucial metrics, making meeting your long-term business goals easier and increasing customer traffic. Narrative BI helps you harness the power of GA4 custom dimensions for better insights and results.

See the difference that Google Analytics 4 custom dimensions can make in achieving business growth by getting started and signing up with Narrative BI today.

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