Event Scoped Custom Dimensions in GA4 – Tutorial

Table of Contents for Event Scoped Custom Dimensions in GA4 – Tutorial

  1. Creating an event-scoped custom dimension by registering a parameter with event scope in the GA4 user interface
  2. Creating an event-scoped custom dimension via an automatically tracked parameter
  3. Creating an event-scoped custom dimension via a custom parameter
  4. Applying an event-scoped custom dimension via ‘Add Comparison’
  5. Applying an event-scoped custom dimension as a secondary dimension
  6. Applying event-scoped custom dimensions to Explore reports

A custom dimension that has event scope is called an event-scoped custom dimension.

Event-scope means the value of the custom dimension is calculated and sent for each event. 

Creating an event-scoped custom dimension by registering a parameter with event scope in the GA4 user interface

In GA4 the values of custom dimensions and custom metrics are supplied by logged event parameters. So, before you create an event-scoped custom dimension, you need a logged event parameter in your GA4 reporting view. 

A logged event parameter is one that is already being tracked and reported by your GA4 reporting view. 

For example, the ‘page_title’ parameter is a logged parameter:

Logged Parameter

You can also create a custom dimension or custom metric before logging the event parameter but that is not the best practice for creating custom dimensions/metrics.

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Creating an event-scoped custom dimension via an automatically tracked parameter

Let us suppose you want to register the automatically collected parameter ‘page_title’ as an event-scoped custom dimension. 

To do that follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to your GA4 property view and then click on the ‘Configure’ link:

Configure

Step-2: Now click on ‘Custom Definitions’.

Custom definitions

Step-3: Click on the ‘Create Custom Dimensions‘ button:

Create Custom Dimensions

Step-4: Enter a name for your custom dimension. This name will appear in your GA4 reports, so use a descriptive name:

use a descriptive name

Note: You can always change the dimension name later if you want. 

Step-5: Make sure the scope is set to ‘Event’:

event scope ga4

Note: Once you have set the scope, you cannot change it later.

Step-6: Enter a description for your dimension in the ‘Description’ field so that later on it becomes easier to understand what the dimension is all about:

Description custom dimension

Note: Entering a description for your custom dimension is optional.

Step-7: Select the event parameter ‘page_title‘ from the drop-down menu:

event parameter page title ga4

The event parameter ‘page_title‘ supplies the value to your custom dimension. 

Note: Once you have selected an event parameter, you cannot change it later.

Step-8: Click on the ‘Save’ button at the top right-hand side:

save

You should now see your new custom dimension listed under the ‘Custom dimensions’ section:

your new custom dimension listed

Step-9: Wait for a full 24 hrs and then navigate to ‘Reports’ in your GA4 reporting view:

Reports

Step-10: Now click on ‘Engagement’.

engagement 1

Step-11: Click on ‘Events’.

Events

NOTE: You may see a value of (not set) for a custom dimension during the first 24 hours after its creation.

Step-12: Click on the ‘page_view’ event:

page view event

You should now see the report on the ‘page_view’ event:

report on the page view event

Step-13: Scroll down the  ‘page_view’ event report until you see the data card named ‘TITLE OF THE PAGE’:

TITLE OF THE PAGE dimension ga4

You only see this data card in the ‘page_view’ event report because you registered the ‘page_title’ parameter as a custom dimension. Otherwise, you won’t see this data card.

This data card will appear in every event report where you (or GA4) are passing the ‘page_title’ parameter along with the event. This is one advantage of registering a parameter as a custom dimension.

Step-14: Click on the events drop-down menu at the top:

events drop down menu

Step-15: Select the ‘click’ event:

click event ga4

You should now see the report on the ‘click’ event. 

click event report

Step-16: Scroll down the  ‘click’ event report until you see the data card named ‘TITLE OF THE PAGE’:

data card named TITLE OF THE PAGE ga4

You only see this data card in the ‘click’ event report because you registered the ‘page_title’ parameter as a custom dimension. Otherwise, you won’t see this data card.

Creating an event-scoped custom dimension via a custom parameter

Now let us suppose you are passing the ‘payment_type’ custom parameter with the ‘purchase’ event and this parameter is being logged (i.e. recorded).

Let us also suppose you registered the ‘payment_type’ parameter as an event-scoped custom dimension:

payment type parameter as an event scoped custom dimension

Now follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to ‘Reports’ in your demo GA4 reporting view:

Reports

Step-2: Now click on ‘Engagement’.

engagement

Step-3: Click on ‘Events’.

Events

Step-4: Type ‘purchase’ in the search box and then press the enter key in order to find the ‘purchase’ event:

Purchase event

Step-5: Click on the ‘purchase’ event:

Click on the purchase event

You should now see the purchase event report:

You should now see the purchase event report

Step-6: Scroll down the ‘purchase’ event report until you see the data card named ‘PAYMENT_TYPE’:

data card named PAYMENT TYPE

You see this data card in the ‘purchase’ event report only because you (or technically speaking, Google in the case of this demo property) registered the ‘payment_type’ custom parameter as a custom dimension. Otherwise, you won’t see this data card.

Applying an event-scoped custom dimension via ‘Add Comparison’

Once you have registered a logged event parameter as an event-scoped custom dimension, you can then apply the custom dimension to any GA4 report via the ‘Add Comparison’ feature.

Add Comparison

In GA4, we use the ‘Add comparison’ feature (instead of segments or filters) to evaluate and compare subsets of data. 

Let’s apply the ‘PAYMENT_TYPE’ custom dimension we created earlier to the Traffic Acquisition report in GA4 to see which payment type is being used by users from a particular marketing channel.

Follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to the ‘Reports’ in your GA4 reporting view:

Reports

Step-2: Now click on ‘Acquisition’.

acquisition

Step-3: Click on ‘Traffic Acquisition’.

traffic acquisition

Step-4: Click on the ‘Add Comparison’ button:

Add Comparison

You should now see an overlay at the right-hand side of your screen like the one below:

overlay at the right hand side of your screen 1

Step-5: Select the ‘payment_type’ dimension from the dimension drop-down menu:

Select payment type dimension

Step-6: Click on the ‘Dimension Values’ drop-down menu:

Dimension Values

Step-7: Select the ‘Pay with Credit Card’ and ‘Pay with Purchase Order’ checkboxes and then click on the ‘OK’ button:

Pay with Credit Card

Step-8: Click on the ‘Apply’ button:

apply button

You should now see the new comparison added to the Traffic Acquisition report:

new comparison added to the Traffic acquisition report

Step-9: Scroll down the Traffic Acquisition report until you see the data table with the comparisons applied to it:

Scroll down the Traffic acquisition report

Step-10: Navigate to any other GA4 report and you should see the same new comparison applied to the report:

Navigate to any other GA4 report

That’s how you can apply an event-scoped custom dimension to GA4 reports via the ‘Add Comparison’ feature.

Another advantage of registering an event parameter as an event-scoped custom dimension is that you can report on the same event parameter for as many events as you like without passing the same parameter over and over again for each individual event.

Applying an event-scoped custom dimension as a secondary dimension

Once you have registered a logged event parameter as an event-scoped custom dimension, you can then apply the custom dimension as a secondary dimension to any GA4 report which contains a data table.

For example, the User Acquisition report contains a data table:

user acquisition

Click on the ‘+’ button next to the primary dimension ‘User medium’ to apply a secondary dimension to the data table:

kDAc2ADK55xZrv1EkF88Ru5JtI2VWHXBfM8UjuxmpW8mNUf2DZUbb1ZWmln mH y3Tp1NU7oSo aSPe 0zUygL3QUZfmDA5MlpuT6yHaYnvT53mdYN3jdPJKUuc3SGfhqIz7WhwL

Click on ‘Custom (Event-scoped)’ from the drop-down menu:

Custom Event scoped

Click on ‘payment_type’:

payment type

You should now see the ‘payment_type’ event-scoped custom dimension applied to the User Acquisition report as the secondary dimension:

payment type event scoped custom dimension

That’s how you can apply event-scoped custom dimensions to GA4 reports as secondary dimensions.

Applying event-scoped custom dimensions to Explore reports

Once you have registered a logged event parameter as an event-scoped custom dimension, you can then apply the custom dimension to the Explore reports.

About Explore reports in GA4

blank template

Explore reports are the most important feature of the GA4 user interface and allow advanced analysis. They are made up of multiple report templates like: 

  • Free Form
  • Cohort Exploration
  • Funnel Analysis
  • Path Analysis
  • Segment Overlap, etc.

Let’s create a new advanced analysis via the blank report template and then apply the ‘payment_type’ event-scoped custom dimension to it.

Follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to your GA4 property view and then click on the ‘Explore’ link:

Step-2: Click on the ‘Blank’ template:

blank template 1

Step-3: Click on the ‘+’ button next to ‘Dimensions’:

button

Step-4: A new pop-up will come on the right-hand side. Click on the magnifying glass in order to open the search box

magnifying glass

You should now see a search box (which is used to search for a particular dimension):

search for a particular dimension ga4

Step-5: Type ‘payment’ in the search box:

Type payment in the search

Step-6: Click on the ‘payment_type’ checkbox and then click on the ‘Apply’ button:

Click on the payment type

You should now see the ‘payment_type’ dimension listed under the ‘Dimensions’ section:

dimension seen

Step-7: Click on the ‘Drop or select dimension‘ button:

drop or select dimension

Step-8: Click on ‘payment_type’ from the drop-down menu:

payment type dimension in drop down

You should now see the ‘payment_type’ dimension is applied to the canvas on the right:

dimension in canvass

Frequently Asked Questions about Event Scoped Custom Dimensions in GA4 – Tutorial

What is a custom dimension in Google Analytics 4?

A custom dimension is the attribute of visitors (users) or events to your website. You can create 25 unique user-specific custom dimensions and 50 events specific custom dimensions. You can set up custom dimensions that will get their values from parameters that you collect for your GA4 property.

What is an event scope custom dimension in Google Analytics 4?

A custom dimension that has event scope is called an event-scoped custom dimension. Event-scope means the value of the custom dimension is calculated and sent for each event. For example, you can create a custom dimension as “page_title” and send it along with every event to see on which page the event happened.

What are the uses of event scope custom dimensions in Google Analytics 4?

You can use event scope custom dimension in fowling ways
• Applying an event-scoped custom dimension via ‘Add Comparison’
• Applying an event-scoped custom dimension as a secondary dimension
• Applying event-scoped custom dimensions to Explore reports

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