GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Custom Dimensions Tutorial

Last Updated: September 9, 2022

Custom dimensions are user-defined dimensions.

If you want to measure the characteristic of a user that cannot be measured by any default dimension, then you need to create and use your own dimension to measure such characteristics.

For example, you can create your own dimension to store the client IDs.

In the context of GA4, a custom dimension is an event parameter. This parameter can be an automatically collected parameter, custom parameter or user property.

Do not send personally identifiable information (like name, email address, house address, phone number, social security number, etc) to your GA4 reporting view as a value of the custom dimension. This is against the Google Analytics terms of service. 

Following are the various subcategories of custom dimensions: 

  1. Event-scoped custom dimensions
  2. User-scoped custom dimensions

Event-scoped custom dimensions

ga4 custom dimensions

A custom dimension whose value is calculated and sent for each event is called an event-scoped custom dimension. 

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

To learn more about the event-scoped custom dimensions check out this article: EventScoped Custom Dimensions in GA4 – Tutorial

User-scoped custom dimensions (user properties)

user scoped custom dimension 1

A custom dimension whose value is calculated and sent once for each user is called a user-scoped custom dimension (aka a user property). We create a user-scoped custom dimension by registering a parameter with user scope in the GA4 user interface. 

To learn more about the user-scoped custom dimensions check out this article: GA4 User Properties (User-Scoped Custom Dimensions) – Tutorial

Advantages of using custom dimensions in GA4

The following are the two main advantages of creating and using custom dimensions in GA4:

#1 In your event report, you see a new data card added for every logged event parameter you registered as a custom dimension.

Advantages of using custom dimensions in GA4

This data card appears in every event report where you (or GA4) are passing the same event parameter along with the event. Thus the use of custom dimensions enriches your existing event reports.

#2 You can report on the same event parameter for as many events as you like (via add comparison and Analysis Hub reports) without passing the same parameter repeatedly for each event.

Advantages of using custom dimensions in GA4

Custom dimensions in Universal Analytics vs GA4

The following are the main differences between custom dimensions in Universal Analytics vs GA4:

#1 Different scopes

In Universal Analytics, a custom dimension can have anyone of the following four scopes:

  1. Hit
  2. Session
  3. User
  4. Product

Whereas in GA4, a custom dimension can have only one of the following two scopes:

  1. Event
  2. User

Note: In GA4, the ‘hit’ scope is referred to as the ‘event’ scope.

#2 Different processes for creating custom dimensions

In Universal Analytics, creating a custom dimension involves the following two steps:

  1. Configuring (setting name and scope) the custom dimension in the user interface.
  2. Writing a code to send the values of the custom dimension to the reporting view.

In GA4, creating a custom dimension involves the following two steps:

  1. Sending an event parameter along with an event. 
  2. Registering the logged event parameter as a custom dimension in the user interface. 

#3 Different quotas for custom dimensions

In Universal Analytics, you can create up to 20 custom dimensions per property. However, if you are using GA 360, you can create up to 200 custom dimensions per property.

Whereas in GA4, you can create up to 50 event-scoped custom dimensions and 25 user-scoped dimensions per GA4 property.

How to edit a custom dimension

Follow the steps below to edit a custom dimension:

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

Configure link

Step-2: Click on ‘Custom Definitions’.

Custom defination link

Step-3: Click on the three dots menu next to the custom dimension you want to edit:

Click on the three dots menu

Step-4: Click on the ‘Edit’ option:

edit a custom dimension

Step-5: You can now change the name of your custom dimension and edit its description. Then click on the ‘Save’ button:

save button

Quota information for custom dimensions

In GA4, you can create up to 25 user-scoped custom dimensions and up to 50 event-scoped custom dimensions per property. That’s the dimensions quota allocated to you.

Now if you want to know the total number of user-scoped and event-scoped custom dimensions you have already created and the number of dimensions you are still allowed to create then you can get this information through the ‘Quota information‘ feature of GA4.

Follow the steps below to find the quota information: 

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

Configure link

Step-2: Click on ‘Custom Definitions.

Custom defination link

Step-3: Click on the ‘Quota information‘ button on the top right-hand side of your screen:

Quota information ga4

You should now be able to see the total number of user-scoped and event-scoped custom dimensions you have already created and the number of dimensions you are still allowed to create:

Quota information ga4 2

How to delete a custom dimension

In GA4, you can create up to 25 user-scoped custom dimensions and up to 50 event-scoped custom dimensions per property. 

However, once you have reached your custom dimensions quota, you can then no longer create any new custom dimension. In that case, if you still want to create new custom dimensions, you would need to delete the ones you are no longer using.

Follow the steps below to delete a custom dimension:

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

Configure link

Step-2: Click on ‘Custom Definitions.

Custom defination link

Step-3: CliClick on the three dots menu next to the custom dimension you want to delete:

Click on the three dots menu

Step-4: Click on the ‘Archive‘ option:

Step-5: Click on the ‘Archive’ button:

qmjgvSvAQ bYNc54WAVzZstIR0sR5ukua8 3pI8jb5YPxHU5ia2OInJN50FbIVTcwnewgPjXnN TISwuIxJVxl3RK4yEls

Note: Archiving a custom dimension is permanent. It cannot be undone and the corresponding data cannot be restored. Any segment or funnel using this custom dimension in Analysis would stop working.

#1 Google Analytics 4 Intro

  1. What is GA4 (Google Analytics 4) – The Apps + Web Property?
  2. Key Benefits of Using Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  3. Setup GA4 – Upgrade to GA4 – Implementation Guide
  4. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) vs Universal Analytics – What is the Difference?
  5. GA4 vs GA4 360 – Pricing, Limits, Billing and More
  6. Google Analytics 4 Training & Tutorial with FREE GA4 ebook

#2 Google Analytics 4 Property

  1. Google Analytics Account Hierarchy (Structure Explained)
  2. Understanding Google Analytics Measurement ID (GA4)
  3. Google Signals GA4 – See Demographics (Gender, Age) in Google Analytics 4
  4. Using the GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Test Property
  5. Google Analytics 4 Sub Properties Tutorial
  6. Roll up Property in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) – Tutorial

#3 Google Analytics 4 Integrations

  1. How to connect GA4 (Google Analytics 4) with Google Data Studio
  2. How to link GA4 (Google Analytics 4) with Google Ads
  3. How to link Google Search Console to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  4. How to Install Google Analytics 4 on Shopify
  5. GA4 Firebase Integration – Correctly Add App Data Streams to GA4 Property

#4 Google Analytics 4 Events

  1. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Event Tracking Setup Tutorial
  2. Understanding Event Parameters in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  3. Recommended Events in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  4. Enhanced Measurement Events in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  5. Automatically Collected Events in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  6. How to Set Up GA4 Custom Events via Google Tag Manager
  7. Events Report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  8. How to Rename Events in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  9. How to Use Google Analytics 4 Event Builder

#5 Google Analytics 4 Conversions

  1. Google Analytics 4 Conversion Tracking Guide – GA4 Goals
  2. How to Import Conversions from GA4 Property to Your Google Ads account
  3. GA4 Conversion Rate – How to find it and use it

#6 Google Analytics 4 Dimensions

  1. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Dimensions Tutorial
  2. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Custom Dimensions Tutorial
  3. GA4 User Properties (User Scoped Custom Dimensions) – Tutorial
  4. Event Scoped Custom Dimensions in GA4 – Tutorial

#7 Google Analytics 4 Metrics

  1. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Metrics Tutorial with Free Google Analytics 4 Ebook
  2. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Custom Metrics Tutorial
  3. What are Predictive Metrics in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

#8 Google Analytics 4 Ecommerce

  1. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Ecommerce Tracking via GTM – Tutorial

#9 Google Analytics 4 Specialized Tracking

  1. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Enhanced Measurement Tracking Tutorial
  2. Cross Domain Tracking in GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Setup Guide
  3. GA4 Site Search – Tracking Site Search in Google Analytics 4
  4. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Scroll Tracking Tutorial
  5. Self-referral Google Analytics 4 – Referral exclusion GA4
  6. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Data Import Tutorial
  7. Google Analytics 4 Content Grouping – Create Content Groups in GA4
  8. How to Track Single Page Apps in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  9. utm_source, utm_medium, utm_campaign Parameters – GA4 (Google Analytics 4)

#10 Google Analytics 4 filters

  1. GA4 filters – Understanding Data Filters in Google Analytics 4
  2. How to Create and Test Filters in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?
  3. Exclude Internal Traffic in GA4 (Google Analytics 4) via IP Filter

#11 Google Analytics 4 Explorations

  1. Free Form Report in GA4 (Google Analytics 4) – Exploration Report
  2. How to Use the User Lifetime Report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  3. How to Use Path Exploration Report in GA4 (Google Analytics 4) – Path Analysis
  4. How to Use Segment Overlap Report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  5. How to Use the Funnel Exploration Report in GA4 (Google Analytics 4) – Funnel Analysis
  6. Cohort Exploration Report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  7. How to Create Landing Pages Report in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)
  8. How to Create Google Ads report in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)
  9. How to Segment GA4 Data by Data Stream
  10. Organic Search Traffic Analysis in GA4 – Complete Guide

#12 Google Analytics 4 Advanced

  1. Understanding Google Analytics 4 Sessions
  2. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Measurement Protocol Tutorial
  3. How to Build Comparisons (Advanced Segments) in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  4. Understanding Automated Insights in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  5. Understanding Channel Groupings in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  6. Understanding Data Sampling in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

#13 Google Analytics 4 Reports

  1. How to Create Custom Insights in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  2. How to Use Debug View Report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

#14 Google Analytics 4 Attribution

  1. Guide to Attribution Models in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)
  2. How to Change Attribution Models in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)?
  3. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Conversion Paths Report in Attribution
  4. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Model Comparison Report in Attribution
  5. Advertising Snapshot in GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Attribution
  6. GA4 Attribution Modelling Tutorial

#15 Google Analytics 4 Audiences

  1. GA4 Audiences – Creating Custom Audience in Google Analytics 4
  2. How to Create a Remarketing Audience in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  3. Understanding Audience Triggers in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  4. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) Predictive Audiences – Tutorial

#16 Google Analytics 4 BigQuery

  1. GA4 BigQuery – Connect Google Analytics 4 with BigQuery
  2. BigQuery GA4 Schema – Send Custom GA4 Data to BigQuery
  3. How to Backfill GA4 Data in BigQuery
  4. How to Connect and Export Data from GA

Frequently Asked Questions about Custom Dimensions

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 is a user scope custom dimension in Google Analytics 4?

A custom dimension that has user scope is called a user-scoped custom dimension. User-scope means the value of the custom dimension is calculated and sent to each user. For example, you can create a custom dimension as “faviorate_drink” and send it as a user scope custom dimension.

Register for the FREE TRAINING...

"How to use Digital Analytics to generate floods of new Sales and Customers without spending years figuring everything out on your own."



Here’s what we’re going to cover in this training…

#1 Why digital analytics is the key to online business success.

​#2 The number 1 reason why most marketers are not able to scale their advertising and maximize sales.

#3 Why Google and Facebook ads don’t work for most businesses & how to make them work.

#4 ​Why you won’t get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing Google Analytics.

#5 The number 1 reason why conversion optimization is not working for your business.

#6 How to advertise on any marketing platform for FREE with an unlimited budget.

​#7 How to learn and master digital analytics and conversion optimization in record time.



   

My best selling books on Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and BeyondSECOND EDITION OUT NOW!
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and Facebook
This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling in Google Ads (Google AdWords) and Facebook. It will teach you, how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to understand the customer purchasing journey and determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

About the Author

Himanshu Sharma

  • Founder, OptimizeSmart.com
  • Over 15 years of experience in digital analytics and marketing
  • Author of four best-selling books on digital analytics and conversion optimization
  • Nominated for Digital Analytics Association Awards for Excellence
  • Runs one of the most popular blogs in the world on digital analytics
  • Consultant to countless small and big businesses over the decade
error: Alert: Content is protected !!