GA4 User Properties (User Scoped Custom Dimensions) – Tutorial

Table of  Content for GA4 User Properties (User Scoped Custom Dimensions) – Tutorial

  1. Creating and passing a user scope custom parameter along with an event
  2. How to create a user property in GA4
  3. Applying user-scoped custom dimensions via ‘Add Comparison’
  4. Applying a user-scoped custom dimension as a secondary dimension
  5. Archive user properties in GA4
  6. Adding the user property to your website via gtag.js

User properties are attributes that are used to define segments of your user base, such as language preference or geographic location. By default, Google Analytics 4 automatically logs some user properties like the ones below:

Technically speaking, the custom dimensions which have user scope are called the user-scoped custom dimensions (also known as user properties)

User-scope means the value of the custom dimension is calculated and sent once for each user. 

Google recommends that you use a user-scoped custom dimension when you want to identify static or slowly changing attributes of your website/app users like changes in the subscription plan, membership level, game difficulty level, etc.

You can create a user-scoped custom dimension by registering a parameter with user 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 a user-scoped custom dimension, you would need a logged event parameter in your GA4 reporting view and this parameter must have user scope. 

In other words, you can not create a user-scoped custom dimension by registering a parameter with event scope

For example, the page_title has event scope. So you cannot register this parameter as a user-scoped custom dimension.

You can only register parameters as user-scoped custom dimensions if they have user scope. 

You can also create a user-scoped custom dimension before logging the event parameter, but that is not best practice for creating user-scoped custom dimensions.

Get the E-Book (50 Pages)

Get the FREE E-Book (50+ Pages)

Creating and passing a user scope custom parameter along with an event

Before you create a user-scoped custom dimension, you need a user-scoped parameter that is logged (recorded) in your GA4 reporting view. 

Let us suppose that you want to send the client ID custom parameter (with user scope) along with an event to your GA4 reporting view.

In order to send the client ID with user scope, you need to either create or edit a GA4 event tag in your GTM account and then send the client ID event parameter as a user property:

From the screenshot above we can conclude that we are sending the client ID via the ‘client_id_custom’ user property (aka user-scoped custom dimension) along with the event ‘get_user_data’.

Note: If you want to learn more about sending client ID to your GA4 property then check out this article.

Once you start sending the client ID as a user property to your GA4 reporting view, navigate to the DebugView report:

Find and click on the user property named ‘client_id_custom= ……‘:

You should now be able to see one of the captured client IDs:

How to create a user property in GA4

Let us suppose you want to register the user-scoped custom parameter ‘client_id_custom’ as a user-scoped custom dimension. 

To do that follow the steps below:

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

Step-2: Click on the ‘Create custom dimensions’ button:

Step-3: Enter the name for your custom dimension. This name will appear in your GA4 reports, so use a descriptive name:

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

Step-4: Set the dimension scope to ‘User’:

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

Step-5: Select the parameter ‘client_id_custom’ from the ‘User property’ drop-down menu and then click on the ‘Save’ button:

Note: Once you have selected a user property, you cannot change it later.

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

Once a full 24 hrs have elapsed, your user-scoped custom dimension should be available for use in the various GA4 reports. 

However, the user-scoped custom dimension won’t appear as a data card in every event report where you (or GA4) are passing the user-scoped parameter along with the event. The data card appears only for event-scoped custom dimensions.

Then navigate to the ‘Engagement Events’ report in your GA4 reporting view:

Click on the ‘get_user_data’ event:

You will see the report on the ‘get_user_data’ event but you won’t see a separate data card for the user-scoped custom dimension ‘Custom Client ID’:

Applying user-scoped custom dimensions via ‘Add Comparison’

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

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

Let’s apply the ‘Custom Client ID’ user-scoped custom dimension we created earlier to the Traffic Acquisition report.

Follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to the Traffic Acquisition report in your GA4 reporting view:

Step-2: Click on the ‘Add Comparison’ button:

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

Step-3: Select the ‘Custom Client ID‘ dimension from the ‘Dimension’ drop-down menu:

Step-4: Click on the ‘Dimension Values’ drop-down menu:

Step-5: Select one of the client IDs and then click on the ‘OK’ button:

Step-6: Click on the ‘Apply’ button:

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

Navigate to any other GA4 report and you should see the same new comparison applied to the report.

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

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

Applying a user-scoped custom dimension as a secondary dimension

Once you have registered a logged user-scoped event parameter as a user-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:

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

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

Click on ‘Custom Client ID‘:

You should now see the ‘Custom Client ID’ user-scoped custom dimension applied to the User Acquisition report as the secondary dimension:

That’s how you can apply a user-scoped custom dimension to GA4 reports as a secondary dimension.

Note: Just like event-scoped custom dimensions, you can also apply user-scoped custom dimensions to the Analysis Hub reports.

Archive user properties in GA4

Since Google Analytics provides only 25 custom user properties, if at any time you exceed the limit or do not want to continue with an existing user property, you can archive any of the current user properties which are no longer needed or are of less importance.

Follow the below steps to archive a user property:

Step-1: Navigate to the Custom Definitions report in your GA4 reporting view:

Step-2: Click on the three dots menu next to the user property (aka user-scoped custom dimension) you want to delete:

Step-3: Click on the ‘Archive‘ option:

Step-4: Click on the ‘Archive’ button:

Note: Archiving a user property is permanent. It can not be undone and the corresponding data can not be restored. Any segment or funnel using this user property in Analysis would stop working.

Adding the user property to your website via gtag.js

User properties can be set either by calling the gtag(‘set’) command in your website if you are using the global site tag (gtag.js) tagging framework OR you can use Google Tag Manager.

Here I will be creating a user property ‘User_Location’ as an example.

You can pass user properties using the following command.

gtag(‘set’, ‘user_properties’, {

User_Location: ‘United States’,

});

Your final code will look like below:

<!– Global site tag (gtag.js) – Google Analytics –>

<script async src=”https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=MEASUREMENT_ID”></script>

<script>

window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];

function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}

gtag(‘js’, new Date());

gtag(‘config’, ‘MEASUREMENT_ID’); // GA4 Measurement ID

gtag(‘set’, ‘user_properties’, {

User_Location: ‘United States’,

});

</script>

Other articles related to GA4 (Google Analytics 4)

#1 GA4 Intro

  1. What is GA4 (Google Analytics 4) – The Apps + Web Property?
  2. Key Benefits of Using Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  3. How to upgrade to GA4 (Google Analytics 4)
  4. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) vs Universal Analytics – What is the difference?
  5. Google Signals GA4 – See demographics (gender, age) in Google Analytics 4
  6. Understanding Google Analytics Measurement ID (GA4)
  7. Google Analytics 4 training and tutorial
  8. Using the GA4 test property

#2 GA4 Integration

  1. How to connect GA4 (Google Analytics 4) with Google Data Studio
  2. How to link GA4 (Google Analytics 4) with Google Ads
  3. GA4 BigQuery – Connect Google Analytics 4 with BigQuery

#3 GA4 Events

  1. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Event Tracking Setup Tutorial
  2. How to set up GA4 Custom Events via Google Tag Manager
  3. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Enhanced Measurement Tracking Tutorial
  4. Events Report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  5. GA4 User Properties (User Scoped Custom Dimensions) – Tutorial
  6. Event Scoped Custom Dimensions in GA4 – Tutorial

#4 GA4 Conversions

  1. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Conversion Tracking Guide
  2. How to import conversions from GA4 property to your Google Ads account

#5 GA4 Dimensions and Metrics

  1. GA4 Metrics Tutorial with Free Google Analytics 4 Ebook
  2. GA4 Custom Metrics Tutorial
  3. GA4 Dimensions Tutorial
  4. GA4 Custom Dimensions Tutorial

#6 GA4 Ecommerce

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

#7 GA4 Specialized Tracking

  1. Cross Domain Tracking in GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Setup Guide
  2. GA4 Site Search – Tracking Site Search in Google Analytics 4
  3. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Scroll Tracking Tutorial
  4. How to Install Google Analytics 4 on Shopify
  5. Self-referral Google Analytics 4 – Referral exclusion GA4
  6. GA4 Data Import Tutorial

#8 GA4 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

#9 GA4 Analysis Hub

  1. Analysis Hub Google Analytics – Exploration Report in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)
  2. How to use the user lifetime report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  3. How to use path analysis report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  4. How to use Segment Overlap Report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  5. How to use the Funnel Analysis Report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

#10 GA4 Advanced

  1. How to use Debug View report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  2. Understanding GA4 measurement protocol
  3. How to create a remarketing audience in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  4. GA4 Audiences – Creating custom audience in Google Analytics 4
  5. How to build comparison (Advanced segment) in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

#11 GA4 Reporting

  1. How to create custom insights in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

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 Beyond
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 !!