Understanding Event Parameters in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Event parameters in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) are the additional information about an event that is sent along with the event.

Event parameter overview

There are three types of event parameters in Google Analytics 4

  1. Automatically collected parameters
  2. Custom parameters
  3. User properties

Automatically collected parameters

Some parameters are automatically collected by GA4. Such parameters are called automatically collected parameters.

For example, by default, GA4 records the following parameters with every event:

  1. language
  2. page_location
  3. page_referrer
  4. page_title
  5. screen_resolution

How to see automatically collected parameters in GA4 reports

Follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to your GA4 reporting view.

Step-2: Click on ‘Events’ (under ‘Engagement’):

Events report 1

Step-3: Scroll down and then click on an event name. Let’s click on the ‘page_view’ event:

understanding event parameters ga4 click on an event name

You should now see the detailed report about the ‘page_view’ event:

understanding event parameters ga4 detailed report about the page view event

Step-4: Click on the ‘PARAMETER NAME’ drop-down menu on the right-hand side:

understanding event parameters ga4 PARAMETER NAME drop down menu

Step-5: Scroll down the drop-down list and then you should be able to see all the automatically collected parameters:

Event Parameters in Google Analytics 4

Custom parameters

You can also manually send one or more parameters along with an event via GTM. Such parameters are called ‘Custom parameters’.

There are two types of custom parameters:

  1. Text parameters
  2. Number parameters

#1.1 Text parameters

The value of such parameters is not a number.

You can register text parameters as custom dimensions in the GA4 user interface. But you should not register them as custom metrics.

If you want to use text parameters in your GA4 reports then you would need to register them as custom dimensions in the GA4 user interface.

#1.2 Number parameters

The value of such parameters is a number.

You can register number parameters as custom metrics in the GA4 user interface. But you should not register them as custom dimensions.

If you want to use number parameters in your GA4 reports then you would need to register them as custom metrics in the GA4 user interface.

Note: Event category, Event action, Event label and Event Value parameters are used in GA3 but not in GA4. However, you can still pass such information about an event in GA4. You just don’t use the ‘category-action-label-value‘ format in GA4.

User properties (also known as user dimensions)

User properties are like user scoped custom dimensions of Universal Analytics. They are used to describe the attributes of your website/app users.

There are two types of user properties:

  1. Predefined user properties.
  2. Custom user properties

#3.1 Predefined user properties

These are automatically collected user properties.

You don’t need to write any special code or add a tag to collect such user properties. You also don’t need to register them in the GA4 user interface before you can use them in your reports.

Following are examples of predefined user properties:

  • Age
  • Country
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Language
  • Device category etc

#3.2 Custom user properties

These are the user properties defined by you. You would need to register them in the GA4 user interface before you can use them in your reports.

Note: You can create up to 25 unique user properties per GA4 property.

To learn more about user properties, check out this article: How to create user properties in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Best practice for naming custom events and parameters

Use lower case for event/parameter names. And if your name has got two or more words then separate the words by an underscore.

For example:

  • webinar_signups (instead of Webinar Signups)
  • excel_chart_optins (instead of Excel Chart options)
  • website_leads (instead of website-leads)

The following event names are reserved and cannot be used as the name of custom events:

  1. ad_activeview
  2. ad_click
  3. ad_exposure
  4. ad_impression
  5. ad_query
  6. adunit_exposure
  7. app_clear_data
  8. app_install
  9. app_update
  10. app_remove
  11. error
  12. first_open
  13. first_visit
  14. in_app_purchase
  15. notification_dismiss
  16. notification_foreground
  17. notification_open
  18. notification_receive
  19. os_update
  20. screen_view
  21. session_start
  22. user_engagement

The following parameter name is reserved and cannot be used as names for custom parameters:

  • firebase_conversion

Your parameter names can not begin with:

  1. google_
  2. ga_
  3. firebase_

Best practice for naming user properties

The following user property names are reserved and cannot be used as the names for custom user properties:

  1. first_open_time
  2. first_visit_time
  3. last_deep_link_referrer
  4. user_id
  5. first_open_after_install

Your user properties names can not begin with

  1. google_
  2. ga_
  3. firebase_

How to send an event along with a parameter to GA4

Let’s track clicks on a button as an event and then send this custom event to GA4 via GTM. Let’s also pass the button caption as additional information, along with the event via a parameter.

This exercise will help you gain a better understanding of the concept of events and parameters.

Follow the steps mentioned in this article: How to set up Custom Events in GA4 via Google Tag Manager

Measurement protocol and event parameters

Measurement protocol is a set of rules which your application must follow in order to send event data directly to the Google Analytics servers from any device/system which can be connected to the internet.

A basic understanding of how measurement protocol works can help you greatly in understanding event parameters.

You can find more details about measurement protocol from here: Introduction to Measurement Protocol in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) – Version 2

#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)

Frequently asked questions about Event parameters in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

What are the event parameters in Google Analytics 4?

Parameters are the additional information about an event that is sent along with the event.

What are Automatically Collected Parameters?

These are the parameters that are automatically collected by GA4.

What are Custom parameters?

These are the parameters that you manually send along with an event via GTM.

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