Creating Custom Dimensions in Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4

GA4 event parameters are attributes of your data. Creating custom dimensions in Google Analytics 4 allows you analyze that data in your reports.

In other words, if it’s an event parameter, it can also be a custom dimension.

Before adding a new parameter to an event, make sure a similar one doesn’t already exist. Google includes some for you with its automatically collected and enhanced measurement events.

If you don’t see a parameter that corresponds to the data you want to collect, it may be a good idea to create a new custom dimension.

There are custom dimension limits in GA4, so be strategic about adding new ones. If you do reach your maximum, you can always archive or delete some.


1. How To Create a Custom Dimension

2. How To Edit a Custom Dimension

How To Create a Custom Dimension

You must at least have “editor” permissions to proceed.

If you do, follow these steps for creating Google Analytics 4 custom dimensions:

1. Click Configure in the left sidebar menu

2. Click Custom dimensions

3. Click the blue Create custom dimensions button

4. Add a dimension name

Google Analytics 4 Create Custom Dimension

The simpler the better, but make sure you also choose something that’s easily distinguished from other dimensions.

5. Choose your scope: user or event

Use user scope for attributes that don’t change often (like a user location) and event scope for those that do (like word count on a page).

6. Write a description

This is especially important for others who have access to your dashboard and may not otherwise know what your custom dimension tracks.

7. Select an event parameter or user property

Event parameters are for event scopes (like page_title) and user properties are for user scopes (like Country).

What you choose here is what the custom dimension’s data will be based upon.

8. Click save

That’s it. You now know how to add a custom dimension in Google Analytics 4.

You should be able to use it in reports within 24–48 hours.

How To Edit a Custom Dimension

Follow these steps to edit an existing custom dimension in Google Analytics 4:

1. Click Configure in the left sidebar menu

2. Click Custom dimensions

3. Click the three vertical dots at the far right side of the row that corresponds to the custom dimension you want to edit

Google Analytics 4 Edit Custom Dimensions

4. Click Edit

5. Make the necessary adjustments to your custom dimension and click Save

Note: You cannot edit the scope type nor the (event) parameter or (user) property associated with a custom dimension.

This is for your own good. Otherwise, a parameter with the same name would collect data for one period (before the edit) and another set of completely different data after.

You would be comparing “apples and oranges” in the long run.

Why Create Custom Dimensions?

Even if you don’t customize your Google Analytics 4 setup, it has some great reporting capabilities. But customization is exactly what makes your dashboard useful to your particular business.

Custom dimensions are a big part of that customization.

Example 1: Car Website

A subscription-based local news website where users complete personal profiles can benefit from custom dimensions.

User profiles may allow readers to share the following information, which could be captured as parameters as part of the recommended “login” event.

Here are some attributes that could be captured (again, dependent on users providing this info):

  • subscriber_status
  • hometown
  • marital_status
  • favorite_author

Data could then be created based around sessions that triggered the login event plus any of the custom dimensions captured along with it.

The preferences of logged-in users could be accessed in the standard GA4 dashboard, Explore or Google Data Studio. This could help retain users who already subscribe, and analyze behaviors of those who don’t, but have an account.

Example 2: Car Website

Imagine a car company called Feslaret that allows you to customize your vehicle online.

They could create a design_vehicle custom event that triggered every time a user opened the tool.

Within the design tool, they could include the following options:

  • transmission (manual vs. automatic)
  • color
  • horsepower
  • model

They would then create custom parameters that correspond to each of those options. The parameter values of one users design might look like this:

  • transmission: manual
  • color: cupertino_blue
  • horsepower: 200
  • model: MCML

And another like this:

  • transmission: automatic
  • color: manchester_fog
  • horsepower: 200
  • model: BB72

If thousands of users used this tool over time, you can imagine how the data would add up.

In our example, you have two people who both want a car with 400 horsepower, but have completely different models, colors and transmission types.

The company could then create custom dimensions for all the parameters we listed. Those custom dimensions would then display all the possible answers (such as “manual” and “manchester_fog”) in reports.

The preferences of potential buyers could then be accessed in their standard dashboard, Explore or Google Data Studio. If they also capture location information, this might help prepare inventory by region.

These are just a couple example of the benefits of creating custom dimensions in Google Analytics 4. Hopefully this sparks some ideas about useful ones for your GA4 dashboard.

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