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What Is A Secondary Dimension In Google Analytics 4? (& How To Use Them)

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GA4 tutorial blog on Google Analytics 4 secondary dimensions

Posted on 06/21/2023 at 09:30 AM

Looking for an easy way to get better insights from your Google Analytics data? Secondary dimensions are a powerful feature in GA4 that can help you get better data about your website performance, allowing you to make more informed business decisions. 

In this Google Analytics 4 tutorial, we’ll walk you through what you need to know about dimensions in Google Analytics and how you can start using them today!

Jump directly to the content you need most! 

1. What are dimensions? (primary vs secondary)

2. What secondary dimensions are avialable? 

3. Benefits of secondary dimensions

4. How to add a secondary dimension (step by step guide)

5. Key takeaway

6. Related articles

7. GA4 setup services

What Are Dimensions In Google Analytics?

Dimensions are qualitative attributes about your data, think of them as categories that identify a user. In Google Analytics, there are both primary and secondary dimensions.

Primary Dimensions

Primary dimensions are the default field by which your report is sorted and/or aggregated in Google Analytics 4. These default dimensions are automatically added to your GA4 property.

Secondary Dimensions

Secondary dimensions are optional, additional parameters that can be added to your GA4 reports for more detailed information about your visitors' activity on your website. These custom subsets of data allow you to gain insights that are tailored specially to your business and its unique goals.

Dimensions Vs. Metrics

Before delving into secondary dimensions, it's important to understand the difference between metrics and dimensions in GA4. Metrics are quantitative measurements that provide numerical values, such as the number of users, sessions, or page views. They are the primary indicators of performance and provide crucial data for analysis.

On the other hand, dimensions are attributes that provide context to your metrics. They provide qualitative information and help you understand the characteristics of your users and their interactions. Examples of dimensions include the source or medium through which users arrived on your website, the device they used, or their geographic location. Dimensions allow you to segment and filter your data to gain more specific insights.

What Secondary Dimensions Are Available? 

GA4 provides a wide range of dimensions that can be used as primary or secondary dimensions. Some common secondary dimensions include:
Demographics (age, gender)

  • Geography (city, country, region)
  • Page/Screen (landing page, page path, etc.)
  • Platform/Device (browser, language, etc.)
  • Traffic Source (session source, session campaign, first user manual term, etc.)
  • User Lifetime (first session date, first visit date)
  • User (audience name, signed in with user ID)

How To Use Secondary Dimensions

Adding a secondary dimension to your primary dimension in GA4 can help you gain more granular insights into your data. Here are some ways to effectively use secondary dimensions:

  • Segment your data: By combining dimensions, you can create specific segments to analyze different user groups. For example, you can analyze the conversion rates of users from different traffic sources or compare user engagement between new and returning users.
  • Identify patterns: Secondary dimensions allow you to identify patterns and correlations between different attributes. For example, by adding dimensions like device category or location to your primary dimension, you can uncover valuable insights about user behavior and preferences.
  • Refine your marketing strategies: Secondary dimensions help you evaluate the performance of your marketing efforts. For example, by analyzing dimensions like campaign or source/medium, you can identify which marketing channels or campaigns are driving the most traffic, conversions, or engagement. 

How To Add A Secondary Dimension In Google Analytics 4 (Steps)

To add a secondary dimension in GA4, follow these steps:

See the steps in action!

Step 1. Getting Started

Open your Google Analytics 4 property.

Step 2. Find Your Report

Navigate to your report of interest. For this example, let’s say that report is “Traffic Acquisition”.

how to create secondary dimensions in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) by Global Reach

Step 3. Narrow Down Your Report

Once in your GA4 report, narrow down your information if you need to. This can help declutter the report after you select your secondary dimension. In this example, we’ll narrow it down to just “Email”.

how to create secondary dimensions in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) by Global Reach

Step 4. Next Step

Click on the plus button directly next to the primary dimension.

how to create secondary dimensions in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) by Global Reach

Step 5. Select Your Secondary Dimension

Either search for or select the secondary dimension that you want to add. In this example, we want to look at what devices users are using when coming to our website via email. Hence, we will be selecting “Device Category” as our secondary dimension. You can choose any of the dimensions available.

how to create secondary dimensions in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) by Global Reach

Step 6. Analyze Your Data

Examine and analyze the results.

*Note: you can only add one secondary dimension by using this method, if you would like more dimensions, the Free Form report feature on GA4 is recommended. Check out our Google Analytics 4 training on creating Free From reports!

how to create secondary dimensions in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) by Global Reach

Key Takeaway

Secondary dimensions in Google Analytics 4 offer a powerful way to gain deeper insights into your data. By leveraging secondary dimensions effectively, you can segment and analyze your data in a more granular and meaningful way. Exploring the wide range of dimensions available in GA4 will help you make more informed business decisions, optimize your marketing strategies, and improve your website traffic. 

Start utilizing secondary dimensions in GA4 to unlock valuable insights and take your data analysis to the next level! With comprehensive Google Analytics services, our Google Analytics experts can help with anything from setting up and optimizing your Google Analytics property to strategic digital marketing strategy recommendations based on your website analytics! 

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