Google Analytics Custom Dimensions: Complete Beginner’s Guide

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Are you looking for a way to track specific data in Google Analytics that’s not automatically tracked? If so, then you’ll need to set up custom dimensions.

With the help of custom dimensions, you can collect and analyze information that’s important for your business.

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about Google Analytics custom dimensions. By the end of the post, you’ll know what custom dimensions are, how to configure them, and how can you view the reports.

Let’s kick things off with a brief look at…

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What are Custom Dimensions?

In simple words, custom dimensions are additional information you need to track in Google Analytics. They are just like your default dimensions, but the only difference is that you create them yourself.

Google Analytics tracks different dimensions by default, like gender, age, country, browser, source, medium, etc. But when you need more information to understand your audience, track your marketing efforts, or make informed decisions, then you need custom dimensions.

They can be anything from tracking the number of users are logged in at a time to which authors perform the best or which post types are most popular.

Since this data isn’t automatically tracked by Google Analytics, you’ll need to manually configure custom dimensions. Don’t know how? Here’s a step by step tutorial.

How to Set Up Custom Dimensions in WordPress?

Just follow these steps, you’ll be able to set up and view your custom dimensions reports in your WordPress dashboard in no time.

Step 1: Install ExactMetrics and Dimensions Addon

When it comes to setting up custom dimensions on your WordPress website, you’ll need ExactMetrics. It’s the best premium WordPress Analytics plugin you can use today.

ExactMetrics lets you easily add Google Analytics to your WordPress site without the need for coding. And it’s more than just a plugin for configuring Analytics. You could do so much more, like set up custom dimensions and view the report inside your dashboard.

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So, the first thing you’ll need to do is get ExactMetrics Pro. That’s because it offers advanced tracking features and unlocks addons like Dimensions Addon.

Once you’ve signed up and installed the plugin on your website, you’ll need to activate Dimensions Addon. For that, go to ExactMetrics from your WordPress dashboard and then click Addons. Navigate your way to Dimensions and click Install.

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Step 2: Add Custom Dimensions to ExactMetrics

After setting up ExactMetrics and its Dimensions addon, the next step is to add your custom dimensions.

And you can do that by going to ExactMetrics » Settings and then select Conversions from the top menu. Now, scroll down to Custom Dimensions.

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Here you can select the custom dimensions you want to track for your website. ExactMetrics offers different custom dimensions, which include:

  • Logged In – It lets you track users that are logged in to your website and those that are not. You can set up this custom dimension if you have an eCommerce store or a membership website and want to offer a personalized user experience.
  • User ID – If want to see what each logged in users is doing on your website, then using User ID you can track their activities.
  • Post Type – You can see which post type is most popular amongst your visitors using this custom dimension, so you can focus on promoting that post type more to drive traffic and conversions.
  • Author – This dimension is ideal for sites that have multiple authors. It helps you track the performance of each author.
  • Category – By tracking different categories, you can get insights about what your visitors like. That way you can spend more money on marketing popular categories.
  • Published at – Wondering what’s the best time to publish your content? Published at custom dimension helps you see when to push your posts and how old posts perform.
  • Tags – Similar to categories, tags custom dimension also lets you track the performance of different tags on your website.
  • SEO Score – If you have Yoast plugin for SEO installed on your WordPress site, you can track the SEO score of each post and page in Google Analytics.
  • Focus Keyword – Using Yoast plugin, you can even see which focus keyword is generating traffic on your website by tracking it in Google Analytics.

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But before you can add them, you’ll also need to add custom dimensions in your Google Analytics account.

Let’s find out how you can do that…

Step 3: Set Up Custom Dimensions in Google Analytics

Once you’ve successfully set up custom dimensions in ExactMetrics, you’ll need to also set them up to configure custom dimensions in Google Analytics.

To start, log in to Google Analytics and select the website on which you want to set up custom dimensions. Then go to the Admin tab, which is in the left panel.

Under the Property column, click on Custom Definitions and then Custom Dimensions.

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Next, click on + New Custom Dimension to add a dimension.

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You’ll have to enter the name of the custom dimension you want to track. For example, if you want to see which author is doing well on your website, you can enter the Author.

And under Scope, you’ll have 4 options (hit, session, user, and product). You can keep the Scope to Hit and make sure you’ve checked the Active box. Then click Create.

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In the next screen, you’ll see example codes for your dimension. You don’t have to do anything in this step and click Done at the bottom to complete the setup in Google Analytics.

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Your custom dimension is now added to Google Analytics.

If you want to add more custom dimensions to your website, then you’ll have to repeat the above step for each of the dimensions.

But do remember, once you’ve created a dimension, you cannot delete it. However, you can temporarily disable them if you want.

Step 4: Match the IDs of Your Custom Dimensions

The last step in setting up custom dimensions is to make sure that the Index IDs in Google Analytics match the Dimension IDs in ExactMetrics.

You can do that by looking at the Index number in Google Analytics.

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Then head back to your WordPress dashboard and go to Custom Dimensions in ExactMetrics. Check if the Dimension ID is the same as the Index number in Google Analytics.

If the ID is not the same, then enter the correct number and click Save Changes.

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Congratulations!

You’ve successfully added custom dimensions to your WordPress website. Now let’s see how you can view its reports.

How to View Custom Dimensions Reports in WordPress?

You must be wondering, how can you view the information from your custom dimensions report in WordPress?

ExactMetrics brings all your important Google Analytics reports inside your dashboard. You can see the custom dimensions report at a glance and make informed decisions without having to leave your site.

To view your custom dimensions report, go to ExactMetrics » Reports » Dimensions. Here you can see all the data for the dimensions you configured earlier.

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Using the report, you can analyze the data to better understand your visitors.

But what if you want a more detailed look at your custom data? Let’s see how to view the report in Google Analytics…

How to Find Custom Dimensions Report in Google Analytics?

Unfortunately, Google Analytics doesn’t offer a standard report to show you your custom dimensions data. For that, you’ll have to create a custom report.

To create a custom report, go to your Google Analytics account and select the property for which you want to set up a Custom Dimensions report.

Now, go to Customization » Custom Reports from the panel on your left. Then click + New Custom Report.

Next, you’ll have to tell Google Analytics what to include in your report.

Let’s say you want to see how many page views (or traffic) different authors drive to your website. You can give your report a title, Page Views by Author.

Now, in the Metrics Groups section, click on + add metric and then search page views. From the drop-down list, select Page Views.

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After entering the metrics, you’ll have to define the dimension for Google Analytics to use. For this, click in + add dimension under Dimension Drilldowns.

Now search author and the select Author under Custom Dimensions drop-down menu.

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The final step is to click Save and your custom report is ready. You’ll be redirected to the report where you can see each author’s performance.

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At this point you may ask, is it necessary to create separate reports for each dimension? That’s true, you’ll have to set up custom reports for each dimension you want to track and view data in Google Analytics.

But once you’ve created a report, you can view them by going to Customization » Custom Reports » Page View by Author (or any other report of your custom dimension).

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And that’s it!

You now know everything about custom dimensions. So, start tracking custom data on your website to get deeper insights about your audience.

We hope you liked our article on Google Analytics custom dimensions beginners guide. If you enjoyed reading this post, you can also read our guide on how to track affiliate links in WordPress.

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