Google Analytics

GA4 Custom Dimensions for Mobile App Analytics: Tips and Examples

Different types of custom dimensions, how they improve the digital experience of your customers, + getting started today

Although custom dimensions have been around in GA4 since the very beginning, there have been some changes in the past couple of years. When you implement Google Analytics on your site, it will start gathering information about your users. This includes their device information and their user IDs. It will also keep track of their behavior and content on your apps and website.

However, there might also be other data that you want to collect, specifically from your mobile apps. With custom dimensions, you can set up a property that will allow you to collect data that is specific to your business.

A custom dimension is a characteristic or attribute that you want to track, for example, a user's pricing plan or a transaction ID. In your GA4 property, you can configure the settings for custom metrics. Although the two are similar, one difference is that custom metrics have an event scope, while custom dimensions have a user scope.

You can set up 25 user-scoped and 50 event-focused custom dimensions for each of your properties in GA4.

Types of Custom Dimensions 

One of the most critical steps in leveraging the power of GA4 is setting up and configuring the various dimensions and metrics that will be used to collect data. There are three different types of custom dimensions that you can use in GA4.

User-scoped custom dimensions 

A user-scoped dimension is a type of data that allows you to collect specific information about a specific user. This type of data can be used to track the subscriptions, geographical locations, and membership levels of a user. The dimensions are based on a property that's designed to allow you to monitor user behavior across various devices and sessions.

Event-scoped custom dimensions 

A dimension that's event-scoped can be used to track the activities that happen on your app or website. For instance, it can help you keep track of the various types of purchases that people make on your site. This data can also help you identify which content is most likely to interest them.

Item-scoped custom dimensions 

These dimensions can be utilized for certain events, such as the addition or purchase of merchandise. They can help you track occurrences related to a certain product category or item to make your online store look more organized, allowing people to easily find your products.

Benefits of Custom Dimensions 

With GA4, you can easily track and analyze your users' activities across multiple platforms. With custom dimensions and events, you can get a deeper understanding of how your users interact with your app or website.


Although the default settings of GA4 allow you to monitor certain types of data, every business has its own unique needs when it comes to analyzing and collecting information. With custom event parameters and dimensions, you can easily track everything that's important to your business.

Specific segmentation 

One of the most important factors that you should consider when it comes to gaining insight is the ability to segment and target your data. With the ability to make custom dimensions in GA4, you will be able to create a more targeted and effective marketing campaign. 

People watching a computer screen
Custom dimensions allow you to analyze and target specific groups of people who are most likely to engage with your ads. 

Better insights 

Although you can collect basic data about your website's traffic, such as the number of individuals who viewed a video or a page, you won't be able to tell the whole story if you don't have a custom dimension or metric. This is why it's important to create a more detailed view with the help of metrics and dimensions. For instance, if you want to determine which blog posts are most engaging, you can create custom dimensions for the author.

Complete understanding of user journey 

Custom dimensions let you track the user's journey from beginning to end, allowing you to improve the experience. You'll also be able to find the exact data that you need from the acquisition or conversion stage in GA4.

Differences in Custom Dimensions in UA vs GA4 

In GA4, the custom metrics remain the same, but the scope of the custom dimension has been augmented. The biggest difference is that in UA, the scope of the custom dimension is different from that in GA4.

In UA, you could have the option to set the scope of the customized dimensions to describe the various elements of a session or a product. In GA4, this has been changed to either event-level or user-level.

This change means that the custom dimension will now always describe the event that triggered it. It’s a good thing that GA4 is based on events, as it allows you to customize the dimensions of your applications. However, if you’ve used the product or session scope to set the scope for custom dimensions, you might have to change the settings to fit the new ones.

There are a few ways to configure the scope of the new custom dimensions within GA4. These will work just like the ones in UA.

Item parameters in Google Analytics
In order to set up the scope of the custom dimensions in GA4, you can use the item parameters. This replaces the product-scope dimensions in UA. Image Courtesy of Google Help

You can also set up the custom dimensions in your eCommerce application using the item_catergory parameter. This will allow you to have the same scope as the product-scope ones. You can find more details about the parameters and the design in Google's developer guide.

In order to migrate the session-focused dimensions from UA to GA4, you can set them up as an event-focused dimension. Keep in mind that, in most cases, GA4 uses engagement as its main concept, which means it doesn't rely on collecting session data. Nonetheless, you can still use the event-focused option to replicate your desired attributes.

One of the biggest differences between GA4 and UA is how you create custom definitions. In UA, you had to set up the custom dimension, then write the code needed to send the value. In GA4, you only have to send an event parameter and register it as a custom dimension.

Setting up GA4 Custom Dimensions for Your Mobile App

Now that you know a bit more of the basics, it’s time to set the custom dimensions up with GA4!

Figure out what to track

Before you start using GA4, it's important that you first figure out what you're planning on tracking. For instance, if you want to monitor blog post engagement, you might want to set up predefined events and definitions. This can be very useful if you're planning on analyzing user behavior. Another way to do this is to segment users according to their region.

Deploy custom dimension through Google Tag Manager (GTM)

The second step in creating custom dimensions in GA4 is to deploy them using the GTM.

Before you can deploy these dimensions, you need to make sure that GTM is enabled to track link clicks. To do so, go to GTM and click on the "New" button, "Just Links" button, and "Triggers." You will then be able to see the link clicks that have been made on your website.

GA4 has built-in variables that can be used to monitor various types of data related to link click activity. To configure the features, go to the "Variables" section and click on "Configure." In the "Built-in Variable" section, enable all of the features that will allow GTM to collect important information, such as the text and link's URL.

In order to determine the unique identifiers of menu link clicks, you'll need to identify the variables that will be used to monitor these types of links. In the preview mode of GTM, go to your website and click on a couple of menu links. You'll then see the variables that will be used to determine the link clicks. One of these is the "Click Classes" variable, which will be used to set the values for various link types.

After you've identified the unique variable that will be used to monitor your menu link clicks, you can set the trigger to only fire on those specific actions. Doing so will allow you to collect the necessary data. After you've created the trigger in GTM, go back to the settings and update the condition that will allow you to track only the menu link clicks.

Create the event tag 

You can create an event tag for GA4 that will help you collect data and send it to the analytics software. In the GTM environment, click on the "Event" button and select "Google Analytics" from the list of options.

You can then enter the event's name in the GA4 event tag. It should be descriptive and unique, like "menu_click," which will make it easier to recognize later in the application. But, you can also use the name "menu" or "item_click."

Event parameters
You can then add the event parameters to your event. These help you collect additional information about the event, and provide you with more detailed insights. For example, you can track the "menu_item_names" and "menu_item_URL" of the "menu_click" event. Image Courtesy of Google Help

You must first define the parameters for the event. You can then click on the "Insert Variables" button and choose the appropriate GTM variable from the list. The "Click Text" and "Click URL" variables will be used.

Verify that the configuration is working properly. This can be done by refreshing GTM's preview mode and going to your website and clicking on some menu items. After that, you'll be able to see that the "GA4 event tags" for "Menu Link Clicks" have been fired. The custom dimension of the event has now been successfully tracked.

Go ahead and save your custom dimension if everything goes according to plan. You're now ready to start creating the necessary dimensions in GA4.

Register & use your custom dimension 

To register a custom dimension, go to the GA4 property and click on the "Custom Definitions" button. You'll then be able to create a new custom dimension. In the event parameter name field, enter the name of the parameter that you want to use. You can also enter a description for the custom dimension.

Custom dimensions in GA4
After you've set up everything, you can now use your custom dimension within Google Analytics 4. It can be used to filter reports or create new segments. Before you start implementing live changes, make sure that you've checked the changes that have been made to your tracking configuration. Image Courtesy of Google Help

Opt for Custom Dimensions in GA4 Today

With GA4, you can easily see how your users interact with your website or app and gain insight into their data to improve your mobile app or website overall. With customized dimensions, you can get more precise data to optimize your customer journey and take your customer base to the next level!

Get great insight from our expert team.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
By signing up you agree to our Terms & Conditions