Marketing

What is a Secondary Dimension in Google Analytics?

By Jon Elordi

Google Analytics 4 is the gold standard when it comes to tracking and analyzing website traffic. If you’re website doesn’t have Google Analytics, you should install it right away. It’s a must. Part of what makes Google Analytics ubiquitous in digital marketing analysis is that it’s powerful. And one of the easiest features that can provide the most value are secondary dimensions.

What sets digital marketing analysts apart from traditional marketing analysts is that we have the ability to understand our user’s behavior. The information we’re able to get from this added data can lead to valuable insights. The ability to glean more insight from landing pages or from the traffic acquisition report in Google Analytics makes analytical digital marketer extremely valuable.

If you’re new to digital marketing, then you really need to master using secondary dimensions in Google Analytics. By default Google Analytics provides you many report tables with default primary dimensions. But by adding secondary dimensions to the same table you’ll be able to make more specific analysis on user behavior. All of which will provide value to your marketing campaign.

What Are Secondary Dimensions?

Secondary dimensions in Google Analytics are added variables that help break down your data. So, for example, assume you were looking at how many pageviews certain mages were getting. If you wanted to know the traffic source of those pageviews, you would add the “Source” secondary dimension to the chart. You would then be able to analyze the data by both page and source.

Adding a secondary dimension allows you to slice your data into more granular chunks. The Primary dimension data helps answer surface-level questions, but by adding a secondary dimension, you can .answer deeper questions that could answer more important business decisions.

How to Use Secondary Dimension Feature in Google Analytics

Adding a secondary dimension to a report is simple. Click on the blue + next to “Session default channel group.”

At that point, a dropdown menu will appear. You can navigate through the different categories to find the correct secondary dimension. Or if you know what you’re looking for, you can search for a specific secondary dimension.

dimensions dropdown menu

And that’s it! You’ll see the report tables display the new secondary dimension values.

How Can You Use Secondary Dimensions?

Secondary dimensions allow you to go one level deeper to discover actionable insights. The possible combination of all the different data allows you to do more specific analysis that can help your business goals.

For example, if you wanted to see what landing page had the most traffic from mobile users, secondary dimensions would allow you to do that. You’d set Landing Page as your primary dimension and then add Device Category as a secondary dimension in Google Analytics.

Landing Page and device type

The secondary dimension values allow for more specific analysis. Some more interesting ways to use a secondary dimension include:

  • Looking at which landing page has a higher session duration among different demographics

  • Analyzing the bounce rate of different referral traffic on different devices.

  • Looking at the data to see if there are any connections between engagement and geographic location.

With a secondary dimension in Google Analytics, you can analyze data on a much deeper level.

What Reports in GA4 Can You Use Secondary Dimensions On?

You can add secondary dimensions to most reports in Google Analytics 4. Below is a complete list of all the reports:

  • Traffic acquisition

  • User acquisition

  • Events

  • Conversions

  • Pages and Screens

  • Ecommerce Purchases

  • In-app Purchases

  • Publisher Ads

  • Demographic Details

  • Tech Details

Since you can use secondary dimensions on so many reports in Google Analytics it’s possible to do some very specific analysis.

What Secondary dimensions are available in Google Analytics 4

Demographics:

  • Age

  • Gender

Geography:

  • City

  • Country

  • Region

Page / Screen

  • Hostname

  • Landing Page

  • Page path and screen class

Platform / Device

  • App Version

  • Browser

  • Device Category

  • Language

  • Device Brand

  • Device

  • Device Model

  • Operating System

  • OS with Version

  • Screen Resolution

  • Stream ID

  • Language Code

Traffic Source:

  • First user campaign

  • First user default channel grouping

  • First user Google Ads ad group ID

  • First user Google Ads ad group name

  • First user Google Ads ad network type

  • First user manual ad content

  • First user manual term

  • First user medium

  • First user source

  • First user source / medium

  • First user source platform

  • Session campaign

  • Session Google Ads ad group ID

  • Session Google Ads ad group name

  • Session Google Ads ad network type

  • Session manual ad content

  • Session manual term

  • Session medium

  • Session source

  • Session source / medium

  • Session source platform

User Lifetime:

  • First session date

  • First visit date

User:

  • Audience name

  • Signed in with user