Custom dimensions add extra information to your campaigns that can help tailor reports for your business. Unlike labels, custom dimensions can contain multiple layers of information, so you can view summaries or dive into the details, along any number of pivot points that you define. This article explains how custom dimensions work and compares labels and custom dimensions.
Why use custom dimensions
The following examples show how you can use custom dimensions to create categories of campaigns and then summarize reporting data for each category.
Retailers organize their marketing efforts into product lines within larger departments, similar to a traditional department store. For each product line, the retailer has separate campaigns for brand and non-brand marketing, and has a few campaigns for specific promotions. While reporting at the campaign, ad group, and keyword level is useful for tactical decisions, the retailer also needs a way to view and compare performance at the product line level. So the retailer creates a "Product line" custom dimension and then associates each campaign with a product line, such as "Outdoor furnishings", "Living room", "Audio", and so on.
For example: Reports can show the overall performance for each product line.
For deeper insight, the retailer segments the "Product line" report by campaign:
|Campaign 1||Outdoor furnishings||550|
|Campaign 2||Outdoor furnishings||50|
|Campaign 3||Outdoor furnishings||400|
|Campaign 4||Living room||800|
|Campaign 5||Living room||200|
Adding a secondary dimension
Secondary dimensions provide additional details, and are attached to the primary dimension that you apply to your campaign or ad groups.
For example, each retail product line belongs to a retail department, so a retailer could expand the "Product line" dimension by adding a secondary dimension named "Department". Then the retailer enters values such as "Furnishings" and "Electronics" for each secondary dimension.
|Product line||Product line department|
Just as reports can show overall performance for each product line, reports can also show overall performance for each department.
|Product line department||Clicks|
Compare custom dimensions with labels
|Use labels for||Use custom dimensions for|
Quick, informal annotations.
|Long term annotations that reflect key categories of your business or marketing strategy.|
Annotations that don't require uniform naming conventions.
For example, if you create labels like this:
Shirts: long sleeve: blue
Shirts: long sleeve: red
A simple typo could ruin the naming scheme, and you might not notice until you've created and applied many of these labels.
Annotations that imply multiple levels or hierarchical relationships.
Instead of creating complex naming conventions, you can use secondary dimensions to add structure to your annotations.
Annotations that don't need to be applied to all campaigns.
If your labels are long, or if you've applied a large number of labels, it can be difficult to see which campaigns might be missing a specific label.
Annotations that you need to apply consistently across your campaigns.
You can add a custom dimension column to a reporting table and apply a filter or simply visually scan to see which campaigns aren't yet associated with a custom dimension value.