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What’s the Difference Between Dimensions & Metrics In Google Analytics?

Aug 31, 2020
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Dimensions and Metrics are closely related but very different. In order to get more out of your Google Analytics Data, it helps to know and understand the difference. In this video, I'll go over the difference between Dimensions and Metrics in Google Analytics.

Use Google’s “Dimensions & Metrics Explorer” to find the right combinations: https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/dime...

📺 How to Use Analytics and Business Intelligence in Marketing: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

🎬 What Is Direct Traffic?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPZrF...

🎬 What is Referral Traffic? A Guide to Understanding Google Analytics : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apS1A...

 

Video Transcript: 

On the latest episode of Hack My Growth, we're going to be looking at the difference between dimensions and metrics within Google Analytics.

As I said in the opener, we're going to be taking a look at the difference between dimensions and metrics within Google Analytics. We need to understand what they are so we can really know how to use them. And what are some of the constraints with each of these inside of not just Google Analytics, but the other tools that we might be using as well. But before we get started, if you've been watching this channel while, and you have not yet hit subscribe, please do so now. We create new content each and every week to help you get the most out of your digital marketing activities.

Why Does It Matter?

So why does this even matter in the first place? Why do we need to know the difference between dimensions and metrics? Well, the big thing is if you want to do deeper analysis, you need to understand how you can segment or break up your data in order to get a deeper understanding. If you're going to be pulling your Google Analytics data into another tool, like Tableau or Power BI, you are going to have to have an understanding of dimensions and metrics and understanding what you can pull and what you can slice and dice with. And what's just not going to work at all.

What Are Dimensions? 

So first let's talk about dimensions. Dimensions are attributes of your data. They describe your data in a little more detail and allow you to segment it.

So what are some examples of these dimensions?

A dimension would be something like country. So United States, Canada, India. It could be a city, Orlando, San Francisco, London, anywhere. It could also be a page. So this could be the actual URL or the page title. As you can see, these aren't actually numbers. They're not able to be quantified. These are things that are attributes and can describe or break up your data a little bit deeper.

What Are Metrics? 

What are metrics? Metrics are quantitative measurements. These are things that can be counted. These are the numbers in your actual data sets. We want to use dimensions to describe or segment or slice. And we want to use metrics to understand the numbers behind each of those sections.

What are some common metrics?

Metrics are like sessions. These are the amount of visits that came on your site or page views. The number of pages that somebody saw, or it could be a bounce rate, the amount of people that came to your site and left before taking a specific action, or it could be your average session duration or the time that somebody spent on your site, all of these can be quantified. And these are the things that we can count as opposed to dimensions, which are more attributes or descriptions of the things that we're counting.

The Relationship Between Dimensions and Metrics

As we said, not all of these can fit together and sometimes it can be confusing what can be used together and what can't be used together. There are times where you run into limitations, even with tools like Data Studio, which allows you to pull a lot more data directly from Google Analytics. It's important to understand which dimensions and metrics work together. Google has a really cool tool that you can use that allows you to select some dimensions and it'll highlight the different metrics that you can use in order to do a little more investigation with your data. If you check out the link that we have here on the screen, and I'll make sure that it's below in the description as well, you can use that to begin to see which metrics and which dimensions work together.

In this video, we covered the differences between dimensions and metrics. We talked a little about what they are and how we can use them as well as a few examples. If you've got any more questions on dimensions and metrics, how we can pull that data, into some of our other tools like Power BI or Tableau or Data Studio, please comment below. I'd love to help you answer that question and we can create more content on that as well.

If you have any other questions related to SEO, inbound or anything else you're interested about, please let us know as well. We'd love to continue that conversation with you here online. And until next time, Happy Marketing.

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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