What Is a “Secondary Dimension” in Google Analytics?

The quick answer is:

An additional report dimension for more specific analysis

What Does That Mean?

Google says:

“The Secondary Dimension feature allows you to define a primary dimension and then view that data by a secondary dimension within the same table.”

In other words, it’s a way to see more data about your website’s visitors.

Start At Primary Dimension

To find the secondary dimension options, you’ll first need to navigate to a primary dimension first.

That basically means one of the options you choose in the left sidebar menu.

For example, let’s say you want to check your organic traffic coming from Google searches.

On the left side, you would click Acquisition > Overview.

Then in the main window select Organic Search.

google analytics organic search

Towards the top right of the screen, you can adjust the timeframe for the data you want to check.

google analytics date range

Finding the Secondary Dimension

In this example, your Primary Dimension is: Keyword

And you’ll see the option to click “Secondary dimension”.

google analytics secondary dimension

When clicked, you’ll see options to explore that include:

  • Acquisition
  • Advertising
  • Behavior
  • Custom Variables
  • Ecommerce
  • Social
  • Time
  • Users
google analytics secondary dimension options

This Is How to Find Great and Specific Data about Your Website

Each of those options have many options within them. Click the option you are interested in and start exploring the data.

For example, if you select Users, then scroll down and select City.

google analytics users

That will add a column in your data table with info about the cities your visitors are in.

google analytics city
The site in this example is getting a lot of non-U.S. traffic.

How Can That Be Useful?

If you are targeting local searches near you, then you would be able to see if your local SEO consultant’s campaign is working.

Doing your own SEO?

In the example above, let’s say you are targeting web visitors in or around Chicago, IL.

And you check your users’ city data using Google Analytics secondary dimensions and see most of your traffic is coming from other countries, then you might want to re-evaluate your SEO campaign and strategy to make sure you start getting the local traffic you want.

There Are Many Ways to Use Google Analytics’ Secondary Dimensions

There are tons of different ways to use the secondary dimension feature. Click around with the different choices available to uncover a lot of your website’s user data. It can get interesting!

Other Reading: How to Exclude Words From Google Search

Why Doesn’t Google Like Duplicate Content?

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