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  • Updating GA4 Custom Dimensions After Initial 'Config' Call

    Posted by Liam on 2 July 2022 at 2:42 am

    Sure, here’s the rephrased question:

    “Hey, I’ve been having a hard time with adding custom dimensions to the “enhanced measurement” events using Google Analytics 4 loaded via GTM. I understand that setting up the dimensions in the config call for the tracking ID works, but seems like it does nothing on subsequent calls for an already configured tracker with GA4. I also notice that set operations aren’t really helping either. I was wondering, is there a way to add parameters to these “enhanced measurement” events after the tracker is already configured? And why doesn’t the GA4 integration pick up on set dimensions? What alternate way can I use to modify dimensions after the tracker is set up, apart from including them in the event call itself?”

    Lucas replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Kelsey

    28 July 2022 at 3:25 pm

    You see, Google introduced a quirky update to GA4 around last August. Without much warning or documentation, they added a mechanism to ignore ‘duplicate’ configuration calls and enabled it by default.

    You should be able to address this by following these steps:

    1. Go to your GA4 property’s Admin
    2. Navigate to Data Streams
    3. Select the relevant data stream
    4. Go to Configure Tag Settings
    5. Find your Google Tag and
    6. Click the checkbox next to your stream
    7. Turn OFF the option for “Ignore duplicate instances of on-page configuration.”

    It seems like gtag.js’ behavior is contingent on your GA4 property’s config. There are other configurations you can adjust too, including cross-domain linking rules.

    I’d also like to give a shout out to Angela Grammatas and Todd Bullivant who helped figure this out on Measure Slack 🙂

    Just a quick note – it might seem a bit offbeat to use both GTM and gtag() simultaneously. This approach could accumulate technical debt. A more efficient strategy would be to migrate all direct gtag() calls to GTM by activating your dataLayer.

  • Lucas

    19 December 2022 at 5:04 pm

    Adding custom dimensions to the “enhanced measurement” events in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) via Google Tag Manager (GTM) can certainly be a challenging task, especially if you’re trying to do it after the tracker has been configured. In GA4, the configuration call is important as it’s the stage where dimensions can be set for the tracking ID. However, if dimensions are not set during this stage, GA4 does not recognize them in subsequent calls, unlike the previous version.

    Likewise, “set” operations may not work as GA4 integration might not pick up on set dimensions. This is a limitation observed, that doesn’t allow modifications after the tracker set up. The only reliable method currently to add or modify dimensions is to include them directly in the event call itself. This is because GA4 processes dimensions as a part of the event data, and adding them later can cause tracking issues. So while it may not be as convenient, ensuring that all required dimensions are included in the event call is your best bet to accurately configure and use enhanced measurement events in GA4.

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