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Google Ads has released a new beta called Custom Dimensions. These Custom Dimensions will allow you to add extra information to your campaigns which will help you to better report on performance based on business category or strategy. They have started to appear across some accounts in the UK. Here we will explore what they are, what this means for you, and how you should be using them. 


What do Custom Dimensions mean for you?

Fellow PPC’er Steven Johns seems to have beta access to this on some of his accounts:


Sounds like Labels? You’d be right to an extent. However, Custom Dimensions are different to Labels as they enable you to have multiple layers of information to create a hierarchical structure. For example, you can now see aggregated performance by your business’ product lines or even department.

Historically you would have had to have had complicated naming conventions within your campaigns, or you would have had multiple labels which might have caused head aches! For example, you might have had one label called ‘Product Department: Living Room’ and then had to apply another label for Department such as ‘Product: Sofa’. In Google these are treated as separate entities and when it came to reporting on Labels, you couldn’t layer the labels in a way to make it easily digestible in a Pivot.

Because you can add a hierarchy to campaigns using Custom Dimensions, it should make it easier to give your campaigns dimensions so that you can easily slice & dice the data.

How should you use Custom Dimensions?

In my opinion, any good campaign structure should be following the principles of Key-value Pairs. Key-value Pairs refers to two related date elements; the key here is a constant and this defines the set of values. Values are the variables that are defined by the Key. An example of this us though the below:

https://docs.adobe.com/content/help/en/audience-manager/user-guide/reference/key-value-pairs-explained.html

Key

Value

Market

UK, US, DE etc.

Category

Brand, Generic, Shopping etc.

Department

Living Room, Kitchen, Bedroom etc.

Product

Sofa, Dining Chairs, Bed etc.

Match Type

Exact, Phrase, BMM etc.

You can then fully form these Key-value Pairs to create campaign names:

UK_Brand_Living Room_Sofa_Exact
UK_Generic_Living Room_Sofa_BMM
UK_Generic_Living Room_X_Exact
Etc.

If there is no value (for example, if there is no Product value and the keyword is [living room]), then you can put in a value such as ‘X’. The reason why is because you always need a value to correspond to the key.

This kind of structure allows you to substantially speed up Reporting and Account Building. You can use formulas to easily create Campaign and Ad Group names, as well as Ad Copy. For reporting, you can easily ‘delimit’ the names into separate columns (using the underscore as the value to delimit) and pivot the data for more insight:

Key:

Market

Category

Department

Product

Match Type

Values:

UK

Brand

Living Room

Sofa

Exact

UK

Generic

Living Room

Sofa

BMM

UK

Generic

Living Room

X

Exact

If your campaigns aren’t very well structured, you could use Custom Dimensions to help give your accounts some dimension that follow the principles of Key-value Pairs. Instead of having to download the reports into Excel, delimit the data and then pivot; you can now use this feature to build the report in the Google Ads interface itself.

How can you see Custom Dimensions in Google Ads?

It appears to be in limited beta at the moment so your best bet is to ask your Google representative if you have one. If not, fingers crossed you see it pop up in your accounts! When it does appear, you can find it under ‘Tools & Settings’.


Custom Dimensions in Google Ads FAQ

What are Custom Dimensions in Google Ads?

Custom Dimensions will allow you to add extra information to your campaigns which will help you to better report on performance based on business category or strategy. Custom Dimensions are different to Labels as they enable you to have multiple layers of information to create a hierarchical structure. For example, you can now see aggregated performance by your business’ product lines or even department.

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Dan Roberts

Founder & Author at PPC hubbub
Dan has worked across different agencies in the UK for over 6 years. He was awarded Rising Star at The Drum Search Awards in 2015. Google voted him as one of the Top 20 Search Specialists in the UK. He founded PPC hubbub after becoming frustrated with the lack of actionable insight from blogs.

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Dan Roberts
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