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Track multiple values in a custom dimension

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# 1
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I have a site that has two taxonomies: Category and Tag.

An article can have one Category, but an arbitrary number of tags.

 

I'm trying to track and segment data so that I can find the following information:

"What are the most popular (by pageviews) Tags in a given Category?"

 

The way I hoped to accomplish this was by tracking the Category as one dimension, and Tags as another. Then, querying the API is a trivial matter.

 

Here's the issue: it doesn't appear that one can track multiple values (Tags, in my case) in one custom dimension on a given page, which would be required in order to run the query I want to see.

 

My question: Am I missing something, or is this (what seems to me very basic, useful, and common) feature lacking from Analytics? Alternatively, is there another approach (hopefully not hack) that would allow me to achieve my core goal?

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Track multiple values in a custom dimension

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Josh,

What about merging several tags in a single comma-separated custom-dimension value like

FBI, Apple, Private Data

instead of three tags or three values?

Christoph

Re: Track multiple values in a custom dimension

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# 3
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Christoph,

I've seen that workaround floated in several answers to questions like mine. My concern is: if I do so, can I segment data in the way I've mentioned is my end goal?
Can I find the most popular tag + category combo when tags aren't really "individual" values (they're comma separated sets) in GA's eyes?

Re: Track multiple values in a custom dimension

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Hi Josh,

Okay, I see what you mean. You could filter and segment as you want with my method but you don't get the tags in different lines to do the math.

So, one possibility would be to do 'pseudo' e-commerce tracking with tags formally bundled together in a shopping cart and the single tags being products with 0-dollars price tag. But that's maybe a little oversized ...

The other possibility should be event tracking - so to fire three events (with different event label for example) for three tags. So you could set up a custom report with event label and page views to get your numbers.

Christoph