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About metrics and dimensions

Every custom field has one of two field types: metric or dimension.

  • Custom dimensions allow you to make bulk modifications to your data, as well as combine or correct it. 
  • Custom metrics allow you to add entire new metrics to your data — including any that Supermetrics itself doesn't support — or make adjustments to existing metrics.

What are dimensions? 

In the data landscape, dimensions are essentially the categories or parameters that segment your data. They're descriptive attributes that can provide context to your numerical metrics. They answer the questions about your data that start with 'who', 'what', 'where', and 'when'.

For instance, if you're running an ad campaign, some dimensions could include 'age', 'gender', 'location', 'device type', or 'ad placement'. When paired with metrics – the quantitative measurements of your ads such as 'clicks', 'impressions', 'conversions', or 'cost' – dimensions help paint a more comprehensive picture of your ad performance.

Use dimensions to extract meaningful insights from your raw data, such as:

  • Audience segmentation: Dimensions can reveal critical insights into who is interacting with your ads and how. For instance, you might find that a particular age group or geographical location responds better to your campaigns, enabling you to target them more effectively in the future.
  • Ad optimization: By reviewing how your ads perform across different dimensions like 'device type' or 'ad placement', you can optimize where and how your ads appear to maximize engagement and conversions.
  • Budget allocation: Dimensions can provide invaluable data about where your ad spend is going and which areas are offering the best return on investment. This can guide your budget allocation for future campaigns.
  • Trend analysis: Reviewing dimensions over time can help identify trends and patterns in user behavior, market shifts, or campaign performance, allowing for data-driven decision-making.

The key is to select dimensions that align with your goals and provide meaningful insights – and to avoid the "analysis paralysis" caused by too much data.

In conclusion, dimensions add depth and context to your metrics, facilitate strategic decision-making, and help you to turn raw data into actionable insights.

What are metrics? 

Just as dimensions provide the context to your advertising data, metrics provide the quantifiable measures that allow you to evaluate and improve your campaign performance. These are the figures that allow you to gauge the success of your ads, measure return on investment, and make informed decisions about future campaigns.

Examples of common metrics include 'impressions' (how often your ad was shown), 'clicks' (how many times your ad was clicked), 'conversion rate' (the percentage of clicks that led to a desired action, such as a purchase), and 'cost per click' (the average amount you pay each time someone clicks your ad).

Using these metrics can guide you in many ways:

  • Performance evaluation: Metrics allow you to quantify the success of your campaigns. They tell you if you're reaching your target audience, how well you're engaging them, and if you're prompting the desired actions.
  • Budget management: Metrics like 'cost per click' and 'return on ad spend' can help you understand whether you're getting your money's worth from your campaigns. These insights can guide budget allocations and help ensure a better return on investment.
  • Strategy refinement: By analyzing metrics over time, you can identify what's working and what isn't. This enables continuous improvement and strategic refinement.
  • Goal setting: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) goals are central to any marketing campaign. Metrics provide the 'measurable' aspect, enabling you to set concrete targets and track progress over time.

A common challenge is the risk of "vanity metrics" – numbers that look good on paper but don't necessarily contribute to your overall business objectives. It's essential to focus on metrics that align with your goals and provide actionable insights, not just impressive figures.

In a nutshell, metrics help you turn abstract goals into measurable action, providing a clear pathway towards achieving your goals. 

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