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Google Analytics Content Grouping

What is Content Grouping

The Google Analytics Content Grouping feature allows you to organize your website content (pages) into content groups. You can then view your GA reports segmented by content group, instead of just by page (or path drill-down).

This is a useful way of aggregating similar content on your website to see how certain types of content perform as a whole.

Content grouping is configured at the view level in Google Analytics. Within each view, you can have up to 5 content grouping schemas, each with multiple groups defined within.

For example, a clothing company might have one grouping schema for customer types, with groups within defined as “women”, “men”, “kids”, etc. At the same time, they might have another content grouping for clothing types, with the groups within being defined as “shirts”, “shoes”, “outerwear”, etc.

Within each group, you can define which pages fall into the group in three ways:

  • Group by tracking code – This method requires you to modify the GA tracking code on each relevant page to specify a content group. This can be especially useful when groups are not easily defined by reference to a handful of page paths or titles and the functionality can be built into a CMS.
  • Group using extraction – This method uses a regular expression (regex) match with a capture group on the page path or title. You can extract the relevant part of the page path or title to use as the group name.
  • Group using rule definitions – This method requires you to define rules based-on the page path or title that define what pages fall into what groups. This is probably the most-easily understandable method, and the one I prefer.

You can mix methods within a content grouping. In that case, each time a page view is send to GA, it will run through the methods above in the order listed and assign the page to the first content group that successfully matches.

Content grouping can be well complimented by page-level custom dimensions in cases where it is not possible or practicable to define content groups by reference to the page path or title. The classic example of using a custom dimension to index pages is assigning blog post authors to individual blog posts.

Content Groups on Mason Core Website

To help us get a better idea of how popular the sections of the Mason Core website are as a whole, we have created a content grouping called “Website Sections”.

Here is an example of how the content groups are organized within this grouping:

Account: Mason Office of Communications and Marketing 01
Property: www2.gmu.edu
View: [PROD] Default 2.0 (2017-06-25)
Date Range: July 17, 2017 – July 23, 2017
Report: Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages
Primary Dimension: Content Grouping – Website Sections
Chart Type: Pie

  • There are 3 ‘highly-trafficked’ sections of the core website.
  • I added search as a content group so we could see how prevalent search activity is compared to the rest of the website content.
  • Several ‘high-profile’ sections are not ‘highly trafficked’.
  • The (not set) group can help you find which pages may have ‘slipped-through-the-cracks’.

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