February 17, 2014
Google Analytics came out with a new feature called Content Groupings in December of last year that aimed to help users compare the performance of different content and products by categorizing them into groups. Now that it’s been about two months, more and more companies are starting to speak out about the perks of the new feature. It’s clear that content production isn’t slowing down anytime soon which can be stressful, so the sooner you can learn to use this new option the better.
Once again, the new feature is all about comparing metrics by groups that you create. Within the groups you create, you can narrow in on specifics such as URL, page title, screen name, etc. I think it helps to think of it by using two separate terms
As discussed above, you are also able to look into each group and see how individual webpages are doing in comparison to others. In other words, the groups definitely do help you to compare groups, but they can also be used as a good way to keep things organized when analyzing one page versus another (ex: Men/Shirts/T-shirts/index.html vs. Men/Shirts/DressShirts/index.html).
Extra Tip: There still doesn’t seem to be a way to delete a content grouping once you create it, so choose carefully! You can always go through and make edits (even serious ones), but it’s still something to keep in mind.
Before you determine what method you want to use to create Content Groups, you have to create one of your 5 Content Groupings:
The Content Grouping feature supports page grouping (creating your Content Groups) in three different ways, and you can use one, two, or all three approaches. If you do choose to use more than one, Google Analytics will group based upon the first match it sees. The three choices explained below go in order of what Analytics evaluates first:
All you need to do here is add a single line of code, which will identify the content index number as well as the content group number.
Each content grouping you create will be associated with a number when you’re getting started (since you can only have 5 groupings, they will therefore be labeled 1-5), and you will need this number so that Google Analytics knows which group that piece of content belongs.
Below is an example of how the code will look:
ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXXXXXX-Y’, ‘example.com’);
ga(‘set’, ‘contentGroup5’, ‘Group Name’);
Of course this option will involve IT support to get started. I highly recommend checking out this article from Google to see more examples and exactly how to implement this option.
This method involves regular expressions that will automatically name groupings for you. Your three choices for extraction include:
If you haven’t used regular expressions before, that will have to be your first step. This article from Google will help get you started.
The theory here is exactly like the extract method, except you manually name the group instead of having it automatically pulled for you. You create rules based on Page Title, Page URL, or the Screen Name, and then if a page or piece of content matches your rule then it will be added to the group accordingly.
Being able to see your data in this way is incredibly helpful; however it isn’t going to mean much if you aren’t creating the right types of groups. You need to make sure you have a plan and a goal in mind. A few options for you might include:
Do you have any tips for getting started with Google Analytics new Content Groupings? If you’ve already been using the new feature, what has been your experience? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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