How to Use Google Analytics Content Groupings

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.

How Google Analytics Content Groupings Work

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

  • Content Groupings. You can create up to 5 content groupings in Google Analytics. To use the example Google gave when explaining the new feature, if you owned a clothing store you may want to create a content grouping for Men, Women, and Children.
  • Content Groups. You can create an unlimited number of content groups within each of your content groupings. If you had your groupings for Men, Women, and Children for example, you could then create content groups for each section labeled Shirts, Pants, and Outerwear.

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.

Getting Started with Google Analytics Content Groupings

Before you determine what method you want to use to create Content Groups, you have to create one of your 5 Content Groupings:

  • Click Admin on your Analytics page
  • Click Content Grouping
  • Click Create New Content Grouping
  • Enter a name for your new grouping
  • Select your method to create your Content Groups.

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:

1. Group by Tracking Code. Under Group By Tracking Code, click Enable Tracking Code. Make sure your Enable option is set to On. Select an index number (1-5) to identify your Content Group. Click Done.


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’, ‘’);
ga(‘set’, ‘contentGroup5’, ‘Group Name’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

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.

2. Group by Extraction. Click Add Extraction, and then select either Page URL, Page Title, or Screen Name.


This method involves regular expressions that will automatically name groupings for you. Your three choices for extraction include:

  1. Page URL. For example, you could create a Content Group for each subdirectory of /Men/, which means that the pages found in each subdirectory will be extracted and put into the right group.
  2. Page Title. Creates Content Groups for pages that contain a certain word in the title. This means that any Page Title that contained the word you specified will be put into a Content group accordingly.
  3. Screen Name. This will create a Content Group for all screen names that contain words that you specified. It works the same way as the Page Title.

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.

3. Group by Rules you Create. Click Create a Rule Set. Enter the name you want to use for the Content Group, Select either Page URL, Page Title, or Screen Name, Enter a value you want to match, Click OR or AND to add that condition to the rule, Hit Done and then Save.


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.

What This Means to Your Small Business

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:

  • Product Categories. Much like the example of the clothing store used above. Best for eCommerce sites.
  • Navigation. Create groups for your top-level navigation.
  • Content Types. Videos, infographics, articles, white papers, eBooks, etc.
  • Sales Flow. A good way to look at your conversion funnel. Use groupings like Conversion Page and Checkout Page.
  • Blog Post Categories. As long as you don’t have any overlap, categories work well.
  • Authors. See how content that certain authors create compares to others if you have more than one author on your site.

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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