A Step by Step Guide on Google Analytics Content Grouping

If you work in ecommerce, then you are most likely familiar with Google Analytics. At its simplest form, Google Analytics can provide you with the data you need. This online analytics tool is a vital resource for reporting traffic, revenue, and tracking other website goals.

But what happens when you are ready to take your analysis to the next level by segmenting data into content groups? This is when Google Analytics configurations become complex and Something Digital is here to help. With this step by step guide, Something Digital will provide instructions on how to configure content groups in Google Analytics and shed light on content grouping best practices.

Content grouping is a feature that allows ecommerce professionals to group content into logical structures based on the functionality and user behavior of their website. For example, if you sell a variety of different shoes online, you can create content groups based on shoe types like sneakers, loafers, or boots. Another common form of content grouping is to aggregate data based on page type, like product detail pages or product listing pages. Once these content groups have been created, you will be able to analyze content group data at the URL, device speed, or default channel level.

So, why does your analytics team need to set up content grouping? With this feature enabled, data can be segmented based on the content you deem most important to your business goals. This is also extremely helpful for high traffic websites with numerous pages. Rather than trying to segment massive amounts of data with Google Analytics default features, content groupings make advanced data analysis easy and efficient.

Now, let’s walk through an example on how to set up a content group in only three steps.

Step 1: Log into Google Analytics and navigate to the admin. Once in the admin, go to view setting and select the view you would like to create the content group. Then click on Content Groupings.

Step 2: Once in Content Groupings, click New Content Groupings and name your content group. For our example, we will name the content group Page Types.

Step 3: Now that we have named the content group, we can configure the groupings. There are three ways you can do this:

  1. Group by Tracking Code: This method utilizes Google Tag Manager to send the data directly to Google Analytics. With this method, you will need to update your dataLayer to capture the category you are using for the content group. Once a new dataLayer variable is created, you will go your GA Pageviews tag, scroll down to more settings, and click content group. From there, you will label the index as 1 and the content group as the variable you created.
  2. Group by Extraction: This method pulls from elements in a page, page title, or screen name using a regex capture.
  3. Group by Rule: This method also pulls elements from a page, page title, or screen name. The difference is that you are not limited to using a regex. Group by rule is the most efficient way to set up content groupings.


How to utilize content grouping in reporting

Once your content groups have been created and some time has passed for data to be collected, you can begin to analyze your data by segmenting out content groups. Utilizing content groups while doing an ecommerce analysis is an efficient way to gather conclusive behavioral data of a user group.

First, you can create a custom segment in Google Analytics based on a specific content group. This is an effective way to analyze all of your data within a content group and compare data to all other users or to other content groups.

Another way to gather data based on content group creation is through secondary dimensions. The content groups you have created in the admin will appear as secondary dimensions. From there you can search the exact content group you are looking to gather information on without having to create a segment.

So, once you have created your content groups and apply a segment or a secondary dimension, what metrics should you be analyzing with this new data? Here are three metrics Something Digital recommends:

  1. Exit Rate: Exit Rate is the percentage of exits based on the total number of exits divided by the total number of pageviews. Knowing overall exit rate is a good indication of how users are engaging with the content on specific pages. However, the average exit rate is an aggregate percentage of all your pageviews. Knowing exit rate by your content groups will provide a more granular insights into specific categories.
  2. Conversion Rate: Conversion Rate is the percentage of sessions that resulted in a transaction. Let’s say you are given the budget to re-design only two of your product listing pages but are unsure of which ones need a re-design. Through content group segmentation, you are now able to see the conversion rates based on users who visited specific product listing pages. This is just one scenario of how you can utilize content groups and apply it strategically to conversion rates.
  3. Mobile Metrics vs. Desktop Metrics: Improving the mobile experience is the new fad of ecommerce. With mobile always being top of mind, segmenting by your content groups can give further insight into how user behavior is broken down based on device.


Creating content groups can be challenging, but in the end, it is worth the effort. With these capabilities, data analysis will become more precise, strategic, and advanced.  f you are interested in taking your data analysis to the next level, checkout some of the other work our Digital Strategy team handles or contact us!

Tori Oates

Tori loves to play tennis and hit the gym. If she is not doing this, she is most likely watching tennis or looking up new workouts.