How to create a content grouping in Google Analytics is an easy task once you get the basics down.  As happens several times each month, we find ourselves with a client that wants to dig into their data in a manner not directly supported out of the box by Google.  This month, we needed to track an ongoing email campaign that was being used to drive traffic to the client’s blog posts.  In each email there were multiple clickable images and links so, we started using Google Tracking URLs, that identified each click source, medium, content, and campaign.  What we needed to get out of Google Analytics was which email clicks where going to which articles and how many pages each visitor was reading after that initial click.

The first step that I alluded to earlier was to build each url so that Google Analytics could identify the click and categorize it correctly.  We started off by identifying a campaign source, medium, content, and name for each link in the email and then used Google URL Builder to build each link.
Next, we went into the client Google Analytics and set up a custom content grouping for the two areas we needed to track, the blog and featured articles.  You can do this by going to the top of GA and clicking Admin.  Under “All Web Site Data” there is link for Content Grouping.  Here you can add a new content group.  It is highly likely that you would want to do this for every client that has a company blog.
For our client, we set up a Blog content grouping and a Featured Article grouping using the extraction method.  You have to use regular expressions in this area, so something like /blog/(.*?)/ will capture every page inside the blog directory; likewise, /blog/featured/(.*?)/ will group each featured article click in our case.
One caveat that is not readily known is that these content groupings will not retroactively group pages in the past.   They only work from the time you set them up forward.   It also takes about 24 hours to start getting data once you set one up.

Once back in Analytics after giving a few days to get some data in the grouping, you can go to Behavior >Site Content > All Pages and change the Primary dimension to Content Grouping: Blog (or whatever you named it).
This simple process enabled us to pull the email campaigns and see which clicks went to the blog, which went to featured articles and how they compared to organic and paid traffic to both areas.  It also gives us another dimension to view that is very helpful when trying to drill down and get specific page performance metrics.
Although Google Analytics doesn’t have everything out of the box, it is still a powerful tool when you understand the intricacies of each section.   Ennovative specializes in this sort of out of the box tracking and strategic process.   Feel free to message us if you have anything special that you need to track. Whether you are doing organic SEO, PPC, or email marketing, tracking that data and making informed decisions based upon that data is the only way to do digital marketing correctly.  Take the time to learn a few of the tricks and you will make your marketing campaigns really shine.

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