Content Grouping Data Now Available via Google Analytics API

Last year Google Analytics launched a neat feature to see how different groups of content on a website perform — Content Groups. GA allows the use of up to 5 content groupings, where each grouping can have many content groups.

Lest the terminology of groupings vs. groups confuse you, Justin Cutroni wrote what I consider to be a seminal blog post with examples of how sites in various industries could use content groups. Justin’s post is (like always) excellent and well worth a read but I’ll summarize his examples for e-commerce sites and publishers.

Ecommerce sites

An e-commerce site like REI could create content groupings around product pages, with groups like Men’s Apparel, Women’s Apparel, Kids, Outdoor Gear and such. Or, if they want to track their funnel closely, the Funnel Pages grouping can have groups like Cart management pages (e.g. review/edit cart), Checkout pages (e.g. review order, choose shipping option, choose payment method) or sign-in pages (for companies like Amazon or New Egg that require you to have an account and be signed in before you can order).

Content Grouping Ecommerce Examples

Web publishers

Here’s an example of how content publishers like Comedy Central can use content groups.

Content Grouping Publisher Examples

Grouping by author is the obvious first step. This gives them a good view of how different content creators are doing. Topics are another grouping relevant to a vast majority of publishers, no matter whether you’re in the news, entertainment or informational content business. Grouping by publication date will give you great insights into whether your content marketing team is improving quarter-over-quarter. Another interesting way for one of my favorite shows – The Colbert Report – to group its content is by segment types. For example, Who’s Honoring Me Now?, Cheating Death, The Word and Interviews.

Grouping your content in this way will allow you to quickly and easily analyze the relative performance of these group vis-a-vis each other. For example, you can take a metric — say video play completions — and find that a higher percentage of people who watch a Word segment finish watching it, compared with Interview segments. Or that Cheating Death segments have the highest virality index — % of watchers who share it on Facebook.

Some of these insights are available in stock Google Analytics reporting but for others, you may have to extract the data out of GA and combine it with some of your own data. Yesterday Google made it possible by adding Content Grouping related metrics and dimensions to those that can be queried via their Core Reporting API.

Here’s the Content Grouping section of the updated Dimensions & Metrics reference for the core reporting API.