The other day I was doing my daily reading and I came across the following paragraph: “Analytics people who like to cull patterns from massive amounts of data like to aggregate rather than split data. In web analytics this means treating several pages as one unit in order to know about visits that saw one or more of a certain set of pages that the analyst thinks belong together. In WebTrends and other software this is done with “content grouping” and Google has no parallel to it.” Chris Grant, Got Analytics? blog
“Google has no parallel to it!!” I have to admit that I took this statement personally as I consider Google Analytics my baby. So I went to my colleague, Rehan Asif, to discuss this and in less than twenty minutes we came up with the following concept:
- Categorize pages into groups of related content.
- Collect these pages together on one page and treat them as a single entity.
- Specify the URLs that you want to include in each group by defining URL patterns.
- Create a filter for each group. Each filter will search for the group identifier and replace the entire URL with a new URL.
Here is a real example on an online shoe store where we want to take all pages that focus on specific brands (for example, Converse, Timberland, Vans, and Reebok) and treat them as one content group.
1) First, we studied the URLs and found that they contain the brand name.
2) Using an advanced filter, all pages with “vans” in their URL will be renamed to “/vans.html”
3) Now create filters for each brand and apply the filters to a new profile called “Content Groups”
4) Now we have created content groups that allow us look at all pages for any brand as a single entity. We can now study the links where people exit, the entrance keywords, the entrance sources, other pages they visit on the site, and more.
Now, as I like to say, the real analysis begins!