Google Tag Manager Content Grouping Setup Guide

This article is in conjunction with the following two articles:

#1 Introduction to Content Grouping in Google Analytics (where I introduced the concept of ‘Content Grouping’ and ‘Content Groups’)

#2 Creating Content Group in Google Analytics via tracking code (where I showed, how to create content grouping by using the Group by Tracking Code’ method.)

In order to get the most out of the present article, make sure you have read the above mentioned articles, first.

Today I am going to show you, how to set up content grouping in Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager.

Follow the steps below:

Step-1: Determine the objective of your content grouping. What insight do you want to get from content grouping in your GA reports.

Step-2: Decide the names and number of categories (content categories and/or product categories) which you will use as ‘content group’ for your content grouping.

Step-3: Identify all of the web pages which will be part of each ‘content group’.

Step-4: Navigate to the ‘Admin’ section of your GA test view and then click on ‘Content Grouping’ link:

Note: Create and use test view for testing ‘content grouping’ before you use it in your main view.

Step-5: Click on ‘New Content Grouping’ button:

Step-6: Name your new content grouping and then click on ‘Enable Tracking Code’ link as shown below:

Step-7: Select the index number for your new content grouping from the ‘Select Index’ drop down menu:

Note: Select the index number which is not already in use by some other ‘content grouping’.

Step-8: Click on the ‘Done’ button and then on the ‘Save’ button.

Step-9: Push the content/product category data of a web page to the data layer embedded on that page.

If you are already using enhanced ecommerce tracking via GTM then most likely the data layer is already installed on your web pages which contain the category data.

If this is not the case then you need to set up data layers and then push the category data to it.

Your web developer can help in pushing the category data to the data layer.

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For the sake of example, let us suppose enhanced ecommerce tracking is installed on your website and you need to pull category data from the ‘product detail’ data layer like the one below:



   “gtm.start”: 1994531071516,

   “event”: “gtm.js”,

   “gtm.uniqueEventId”: 0



   “ecommerce”:     {

     “detail”:       {

       “products”:         [


           “category”: “Sportswear”,

           “brand”: “Optimize Smart”,

           “variant”: “Blue”,

           “name”: “Mens Jacket”,

           “id”: “55393454530”







   “event”: “gtm.dom”,

   “gtm.uniqueEventId”: 1



   “event”: “gtm.load”,

   “gtm.uniqueEventId”: 3



You can pull the category data from the data layer into GTM via a data layer variable.

Step-10: Login to your GTM account and then create a new ‘data layer variable’:


ecommerce.detail.products.0.category refers to ‘category’ in the ‘product detail’ data layer:

Step-11: Edit the tag you used to send pageview data to GA:

Step-12: Click on ‘Content Groups’ link, enter the index number of your ‘content grouping’ and then select the data layer variable we created above as ‘content group’:

This tag setup is similar to the following GA tracking code setup:

<script> (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){

(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),



ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXXXXXX-Y’, ‘auto’);

ga(‘set’, ‘contentGroup1’, ‘{{category}}’);

ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);


Step-13: Save the tag and then preview your GTM container by clicking on the ‘Preview’ button:

Step-14: Navigate to the web page which you think, should be a part of your content grouping.

Step-15: In the GTM debugger window, click on the Google Analytics tag:

You should now see the name of the ‘content group’ the web page belongs to:

This proves that your content grouping setup is working. If your content grouping set up is not working then in that case, instead of the ‘content group’ name, you will see ‘undefined’:

You see ‘undefined’ because your data layer variable was not successful in pulling category data from the data layer. Click on the ‘Variables’ tab in the GTM debugger window to see what value was passed to your data layer variable. Most probably it would be ‘undefined’:


if your content grouping is not working then most probably your set up is not able to pull the required data from the data layer.

Step-16: Once everything is working as intended then publish your container. Once you have set up content grouping and corresponding content group(s), they are available in various GA reports either as primary or secondary dimensions.

Step-17: Wait for at least 10-20 minutes and then navigate to ‘All Pages’ report (under ‘Behavior’ > ‘Site Content’) in your test view:

Step-18: Select your ‘content grouping’ from the content grouping drop down menu:

You can then see all the ‘content groups’ in the selected ‘content grouping’:

Click on the ‘content group’ name to see website usage data for individual pages in the group:

Step-19: If the content grouping data is appearing in the desired format then navigate to your main GA reporting view (the one you mostly use for analysis).

Step-20: Repeat Steps 4 to 8 to enable ‘content grouping’ in your main view.

Step-21: Wait for at least 10-20 minutes and then navigate to ‘All Pages’ report (under ‘Behavior’ > ‘Site Content’) in your main view to see the content grouping data.


What is the difference between Digital Analytics and Google Analytics?

99.99% of course creators themselves don’t know the difference between Digital analytics, Google Analytics (GA) and Google Tag Manager (GTM).

So they are teaching GA and GTM in the name of teaching Digital analytics.

They just copy each other. Monkey see, monkey do.

But Digital analytics is not about GA, GTM.

It is about analyzing and interpreting data, setting up goals, strategies and KPIs.

It’s about creating strategic roadmap for your business.

Digital Analytics is the core skill. Google Analytics is just a tool used to implement ‘Digital Analytics’.

You can also implement ‘Digital analytics’ via other tools like ‘adobe analytics’, ‘kissmetrics’ etc.

Using Google Analytics without the good understanding of ‘Digital analytics’ is like driving around in a car, in a big city without understanding the traffic rules and road signs.

You are either likely to end up somewhere other than your destination or you get involved in an accident.

You learn data analysis and interpretation from Digital analytics and not from Google Analytics.

The direction in which your analysis will move, will determine the direction in which your marketing campaigns and eventually your company will move to get the highest possible return on investment.

You get that direction from ‘Digital analytics’ and not from ‘Google Analytics’.

You learn to set up KPIs, strategies and measurement framework for your business from ‘Digital analytics’ and not from ‘Google Analytics’.

So if you are taking a course only on 'Digital Analytics’, you are learning to use one of the tools of ‘Digital analytics’. You are not learning the ‘Digital analytics’ itself.

Since any person can learn to use Google Analytics in couple of weeks, you do no get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing GA.

You need to know lot more than GA in order to work in digital analytics and marketing field.

So what I have done, if you are interested, is I have put together a completely free training that will teach you exactly how I have been able to leverage digital analytics to generate floods of news sales and customers and how you can literally copy what I have done to get similar results.

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I truly hope you find it helpful.  

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Himanshu Sharma

Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of

Himanshu helps business owners and marketing professionals in generating more sales and ROI by fixing their website tracking issues, helping them understand their true customers purchase journey and helping them determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

He has over 12 years experience in digital analytics and digital marketing.

He was nominated for the Digital Analytics Association's Awards for Excellence.

The Digital Analytics Association is a world renowned not-for-profit association which helps organisations overcome the challenges of data acquisition and application.

He is the author of four best-selling books on analytics and conversion optimization:

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