Counting content hierarchies
A common usage of content hierarchies is to show the different paths visitors have taken from a certain page, level, and so forth.
How should I track my content hierarchy?
You must first understand the reporting requirements for tracking content hierarchies. If the requirements for tracking the hierarchy are very detailed, often times the hierarchy ( hier ) variable is recommended. Hierarchies usually require a strict, predefined taxonomy where the same child node rarely lives under multiple parent nodes. Consider the following example:
All Sites > Regions > Countries > Language > Category
In this example, the hierarchy could begin to break down at the language level. If a requirement is to report on overall "English" traffic, you can run into the problem where English appears under USA, England, Australia, and so forth. Hierarchies allow you to only drill down. In order to slice horizontally across multiple hierarchies, the best practice is to use a custom traffic variable (prop).
If you want to provide users with the ability to drill down through the site (similar to how users would browse the site) and report on Unique Visitors at each level of the hierarchy, the hierarchy variable is recommended.
There are occasions when using both props and the hier variable makes sense. The following is a supported prop for each variable type: