Step-by-Step: QA Your GTM Container with Preview and Debug Mode

Previously, I’ve showed you how to implement a basic Google Analytics page view tag, event tags, and outbound link tracking using Google Tag Manager. An important step prior to publishing any tag in GTM is to QA the tag prior to publishing. You can do this with the ‘Preview and Debug’ mode in GTM. This functionality can help ensure that your tags are firing correctly, as well as highlight any potential discrepancies in the tag setup prior to publishing to your production environment. This is a quick process that you can accomplish in just a few steps: Step 1: Setup your tag. In this case, I’m testing a new pageview tag called ‘gaPageview Test’ on this blog, kristaseiden.com. You can see the tag and trigger setup here: Step 2: Once you’ve completed the tag you’re working on, you’ll want to go into the ‘Preview and Debug’ mode via the button in the upper left hand corner of the
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How to Improve Engagement Tracking with Event Tracking

Better data enables better decision making, and it begins with how you track it – to provide more context to what’s already out there. Because by knowing more about the context, you’ll be better equipped and informed. When I’m interviewing prospective interns or senior roles for our marketing team and we get to questions about their knowledge of Google Analytics, I always ask them two questions to get a sense of their proficiency level: Have you worked with Advanced Segments Do you know how to use Event Tracking and can you explain how it works? To me, both are essential for getting a better sense of the data and the users on your site. With this post I’d like to explain the importance of Event Tracking and how we use
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GTM Analytics Academy Course Open Till July 24th!

I’m INCREDIBLY excited that we launched our newest Analytics Academy course last week (June 23rd). This course is all about Google Tag Manager and is aimed at helping marketers, analysts, and developers quickly get up to speed on GTM, tagging best practices, and using tag management to improve your analytics (and other tags) implementation. And I’m INCREDIBLY excited that I have the opportunity to be the instructor for our newest course! This opportunity allows me to bring my passion for teaching GTM to both a technical and a less technical audience and to help GTM education reach the masses. I couldn’t be more excited! If you’re not familiar with the Analytics Academy, here’s the quick history and relevant links: there are currently 5 courses: Digital Analytics Fundamentals, Platform Principles, Ecommerce
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Step by Step: Adding a Second GA Property via Google Tag Manager

Placing more than one analytics property ID on your website can be very beneficial. This gives you the ability to send analytics data to more than one property in Google Analytics and can be used to analyze different segments of traffic, control access for different groups of stakeholders, link additional features to a particular property, and many many more reasons. Each business will have their own reasoning for sending data to multiple properties – what’s yours? Leave your reasons in the comments section, I’d love to hear! The days of double tagging a website via code on your page are gone… Well, not really, you can still do it, but I wouldn’t recommend it. In fact, it’s never been a highly recommended practice for a many reasons, here are a couple: Multiple instances of
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Best Practice Solutions Guide: Implementing Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager

Towards the end of last year, I heard feedback from a few of our clients that there wasn’t a lot of good documentation on how to implement Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager. I felt this pain because I’d been in their shoes. For the previous couple of years I’d been on the practitioner side implementing GA via GTM and I knew exactly what they meant. So I decided to write a guide on how to implement a lot of common GA features via GTM from a practitioner viewpoint. I wanted to be sure to call out the gotchas and best practices that I’ve learned from good, ol’ fashion experience of doing this stuff myself. So today I’m really excited to share with you what I’ve been working on. We just
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Step by Step: Outbound Link Tracking in Google Tag Manager

Following up on last week’s post on event tracking, I thought it would be a good idea to deep dive on outbound link tracking. Outbound link tracking is super easy to setup using Google Tag Manager and the insights you can gain by understanding the most common paths to leaving your website are definitely worth the minimal effort to implement. So, without further ado, here is a step by step guide to setting up outbound link tracking via Google Tag Manager. Before you being, be sure you’ve enabled the necessary pre-defined variables in Google Tag Manager. Step 1: Create a new tag in Google Tag Manger. – Select ‘Google Analytics’ as the tag and Universal Analytics as the tag type – Choose ‘Click’ for what triggers the tag to fire
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Events: Best Practices for Hierarchies and Naming Conventions

If you are looking to understand the actions that a user takes on your website, one of the best ways to do this is with event tracking. This can include (but not limited to): Link clicks (on site or outbound) Downloads (whitepaper, pdf, etc) Scrolling Load times In Google Analytics, event tracking is made up of 4 elements: Category, Action, Label, and Value. The awesome thing about this is that the hierarchy use cases are highly customizable so events are a very flexible way to report on user action. For larger websites/enterprises, I tend to track events in the following format, utilizing the category as a means of organizing actions based on site structure. Note that the ‘Value’ field is used to set a numerical value for an event, most
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Using a GTM Constant String Variable for GA Property ID

If you use Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics, you’ll know that with every new analytics tag you create, you need to enter in your Google Analytics property ID (what’s a property ID?). If you are creating multiple tags, this can be a pain and can also lead to possible typos/errors that will cause your tags to fail later on since you won’t be sending data to the right GA accounts. There is a very quick and easy way to make this better! And more importantly, scalable. To do so, I’m going to show you how to use a constant string user-defined variable for your Property ID. This is only 2 easy steps. First, you’ll need to create the new user-defined variable. To do so, select variables, new User-Defined Variable,
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Enabling Pre-defined Variables in the New GTM UI

In GTM 2.0, macros have gone away. These are now called ‘Variables’. There are many pre-defined variables in GTM 2.0 which make setting up tags & triggers easier than before, however, you must first enable them. This is just a quick post to hopefully save you some time and energy the first time you try to use the new UI to create a new tag or trigger. When you first create a new container, there will be a small subset of pre-defined variables already enabled. You can see them by navigating to the ‘Variables’ section via the left-hand nav. If you are creating any type of click or form event, you’ll want to enable these fields to have them show up as a selection when creating a new trigger. To
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