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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Step by Step: Setting Up a Google Analytics Dashboard

Do you need to look at the same metrics or report on a regular basis? Do you want to share the same report across a broader group of stakeholders? Do you want to have the flexibility to change the date range for the whole report or segment it down to certain demographics or characteristics? Great – you can do all of that with a Google Analytics Dashboard! In this quick post I’ll walk you through the easy step-by-step process of creating a new Google Analytics Dashboard. Step 1: Creating a new dashboard canvas Decide whether you are going to create a new dashboard from scratch, or if you will add reports to a new dashboard from the regular reporting UI. For right now, let’s start from scratch. Later in the
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Update: Setting up GA via GTM’s new UX

This post is essentially an update to the one I posted about a month ago for setting up Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager for WordPress (using Thomas Geiger’s Duracelltomi Google Tag Manager plugin for WordPress). Now that the beautiful new GTM interface has launched, things may look and feel a tad different, so read on for an updated step-by-step. I’d also like to quickly thank my sister, Jilleen, who runs the awesome blog SoCal Field Trips, for unknowingly volunteering as an example for this post… did you think that blog help was free?! Love you sis! Ok, now onto the useful stuff… Step 1: Go to tagmanager.google.com (note that this link takes you directly to the new UX, whereas google.com/tagmanager will take you to the old interface) to create a GTM account.  You’ll get
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A Casual Conversation with Google’s Analytics Advocates

This morning I had the opportunity to do a fun little Hangout On Air for the Google Partners Network with my fellow Analytics Advocate Adam Singer. We chatted casually about some of our favorite analytics resources and tips and also answered several questions from the partner community. Check out the video of this conversation for some of our favorite tips!
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Step-by-Step: Setting up a Google Content Experiment on Your Website

Setting up a Google Analytics Content Experiment is easy! Follow this four-step process and you’ll be on your way to running your first test. To start, first go to the ‘Experiments’ section of Google Analytics and click on ‘Create Experiment’. Step 1: Setup the test Advanced: if you are working with a high volume page and want to analyze more than one goal at a time, you can set up a ‘fake goal’ so that the test will not optimize towards a single winner. Use a ‘fake goal’ to run the test longer than 2 weeks: Multi-armed bandit: Content Experiments uses a traffic splitting method called Multi-armed bandit (MAB) which essentially weights the traffic towards the variation(s) that appear to be winning, away from losing variations. In theory, this could
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