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Google Analytics and Tag Management – 2021

Google Analytics

Today we have compiled our 200th Article. This article talks about Google Analytics and using tags to track monitor any website marketing campaign.

[1]Google Tag Manager is a fantastic tool. Need to add a particular tracking pixel to a website? Not a problem! Want to track submissions of a newly created form? Consider it done. All thanks to GTM.

Instead of waiting (for days) for a busy developer to add those tracking codes, you could do this by yourself (well, in many cases). Even though you will not replace developers 100% (and, in fact, you never should), with Google Tag Manager, you (and your team) will become much agiler in implementing new marketing campaigns or web analytics tracking.

But where should you start? Tag Manager looks like a tank that requires some particular knowledge, and your regular driver’s license won’t help much here. Just like any other tool, GTM has its learning curve. That’s why I decided to create this Google Tag Manager tutorial. It’s the first step towards becoming more independent + having more control over your analytics/marketing tracking codes.

Ready? Let’s start. If you have some questions about GTM, feel free to post a comment.

By the way, I’ve prepared a free Google Tag Manager ebook containing even more helpful information, so if you’re serious about learning GTM, go ahead and download it.

[2]What is a tag management system?

A tag management system is a JavaScript library to implement and configure analytics and marketing tags.

HTML tags, JavaScript snippets or tracking pixels add features to your website or app and can be installed with just a few clicks.

Examples for tags

  • Google Analytics tracking
  • Video tracking
  • Retargeting pixels (Facebook, Google Ads, Linkedin etc.)
  • Sign up forms

Tag implementations can be done through a graphical user interface (GUI) for easy installation.

After a tag is published to the container, the code will be generated and added to the website’s page (DOM). No new source code is deployed to the server.

The most popular TMS is Google Tag Manager. It comes with various tag types and templates available for third-party providers so that you can implement tags just with a few clicks.

The implementation is based on three components:

  • Tags (code to be added to the page)
  • Triggers (rules with conditions that say when the tag is supposed to fire)
  • Variables (dynamic data to be used in tags or triggers)

Benefits of Using a Tag Management Solution

  • Tag managers promise to provide the following benefits:
  • Decrease page load time
  • Improve the quality of data collected
  • Allow non-coders to manage tags
  • Allow marketers to deploy new technologies quickly, with less dependence on IT.

Tag managers are critical as businesses aim to collect more data about their customers and website visitors. That data is used to help deliver more personalized and relevant experiences.

Types of Tag Management Solutions

Some tag management tools are part of broader web analytics or testing suite. Google Tag Manager, Adobe Dynamic Tag Management and Qubit OpenTag are examples.

Many pure-play tag management vendors are branching out. Beyond managing tags, they focus on managing data and facilitating its use to drive better customer experiences. As a result, many have launched new customer data offerings designed to help companies achieve a 360-degree view of the customer.

Tag Management Solutions Features & Capabilities

Tag management tools usually provide a GUI that marketers can use to manage tags and data. They also allow for different user permission levels. They can also help companies comply with ‘Do Not Track preferences and other privacy standards.

More sophisticated tag management solutions integrate directly with other data systems (your CRM) via tagless backend data transfer. This allows supplemental data to be associated with a site visitor without the use of tags. As such, it’s a more secure method of connecting personal profile data to a website visitor.

Standard features of TMSs include:

  • Tag library
  • Tag variable mapping
  • Custom tags
  • Rules-driven tag execution
  • Synchronous and asynchronous tag support
  • Event tracking
  • Data distribution management
  • Universal data layer
  • Error checking
  • Multi-account support
  • Configurable data privacy policies
  • Role-based user permissions
  • User-level audit trail
  • Version history
  • Simple roll-back capabilities
  • Pricing Information

Some tag management systems are either completely free or a free capability included in a web analytics suite. However, pureplay tag management vendors often charge a fixed price plus total charges based on the volume of use.

[3]Why set up event tracking in Google Analytics

Custom event tracking is probably one of the most valuable features of Google Analytics. It helps you figure out how your users behave on your site. For example, you can quickly go to page views in your GA to see what pages the users visited and how much time they spent on them but wouldn’t you like to know how they interact with those pages?

For example, you have a form on the website that displays the ‘thanks’ message on the same page after clicking the submit button. Now, as the user wasn’t taken to a separate ‘thank you’ page, you wouldn’t be able to track the form submissions unless you set up event tracking. Take another example: The user started filling your form but left the site without submitting it. Can you still get to know this? Yes, only with event tracking! Setting up custom event tracking in your Google Analytics will help you understand your users better and hopefully help you make changes to your site to keep the user from dropping off. For example, we recently did that on our site and deleted a field in our form, discouraging people from submitting it.

OK, event tracking is excellent, but why do we use Google Tag Manager to set it up? Well, you can set up event tracking without using Google Tag Manager (GTM) but using GTM makes it easier and quicker – allowing marketing tags to be updated and modified by the marketing team without requiring developer involvement.

If you want to set event tracking without GTM, you need to hardcode Google Analytics events by adding extra JS (JavaScript) code to the page. Imagine doing this across multiple pages and tracking many different kinds of events – it will take so much time and be quite inconvenient. Again, Google Tag Manager is the best way to do this.

However, setting up event tracking through Google Tag Manager can be confusing with an ever-changing interface, so keep this guide by your side and follow the easy steps!


We hope that this compiled article will help you in the management of your website marketing campaign. If you need assistance, do not hesitate to call today.

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