How To Measure Conversions in Google Tag Manager For Beginners

What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is an online system for managing and adding tracking pixels and reporting tags. Tags are a snippet of JavaScript that send information to a third party website such as: Google Analytics, Facebook, AdWords, Twitter and GeoFli

What is a Marketing Pixel?

If you're serious about online marketing, the first step is familiarizing yourself with what is possible. For example, if you have an email list, you can upload that list into Facebook and show ads to users that associate the email with their login. Using a marketing pixel, you can change website content based on visitor IP address, you can show one message to users that visit your product page but don't check-out and another message to users that visit your contact page but don't call your office number. All by adding a small pixel to your website. Sound complicated? That's where Google Tag Manager comes in handy. 

Why Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager makes it easy to create complicated conversion, even for a beginner! GTM makes it easy to manage multiple marketing tags, instead of bothering the web-team or hard-coding them directly into your website, you can simply log-in to the Tag Manager dashboard and manage your marketing pixel mix. Tag manager also allows you to add, remove enable or disable any tags, as well as import or export your tags for easy cross-domain tagging.

The Basics:

GTM makes it easy to get started with minimal coding or tagging experience, and includes several built-in tag templates. Before you begin however, you'll need to create a new account. After navigating to the Google Tag Manager log-in, you'll be prompted to create an account and your first container. 

 
tag_manager
 

 
marketing_pixels
 

Container: Where you place all of your marketing tags.

After setting up your first container, the easiest part is unfortunately behind you. But don't get deterred! You can do this.

Variables: Save time. Are easy to set-up ... but use a lot of fancy marketing jargon to do-so.

You'll want to create a permanent variable that we can refer back to later and save us some time along the way. The menu on the right-hand side of the screen has all the navigation we'll need.

 
custom_website_analytics
 

 

Click on variables to open the list of variables included in GTM, as well as any user-created ones like the variable we're about to make.

Scroll down to User-Defined Variables and click 'New.'

For our variable type, we'll click 'Constant,' and in the top-right, change the name to 'gaProperty' 

setting_up_tag_manager

In the value field for this variable, type in your Google Analytics tracking code, which should look like UA-XXXXXXXX-X. If you can't find your Analytics tracking code, click here. Now that we've created a variable to avoid retyping our Google Analytics tracking code every time we make a new tag, we can build our very first tag. 

Feels Like The First Tag. Feels Like Your Very First Tag.

Before we start building any tags in GTM, we have to ask ourselves what exactly we want to measure. For example: 

We want a a way to measure how many people are coming to our site and clicking through to our contact form, we'd also like to be able to see what referrer is sending them to our site so we can better inform our ad buys. 

We'll use Google Analytics to find the referral information, but before that can happen we need a tag that can tell us when button clicks occur. First, use the right-hand navigation menu again and select 'Tags,' and then click 'New.' Under tag type, we want to select 'Universal Analytics.' 

 
event_tracking_Google_Tag_manager
 

Using {{GaProperty}} in the Tracking ID field pulls the variable we created earlier. You can name your categories, actions, labels and values anything you want. These are the fields that will appear in Google Analytics later however, so it's important to make your names as descriptive as possible. Finally, you'll have the option to select True or False under Non-interaction Hit. If True, this tag will be invisible for session calculation and bounce rate, if false, it will be counted as an interaction on the page, which will start a session and stop bounces. With your fields filled out and your options chosen, your first tag is done. 

Well, kind of. 

While the tag exists in GTM, it's not really doing anything. It isn't firing yet: we still need to tell the tag when and how to pull the trigger. 

Trigger Happy: Your First Google Tag Manager Trigger

With the tag out of the way, we still need to tell it when we want it to fire.

Under triggers on the same tag creation page, click 'New,' and under Trigger Configuration, we'll want to choose 'Click - All Elements.'

We only want this trigger to fire on some clicks, not every click on the page, so select that option next. We're tracking this so our website analytics are sorted out in our Google Analytics dashboard. 

Finally, we need to provide the conditions where the trigger will fire. For our example, we can make it fairly simple, but there are endless trigger configurations to choose from. 

 
setting up a trigger in google tag manager
 

We now have a tag created and a trigger in place to tell our tag when to fire.

Is it working though? 

In order to debug our tags without making them live, Google Tag Manager has a built-in preview and debug mode. After hitting save on your new tag and trigger, return to your Workspace. At the top left, press 'Preview.' and then open your site in another tab. At the bottom of the page, you'll now have a panel that looks something like this: 

 
how to set up a GTM trigger
 

From here, we can see which tags are firing on the page, how many times they've fired, and what actions are occurring in real-time. Unfortunately, for button click triggers, the next page reloads so quickly that you'll have to move fast to see the tag update before the next page loads. If your tag is firing correctly and your page isn't broken, we can navigate back to Google Tag Manager and press submit. The wonderful thing about Tag Manager is that features integrated version control. Much like GitHub, Tag Manager will allow you to roll back to past versions of your tags in the event that something goes catastrophically wrong. 

Google Analytics and Tag Manager:

 Once you've submitted your changes in Tag Manager we can see if Google Analytics is recording the metric you want to track. To check that Analytics is recording our tag, click the button you'd like to track on your website a few times and navigate to your Analytics dashboard. From here, select Real-Time and then Events. From here you can select the Events (Last 30 min) tab. Hopefully your button clicks are showing up as events. If not, you'll need to check your trigger and tag to make sure everything is configured correctly. Setting up Google Tag Manager might take time, but it will reap big rewards as you look to grow and market your business online

Measuring Website Visitors Based on IP Address

Of course, once this tracking is in place, you'll have the ability to easily run comparisons on your website personalization campaigns. If you're surfacing different content based on location, you can do a quick pre-post analysis to measure the total number of website visitors to watch a video, click on a call-to-action button or watch a video on your homepage. 

If you have more questions about advanced Tag Manager configurations, feel free to reach out to us directly at the contact information below. We look forward to talking soon!

GeoFli

GeoFli, Box 2, Missoula, MT, 59806, United States

GeoFli allows users to create website content based on visitor location.