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Why do I love setting up dashboards and creating goals for my clients and Pear in Google Analytics? Not only does this help me conduct quick site health checks, but I can track how different audiences engage with sites I’m monitoring and ensure we’re reaching our target KPIs. I can accomplish most of this out of the box by simply using the Google Analytics code, but if I want to see the data that matters most to me, then implementing Google Tag Manager is a must.

The Benefits of Google Tag Manager

Most businesses know about Google Analytics, but they’re unfamiliar with Google Tag Manager (GTM). This feature is implemented in almost the same way as Google Analytics: add a piece of code to your site, add your Google Analytics tracking ID to GTM, publish GTM, and you’re good to go. It’s that simple!


The main difference is GTM allows you to easily track various aspects of your site without having to write custom code (for the most part). This means you, your marketing team, or your agency can collect custom data across your site without hiring or contracting a developer—saving you time and money.


Advantages of Google Tag Manager, Getting Better Data

Tracking data that is relevant to your business will help you better understand your audience and what areas of your site are doing well or can be improved. You can also pinpoint which micro conversion led to a macro conversions.


If you’d like to learn how to setup Google Tag Manager on your website, then keep reading. Or, simply contact us at Pear Analytics, and we’ll be glad to work with you. Either way, you’ll be on your way to enjoying the benefits of Google Tag Manager, which include collecting the data that matters most to your business.


How to Setup Google Tag Manager on Your Website

This Google Tag Manager training includes a couple preliminary steps. First, you’ll need to add your Google Analytics tracking ID to Google Tag Manager. Then, just copy your GTM container code and add it to your website’s header and body. Be sure you remove your Google Analytics code because this is now being run through GTM.
Now it’s time to make GTM useful for your business. I follow a pretty straightforward process for setting up a new Google Tag Manager account or even just a new tag.


  1. Review Macro & Micro Conversion Points

Take a moment to explore your website, and mark down the various macro conversion points (the main objective of your site) and micro conversion points (steps that lead up to a macro conversion). For most businesses, these points will include:

  • Form submissions
  • Button clicks
  • Clicks on specific links (e.g., directions, social media, etc.)
  • Sales/e-commerce
  • Video plays
  • Downloads


  1. Note How to Track Conversion Points

One of the benefits of Google Tag Manager is it allows various ways to track data on your site. You can use Classes, Form IDs, Page URLs and much more.


For instance, at Pear, we have a PPC Budget Calculator on our site. It would be useful for us to know how many people interact with it by clicking the RUN IT! button, and what percentage of those people later converted into a lead. To start collecting this data, I need to track this initial event.
First, I right-click the page and select INSPECT on that conversion point.


Google Tag Manager Training Page Inspect


A code version of the page pops up, and I look for a CLASS NAME, CLICK URL, or another way to track based on what GTM allows.


Google Tag Manager Training Developer Tools


To explore the page and find the right element to use, click the arrow in the upper left-hand code box, and hover around different areas of the page.


Google Tag Manager Training Developer Arrow      Google Tag Manager Training Highlighted Sceen


In this example, I want to track the RUN IT! button, and I can easily see the button class is btn orange.


Google Tag Manager class identifier


This may seem like the best element to use in GTM, except most of the buttons across our website also have a class of btn orange. While I can set up the tracking to fire only on this specific page, this page’s URL doesn’t change, and other buttons with the same class will appear here. If you review the code a bit more, you’ll notice <form></form>. I can dig into this piece of the code and find a unique Form ID, which is keywords_form:


Google Tag Manager Training Form ID


This is what I’ll use to track this event in GTM because the Form ID is a unique identifier, ensuring my data comes in clean. It will take practice to know the best way to track different conversion points; however, the learning curve is not that steep.


  1. Set Up Your Tags, Triggers, and Variables

After reviewing your website, now you’ve identified what to track and how to track it. The next step is to set up everything in Google Tag Manager.


First, I’ll define a few terms. Tags answer the question, How will you track what you want to track? While GTM has many different tag types, you’ll largely wind up using the Universal Analytics tag type. In most cases, you’ll create an event and can fill in the event labels to your liking. I highly recommend establishing naming conventions from the start to ensure all your data comes in clean (but that’s a topic for a different day).


Next, Triggers answer, When do you want the tag to fire? This is where the How to Track Conversion Points information you (or your marketing team) collected comes into play. From the example above, I would use the Form ID keywords_form as a way to say, “When this Form ID matches keywords_form, then fire the tag.”


Finally, there are Variables. These allow you to create custom filters and/or ways to pull in data. The latest updates in GTM have included a lot of common variables you’ll need. The most common variable you’ll create is the one that houses your Google Analytics Tracking ID. For more complex and advanced GTM tracking, you may need to create other variables.


  1. Test Your GTM Setup

One of the benefits of Google Tag Manager is you can test your setup before making it live and ensure your new tags fire properly. Simply go up to the PUBLISH button, click the drop-down arrow, and select PREVIEW:


Google Tag Manager Training Preview and Debug Mode


Open up your website in the same browser, and click on the different conversion points you’re tracking to make sure their tags are firing.


Google Tag Manager Tags Firing


  1. Publish Your GTM Setup

When you’ve confirmed all your tags are working properly, you can PUBLISH your GTM setup! Google Tag Manager allows you to name the latest version you publish and provide a description. I recommend filling these out with notes on what was done so it’s easy to recall what changes were made six months down the line.


  1. Create Custom Dashboards and Establish Goals

The final step is to create custom dashboards and set up goals for the conversion points that are being tracked. For example, you’re most likely tracking events and can use the event category, event label, and event action to separate or combine your various events in a dashboard or goal.


Enjoy the Benefits of Google Tag Manager Today

So now you know the advantages of Google Tag Manager. This tool makes it easier for your marketing team or agency to capture relevant data based on those all-important key conversions, leading to enhanced decision-making and increased profits. And this can all be accomplished without spending extra time or money involving a developer. While there are some advanced monitoring techniques you can use in GTM, such as tracking SoundCloud plays (which you can easily find the necessary setup for) or tracking ecommerce (which is a bit more technical and may require a developer), overall, using Google Tag Manager is an easy process that will simplify collecting key data for your business.