How Google Analytics 4 Will Change Your Life, my first GA4 post aka The Geek’s Guide to GA4, shared what’s new, different, and better about Google’s new free analytics tool scheduled to replace GA3 or “Universal Analytics” next summer. As a coder and proud “geek” today’s post huddles around the analytics campfire to create a bridge between marketing and Information Technology (IT) teams. Both tech’s left-brain methodical and marketing right-brain creative thinking are needed to make sense of analytics in general and GA4 in particular.
That’s why our Geek’s Guide to GTM shares four tips:
Google Tag Manager (GTM) streamlines the tags designers, marketers, developers, and content creators add to websites. Today, most websites use many different trackers and tags. Google calls GTM their Tag Management System (TMS). Google planned to create a user-friendly interface to add tags to a website. I won't say Google failed because who wants to be struck by lightning in the parking lot, but GTM and "user-friendly" don't occupy the same space in my right brain.
GTM and Google Analytics (GA or GA4 now) work together. Here are a few reasons we use to explain the importance of web analytics to sometimes reluctant customers:
That's why every website should use GA to track and report on your website statistics. We used to track hits in the web's formative years. Now you focus on experience metrics such as unique users, time on site, and page views. GTM helps you organize how to collect data about your site in GA, Facebook, FloodLight, Crazy Egg, Hot Jar, Marlin, Pinterest, Linked In, and many more.
Everything GTM starts on one of Google's best administrative homepage designs.
You’ll use Google Tag Manager to create a “container.” What is a GTM container? A container is code you (or your programmers) add to your site to “fire” tags you create and manage with GTM. Create a container by clicking on ADMIN from your GTM home screen. Next, click on the + Create an Account button.
The GTM "container" is two pieces of code. Place code in the top box in the
Creating a tracking control center eliminates the need to place different codes within a website. Tracking codes can be tricky because they may conflict with one another or slow your site's page load times. As a general rule, you want fast page load times. Google and visitors like fast load times.
Once you or your IT team adds the GTM container code, you can add, modify, or remove tracking within GTM, so your marketing team won't have to bug your IT staff to add new tracking pixels or code and your codes won't conflict or slow down your website.
The Rideology marketing team wants to track:
Sometimes we create triggers and then tags, while other times, we set up tags first. GTM’s admin makes it easy to work from tags to triggers or vice versa. Here’s how we set up the Rideology Navigation Clicks tags and triggers:
Choose Trigger Type is a long menu with too many variables to discuss today. I’ve shared my contact information at the bottom of this post. Feel free to contact me or my team for help setting up triggers or tags. “Just links” is the best selection for our navigation links trigger.
Our variable says fire data to GA when Click Element matches CSS selector #NavLink. If you are your marketing team doesn’t know Cascading Style Sheets or how to view code to find names such as #NavLink create your Tag Map and ask for IT’s help. Now let’s set up the tag:
Choose Tag Type is a long menu with too many variables to discuss today. I’ve shared my contact information at the bottom of this post. Feel free to contact me or my team for help setting up triggers or tags. “Google Analytics GA4 Event” is the best selection for our navigation links tag.
Now we can see navigation clicks in GA4’s Events Report.
As the GA4 Engagement report shows, we have answered the Rideology marketing team’s question about the total number of navigation menu clicks. Still, we’re missing the variable needed to pass information about how many clicks each main menu option earns. For example, we suspect the Ride Directory earns the most clicks, but we’ll need to add a variable to learn if our assumption is correct.
We had two goals for the Geeks Guide to Google Tag Manager. First, we want to huddle marketing and IT teams around a warm campfire because tagging and tracking websites require left-brain method and right-brain creativity. Secondly, we wanted to share enough “how to” information so our first point is as clear as a ringing bell.
We created WTE, so our customers’ heads don’t explode. When customers say we explain complex things in ways they can understand, I smile for a week and am proud of our team. Solving digital problems in understandable and creative ways is why we started WTE twenty-five years ago.
If, after reading The Geeks Guide to GTM, you need help, please email me: eg (at) WTE.net so we can set up a time to talk.
CEO WTE Solutions
What do you like or dislike about GA4? Send comments to eg (at) WTE.net and we’ll add your thoughts to this post.
Rideology.io is a new site and application we created after working with CarFax. Our work with CarFax made us wonder if we could track great cars we’ve owned, modified, and loved as a sort of a blockchain for cars. We don’t lose beloved cars; they just have new owners. Based on response, never losing and sharing cars people love hits a popular chord.
Create Your Car’s Profile Today on Rideology.io