Most organizations have Google Analytics (GA) added to their website. This is a great thing! Most organizations also think once they apply the GA code to their site that the work is done. It’s not.
When you add the GA code to your website it begins to track user traffic. This is a great first step, but it’s not giving you the best possible data. Google Tag Manager (GTM) is like the unnoticed step sibling of GA, and GTM is not getting the attention it deserves and requires.
To provide some background on GTM, let’s talk on a high level about what it is. GTM is a tag management system which allows you to track actions, generally referred to as events, on your website. These can be very basic, such as pageviews, or more complex like tracking PDF downloads, scroll depth, video click/play/stop/start and so much more. Like GA, GTM is a free tool that any organization can access and begin using.
When you apply the GA code to your site, the first step should be to setup pageviews within GTM. This means you are getting more accurate user tracking data when it comes to time on page, bounces, sessions, etc. This is not to say the data is wrong when you have GA operating alone…it’s just not as good as it could be if you were to take the next step.
This is all great information, but what can you do with it today? Once you setup your GA and GTM instances and ensure the code is applied to your website, you want to define your base level website goals. For example: I want to know how many people download various PDFs across my website. I also want to know if they scroll 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% of the way down the page they are viewing. These are two basic tags we can configure in GTM. They then allow me to create goals in GTM and determine what success means for my website.
For example: I want to make sure users are scrolling at least 50% of the way down a page, to reach the download button and get a free copy of the PDF that’s been provided.
With this information I can adjust the position of content on my website, change the location of buttons, perhaps even the call to action. Every goal I create can then be translated into a GTM tag and GA data. The idea is to be creating tags/goals that allow for refining content and marketing.
Google is providing a number of free, powerful tools that can be put into action today, with only a few hours of effort to get going. If you’re interested in learning more about GTM and how it can improve your GA data, we’re here to help!