Goodman Associates

Using Google Tag Manager and Conversion Tracking to monitor performance

Like it or not analysing and attribution is a big part of the digital marketing process.  Clients expect to know precisely what triggered that elusive ‘first-click’ that resulted in a sale and probably more importantly the clicks that didn’t result in a sale!

Google has a natty function called Google Tag Manager (GTM). If you don’t know about it, it’s a tool that generates a piece of code that allows advertisers to determine how their ads are generating revenue – or not as the case may be!

First step is to get access to the back-end of the landing page to allow your developer or search specialist to add JavaScript code to the site. JavaScript (or JS) is a “client-side” programming language. This means JavaScript scripts are read, interpreted and executed on the client’s website so runs on the user’s computer or device.  (For info “server-side” programming languages run on a remote computer, such as a server hosting a website). The function changes all the time so now you know why you’re asked regularly to accept Java updates!

Anyway, back to Google Tag Manager. As I said it’s a great tool and contains many functions that reinforce supportive tags, tag firing roles, user roles and usability. These are things that happen behind the scenes when you are browsing on the internet and can track and record exactly what users do once they have visited a webpage.  These functions will open up a vast amount of information that allows really in-depth analysis that the savvy advertiser can use to work out how to optimize and improve response.

Here’s how it works…

In order to create tag manager you have to login to the Google Tag Manager area at here: https://tagmanager.google.com

  • Tag: It is snipped of code that is added to a landing page
  • Triggers: It is an action that defines execution of tags
  • Variables: It stores information used by tags and triggers

We’re venturing into the world of coding. If you’ve ever right-moused on a website and clicked on “view source” you open up the elusive back-end and can see the vast amount of coding that makes the page display.  This is where Google Tag Manager lives.

A word of caution – before GTM is set up, the JavaScript has to be hard-coded by your developer. So if your AdWords specialist wants to make changes – a top tip is to make sure they are talking to the devs or the whole process can be compromised.

Another top tip is to make sure your dev ads a ‘container tag’, that’s a bit of coding with lots of << and >>symbols that will track code to your site. This way GTM allows you to add, change and debug tags on your site without screwing up other parts of the program.  GTM has another benefit as it allows your website managers to deliver the JavaScript to your site and track codes in one place. This way even a non-programmer can monitor tags.

Setting Up GTM

So here’s our 101 on what needs to happen setting up GTM.

First step is always to define what you want to measure. Set up the account and container.

Image below shows how to create your tags and if you want to add some comments at the “add note area”

The advantage is that it can be used for other Google products as well.  You can use it in many platforms and applications such as iOS, android, comScore etc.

If you want to set up a business ‘goal’ such as submitting a form for a test-drive or clicking to call from a mobile device, then you need to do it through Google Analytics. Here the system measures “conversion” that is something a user actively does (call, book test drive etc).  It’s the conversion that you are going to track for your website.

A word of caution, your conversion needs to be in sync with the user‘s interest so no point asking users requesting a brochure to make a phone call and setting that as a goal where a quick form fill is more appropriate for example. If it is a click you are measuring like a click on an “add to cart” button for example, then you need to track click and then define it as a conversion. Shopping sites especially use GTM to count how many sales they land on daily basis.

Once you’ve determined a conversion to track, you can then proceed to setting up the tracking code and putting it into your site and measure away!!

At Goodman we’re experts in evaluating and attributing SEM spend and tagging. Contact us today 0845 225 5555

We are a London UK based full service agency that specialises in driving immediate, sustainable and, above all, profitable responses for our clients. We work with corporates and SMEs as well as small businesses and start-ups – whatever your advertising requirements – we’ll get it done!