Advanced Google Tag Manager Tips Every Marketer Should Know

Updated on Apr 29th, 2021


What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a TMS (Tag Management System) which allows the users to manage all their tags, analytics scripts, and website tracking metrics in a centralized place. It is a kind of simplistic UI that eases the tracking of various elements, like forms, downloads, scrolling length, clicks, and much more. 

For managing tags, three components are needed to be taken care of-

  • Tags
  • Triggers
  • Variables

Let’s understand these terms briefly-

1. Tags

Snippets of code, or say the tracking pixels from third-parties are called tags. These elements tell the GTM “what to do.”Adwords Remarketing code, Facebook pixels, Adwords Conversion Tracking code, and Heatmap tracking code are some popular tags.

2. Triggers

This element tells Google Tag Manager, “how & when to fire a tag?”

3. Variables

Variables are the “cherry on the pie.” In simple words, they are the additional information provided to GTM for tagging and triggering. 

Google Analytics UA number is one such famous instance in this category. Though, as an advanced marketer, you will find all this information quite basic, but it’s our duty to walk you through some fundamentals! 

Now, proceeding ahead in this article we will discuss some advanced tips for GTM that can help you make the most out of this tool.

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Advanced GTM tips and tactics for Marketers

1. Outbound Clicks Tracking

For tracking outbound links, you have to create an Auto Event Variable, capturing the clicked link’s hostname. These variables facilitate the accessibility of points of interactions. This way, you can grab the link’s hostname as soon as it’s clicked and efficiently track the outbound link (if it isn’t on your website). 

2. Subdomain & Cross-Domain Tracking

Subdomain and Cross-Domain Tracking are often mixed up. If you witness your domain in Google Analytics reports, then it is the case of subdomain tracking.

The ability to track visitors navigating between various subdomains of your site is called subdomain tracking. Whereas, cross-domain tracking is all about monitoring visitors browsing between entirely different domains. The latter is done only when multiple domains are participating in an individual user journey. 

For achieving this, edit your analytics page view tags to “allowLinker,” then head towards the Cross-Domain Tracking subsection of that tag, and the list of domains separated by commas.

3. Testing Tag Configuration

One of the fantastic things that you can do in GTM is testing the tag configuration until it’s perfect, that too, on your system. 

Test→Fail→Test Something Else→Fail→Test again & again→ Achieve Perfection→Release.

  • Content Measurement

Bounce Rates and Page Visits are two core metrics of measuring content. Additional to these, certain other aspects need to be taken into account for gaining better results, and GTM does all that beautifully-

  • Dwell Time

Post shooting a search query, the time spent on a page before going back to the SERP is called Dwell Time. The metric is an essential factor determining the relevance of your page. After arriving at your page, if people are shortly going back to SERPs, that implies your page has a low dwell time, which eventually means that your content lacks relevancy.

  • Scroll depth

Quite clear from the title itself, scroll depth is the depth you explored (or say scrolled) your article. The metric is usually measured in percentage factor, i.e., 25%, 75%, 50%, etc. undoubtedly, a high percentage indicates better content relevancy.

  • Interaction with Elements

CTA, forms, buttons are some of the elements that demand interaction. Google Tag Manager facilitates the easy setup of components and eventually provides valuable insights. By leveraging this information, you can improve your content and thereby increase your page ranking. 

The elements mentioned above can be tailored and tracked with Google Tag Manager, which boosts the SEO Strategy.

1. Analyze Blogging Sites

Blogging websites are very much different from eCommerce websites. Metrics like Bounce Rates, Conversion rates, etc. don’t directly work on blogging websites. Google Analytics is built to deal with eCommerce tracking, and it has no metrics that can help analyze the blogging site. That is where Google Tag Manager comes into play!

GTM cant is tailored to measure (or read) the blog data as eCommerce data; here is how-

  • Product Detail View ↔ Article Opened
  • Impressions ↔ Elements Visibility
  • Add to Cart ↔ Initial Scrolling
  • Checkout ↔ Scroll Depth
  • Sales Completed ↔ Article Read 100%

2. Implement Custom Tags

Although this sounds something like a foundational job, GTM was built upon. But still, due to its benefits, we consider it a relevant pointer to be listed here. The tool has templates for DoubleClick and Google Tags (universal analytics, AdWords, GA, GDN remarketing, and much more). Also, it takes prominent tags like Mediaplex, comScore, Turn, AdRoll, ClickTale into account. 

Apart from the above-mentioned, GTM also helps implement custom tags (copy-pasting from other tags) though there are specific rules & regulations to be followed.

3. Track AdBlockers

If your website is backed-up with advertisements, then understanding the impact of AdBlockers is very important. Google Tag Manager helps in finding out the number of website users availing AdBlockers for blocking Ads.

However, some AdBlockers block ads from Search Engines (Google) and the requests made to Google Server. Tha prevents the entire operation of Google Analytics and GTM. These posts are only going to appear on your log files.

4. Utilize Nested Variables

One can use user-defined variables to pass multiple variable values in one parameter or generate a brand new user-defined variable for holding all the values, called Nested Variable. GTM facilitates the usages of variables inside variables, allowing users to use different variables separately or in combination, as per requirement.

Final Words

These eight tips and tricks will help you achieve the maximum potential of this tool. Although it isn’t limited to that, the tool has much much more to offer. As a mediocre or expert at GTM, you can avail these tips for availing the data you need, and not the other way around. 

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