There’s a reason that so many organizations use Google Analytics. Effective collection of data with Google Analytics can reduce customer acquisition costs, provide priceless feedback on new product initiatives, and offer insights that will grow a customer or client base. So where does Google Tag Manager fit in?

Google Tag Manager allows for unprecedented collaboration between marketing and technical teams, lightning fast updates to your site, and standardization of the most common tags for on-site tracking and marketing efforts. To achieve the rich data you’re really after to better serve your users’ needs, you’ll need the tools Google Tag Manager provides for a best-in-class implementation of Google Analytics measurement on your site.

This book offers foundational knowledge, a collection of practical Google Tag Manager recipes, well-tested best practices, and troubleshooting tips to get your implementation in tip-top condition. It covers topics including:

  • Google Analytics implementation via Google Tag Manager
  • How to customize Google Analytics for your unique situation
  • Using Google Tag Manager to track and analyze interactions across multiple devices and touchpoints
  • How to extract data from Google Analytics and use Google BigQuery to analyze Big Data questions
Purchase the book online at: Barnes & NobleApress

Chapter Guide

    Part I: Implementing Google Analytics with Google Tag Manager

    Part I covers the basics you need to know about your implementation and getting the foundations of your website measurement in place, along with the processes for deploying and testing. Even if you have an existing implementation, Part I will provide a good refresher and some best practices.

  1. Chapter 1: Google Analytics Fundamentals

  2. This chapter covers the fundamentals of GA: how accounts are structured, how data is collected on a conceptual level, and how data are made into reports. You’ll gain an understanding of hits and sessions, dimensions and metrics, and how GA applies sampling and other limits to the data it displays.

    Links from the Chapter:

  3. Chapter 2: Basic Google Analytics Measurement

  4. The basic GA tracking code has very simple instructions, but what does it actually do? This chapter describes this tracking code and how it works. Although in later chapters you’ll use GTM to implement the code, this chapter gives you a basic understanding of how it works so that you’ll be able to understand the options in GTM.

    Links from the Chapter:

  5. Chapter 3: Introducing Google Tag Manager

  6. This chapter introduces GTM and the reasons to use it, especially in conjunction with GA. If you’re new to GTM, you’ll learn its basic building blocks (tags, triggers, and variables), how those building blocks are organized in GTM accounts and containers, and how GTM uses a data layer to fill in data. This chapter walks through implementing a basic GA tag with GTM.

    Links from the Chapter:

    Related LunaMetrics Blog Posts:

  7. Chapter 4: Testing Your Implementation

  8. Part of GTM’s value is in the testing tools it provides to test and debug the setup of GA and other tags. This chapter discusses GTM’s preview mode and versioning capabilities, as well as other browser tools for GTM and GA testing.

    Links from the Chapter:

    Part II: Enhancing Website Data with Google Tag Manager

    Part II covers a whole variety of additional kinds of data you’ll want to use in GA and how to enhance your GTM implementation to collect them. You can pick and choose topics from Part II that are most valuable or highest priority for you and tackle those first.

  9. Chapter 5: Tracking Interactions with Google Tag Manager

  10. The basic GA code captures pageviews, but you’re often interested in capturing additional interactions with your site’s content. This chapter covers event tracking and other common kinds of additional tracking in GA. You’ll learn general approaches to implementation in GA and GTM and how the data layer can be used in providing data about interactions, as well as specific examples for outbound links, downloads, time spent on pages, scroll depth, social media buttons, YouTube video plays, and more.

    Links from the Chapter:

    Related LunaMetrics Blog Posts:

  11. Chapter 6: Goals: Measuring Conversions

  12. Conversion measurement is one of the most important ways you can enhance your GA reports to more specifically reflect what is valuable to your organization. This chapter covers setting up goal conversions and funnels in GA and approaches in GTM for measuring modal popups, AJAX processes, and other challenging situations with virtual pageviews or events.

    Links from the Chapter:

    Related LunaMetrics Blog Posts:

  13. Chapter 7: Ecommerce: Tracking Products & Purchases

  14. There are two kinds of ecommerce tracking in GA: basic ecommerce tracking, which measures only completed transactions, and enhanced ecommerce, which captures more data along the path to a purchase (viewing products, adding them to a cart, and so on). This chapter covers both types of ecommerce tracking and how to implement them in GTM using the data layer and other approaches.

    Links from the Chapter:

    Related LunaMetrics Blog Posts:

  15. Chapter 8: Cleaning Up & Enriching Data

  16. When using GA’s reports, we’d like the data to be as useful as possible. This chapter explores a number of ways to clean up and enhance data using tools in GA and GTM, including filters and blocking triggers. Examples include removing data from internal users, cleaning up and grouping URLs, and setting up site search reporting.

    Links from the Chapter:

    Related LunaMetrics Blog Posts:

  17. Chapter 9: Measuring Campaigns & Troubleshooting Traffic Sources

  18. One of the most important uses of web analytics data is to assess the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, and to use data to better target and optimize those campaigns. This chapter looks at the tools in GA and GTM to label and organize campaigns as well as the integrations between GA and GTM and other Google tools such as Google AdWords, Google Search Console, and the DoubleClick platform. You’ll also learn about troubleshooting traffic source data and several common pitfalls to avoid with redirects and self-referrals.

    Links from the Chapter:

    Related LunaMetrics Blog Posts:

  19. Chapter 10: Tracking Users Across Devices

  20. GA typically reports on users based on a browser cookie. However, for situations where users log in or you can otherwise identify them, GA allows a user ID to tie together data across sessions and devices. This chapter shows how to implement user ID with GTM and the data layer.

    Related LunaMetrics Blog Posts:

  21. Chapter 11: Providing Additional Data About Users

  22. Beyond the basic dimensions and metrics GA collects, you can use custom dimensions and metrics to capture additional information from your site, such as additional attributes of users, pages, or products. This chapter explores a variety of scenarios for why you might want to do so and how to go about sending such data in GA tags in GTM.

    Links from the Chapter:

    Related LunaMetrics Blog Posts:

    Part III: Collecting Data From Other Sources

    Part III covers collecting or joining up data in Google Analytics with data from other sources, using tools like Data Import and the Measurement Protocol.

  23. Chapter 12: Importing Data into Google Analytics

  24. Not all of the relevant data about your users is available at the time they visit your website. This chapter explores using GA’s data import features to bring in additional information such as refunds, campaign cost data, or user information.

    Links from the Chapter:

    Related LunaMetrics Blog Posts:

  25. Chapter 13: Collecting Data from Mobile Apps

  26. In addition to websites, GA and GTM can also be used to track data from mobile apps on Android and iOS. This chapter provides an overview of the differences in measuring apps from website data, including differences in GA measurement and reporting, the GTM container (and its tags, triggers, and variables), the data layer, and testing processes.

    Links from the Chapter:

    Related LunaMetrics Blog Posts:

  27. Chapter 14: Sending Data from Other Sources Using GA’s Measurement Protocol

  28. GA can accept data from any source, enabling it to be used for applications beyond websites and mobile apps. This chapter examines the Measurement Protocol, the specification for sending data to GA, which can be used to send data from other user touchpoints, such as internal or back-end applications including call center or point-of-sale data.

    Links from the Chapter:

    Related LunaMetrics Blog Posts:

  29. Bonus Chapter: Using Google Analytics with BigQuery for Big Data Analysis

  30. GA Premium customers can extract the full set of data from GA into a Google tool called BigQuery. This allows analysis of GA data in conjunction with data from any other source within BigQuery, in a business intelligence or reporting tool, or in a data warehouse. This chapter provides an overview of BigQuery and using it with GA data.

    Code from the Chapter:

    Related LunaMetrics Blog Posts:

  • Google Tag Manager Services

    As an early adopter of Google Tag Manager, we’ve grown up with the product and now recommend it to all of our clients, in both Google Analytics and Search. Our services include Google Tag Manager implementation, integration, and training for your team.

  • Google Tag Manager Trainings

    Learn the ins and outs of Google Tag Manager in this full-day, hands-on workshop geared towards both Web Marketers and Website Professionals. Offered around the country, you'll complete a full implementation in our custom sandbox environment.

  • GTM Downloadable Recipes

    Looking for the how LunaMetrics tackles common Google Analytics tracking challenges with Google Tag Manager? Check out our GTM Recipes, downloadable JSON files that can be easily imported into your own GTM container.

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