What Your Google Tag Manager Container Should Contain – Whiteboard Friday

Agencies, are you arrange for ongoing Google Tag Manager success? GTM is not the best software on this planet to work with, but when you understand how to make use of it, it could possibly make your life a lot simpler. Make your future self happier and extra productive by establishing your GTM containers the suitable manner at present. Dana DiTomaso shares extra ideas and hints on this version of Whiteboard Friday.

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Video Transcription

Hi, Moz followers. My title is Dana DiTomaso. I’m President and companion at Kick Point, which is a digital advertising company primarily based in Edmonton, Alberta. Today I’ll be speaking to you about Google Tag Manager and what your default container in Google Tag Manager ought to comprise. I believe in the event you’re in search engine optimisation, there are definitely a whole lot of issues Google Tag Manager can do for you.

But in the event you’ve sort of stated to your self, “You know, Google Tag Manager is not the easiest thing to work with,” which is truthful, it isn’t, and it was so much worse, however the newer variations are fairly good, you then might need been a little bit intimidated by stepping into there and doing stuff. But I actually suggest that you simply embrace this stuff by default as a result of later you goes to be actually completely happy that present you place these things in. So I’ll undergo what’s in Kick Point’s default Google Tag Manager container, after which hopefully you may take a few of this and apply it to your personal stuff.

Agencies, in case you are watching, you’re going to need to create a default container and use it repeatedly, belief me. 


So we’ll begin with how these things is laid out. So what we’ve got are tags after which triggers. The manner that this works is the tag is kind of the factor that is going to occur when a set off happens. 

Conversion linker

So tags that we’ve got in our default container are the conversion linker, which is used to assist conversions with Safari.

If you do not know so much about this, I like to recommend trying up among the restrictions with Safari monitoring and ITP. I believe they’re at 2.2 on the time I am recording this. So I like to recommend checking that out. But this conversion linker will make it easier to get round that. It’s a default tag in Tag Manager, so that you simply add the conversion linker. There’s a pleasant article on Google about what it does and the way it all works. 


Then we have to monitor plenty of occasions. You can definitely monitor this stuff as customized dimensions or customized metrics if that floats your boat. I imply that is as much as you. If you’re aware of utilizing customized dimensions and customized metrics, then I assume you most likely know the way to do that. But in the event you’re simply getting began with Tag Manager, simply begin with occasions after which you may roll your manner as much as being an skilled after some time. 

External hyperlinks

So beneath occasions, we at all times monitor exterior hyperlinks, so something that factors out to a site that is not yours.

The manner that we monitor that is we’re each single hyperlink that is clicked and if it doesn’t comprise our shopper’s area title, then we document it as an exterior hyperlink, and that is an occasion that we document. Now keep in mind, and I’ve seen accidents with this the place somebody does not put in your shopper’s area after which it tracks each single click on to a unique web page in your shopper’s web site as an exterior hyperlink. That’s dangerous.

When you switch from HTTP to HTTPS, in the event you do not replace Google Tag Manager, it is going to begin recording hyperlinks incorrectly. Also dangerous. But what that is actually helpful for are issues like once you hyperlink out to different web sites, as you must once you’re writing articles, telling folks to seek out out extra info. Or you may monitor clicks out to your totally different social properties and see if individuals are truly clicking on that Facebook icon that you simply caught within the header of your web site. 

PDF downloads

The subsequent factor to trace are PDF downloads.

Now there is a limitation to this, in fact, in that if folks google one thing and your PDF comes out after which they click on on it instantly from Google, in fact that is not going to indicate up in your Analytics. That can present up in Search Console, however you are not going to get it in Analytics. So simply hold that in thoughts. This is that if somebody clicks to your PDF from a selected web page in your web site. Again, you are adorning the hyperlink to say if this hyperlink incorporates a PDF, then I need to have this.

Scroll monitoring

Then we additionally monitor scroll monitoring. Now scroll monitoring is when folks scroll down the location, you may monitor and fireplace an occasion at say 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of the best way down the web page. Now the factor is with that is that your mileage goes to fluctuate. You will most likely choose totally different percentages. By default, in all of our containers we put 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%. Based on the shopper, we’d change this.

An superior, kind of degree up tactic can be to select particular parts after which once they enter the viewport, then you may fireplace an occasion. So as an example, for instance, you might have a extremely vital name to motion and since totally different gadgets are totally different sizes, it’ll be a unique proportion of the best way down the web page when it exhibits up, however you need to see if folks acquired to that important CTA. Then you’d need to add an occasion that may present whether or not or not that CTA was proven within the viewport.

If you google Google Tag Manager and monitoring issues within the viewport, there are some nice articles on the market on the way to do it. It’s not that tough to arrange. 

Form submits

Then additionally kind submits. Of course, you are going to need to customise this. But by default put kind submits in your container, as a result of I assure that when somebody is making your container as an example for a model-new web site, they are going to overlook about monitoring kind submits until you place it in your default container they usually have a look at it and say, “Oh, right, I have to edit that.” So at all times put kind submits in there. 

Tel: & mailto: hyperlinks

Of course you need to monitor phone hyperlinks and mailto: hyperlinks. Telephone hyperlinks ought to at all times, at all times be tappable, and that is one thing that I see a whole lot of errors. Particularly in native search engine optimisation, once we’re coping with actually small enterprise web sites, they do not make the phone hyperlinks tappable. It’s most likely as a result of folks do not know the way. In case you do not know how, you simply phone after which a colon after which the phone quantity.

<a href="tel:+5555555555">(555) 555-5555</a>

That’s it. That’s all that you must do. Just like a hyperlink, besides relatively than going out to an HTTPS://, you are going out to a phone quantity. That goes to make your guests’ lives a lot simpler, notably on cell gadgets. You at all times need to have these be tappable. So then you may monitor the quantity of people that faucet on phone hyperlinks and individuals who faucet on mailto: hyperlinks precisely the identical manner. Now one thing that I do need to say, although, is that in case you are utilizing a name monitoring supplier, like CallRail for instance, which is one which we use, then you are going to need to shut this off, as a result of then you may find yourself in double counting.

Particularly in the event you’re monitoring each name made out out of your web site, then CallRail would have an Analytics integration, and you then can be monitoring faucets and you may additionally be monitoring phone clicks. So you may monitor it if you wish to see how many individuals faucet versus choosing up the cellphone and calling the outdated-customary manner with landlines. You may try this, however that is solely as much as you. But simply hold that in thoughts if you’re going to monitor phone hyperlinks.

All pages monitoring

Then, in fact, all pages monitoring. Make certain you are monitoring the entire pages in your web site by Google Analytics. So these are the tags. 


Next up are the triggers. So I’ve a tag of exterior hyperlinks. Then I would like a set off for exterior hyperlinks. The set off says when someone clicks an exterior hyperlink, then I would like this occasion to occur.


So the occasion is the place you construction the class after which the motion and the label. 

External hyperlinks

The manner that we’d construction exterior hyperlinks, for instance, we’d say that the class for it’s an exterior hyperlink, the motion is click on, after which the label is the precise hyperlink that was clicked for instance. You can see you may undergo every of those and see the place that is taking place.

Form submits

Then on issues like kind submit, for instance, our label could possibly be the precise kind. 

Tel: & mailto:

On phone and mailto:, we’d monitor the cellphone quantity. 


On different issues, like PDFs, we’d monitor just like the web page that this occurred on. 

Page scroll

For scroll monitoring, for instance, we’d need to monitor the web page that somebody scrolled down on. What I like to recommend once you’re establishing the occasion monitoring for web page scroll, the class must be web page scroll, the motion must be the share of which individuals scroll down, after which the label must be the URL.

Really consider it when it comes to occasions, the place you have acquired the class, which is what occurred, the motion, which is what did the particular person do, and the label is telling me extra details about this. So actions are sometimes issues like scroll, click on, and faucet if you are going to be fancy and monitor cell versus desktop. It could possibly be issues like kind submit, for instance, or simply submit. Just actually primary stuff. So actually the 2 issues which might be going to inform you the distinction are issues like classes and labels, and the motion is simply the motion that occurred.

I am actually pedantic with regards to establishing occasions, however I believe in the long run, once more, future you goes to thanks in the event you set these things up correctly from the start. So you may actually see that the tag goes to this set off. Tag to set off, tag to set off, and many others. So actually take into consideration ensuring that each one of your tags has a corresponding set off if it is smart. So now we’ll depart you with some tips about the way to arrange your Tag Manager account.


1. Use a Google Analytics ID variable

So the primary tip is use a Google Analytics ID variable. It’s one of many constructed-in variables. When you go into Tag Manager and also you click on on Variables, it is one of many constructed-in variables in there. I actually suggest utilizing that, as a result of in the event you hardcode within the GA ID and one thing occurs and you need to change it sooner or later otherwise you copy that for another person or no matter it could be, you are going to overlook.

I assure you you’ll overlook. So you are going to need to put that variable in there so you alter it as soon as and it is in every single place. You’re saving your self a lot time and struggling. Just use a Google Analytics ID variable. If you might have a extremely outdated container, possibly the variable wasn’t a factor once you first set it up. So one of many issues I might suggest is go test and ensure you’re utilizing a variable. If you are not, then make a to-do for your self to tear out all of the hardcoded situations of your GA ID and as a substitute substitute it with a variable.

It will prevent a lot complications. 

2. Create a default container to import

So the following factor — businesses, that is for you — create a default container to import. Obviously, in the event you’re working in-home, you are most likely not making Google Tag Manager containers all that always, until you’re employed at say a homebuilder and you are making microsites for each new dwelling improvement. Then you may need to create a default container for your self. But company aspect for certain, you need have a default container that you simply make so each cool concept that you simply consider, you suppose, oh, we have to monitor this, simply put all of it in your default container, after which once you’re grabbing it to make one for a shopper, you may resolve, oh, we do not want this, or sure, we’d like this.

It’s going to avoid wasting you a ton of time once you’re establishing containers, as a result of I discover that that is probably the most labor-intensive a part of working with a brand new Tag Manager container is considering, “What is all the stuff I want to include?” So you need to ensure that your default container has all of your little ideas and methods that you’ve got amassed over time in there and documented in fact, after which resolve on a shopper-by-shopper foundation what you are going to depart and what you are going to hold.

three. Use a naming scheme and folders

Also use a naming scheme and folders, once more since you will not be working there eternally, and someone sooner or later goes to need to have a look at this and suppose, “Why did they set it up like this? What does this word mean? Why is this variable called foo?” You know, issues which have aggravated me about builders for years and years and years, builders I like you, however please cease naming issues foo. It is senseless to anybody aside from you. So our naming scheme, and you’ll completely steal this if you’d like, is we go product, end result, after which what.

So, for instance, we’d have our tag for Google Analytics web page obtain. So it might say Google Analytics. This is the product that the factor goes to go to. Event is what’s the results of this factor present. Then what’s the PDF obtain. Then it is actually clear, okay, I would like to repair this factor with PDF obtain. Something is flawed.

It’s sort of bizarre. Now I do know precisely the place to go. Again, with folders as effectively, so as an example you have carried out one thing corresponding to content material consumption, which is a Google Tag Manager recipe that you may seize on our web site at Kickpoint.ca, and I am going to be certain to hyperlink to it within the transcript. Let’s say you seize that. Then you are going to need to take all of the totally different tags and triggers that come together with content material consumption and toss that into its personal folder after which separate it out from all your primary stuff.

Even if in case you have the whole lot to begin in a folder known as Basics or Events or Analytics versus Call Tracking versus any of the opposite billion totally different monitoring pixels that you’ve in your web site, it is a good suggestion to only hold all of it organized. I do know it is two minutes now. It is saving you a lifetime of struggling sooner or later, and the longer term you, whether or not it is you working there or someone who finally ends up taking your job 5 years from now, simply make it simpler on them.

Especially too, once you suppose again to say Google Analytics has been round for a very long time now. When I am going again and have a look at a few of my very, very first analytics that I arrange, I would have a look at it and suppose, “Why was I doing that?” But if in case you have documentation, no less than you are going to know why you probably did that basically bizarre factor again in 2008. Or once you’re this in 2029 and also you’re pondering, “Why did I do this thing in 2019?” you are going to have documentation for it. So simply actually hold that in thoughts. 

four. Audit often!

Then the very last thing is auditing often, and which means as soon as each three, 6, or 12 months. Pick a time interval that is smart for the way typically you are going into the container. You go in and also you check out each single tag, each single set off, and each single variable. Simo Ahava has a very nice Google Tag Manager kind of auditing software.

I am going to be certain to hyperlink to that within the transcript as effectively. You can use that to only undergo your container and see what’s up. Let’s say you examined out some kind of display screen recording, such as you put in Hotjar six months in the past and also you ended up deciding on say one other product as a substitute, like FullStory, so you then need to ensure you take away the Hotjar. How many instances have you ever discovered that you simply have a look at a brand new web site and you are like, “Why is this on here?”

No one on the shopper can inform you. They’re like, “I don’t know where that code came from.” So that is the place auditing will be actually helpful, as a result of keep in mind, over time, every a type of humorous little pixels that you simply examined out some product and you then ended up not going with it’s weighing down your web page and possibly it is simply a few microseconds, however that stuff provides up. So you actually do need to go in and audit often and take away something you are not utilizing anymore. Keep your Google Tag Manager container clear.

A number of that is centered on clearly making future you very completely happy. Auditing may even make future you very completely happy. So hopefully, out of this, you may create a Google Tag Manager default container that is going to give you the results you want. I am going to ensure as effectively, when the transcript is out for this, that I’ll embrace among the hyperlinks that I talked about in addition to a hyperlink to some extra tips about the way to add in issues like conversion linker and ensure I am updating it for when this video is revealed.

Thanks a lot.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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