What Your Google Tag Manager Container Should Contain – Whiteboard Friday

Agencies, are you arrange for ongoing Google Tag Manager success? GTM is not the simplest device on the earth to work with, but when you understand how to make use of it, it will possibly make your life a lot simpler. Make your future self happier and extra productive by organising your GTM containers the precise means right now. Dana DiTomaso shares extra ideas and hints on this version of Whiteboard Friday.

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Video Transcription

Hi, Moz followers. My identify is Dana DiTomaso. I’m President and accomplice at Kick Point, which is a digital advertising company based mostly 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 include. I believe in case you’re in search engine optimisation, there are actually loads of issues Google Tag Manager can do for you.

But in case you’ve form of mentioned to your self, “You know, Google Tag Manager is not the easiest thing to work with,” which is honest, it’s not, and it was once lots worse, however the newer variations are fairly good, then you definitely might need been a little bit intimidated by getting in there and doing stuff. But I actually suggest that you just embrace this stuff by default as a result of later you goes to be actually glad 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’ll be able to take a few of this and apply it to your individual stuff.

Agencies, if you’re watching, you will 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 means 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 lots 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 aid you 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 observe quite a lot of occasions. You can actually observe this stuff as customized dimensions or customized metrics if that floats your boat. I imply that is as much as you. If you’re accustomed to utilizing customized dimensions and customized metrics, then I assume you most likely know the way to do that. But in case you’re simply getting began with Tag Manager, simply begin with occasions after which you’ll be able to roll your means as much as being an knowledgeable after some time. 

External hyperlinks

So underneath occasions, we all the time observe exterior hyperlinks, so something that factors out to a website that is not yours.

The means that we observe that is we’re each single hyperlink that is clicked and if it doesn’t include our shopper’s area identify, then we document it as an exterior hyperlink, and that is an occasion that we document. Now bear 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 distinct web page in your shopper’s web site as an exterior hyperlink. That’s unhealthy.

When you switch from HTTP to HTTPS, in case you do not replace Google Tag Manager, it would begin recording hyperlinks incorrectly. Also unhealthy. But what that is actually helpful for are issues like whenever you hyperlink out to different web sites, as you must whenever you’re writing articles, telling folks to seek out out extra data. Or you’ll be able to observe clicks out to your totally different social properties and see if persons are truly clicking on that Facebook icon that you just 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 straight from Google, in fact that is not going to point out 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 observe scroll monitoring. Now scroll monitoring is when folks scroll down the positioning, you’ll be able to observe and hearth an occasion at say 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of the way in which down the web page. Now the factor is with that is that your mileage goes to range. 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 would change this.

An superior, kind of degree up tactic can be to select particular components after which once they enter the viewport, then you’ll be able to hearth an occasion. So for example, for instance, you will have a very necessary name to motion and since totally different gadgets are totally different sizes, it is going to be a distinct proportion of the way in which down the web page when it reveals up, however you need to see if folks received to that essential CTA. Then you’ll need to add an occasion that will 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 methods to do it. It’s not that troublesome 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 for example for a model-new web site, they may neglect about monitoring kind submits except you place it in your default container and so they take a look at it and say, “Oh, right, I have to edit that.” So all the time put kind submits in there. 

Tel: & mailto: hyperlinks

Of course you need to observe phone hyperlinks and mailto: hyperlinks. Telephone hyperlinks ought to all the time, all the time be tappable, and that is one thing that I see loads 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 all the time need to have these be tappable. So then you’ll be able to observe the quantity of people that faucet on phone hyperlinks and individuals who faucet on mailto: hyperlinks precisely the identical means. Now one thing that I do must say, although, is that if you’re 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 might find yourself in double counting.

Particularly in case you’re monitoring each name made out out of your web site, then CallRail would have an Analytics integration, and then you definitely can be monitoring faucets and you may additionally be monitoring phone clicks. So you’ll be able to observe it if you wish to see how many individuals faucet versus selecting up the cellphone and calling the outdated-long-established means with landlines. You may do this, however that is totally as much as you. But simply hold that in thoughts if you will observe phone hyperlinks.

All pages monitoring

Then, in fact, all pages monitoring. Make positive you are monitoring all the pages in your web site by means of 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 any person clicks an exterior hyperlink, then I need this occasion to occur.


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

External hyperlinks

The means 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’ll be able to undergo every of those and see the place that is occurring.

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 would observe the cellphone quantity. 


On different issues, like PDFs, we would observe just like the web page that this occurred on. 

Page scroll

For scroll monitoring, for instance, we’d need to observe the web page that somebody scrolled down on. What I like to recommend whenever you’re organising the occasion monitoring for web page scroll, the class needs to be web page scroll, the motion needs to be the proportion of which individuals scroll down, after which the label needs to be the URL.

Really consider it when it comes to occasions, the place you’ve got received the class, which is what occurred, the motion, which is what did the individual 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 observe cell versus desktop. It could possibly be issues like kind submit, for instance, or simply submit. Just actually fundamental stuff. So actually the 2 issues which can 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 in terms of organising occasions, however I believe in the long run, once more, future you goes to thanks in case you set these things up correctly from the start. So you’ll be able to 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 all of your tags has a corresponding set off if it is sensible. So now we’ll go away you with some recommendations on methods 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 case you hardcode within the GA ID and one thing occurs and it’s important to change it sooner or later otherwise you copy that for another person or no matter it may be, you are going to neglect.

I assure you you’ll neglect. So you are going to need to put that variable in there so you alter it as soon as and it is all over the place. You’re saving your self a lot time and struggling. Just use a Google Analytics ID variable. If you will have a very outdated container, perhaps the variable wasn’t a factor whenever 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 change it with a variable.

It will prevent a lot complications. 

2. Create a default container to import

So the subsequent factor — businesses, that is for you — create a default container to import. Obviously, in case you’re working in-home, you are most likely not making Google Tag Manager containers all that usually, except you’re employed at say a homebuilder and you are making microsites for each new dwelling improvement. Then you would possibly need to create a default container for your self. But company aspect for positive, you need have a default container that you just make so each cool concept that you just consider, you suppose, oh, we have to observe this, simply put all of it in your default container, after which whenever you’re grabbing it to make one for a shopper, you’ll be able to resolve, oh, we do not want this, or sure, we want this.

It’s going to avoid wasting you a ton of time whenever you’re organising containers, as a result of I discover that that is essentially 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 make it possible for your default container has all of your little ideas and methods that you’ve got gathered through the years in there and documented in fact, after which resolve on a shopper-by-shopper foundation what you are going to go away 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 ceaselessly, and any person sooner or later goes to need to take 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 really like you, however please cease naming issues foo. It is mindless to anybody apart from you. So our naming scheme, and you may completely steal this if you’d like, is we go product, consequence, after which what.

So, for instance, we’d have our tag for Google Analytics web page obtain. So it could 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 unsuitable.

It’s form of bizarre. Now I do know precisely the place to go. Again, with folders as properly, so for example you’ve got carried out one thing equivalent to content material consumption, which is a Google Tag Manager recipe which you could 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 your entire fundamental stuff.

Even if in case you have every little thing to begin in a folder referred to as Basics or Events or Analytics versus Call Tracking versus any of the opposite billion totally different monitoring pixels that you’ve got 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 any person who finally ends up taking your job 5 years from now, simply make it simpler on them.

Especially too, whenever you suppose again to say Google Analytics has been round for a very long time now. When I am going again and take a look at a few of my very, very first analytics that I arrange, I would take a look at it and suppose, “Why was I doing that?” But if in case you have documentation, a minimum of you are going to know why you probably did that actually bizarre factor again in 2008. Or whenever 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 recurrently!

Then the very last thing is auditing recurrently, and which means as soon as each three, 6, or 12 months. Pick a time interval that is sensible 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 device.

I am going to be certain to hyperlink to that within the transcript as properly. You can use that to only undergo your container and see what’s up. Let’s say you examined out some kind of display 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 then you definitely need to ensure you take away the Hotjar. How many instances have you ever discovered that you just take 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 useful, as a result of bear in mind, over time, every a kind of humorous little pixels that you just examined out some product and then you definitely ended up not going with it’s weighing down your web page and perhaps it is simply a few microseconds, however that stuff provides up. So you actually do need to go in and audit recurrently and take away something you are not utilizing anymore. Keep your Google Tag Manager container clear.

A whole lot of that is targeted on clearly making future you very glad. Auditing may even make future you very glad. So hopefully, out of this, you’ll be able to create a Google Tag Manager default container that is going to give you the results you want. I am going to ensure as properly, 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 recommendations on methods to add in issues like conversion linker and ensure I am updating it for when this video is printed.

Thanks a lot.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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