Using Google Tag Manager to Track On Site Events

In my last offering we discussed the basics when it comes to reading the abundance of information available in Google Analytics. You would have noticed that the final line of that entry implied that there is even more data that can be gleaned in Analytics through the use of Google Tag Manager. You are so perceptive. I like working with you.

I mentioned that you can create ‘Goals’ in Google Analytics that would allow you to see when people reach key pages on your site; examples include a ‘thank you’ or ‘payment success’ page. Not all sites are created equal, as your astute observations have already concluded, and this means that some websites do not have a page that acknowledges a sale (as it may be using an offsite payment processing system), or recognises a lead enquiry by changing to a unique URL. Some websites would deem a subscription to their newsletter as a ‘conversion’, whereas some have an offline booking form. I can almost hear the angst in your voice when you reply, “That’s my site! Help meeeeee”!

Never fear, I am here, and so is the Google Tag Manager that you have by now most definitely added to your website on my fervent recommendation. We will be discussing two features in the Tag Manager arsenal, the ‘Form Submit Listener’ and the ‘Link Click Listener’.

form_submit_listener_CLCKA Form Submit Listener, funnily enough, ‘listens’ for when a Form is submitted. I know, I know, mind blowing stuff, but that’s why you come here. The setting up of a Form Submit Listener is relatively straight forward:

1. Go to your Container in Google Tag Manager.
2. Create and name a new Tag.
3. Your Tag Type is under Event Listener, called Form Submit Listener. Told you it was straight forward.
4. Depending on your website, I’d recommend checking the ‘Wait for Tags’ box.
5. Add the relevant Firing Rule.

I won’t make the same joke about the Link Click Listener listening to Link Clicks, because I am not a one trick pony. It’s very much the same process as the Form Submit, except you replace Form Submit with Link Click where appropriate.

link-click-listener-clckHere comes the tricky part. While Tag Manager has now ‘heard’ these Forms being submitted or Links being clicked, it is pretty useless if it is not relaying this information to you. And Tag Manager does this by communicating with Analytics through a new and separate Tag, which registers in Analytics Data as an Event.

In Analytics there is an Events tab that shows these Form Submit and Link Clicks, which is clearly great information, however, we want to connect it to the traffic source so we can see which avenue of Acquisition is bringing in the most business. There are a few methods to use, such as segmenting and cross referencing the data, of which I use primarily when troubleshooting a website’s issues, but there is an easier method that simply displays an Event as a Goal! Similar to the setting up of a Goal for a Page View, you simply need to create a Goal for the specific event.

I may have been embellishing when I said it was a straightforward process. Truthfully, there is actually a lot more involved with the above; it is one of the reasons why I am employed and am able to service my client database. Google actually does its best to give you the directions for the next step and with the above as a pathway.While you are embarking on an Event Listener Adventure, remember that the answer is often on the page.

The beauty of this is that it is relatively new and it is rare to find it being utilised online, so you will have an advantage over your competitors, now and in the future. You will be able to optimise pages based off the knowledge and data that comes through the tracking of these Events. The possibilities for analysis extend to finding the most productive pages on your site, you can test the positioning of your enquiry form on the page, and you can eliminate much of the guesswork that has plagued websites since the 1920s when the internet was based on paper and billboards.

This is applicable to all websites, too. Some of you may be groaning, thinking, “But I already have tracking on my thank you page, I don’t need this!” and you would be wrong, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Do you have Social Media? Is there an icon for Facebook, Twitter, etc. on your site? That can be tracked.

Remember that there are so many channels that assist people in making a decision as to whether or not to give you their business. Would it be beneficial to know how many people are interacting with your peripheral online sources? Yes. It was a rhetorical question.

You will find that certain things work and, provided you are the progressive thinker that I know you are, you will hone your website and its content based off this intelligence. We can’t rest on our laurels in the online world and fortunately, with this new era of tracking available to us, we need to activate every single option for optimisation that presents itself to us in order to prepare for future growth.