Google Tag Manager Can Replace Dev Work for Event Tracking

google tag managerIf you’ve ever logged into it or created an account, Google Tag Manager probably seems like a scary tool to use. There are a lot of phrases you might not be familiar with, like triggers, tags and variables. There are even more foreign elements to tag manager when you get into rules and custom dimensions. During the time I’ve spent as a Google Analytics trainer in San Francisco, people often ask me about Tag Manager but are too timid to jump into it themselves.

Fortunately, with enough reps, you can likely take care of the most basic event tracking for Google Analytics. Furthermore, you can save your devs time and annoying emails about marketing that they’d probably put on the bottom of their to-do list anyway.

When I first started using Tag Manager, I wanted to learn only what I needed. The tool has so many capabilities, so that’s the strategy that makes the most sense.

I watched the video below to learn how to track button clicks, which at the time, was a big need for myself and my clients. Without Tag Manager, I would have had to outsource work to a developer or learn JavaScript. Both were unappealing.

Fortunately for me, tracking button clicks (and link clicks) was incredibly easy. Once I setup Google Analytics as a Tag in GA, I was able to select which variables on a page I wanted to use for rules. Then I used the Trigger section in Tag Manager to specify conditions needed for something to fire into Google Analytics (the event).

The result was something like this:




















Next, using Google Analytics’ real-time overview I was able to test that the button clicking was firing into the account as an event. Note that I named the event category, action and label very specific things so as not to confuse myself when viewing the event data. You want to know exactly what these clicks are and where they occurred so you don’t get lost in your reports.











Once that was confirmed, I turned the events (clicks) into goals for contact forms, link and other important objects on the website that we wanted people to click.

For a free consultation on how you can use Tag Manager, contact me at or fill out the form below. Thanks for reading.

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