Google Tag Manager Essentials – Part Three (Common Tracking Setups)

Charles Brodeur - Monday, September 28, 2015

The Universal Analytics Pageview Tracking

The first tag you will want to likely configure will be your Universal Analytics tag that will communicate directly with Google Analytics from within GTM.  To do this, add a new tag that is linked to Google’s Universal Analytics platform and is configured with your Analytics Tracking ID found within the Analytics account information. 

It is necessary to have the tag triggered on all pages, which is a built-in default trigger you can select in the fourth step.  Preview and debug your first GTM setup prior to publishing, and double-check to ensure that page views are making it to your Google Analytics platform.

Outbound Link Tracking

Another important tag common found in GTM containers is a handy one for analytics insights: tracking departure or outbound links from your site.  To do this, ensure that the variable labeled ‘Click URL’ is enabled prior to designing the trigger. 

The trigger’s design will be configured as a ‘Link Click’ type, wherein it will fire only under circumstances where the aforementioned variable does not contain your website’s base domain.  This will filter out all intra-site traffic and filter in everything else.  From there, create the associated tag with the necessary added information on configuration and firing.  It is necessary to have it fire in only ‘click’ circumstances.

Email Address and Phone Call Tracking

For businesses and websites of any sort, another important thing to track is customer and client communication.  For the purposes of email and phone contacts, the process is quite similar.  Initially, you will need one trigger for each: for the email trigger, it will fire only when the click URL contains ‘mailto:’, and for the phone trigger, it will only fire when the click URL contains ‘tel:’.  Ensure these triggers are set and named appropriately prior to implementing them into tags. 

For the tags, you’ll need to perform a two-step implementation for both the phone tracking as well as the email tracking.  Create and label your two tags appropriately with the necessary configuration under the third step, and fire them in click scenarios where the respective trigger is to be fired. 

You will also need to create an exception/block trigger on the external/outbound link tag you created earlier to ensure that the phone and email tags do not fire the outbound link tracking tag by mistake.  To do this, re-visit the conditions under which the outbound link tag will fire, and add the mailto: and tel: triggers as blocks/exceptions to prevent overlap. 

PDF Viewing/Downloading Tracking

A final basic tag setup one may wish to implement on a page is the downloading of PDF files, particularly in circumstances where these documents may be instrumental in the sale of a good or service.  To do this, create a trigger that fires under the circumstances where “Click URL matches RegEx ‘/.pdf” as seen in the attached photo.

After that trigger has been created, create an associated tag to fire with an appropriately labeled tag configuration and trigger calibration.



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