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Tame your Tag Manager Tags 2x per year using this template

Google Tag Manager has been an amazing addition to the typical data analysts set of tools. The problem is that with multiple people, agencies and generations of internal users, it can turn into a “Franken-Stack” of technologies without having a central set of control.

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Tag Manager can be a bit of a monster if it’s not tamed

Problems caused by Tag Manager gone wild

For those of you who don’t do the biannual tag manager audit, you could be experiencing one of these things:

  1. Slow Performance — Too many tags can slow down the performance of your site. Just because they are firing later, doesn’t mean that they aren’t using up users’ bandwidth
  2. More Bugs — Tags that are not updated, or not using the standard Tag Manager templates could very quickly become out of date and could conflict with other newer browsers. This can hit your user experience and in very bad cases break things like Checkout which rely on Javascript.
  3. Don’t touch it, it might be important — Especially if the team isn’t aware of the purpose of all the tags, it is very easy to leave a tag in place just incase its driving a marketing activity that is making money.
  4. Loss of Control — This is the most tough to see, where by the team feels like they no longer control their stack and it becomes a black box of magic tricks. The team should be driving whats in the tag manager container — not the other way around.

The Tag Manager Audit Template

The tag manager audit template can be found here and is free to use and modify.

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The Tag Manager template is a simple Google Spreadsheet that helps tame the chaos

It covers key things such as :

  • Building a common terminology to refer to tags
  • Identifying the purpose of the tag. No purpose == bin
  • Making sure there is a contact for the tag to get updates, get improved documentation or just to get status
  • Links to implementation details. All your tags should be treated as software releases and have details of what they do, what the code should look like and most importantly how they are tested.
  • What pages they should be found on. Thisis key to identify if there are pages which are focus for performance improvements, then its quick to identify if there are any tags that can be modified to deliver the business goals.

To make sure you have a fighting chance to succeed as a team — you need to make sure that all your tools are operating on point. Tag Manager is one of those tools which can be a great asset or a great hinderance. Now is the right time to get Tag manager on your side

Innovation: Automatic Google Analytics Developer Annotations

New year = time to innovate.  I am delighted to say that our Google Analytics(GA) implementation has just got a little bit  smarter this week.   One of my work buddies and I have  rolled out our innovation project so we can easily track the results of development releases in GA, automatically. We call this Google Analytics Development Annotations(GADA) and its the start of our journey to making GA more powerful, faster and more useful.

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Google Analytics Annotations: Power Guide

Google Analytics Annotations are one of the most awesome and powerful features in the analytics kit bag,  but the problem is that they are so often ignored. I personally love the features and power that come from them and it’s frustrating to see this crucial bit of Google Analytics so often skipped over.  I thought I would create a quick guide about Google Analytics Annotations and why they are the proverbial missing link between WHAT google analytics tells you is happening on a website, and WHY it is happening.

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