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Planning your Google Tag Manager implementation is essential for success.
Without planning you are very likely to run into trouble – your Google Analytics events won’t form a logical hierarchy, you don’t know what needs to be tracked, or you will fail to miss critical requirements.
This is especially the case when you work with a team. Without planning, it’s hard to communicate with each other about the details that need to be implemented and tested.
Analytics is a details game and so you need to keep track of the details! If you don’t set it up well then you will set yourself up for failure and this can have an effect on the outcome of any marketing campaigns that use the data from your analytics. All in all, follow a “do it right first time” approach and plan out your Google Tag Manager implementations.
This is the approach that I use, using Monday.com project management software. You can use whatever suits you, but I found it is best to avoid software that separates each feature into a separate task. You will need to cross-reference all your tags in order to make sure your event naming makes sense.
If you want to know how I manage these complex projects, here is a video showing my process:
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Hi! How are you going?
Now I’m just going through some of my Google Tag Manager planning process and I thought it might interest you to see what it is that I do during that stage of a project. So what I’m going to do is just share my screen. I actually use monday.com for my project management and I’ll show you what my Google Tag Manager planning board looks like.
So this is the monday.com board and I have a Google Tag Manager Set Up board specifically for doing Google Tag Manager planning and what I do with this I plan it all out so that I can communicate with my developer team and my QA team so that then we can communicate amongst ourselves easily and they know exactly what they’re doing.
So the first thing that I do — so I’m actually responsible for planning exactly what is going to go into every setup. So I actually walk through the client’s website in detail. Look at every page, in the case of an e-commerce, I’m looking at product pages but make sure I look at every single one. I walk through the sales funnel, walk through all the key pages, all that main interactions that a user can have of the website and all the places where — basically, I consider them to be levers, so anything where the user can interact in some way and may have some impact upon their user experience.
And as I walk through, I make a note of everything that I see and everything that I believed needs to be tracked. Now, depending on the type of website we do actually have some standardized things that we track as well for every website of that type. So in the case of an e-commerce, we do like to make sure that we have enhanced e-commerce or at least standard e-commerce set up. We do like to make sure obviously that any add to cart, checkout, etcetera are all set up.
Another thing that we like to do is to make sure that we can track a metric for the value of the cart so then if there’s an abandoned cart we can see what the abandoned cart value was but otherwise we are going through and looking for interactions that are used and they have on the website.
So when — as I walk through, I make a note of all of the different things that I think that we would want to record in our analytics and I make a note of them all and then I determine a due date for the developer. I make a note of the URL so if there are multiple URLs then that’s okay. I will make a note of which URL is relevant. I assign a developer from my team, go through set the development due date. I set a QA person from my team so every development projects for every Google Tag Manager project, I set a developer and I set a QA specialist so someone that tests it.
Now, in — we have got some standardized processes where it’s exactly the same for every client in which case we don’t need a developer. So we’ve actually designed some templates that will work for every single client and that saves money because it doesn’t require a developer to actually implement that work. However in most cases when it comes to custom tracking, we do need a developer resource because every website is slightly different under the hood and we need to make sure that we’re tracking the website accurately.
So in addition to tracking the QA specialist, we will make a note of what type of tracking it is so then there’s no discrepancy between what I had planned for and what actually gets through into the system. So we’re tracking things like events, we’re tracking enhanced e-commerce data layer push, we’re tracking custom metrics and custom dimensions and there might be some other things that we’re tracking in there as well. But generally, these are the types of things that we’re tracking.
We’re setting — we’re specifying what the event category is going to be, the event action and the event label. Now, that is important when it comes to reporting. So if you want to have a comprehensive and cohesive report it makes sense to make sure that things that are grouped do have the same category and action and differ in the labels so that then the reporting makes sense. So there’s a, there is actually a method to the madness, it needs to be done in a logical way. So I’m usually planning all of those out unless we have a standardized approach.
We specify an Event Value. So in Google Analytics, you can specify what something is actually worth in monetary value and that can be done in Google Tag Manager. So for every event that we track, we would track if there is a specified event value to go with it. In the case of e-commerce, we would typically instead set up enhanced e-commerce. Enhanced e-commerce will automatically populate the e-commerce transaction value at the time of transaction.
Alright, so we generally I let the developer decide what the Google Tag Manager tag name is going to be but we do have policies around that to make sure that it stays consistent. We, I specify whether we’re going to have a goal for this particular tracking or not. So when the developer has finished implementing it they can mark that goal as done for the ones that require a goal.
Now, Google Analytics allows twenty goals on a view so I would normally make sure that the goals that I’ve planned for are going to fit in that particular view and that we don’t need other views in order to accommodate those. Generally, I let the developer choose what the goal name is going to be unless it needs to meet some other requirement and I normally let them pick the ID as long as it fits on the view like I said.
Usually, we set up multiple views so we would at the very minimum, we would set up a, an unfiltered view and then we would set up a filtered view that has extra parameters in it. I’m going to walk what the parameters are in a different video. And then I would also do a filtered view that has that those parameters stripped out. So we would typically have at least three views but there are instances where we have other views. So we might have a client that has a blog that we, they want to be in a different view of they might have a staging website or different things that need additional views. So I plan exactly which views any goals are going to go into.
So as the developer is working on that, they can then mark things off as done. So the developer can say, “Alright, have they completed their Google Tag Manager development?” They can say, “Yeah, I’ve done it.” They can say whether they’ve completed anything that needs to be done in Google Analytics to support that Google Tag Manager. So there might be things like in the case of enhanced e-commerce or custom dimensions, there needs to be additional settings set up in Google Analytics and then also in the case of setting up goals etcetera, they’ve got to do that in Google Analytics so they can mark that as done.
And then my QA person comes in and makes sure that what the developer has done is correct. So we always have two eyes on every task. We don’t leave it up to the one person unless it is a standardized process that has been tested to work on all platforms. So the QA will say, “Right, doesn’t work on a desktop? Yes. Does it work on a mobile? Yes. And is the goal working? Done. Is the goal value coming through? Yes. And is the goal copied to a goal to all the views? Yes.” So then we can see progress as to how complete it is. I’ll just grab this one here. I’ll just leave that as required so that I don’t accidentally mess up when I’m setting this up later.
So we can see how much progress we’ve got on any given item. Then at the end, we can see how much progress we have for this whole project. So we can keep track of how much is happening.
Now, Google Analytics and all, basically, any web analytics, it’s a very detailed profession. So if you’re not keeping track of all the little details, the chances are anything that you’re doing in Google Tag Manager is not likely to be working very well. It’s, it’s very detailed and this is — I’ve actually, over time I’ve been trying to work out what is the best way to communicate those details across a team. So we actually started with Todoist when it was just myself and one person. Quickly outgrew that so we moved to Asana, but what we found is that using these types of tools we have all of the tasks as separate entities, Still quickly becomes confusing in terms of being able to communicate the bigger picture. So this matrix here where we can see everything done, that is really invaluable.
So we, we moved to, we moved to monday.com and that has been the best solution so far, its assistance work pretty well. Essentially for every, every task that we can think of relating to the Google Tag Manager set up will end up in here and if the website changes partway through the project then we would, you know, talk to the client about additional scope in order to add additional tracking here.
It has happened from time to time that we’ve been working on a project and then the website has changed quite significantly partway through and then in that case, you know we need to revise what I’ve got in here. So we, we keep our plans fairly flexible so that we can change them if needed but at the same time we need to have all the details recorded in here so that everything is communicated really well. And it’s, yeah, it’s a very good system. It’s working very well.
So if, if you have Google Tag Manager set up and you are one team to follow a similar system, please feel free to go ahead and copy what I’m doing because I know that this works great. Alternatively, you can bring me on board to help you with your Google Tag Manager that will work as well.
Alright, I’ll switch back to me now.
Alright, back to me again. So that’s a little overview of how we do the project set up in terms of planning what’s going to go into each project and now we check that everything has been done, tested, developed and checked off the list. I hope you find that interesting.
The tool that I’m using it’s called “monday.com” so if you’re looking for a similar project management tool it, it can be customized in any way that you like so I really like it. I’ve gone through a few different — I actually start off with Todoist then I moved to Asana and now I’m using Monday.com. I’m liking this one the best so far. It works really well for the team.
Yeah, and if you are interested in having any Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Data Studio, Google Optimize, Google Ads, anything Google — if you’re interested in anything to do with Google that particularly anything that requires some tech setting up behind the background, please contact me. We specialize in all things in Google and geeky, Google geeky. So feel free to stay in touch with us to look into how we can help you set up your Analytics, Tag Manager, etcetera for your website.
Alright, well hope you have a wonderful day and speak with you soon.
If you are wanting some help from someone who knows Google Tag Manager inside out, rest assured that I am always careful to plan out the work in this way before executing it, so that you won’t run into problems later on. Mistakes can hurt your budget, so you want a team that follows a methodical process that is guaranteed to work.