Two of our favorite uses for Google Tag Manager that you can use today

We work a lot in the Shopify platform, and one of our favorite tools web analytics is Google Tag Manager (GTM). Don’t know a lot about GTM? It was designed for non-developers so they could install tracking pixels on a website, reducing costs and time of implementations.

Ready for an oversimplification of how it all works?

You create triggers that fire tags. Triggers can be any action on a page – time on page, page load, a specific button is clicked, a video is played.

Tags can range from custom parameters for Google Ads, Google Analytics Events, or tags for Google Optimize (A/B Testing). So what are our favorite uses for GTM?

Google Analytics Timers

Google Analytics measures time on page by measuring the time that passes between two hits, typically a page load, and the next page load. So what happens if a user only visits one page on your site? How can you tell how long they were on site?

This is where a timer comes in.

Using Google Tag Manager, we can set up a timer on the site that sends a non-interaction event to Google Analytics every 15 seconds. In layman’s terms, this means GTM will send a ping every 15 seconds to ensure that the user is still on site and this ping won’t interfere¬†with bounce rates (if non-interaction is set to True).

Search Engine Land has a great article with step by step instructions on how to set this up.

What’s next?

Google Analytics Event Tracking

Event tracking is hard to implement in Shopify. If you don’t use Google Tag Manager for anything else on Shopify, you will still find immense value with this use alone. Almost every element on your Shopify site has an ID. This includes buttons, the most common thing we want to track.

By setting up the trigger to fire whenever a button with a specific ID is clicked, we can send a Google Analytics event tag.

If you don’t want to pour through lines of code finding ID’s, some tricks can help you out. Plus a couple of excellent step by step instructions for common event tracking scenarios.

Pro tip – Remember to turn off the preview mode, or you will get notifications of every element and tag that is fires via while you’re on site.

Your Turn

What are your favorite uses for Google Tag Manager? Specifically for Shopify? Leave a comment and let us know.

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