21 October 2020: DAA OneConference, Virtual
This is an implementation guide for Google Analytics 4. The guide is aimed at Google Tag Manager users and has been designed to complement the official documentation. A thing to keep in mind is that Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is still very new. The Google Tag Manager integration is still in its infancy, and implementation places a lot of responsibility on accurate tagging and proper dataLayer instrumentation. In this guide, I’ll explain the new data model from an implementation perspective, and walk you through the nuts and bolts on how to get the different parts of GA4’s Ecommerce machine to work in unison.

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Last updated 21 October 2020: Clarified some technical details about the new Preview process. Your favorite tagging platform, Google Tag Manager, now comes equipped with a completely revamped preview mode experience. Gone are the days of having to minimize the debug pane to prevent it from hogging up screen real estate on the website. Gone are the days of having to use browser extensions to see what happened in GTM on previous page loads.

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Not too long ago, Google announced a new consent mode for Google tags. It allows you to build a mechanism where Google’s tags parse, react, and respond to the consent status of your site visitors. Consent Mode with a custom Google Tag Manager template In short, consent mode is a beta feature, which lets you determine whether or not Google’s advertising tags (Ads and Floodlight) and analytics tags (Universal Analytics, App + Web) can utilize browser storage when sending pings to Google’s servers.

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It’s lovely to see small, incremental, quality-of-life improvements to Google Tag Manager amid the behemothian feature releases such as custom templates in 2019 and server-side tagging in 2020. This time around, we’ll take a look at the upgraded search functionality of the Google Tag Manager user interface, which makes search an actually useful tool. In addition to this, we’ll take a look at one of the most requested features in the history of Google Tag Manager, which we finally have access to: bulk actions!

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Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference in late June this year included a couple of big announcements around Apple’s approach to privacy in their software. The new Privacy Report in Safari 14 (on all platforms) uses DuckDuckGo’s tracker radar list to detail which of the most prominent tracking-capable domains have been flagged by Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) in the user’s browser. Apple also announced that the WKWebView class, which all iOS and iPadOS (the operating systems for iPhones and iPads, respectively) must use, will include WebKit’s ITP mechanisms on by default.

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Exporting a container in Google Tag Manager can have many purposes. From backing up Google Tag Manager versions to creating and distributing repositories of useful container snapshots, the container export is one of the most useful non-tagging-related tools that the GTM user interface offers. However, one big misgiving in the feature (until now) has been that exporting just a subset of the container version or workspace has been impossible. It’s always the entire container or nothing.

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A recent update to Google Tag Manager introduced container notifications. By subscribing to container notifications, your Google Tag Manager login email address can be configured to receive an email for some of the key workflows in Google Tag Manager: containers getting published, and containers being submitted for approval (Tag Manager 360 only), for example. Be sure to check out the official help center article about container notifications. In this article, I’ll walk you through the feature and share a couple of tips on how to make it even more useful!

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Simo Ahava

Husband | Father | Analytics developer
simo (at) simoahava.com

Senior Data Advocate at Reaktor

Finland