17 March 2018: MeasureCamp London
With GDPR looming around the corner, it’s time to explore the options you have at your disposal for respecting the new, stricter regulations for tracking users and for collecting data about their visits to your website. In this article, we’ll explore the wonderful customTask (again), to see how you can programmatically prevent the request to Google Analytics or the redirect to DoubleClick from ever taking place, in case certain conditions are met.

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Scroll depth tracking in web analytics is one of those things you simply must do, especially if you have a content-heavy site. Tracking scroll depth not only gives you an indication of how much users are digesting your content, but it also lets you turn meaningless metrics such as Bounce Rate into something far more useful. If you’ve already been tracking scroll depth in Google Tag Manager, you’ve probably been using either Rob Flaherty’s brilliant Scroll Depth jQuery plugin, or LunaMetrics’ equally ingenious Scroll Tracking recipe.

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Holy visibility, Batman! Visibility is a seriously undervalued aspect of web analytics tracking. Too often, we fall into the trap of thinking that “Page Views” actually have something to do with “viewing” a page. Or that tracking scrolling to 25%, 50%, or 75% of vastly different pages makes sense on the aggregate level. So you will be very pleased to know that the Google Tag Manager team (who have been on FIRE recently), have just published the Element Visibility trigger.

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5 years ago, on 1st October 2012, this lovely video popped up in Google’s Analytics Blog: It was accompanied by a blog post, which contained a brief look into many of Google Tag Manager’s key features, some of which are still relevant today. Google Tag Manager is a free tool that consolidates your website tags with a single snippet of code and lets you manage everything from a web interface.

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Universal Analytics can collect Page Timing data from users that load your pages. This data is populated in to the Behavior -> Site Speed -> Page Timings report, and it’s a very useful feature for optimizing your website. However, there’s a murky underside to this generous feature. The way Page Timings collection works is that when Pageview hits are sent from the site, a sample of these (1% by default) are automatically followed by a timing hit which includes page performance data grabbed from the Navigation Timing API.

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Ever since the Lookup Table variable was introduced in Google Tag Manager, users have been craving for more. The Lookup Table does exactly what it promises: lookups. These are exact match operations, which are extremely inexpensive to perform, because they can only have a binary result: either the match exists in the data store being queried or it doesn’t. This performance stays constant even if the data store being queried increases in size.

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There’s a fabled, mythical beast that prowls the jungles of digital marketing. They have no issues with running and analyzing crawler data, offering suggestions for server-side redirects, building remarketing audiences, implementing tag management solutions, speaking of Data Layers, copy-pasting code from Stack Overflow, configuring bid managers, and speaking at conferences presenting on all the aforementioned activities. However, for some reason, they still claim that they are “non-technical”, or “just marketers”.

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Author's picture

Simo Ahava

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

Senior Data Advocate at Reaktor

Finland