On the surface, tracking events in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is fairly simple. Events are, after all, pretty much the only thing you can collect in GA4. It’s easy to get tied down with endless comparisons to Universal Analytics, though. While I’m steadfastly opposed to the idea that GA4 should resemble Universal Analytics, it’s still important to cleanse the palate and approach GA4’s event tracking with an open mind. There are some comparisons that can be drawn between the new and the old, but what GA4 might lack in some features and use cases, it more than makes up for this with a more flexible data structure.
In Google Tag Manager, every single Tag requires a Trigger to fire. Every single Trigger requires an Event condition to activate. Sometimes, these Event conditions are obfuscated under template semantics, but you can also create a Custom Event Trigger, where you specify the value of the ‘event’ key in dataLayer that fires your tag. You can read more about the relationship between GTM events and Tags in these two posts:
With Google Tag Manager, there are a million different ways to make your tagging setup leaner and more flexible. The reason this should be a priority is because the UI isn’t perfect. The more tags you have, the more difficult it becomes to manage your assets. In this #GTMtips post, I show you one of my favorite ways to put your container on a diet. Tip 13: How to create a Generic Event Tag I’ve seen a lot of containers that suffer from the same problem.