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.
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.
Google Tag Manager has a Trigger type which fires after a certain duration of time has passed on the web page: the Timer Trigger. The most common uses for the Timer Trigger seem to be either to send an event to Google Analytics after X seconds of dwell time (to kill the Bounce), or to defer a Tag from firing until some asynchronous request has completed with certainty. In the previous version of Google Tag Manager, the Timer was a separate listener Tag, which meant that you could start a timer based on a user interaction such as a click.
Quite a while ago, I wrote an article on what I considered (then) to be my favorite Google Tag Manager resources. Many of them are still very valid, but I still wanted to write a follow-up. Times have changed, and GTM is very different from what it was two years ago when I wrote the post. So in this article, I want to divert your attention to 10 blogs, 10 articles, and 10 people - all which are and/or share excellent Google Tag Manager content on a periodic basis.
One of the less-known features of Google Tag Manager, a hidden gem if you will, is the URL Source setting in the URL Variable type. It lets you parse any URL String for its components. Tip 38: Parse URL strings with the URL Source setting The setting itself is easy to find. Just edit an existing URL Variable, or create a new one. Then, scroll down to the More Settings divider, expand it, and you’ll see the URL Source drop-down list.
There might be many reasons you’d want to fire a single Tag multiple times in Google Tag Manager. The most common one is when you want to deploy multiples of a single tracking point on the web. Perhaps you have a roll-up account you want to send the hits to, in addition to the site-specific tracking property. Quite a while ago, I gave a solution for this with a specific focus on Google Analytics Tags.
You might have noticed that the Referral Exclusion List in Google Analytics is difficult to maintain. You can’t copy a list from one property to another, the list is a wildcard match for domain names (so all subdomains are automatically excluded), and it’s just about the clunkiest user interface we’ve seen since ERP tools from the 1990s. A while ago, I wrote of a solution which lets you manage referral exclusions using Google Tag Manager, and it’s still a neat trick, as it’s way more flexible than said clunky UI.
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