Last updated 9 March 2018 with some new tips. The Scroll Depth trigger in Google Tag Manager has a lot going for it. Tracking how far users scroll down a given page has long since been recognized as an important cog in the engagement tracking machine, and there have been really great solutions for implementing scroll depth tracking for web analytics over the years. With Google Tag Manager’s native Scroll Depth trigger, it’s tempting to think we now have a be-all end-all solution that covers all the bases.
One of the annoying quirks of Google Tag Manager is that it strips out any non-standard HTML attributes from elements you add to Custom HTML tags. I’m using “non-standard” as a qualifier here, because I don’t have an exhaustive list of attributes that are ignored. But at least data attributes (e.g. data-id) and attributes with custom names (e.g. aria-labelledby) are either stripped out upon injection, or GTM might actually prevent you from even saving the container if the Custom HTML tag has elements with these attributes.
Sending personally identifiable information (PII) to Google Analytics is one of the things you should really avoid doing. For one, it’s against the terms of service of the platform, but also you will most likely be in violation of national, federal, or EU legislation drafted to protect the privacy of individuals online. In this #GTMTips post, I’ll show you a way to make sure that any tags you configure this solution with will not contain strings that might be construed as PII.
The steady increase in mobile use over the last years has introduced some new challenges for web analytics. It’s not just about mismatches in the tracking model (the concept of sessions is even more absurd for apps than it is for desktop browsing), but about something more fundamental, more basic. Think about it: if a visitor visits the website using a mobile device, there’s a significant chance of them losing internet connectivity and going unintentionally offline.
More often than not, much of what we do in web analytics can be automated. This applies especially to implementations, audits, configurations, and reporting. So when I’m faced with a menial, manual task that might take hours for me to complete if done by hand, I always look at what could be done with some scripting and API work. I want to introduce a couple of Google Sheets add-ons I’ve written and released to the public.
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