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Four years ago, I wrote an article on how to persist GTM’s dataLayer from page to page. Unfortunately, the solution was a bit clumsy, requiring you to give specific commands for the interactions, which made it really unwieldy in the long run. Google Tag Manager still doesn’t offer us a native way to persist the dataLayer array or its internal data model from one page to the other, so I thought it was about time I revisit this idea.

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Last updated 2 March 2018. Every now and then you might be urged to run Google Tag Manager and/or Google Analytics locally, meaning without the benefit of a web server serving your files. In other words, you’re loading an HTML file from your computer in the web browser. You can identify a locally run file by the file:/// protocol in the address bar. Now, deploying Google Tag Manager onto that file with the hopes of running Google Analytics requests locally isn’t quite simple.

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(Update 19 November 2018: See this article for a more elegant solution.) If you know your JavaScript, you know that all variables, functions, objects, resources, and data in the document get rewritten with every page load. In other words, every single page refresh builds the page from scratch, and the state of the document before the page refresh is left drifting in the ocean of oblivion. Google Tag Manager’s dataLayer is also one such entity.

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Simo Ahava

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

Senior Data Advocate at Reaktor

Finland