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_This is a guest post by Stephen Harris from Seer Interactive . He was kind enough to share his awesome solution in this blog, so I’m very grateful indeed for his contribution._ If Google Tag Manager is loaded as the primary instrument for tracking on a webpage (as it should be), then all webpage tracking could and should be configurable via GTM. But we don’t always control the circumstances, and it’s not uncommon to face hardcoded Google Analytics tracking outside of GTM.

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First of all, I’m sorry about the title. I should really stop throwing the word “simple” around, since people always tell me that the stuff I claim to be easy and straightforward is rarely so. But since this is my blog, I reserve the right to use whatever stupid and misleading terminology I want. I maintain that what follows IS quite simple, especially when considering the amount of complexity it reduces in your Universal Analytics setup.

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Hello friends! Today I want to direct your attention to a dangerous setting found within the bowels of the Universal Analytics Tag template in Google Tag Manager. In fact, GTM itself highly discourages you from meddling with it: I actually agree with this warning. It should be highly discouraged, as modifying the tracker name introduces a potential hazard to your tracking plan, unless you know what you’re doing.

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Welcome back my friends (to the show that never ends)! It’s been a couple of weeks since my last barrage of articles, and I think the time is ripe to do some testing! First things first, here’s a picture of me shovelling snow: And now back to the topic at hand. One of the things that seems to be a hot topic in Universal Analytics is cross-domain tracking.

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Enhanced Ecommerce is a very nice improvement to the pretty lame, transaction-based Ecommerce tracking in Universal Analytics. Instead of staring blindly at what happens on a receipt page, Enhanced Ecommerce expands your entire webstore into one large funnel labelled “Shopping Behavior”, and you’re able to zoom in on the Checkout funnel as well. Also, the addition of product-scoped tracking is incredibly useful, and it’s enabled us to think of any asset (our content, for example) on our site as something we could track through the Enhanced Ecommerce reports.

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There are many tools and methods to make Google Analytics more manageable. Google Tag Manager is probably the best known of these, and you can find many, many articles about GTM on these pages as well. However, today I want to tell you about one of the features of Universal Analytics that hasn’t, as far as I know, received too much attention. It’s funny, because at the same time almost everyone uses the feature in the shape of eCommerce, enhanced link attribution, and cross-domain tracking.

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If you read my previous post on fetching the Client ID from the Universal Analytics tracker object with Google Tag Manager, you might have agreed with me that it sucks you can’t access the tracker object interface in real time using Google Tag Manager. This is because all of the set commands you add to a Universal Analytics tag template take place before the analytics.js is loaded and the tracker object is properly created.

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Simo Ahava

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

Senior Data Advocate at Reaktor

Finland