a bundle of tags

Using Google Tag Manager To Get Better Insights

“Are you a lead? Then TAG, you’re it!”

Finding performance insights in your marketing campaign can sometimes feel like you’re playing a childhood game of hide-and-seek. You know the answers are out there – but where? …How? And, most importantly, why?

As noted in our blog post on accounting for seasonality in determining campaign performance, it’s important to stay away from confirmation bias when analyzing your data. On the flip side, this blog post will reveal in detail what to do when you’ve got a hunch that your key performance indicators aren’t telling the full story with your data.When you notice any disconnect between your KPIs and overall performance, it's time to reevaluate your data. Click To Tweet

Have you ever noted more sales coming through, even though your marketing campaign isn’t churning out any “conversions” or “lead” numbers? Or on the flip side – have you ever had fewer sales come through even though your digital campaign is showing great results?

When you notice any disconnect between your KPIs and overall performance, it’s time to reevaluate your data.

Marketing Is A Science. Use GTM To Gain More Data Points.

As I like to tell anyone who asks me about what it’s like to work at a marketing agency: marketing is a science, so you should never completely rely on your hunches to make decisions. Instead, use your gut feelings to help direct your research. Form theories, run tests and use data points to help support your hunches. With enough effort, you’ll often find the underlying root cause of all your woes.

A crucial part of any digital marketing campaign is optimization, including aspects such as A/B testing, analysis and tracking. You’ll often run campaigns with a couple of key numbers in mind – improving the performance of these Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the goal of all marketing campaigns, but sometimes this data is not enough.

For example, let’s say you’re a retail clothing provider and you’re running an online sale on new sneakers. Your main KPI for the campaign is “online sales for sneakers.” You’ve run the campaign for a week and noted a good click through rate on your ads, but very few online sales. What gives? Your campaign is (seemingly) ruined.

A good marketer always gives the data a second review before giving up. There could be a couple of reasons that the campaign is not converting as planned, and several questions may arise:

  1. Are shipping costs too high?
  2. Do customers actually want to purchase online?
  3. Do customers even like our new product?

While these are the right questions to asks, you’ve hit a dead end if you have no proof to support or refute your theories. This is where you need more data, to make sense of the performance of your digital campaign.

Enter Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a tool that allows marketers to easily add and remove tags from a website, allowing for better reporting and ad hoc performance data. Thanks to its ease of use, Google Tag Manager (GTM) adds quantitative data to support theories and answer questions associated with digital marketing campaigns hosted on your website.

Use Google Tag Manager to track quantitative data to support your marketing insights and observations. Click To Tweet

1. Tags that fire when certain anchor text is clicked, anywhere on the site

Let’s start with the simplest of tags – a tag that fires whenever anchor text with a specific word or phrase is clicked on by the reader. Let’s use the example above, that we’re using paid ads to bring readers to a landing page selling our new line of sneakers. While on the page, we also have URLs that use “Find A Store” and “See Other Shoes” as anchor text.

With Google Tag Manager, we’ve also created a tag that fires whenever either of these URLs are clicked on.

Let’s say it turns out that while you only saw 2 direct sales of online sneakers associated with your campaign, over 200 people clicked on “Find A Store” and 6 of them ended up purchasing sneakers in the store. That’s actually a win that’s not tracked through traditional KPI tracking.

Or, 150 people ended up buying sandals (and not sneakers) after clicking on the “See Other Shoes” link. That’s also a win that’s not tracked through traditional KPI tracking.

Google Tag Manager helps track anything from phone number clicks through to specific user behaviour, so you can be creative in generating your own GTM parameter to help gauge the validity of your marketing insights.

Tracking Possibilities Are (Nearly) Endless

Using Google Tag Manager, you can track a plethora of lead signals (but don’t use too many). Here are some ideas on how you can draw additional lead information from your online visits:

1. Track File Downloads

This is useful to gauge whether or not your draw – “free download” or “best practices document” – is actually interesting enough for your visitors to care about. On the flip side, if your visitors are all downloading your resources without filling out a contact form you may want to reconsider offering the resource for free.

2. Track Outbound Clicks

3. Measure Scroll Depth

4. GTM for structured Data / Semantic Markup

5. Track selection in drop-down list

Use Google Tag Manager For Better Marketing Results

Using Google Tag Manager, you’ll be able to draw more data from your online visits other than a binary “did they fill out a form?” metric. Whether you’re looking to improve your organic SEO, digital marketing traffic or just generally boost your visibility online, you won’t be getting very far without a good understanding of what your leads do once they’re on your site.

We hope this article gives you a better understanding of why, and how, Google Tag Manager should be used to better your marketing results through informed decision making. Want some more tips? Or, need someone to help you implement the strategies above? Contact our marketing agency for custom business advice, fresh marketing news and a professional perspective on how to improve your business’ marketing results.