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A guide to Google Tag Manager

In this article, we’re going to show you how to track your website’s performance with Google Tag Manager (GTM).

Do you think your website could be doing better? Are you blindly making updates to your site without reviewing the data?

Unfortunately, most people set up basic tracking initially and never look at it OR they don’t set it up at all.

Initially, the analytics dashboard can be quite daunting and this puts users off, but that shouldn’t stop you.

There are a number of reasons you want to set up tracking

  • Saves you time and money understanding what is working
  • If you’re paying a developer to upgrade your site, you want to be able to give them accurate and actionable instructions
  • You may not have a problem with your website, if sales are down but you’re not getting any customers, this may be an indication that your marketing is not working
  • We can track user journeys and see where the customer falls off

GTM is set up so that anyone can use it, even if you are not a techy person. There are more complex depths to it, and if you wish to explore these, there are a vast number of resources on the internet that can help you here.

Here’s how to step by step, for this example, we are going to use an Ecommerce Store.

Step 1: Start with the basics: Setting up GTM

Creating a GTM account for your website is fairly quick.

Follow the steps on the Google Tag Manager site by inputting your information.

Step 2: Next we want to get specific: Tracking Events + Pageviews

To get some actionable data, we need to start with tracking page views and events.

A common event to track is the purchase event. Other events like signup, cancellation, and upgrade can all be easily set up and tracked.

Here’s a tutorial on how to track events.

Once this is set up we can track the user’s journey all the way through and start guiding our other customers along this route.

The other standard piece of tracking every site should have setup is page view tracking.

Enhanced Ecommerce is certainly one of the finest reporting user interfaces that google analytics has to offer, they provide you with a fairly complete view into how users are interacting with your products.

Step 3: Actioning the data

Once you have tracking in place, you’re going to want to test and confirm its working correctly. We would recommend testing yourself with a dummy purchase. Note* this may only show up a day later in the dashboard.

Once you are happy everything is working we would recommend you let it run for a month to gather some data. Then allocate some time to review the data and see how your customers are interacting with your site. Which pages are being viewed most, and what device is the pages viewed on.

You can use tools to replicate the device and view how your customer will see the site.

We can then ask ourselves more valuable questions.

Why are they dropping off on a category page? Likely they can’t find what they want quickly, maybe you need to add some filtering options, or display more relevant data in your product grid.

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