So What? Marketing Analytics and Insights Live
airs every Thursday at 1 pm EST.
In this week’s episode of So What? we focus on auditing Google Tag Manager. We walk through setting up a governance structure for keeping track of your tags, how to know if which tags are collecting data, and how often you should review. Catch the replay here:
In this episode you’ll learn:
- How to set up governance
- How to identify out of date tags
- How often to review your account
- Auditing your content – 6/24/2021
Have a question or topic you’d like to see us cover? Reach out here: https://www.trustinsights.ai/resources/so-what-the-marketing-analytics-and-insights-show/
Unknown Speaker 0:33
Hello, folks, it is the marketing analytics and insights live show this week, John and i Katie is off this week, enjoying some much needed vacation time. And this week, we’re gonna be talking about Tag Manager, Google Tag Manager. So a bit of background tag manager has been around Gosh, what? Seven or eight years now? Yes, seven years at least. Yeah. Yeah. And
Unknown Speaker 0:56
it used to be just, you know, sort of the tag management system make life easier. But with rollout of Google Analytics for it, it’s now sort of the configuration engine for Google Analytics for as well tracking your goals, things. So let’s take some time today, to walk through how to audit a Tag Manager instance and know when things are the way they should be. John, you’ve been talking to a lot of folks on sales calls and things who bring things like Tag Manager audits and analytics audits to the table when you talk to people, what are they saying about Tag Manager, what you hear Tag Manager,
Unknown Speaker 1:34
I’m trying to think of a good analog for it that other people would understand from other industries. You know, it’s what I like, at a restaurant, it’s cleaning the bathroom. It’s like, nobody wants that job. And they try to find somebody who can do it, and the person never does it, right. And everybody complains about it, but nobody wants to do it. Like that is totally Tag Manager, it’s essential to the functioning right, your analytics just don’t work if you don’t have it straight. But it’s just always a mess. And yeah, it’s just funny how I’ve never talked to anybody that was like, Oh, yeah, no, Tag Manager is totally configured fine. And we’re all good. We’ve got everything we want. We understand how it works. Like just, nope, it always needs attention. Exactly. And nobody ever says I love
Unknown Speaker 2:15
Unknown Speaker 2:18
Cuz Yeah, you’re right. It’s like nobody ever says I love cleaning the restroom. So
Unknown Speaker 2:22
Unknown Speaker 2:25
we’re gonna cover governance, tags themselves. And then account frequency. Governance first is really straightforward. It’s a term we love to use in operations. But all it means is who’s responsible for stuff, it’s the easiest way to to put it. So there’s a couple of different checks you want to run for governance. The first one is I’m going to go ahead and share my screen here.
Unknown Speaker 2:51
This is my tag manager, cuz I’m going to be auditing. My personal Tag Manager account, this is going to be very much you know, the cobblers kids have no shoes, because there’s probably a whole bunch of stuff in here that I haven’t cleaned up. Number one thing is go into the admin section up top here, go to user management and account settings. Tag Manager has two things, it has a count as containers, you can have multiple accounts, you can have one account with multiple containers. And so there’s access root privileges on both. Because you may have a case where like your company has an account, and you may have five different websites, and each has its own Tag Manager container. And you may want to have an agency or a new employee only be allowed to work on one of those containers. So first things first, in account itself, you want to go in a never hurts to checkout account settings. Make sure that you can say enforced two step verification, which I probably should turn on because that’s important.
Unknown Speaker 3:48
Then Then in user management, this is the big one. This is where nobody ever goes to look. And there’s usually a list of like 20 people here and you’re like, Who are all these people and half of them are agencies that your company stopped working with. This is one of the first things you want to turn off is go, okay, who doesn’t belong in here? And just take them out? I mean, shoot them just
Unknown Speaker 4:10
go away. But yeah, is it this seems to be one of the first spots where that’s the classic use cases. Like people don’t even know who they are. They’re former employees that were working with agencies that nobody remembers now. So they’re completely forgotten accounts. It doesn’t have any last access, though, how you just have to basically, do I prescribe shooting everyone, and then see who comes back asking for entry. That’s my approach, which it’s not appreciated, probably not. That’s certainly not the best practice up. There are access logs, we can talk about that separately. But we want to do is check into each user and see what permissions they have for containers, what containers Do they have access to other permissions inherited, and then you can look at that their their access rights within a container to sit to make sure that they’ve got
Unknown Speaker 5:00
What they need to work with, so publish, approve, edit, and read of the four levels of access. So you’d want to do that for each of the users in the user management. Second thing is in container activity. This is where you can see, like, who’s been who’s been making changes to stuff,
Unknown Speaker 5:15
changes to the container itself. So you can see, like, what’s happening in the container, here’s a new one, this is new as of
Unknown Speaker 5:24
two weeks ago. This allows you to
Unknown Speaker 5:28
see consent, like, I’m gonna turn this on consent is, in the context of Tag Manager.
Unknown Speaker 5:35
When somebody goes to your website, it’s gonna pop up things saying, Hey, you know, do you want to accept all cookies, you know, the thing we see, like every website these days, and for companies that have regulatory requirements, you’ll want to turn this on. So you can see which tags in your container and what level of consent they have, because you may have, for some things, you may need to get extra consent, like if you have, like a marketing automation system, or CRM that’s collecting extra data. Depending on where you are, and where you do business, you might have to say, okay, we need to opt you into this also.
Unknown Speaker 6:10
Okay, so that’s the first part is who’s allowed to do stuff, you always want checked out. Second, places you want to go and check out. Just, it’s never bad to look at go to this live version panel here. And this will show you version changes, like what’s happened in your container, and what status things are in. So you can see all the different pieces here and go into activity history, you can see like what who was making these changes. So if you’ve got a version that
Unknown Speaker 6:40
something broke, say a little while ago, you can go in and say, okay, who did this, like who is in here that shouldn’t have been here that broke something.
Unknown Speaker 6:50
So let’s go ahead and and go back. Oops,
Unknown Speaker 6:55
go back into the containers here. Okay, so this is your, your version control.
Unknown Speaker 7:01
Unknown Speaker 8:11
be obviously named, one thing that I like to do is I like to specify whose variable it is like, I put my initials there. And then what the variable is, so this is my, this is my Google Analytics for variable.
Unknown Speaker 8:24
This is the Trust Insights, Google Analytics, three variable for Google Analytics, and so on, and so forth. So good just going in and again, making sure that you’ve got these things.
Unknown Speaker 8:35
Unknown Speaker 8:56
Yeah, to give everybody an overview, too, because it’s can be kind of confusing how. So you have your tag manager and you build a container. But you are allowed to have multiple versions all the time, and the version control is in there. So even though you have something that’s out there and working, you don’t have to be playing with that production container that’s already out there, right, you can make changes and add variables and do stuff to other containers and not mess around with production. Is that right?
Unknown Speaker 9:25
Yeah. So any work that you do right now,
Unknown Speaker 9:28
you know, for example, if I make a change here, it’s going to be queued up, but is not live. Nothing is live until you push submit and actually push the changes to live. So this is this is your working environment. And one of the things you can do if you want to even make it more restrictive, you can actually have create multiple workspaces and have like a draft workspace that never gets published live, you can just monkey around things and then you know, just ignore it. So yeah, there’s different ways to handle that. And when you do those workspace changes and push that that actually is a new container than that would then version that does the same container.
Unknown Speaker 10:00
Okay, so you have, why would you have multiple containers than under a single property for different properties. So if you had, you know, for example, marketing over coffee would have its own container that would have its tags just for marketing over coffee. But you might also have a roll up account, that where the container contains tags for everything, it’s an organizational thing, there isn’t necessarily a, I wouldn’t say there’s a one approach is right or wrong versus another. I like the roll up approach, we have one master container, and you have tracking tags for all the sites that you have that container on, there are other people who like to keep church and state separate, say, like, I want a separate container for every website. And I can live with not having a roll up view of everything all in one place.
Unknown Speaker 10:44
So the next section is triggers. triggers, of course, are this is when Tag Manager is listening for things, and then raises his hand says, Hey, I detected that these conditions have been met, letting you know. So again, I’m gonna start my last edited here. Here’s some things. For example, tracking all clicks, this is six years old.
Unknown Speaker 11:04
I don’t know why I
Unknown Speaker 11:06
Unknown Speaker 11:09
it, you can see it this, this trigger fires on all clicks. But I’m gonna go ahead here. And
Unknown Speaker 11:16
you can see here this references to this trigger this for PDF clicks. So this lovely thing here that tracks all clicks, isn’t connected to anything, it doesn’t do anything. So this is just a waste of space and processing time. So I’m going to queue that up for deletion because that’s just stupid. That’s six year ones. Yeah. Exactly. Six years old. Here’s a Facebook. If you’re good. This is fires on all pages. I have no idea why I have this in here. This is stupid to add. It’s not connected to anything. So this, this goes in the trash.
Unknown Speaker 11:49
Let’s see blog post. Oh, we got here blog post.
Unknown Speaker 11:55
Again, I don’t know I haven’t said that like this, but it is connected to Google optimized. So I must have been doing some testing at some point. I want to rename this.
Unknown Speaker 12:10
Yeah, just making sure it’s intelligible. Right? Nothing to do with Facebook. Oh, my God.
Unknown Speaker 12:17
YouTube video. So check your YouTube video. Okay, good. This looks, this looks okay, in terms of a trigger only problems is not connected to anything. So I’ve got it correctly configured. It just doesn’t do anything. So I might at some point want to retire this clue and not doing anything with it.
Unknown Speaker 12:35
See, we have marketing pages. So this is another one page view where the page contains marketing. I don’t remember why it had this. But this can go.
Unknown Speaker 12:45
And this is exactly the kind of work that you do in a Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager audit when you’re when you’re working with folks. You go through and say, Okay, do you still need this? Do you remember what this thing is for? Is it connected to anything in this case?
Unknown Speaker 12:59
This one here is this subscriber preferences page. It’s actually that’s the wrong URL that that URL doesn’t exist anymore. So that one goes.
Unknown Speaker 13:13
So here’s the unsubscribe page, you can see there are pages where I don’t want, I don’t want certain things happening. So I have that set up. So that that looks good. All pages, this, this is the correct sensible one, and there’s a facebook pixel tied to that. So we’ve done some some cleanup here, that one thing that I would suggest doing for easier governance and management, particularly if you work in an organization with more than just one person is to take this page, pop open a new sheet here
Unknown Speaker 13:42
and lose copy and paste it into a Google Sheet. So let’s delete that column here.
Unknown Speaker 13:49
cleaned this up a little bit.
Unknown Speaker 13:53
I’m gonna put in a thing here called owner,
Unknown Speaker 13:57
Unknown Speaker 14:00
and notes. And so now I have all my tags, oh, my triggers here from Google Tag Manager. Let’s go ahead and reset our column width.
Unknown Speaker 14:12
And what would I do with this, I would take this URL and share it around internally in my organization, say, Hey, everybody in marketing, please go ahead and fill in if you own this trigger, and Tag Manager,
Unknown Speaker 14:26
let us know when it’s when if it ever it should be removed, because it’s no longer relevant. And any information you have about it. So part of governance is keeping track of stuff and saying like, yeah, this is this is stuff that is important that we need to know, who do we contact if something goes haywire?
Unknown Speaker 14:46
Yeah, I like that being able to have the notes in there an expiration date because so many times we see people are doing it for campaigns and they put it up for six months or a year and then, you know, the next employee comes in and doesn’t know why it’s there and is afraid to delete it and now it just goes to the cruft file
Unknown Speaker 15:00
Exactly. And as you can see even a single account, you know, if you don’t keep up with it, some of this stuff adds up, right? You know, this is all these are a lot of triggers here for one website, you know, one Tag Manager account. So that’s triggered audits and then tags, exactly the same thing we go in. We sorted by age, you see what we’ve got here. So it’s just Twitter basic tag. Okay, cool. That’s, that’s, that’s my Twitter account ID. This is the Twitter tracking tag, which is five years old. That’s one of those things where I go, I wonder if that tracking code has changed? Yeah. Is there fresh code? Exactly. Let’s go and check. So I think my old employer will ever remove me from their account.
Unknown Speaker 15:47
That account will remain unnamed, to protect the innocent. Exactly. So conversion tracking. Okay, let’s see.
Unknown Speaker 15:56
Unknown Speaker 15:59
universal code. Here we are. So universal website tag code, lets you take a look at this and go back into Tag Manager
Unknown Speaker 16:11
as a very
Unknown Speaker 16:13
same code, not even close to the same code. So we’re gonna go ahead and save this.
Unknown Speaker 16:20
Unknown Speaker 16:23
and just so people get that, so because of that, like when you are looking at your Twitter analytics, there, you’re probably like missing all kinds of stuff, because there’s stuff that’s not supported. Until you have that tagging. For sure. Yeah, some of the audience. retargeting is probably not in great condition. And most important, if I was running any kind of ads, I’d be hosed. Because like, you know, it’s not working anymore. Because this this code is that code was ancient. We got Mautic, self hosted Mautic tracking tag, this, this is still fine, that hasn’t changed. I have the same domain. So that’s still good. Google Optimize, is running. Yep, that looks good. Again, we’re looking through here, Bing Webmaster Tools, all pages
Unknown Speaker 17:08
StackAdapt. stuff in here, got tracking goes, that’s another one where I should log in and make the pixel fresh code, get some fresh code.
Unknown Speaker 17:20
So what we’ve done through here is started going through and essentially assessing, you know, all is all the stuff still valid. So again, same things I did with
Unknown Speaker 17:30
triggers. In fact, let’s, let’s rename this triggers.
Unknown Speaker 17:37
And we missed one tags. So now I’ve got tags and triggers, owner expiration date, all that stuff, I can keep track of this stuff.
Unknown Speaker 17:47
I that one of the things that would probably be good for me to do. Like if this was actually a production account, is the Twitter tag that I just did. I put in notes updated? What is today 615 21. So now we know that was the last time that tag was changed. So somebody, you know, says, hey, look at Twitter, stop working. So we want to go tell me why I can look at you and go Well, it’s because I you know, I broke it. I broke my website.
Unknown Speaker 18:15
Okay, as we were saying earlier,
Unknown Speaker 18:19
everything here is in draft until you hit go, Oh, what’s this new button? That’s new button.
Unknown Speaker 18:27
Unknown Speaker 18:28
yeah, these are consents not configured yet. Let’s see what happens.
Unknown Speaker 18:35
Okay, let’s see consent checks. No additional consent required.
Unknown Speaker 18:44
Okay, that’s handy. So if I had a regulatory requirement to meet for some of the stuff I would I can go in and say like, yeah, I need additional consent for these things. Why don’t let’s see Hubspot. Let’s see what happens if we change that to require additional consent.
Unknown Speaker 19:03
Okay, it’s so this would have like, personalization storage analytics storage. Okay. So that allows you to to decide where, what kinds of additional consent you want. I’m going to set that to No, not required right now.
Unknown Speaker 19:18
Okay, let’s close that. Wow, that’s a lot of work, though. So you have to set that for every single tag. That’s a lot of waving. It is I mean, so back to the sort of the gold governance thing. If you have got outdated tags, you want to get rid of them before you do the consent process because you don’t want to click through all that that many times, you’ll reduce the number of times you have to do that.
Unknown Speaker 19:41
Okay, let’s go ahead and just preview changes here, see what we got.
Unknown Speaker 19:46
So, preview assistant will fire up and then it loads your website
Unknown Speaker 19:57
that as it loads your website
Unknown Speaker 20:00
It will tell you what tags are firing. So my homepage is has loaded. And I can start to look here and see, are there tags that should have fired? That didn’t? Or are they tags that did fire that should that I don’t want in here. So website survey, I would definitely want optimize AdWords remarketing.
Unknown Speaker 20:19
I’m not lying, I guess it’s good to have that pixel on hot jar, I actually stopped using hot, remove that clarity I want the JSON LD I want Mautic I still want. So all these are still mostly pretty good except for hot jar, I’m gonna go back into tag matching and take 100 because I don’t use that anymore.
Unknown Speaker 20:43
Unknown Speaker 20:47
Unknown Speaker 20:49
Okay, now we’ll go through, we’re going to submit our,
Unknown Speaker 20:54
our content, so this will be 615 21 changes.
Unknown Speaker 21:02
This all becomes part of the audit log in your tag manager account. So every time you make changes, if there are multiple people on your team, you really want to tell people like, Hey, here’s what I’m doing. I mean, you’ll have to, but you should, you can see description, fix broken stuff, and see what changed. So now I’ve got a healthier Tag Manager account. So with all this stuff,
Unknown Speaker 21:30
the governance part is relatively straightforward. The diagnostics part I think, is the other parts that that people don’t spend enough time on. So once you’ve ticked up preview mode, go to things.
Unknown Speaker 21:44
And see if Tag Manager continues to track and see and stays in touch with your website. So here, this is saying, Hey, I couldn’t connect to tag assistant. So that little thing there looks like something might have broken. Let’s go ahead and open up tag assistant and see what’s going on.
Unknown Speaker 22:07
So Tag Manager lost his connection. You know why? Because it popped open a new window, which is something that I might want to fix that. That’s not great.
Unknown Speaker 22:17
But tags are firing. Okay, so we can see we push those changes to hot jar and now hot jar is just gone from here, which is great.
Unknown Speaker 22:26
Let’s go to let’s pick something
Unknown Speaker 22:32
with Amazon, click see what happens.
Unknown Speaker 22:35
So we need to get to a post that has something
Unknown Speaker 22:49
you’d think it would make it easy to find stuff on my site.
Unknown Speaker 22:53
Yeah, that’s Yeah, for marketers need to fix that to
Unknown Speaker 22:58
tell you if cobblers kids have no shoes here.
Unknown Speaker 23:02
Let’s pick another tag.
Unknown Speaker 23:08
Unknown Speaker 23:12
That will fire on this page. It did. So that goal fired because I got I went to the public speaking page, and it correctly fired.
Unknown Speaker 23:21
So here’s the other thing with Tag Manager. And with all this stuff,
Unknown Speaker 23:27
is you can see that the biggest problem that we’ve had in my account is that it has really aged.
Unknown Speaker 23:35
It’s really, really old.
Unknown Speaker 23:37
And I clearly don’t keep up with it as as often as I should. Generally speaking,
Unknown Speaker 23:43
we tell people,
Unknown Speaker 23:45
you should update you should go through and do a governance check. Ideally, quarterly, you know, you go in, you should definitely do it after an employee departure anytime.
Unknown Speaker 23:56
Once they’ve left the building and their system access is revoked you standard policy go in and add check make sure nothing has been changed because it disgruntled employee could just leave some tracking codes on your website that would be sending data to a competitor to Russia. Who knows?
Unknown Speaker 24:14
Yeah, no, that’s exactly the kind of exit stuff you want to stay away from. And the the big one of agencies, other agencies, that you no longer have a relationship with being able to check your analytics. I mean, that’s ridiculous. Exactly. So that that’s another important one. So every time we have a new agency onboard, it’s not a bad idea to do a governance check just baseline so that you know what’s in there. And then after the agency does their work, you can see what’s changed. And then after that you do a check like when you if you if you part ways with that agency says okay, yep, it’s you know, it’s, we’ll take a look and see what they did. Because sometimes
Unknown Speaker 24:53
agencies will do some weird stuff. I we had a client. We were kind of client last week. Some
Unknown Speaker 25:00
agency went to one of these websites, it says, you know, download this pre built Tag Manager container with all the tags that, you know, best practices you could ever want. And they imported this huge honkin load of like 400 tags and triggers didn’t connect them to anything like they’re not connected to actual goals and Google Analytics. And they sort of said, okay, we’ve done our job, you know, your tag manager is now meeting best practices and like, No, no, you 399 of these tags don’t mean anything.
Unknown Speaker 25:31
And so being able to go in and look at stuff and go, Okay, this, this is good or not good. And as you saw in the version control section, you can roll back. So if you see like, somebody just did something to say, okay, go back to the previous version. That’s now the new version.
Unknown Speaker 25:45
You have been able to rollback is fantastic that gets you out of world hurt. Yeah, exactly. So Tag Manager governance, which is what we’re talking about the auditing of it is not sexy, it is in a very much cleaning the restaurant kind of duty, but it is essential if you need it for your security, right to make sure you’re the the tracking is secure. You need it for compliance. At some point, you may face a data privacy audit. And if you can’t produce the audit logs that are in here that say like Yep, here’s what we did here is when we did it, you will spend an uncomfortable amount of time talking to lawyers,
Unknown Speaker 26:24
and trying to reconstruct from your team’s emails when you did things.
Unknown Speaker 26:28
Just for fun.
Unknown Speaker 26:31
And it is, again, the new configuration engine for Google Analytics. For a few we’re setting up goals in ga for tag managers how you do that configuration. So any other questions, John?
Unknown Speaker 26:44
No, that’s pretty solid. But I you know, Jeff asked that about ga for like, what’s at the top of the list of stuff you’re gonna have to do, I realize that goals are going to be a big part that will all be migrated up to ga for Is there anything else that people need to keep in mind.
Unknown Speaker 26:59
The big thing with ga four is that it’s still very much a and actively being developed products and stuff keeps changing. One of the big things that in tag managers that is not in here yet, at least it was the last time I looked, maybe now’s a good time to look at something my tag manager account anyway, is that when you go to set of configuration variables, there’s one here called Google Analytics settings.
Unknown Speaker 27:22
And there’s a tracking ID here, this Google Analytics settings tag, that’s really big.
Unknown Speaker 27:30
Unknown Speaker 27:33
That’s Google Analytics settings, it is only for Google Analytics three. So if you want to have a variable that you can use for Google Analytics, four, you have to create a constant instead. So it’s one of those weird little things that Google just hasn’t updated how that works yet, because g three has has a variable that controls a lot of setting and j four, that’s actually a tag, you can go down here to ga four is my ga for configuration check.
Unknown Speaker 28:02
There it is.
Unknown Speaker 28:05
So this is where you put that just that single string variable and then have all the advanced stuff is configured in the tag itself. Whereas used to do a lot of this stuff inside of the variable in the NGA three. So this, there’s some gotchas for setup there to get ready for ga four, but they’re not huge. It’s more just knowing like, every time you create a trigger, in Tag Manager, now, when you’re setting up a goal for ga three, and we talked about this,
Unknown Speaker 28:32
I think was was it a SWOT episode where a podcast episode I can’t remember, we talked about previously about getting ready for ga for by moving all the GA three goals to events. And if you do that, and then the triggers that you set up a Tag Manager for ga three or ga four goals, the triggers will work the same. So you cut your workload by half by doing the triggers once and then you can apply them to both types of goals. So in here, we can see I have ga three goals and they have ga four goals. They mirror each other with the same trigger.
Unknown Speaker 29:07
Cool, that looks good. So yeah, definitely make that part of your compliance as you go forward. Because you’re gonna have to check in on that. Because the last thing you want is to have ga three shut off and lose your all your tracking that would be killer. Exactly. Oh, I don’t think that’s gonna be a danger of happening anytime soon. But it’s definitely something we want to avoid. So if you got questions about anything we’ve talked about in today’s episode, pop on over to our free slack group, go to Trust insights.ai slash analytics for marketers. We can chat with over 1800 other folks all about this stuff, ask questions. If you have questions about this episode, they didn’t ask, you know, while we were live, go ahead and ask them there as well. So with that, we’ll head on that. Hey, we’ll see you next week.
Unknown Speaker 29:52
Thanks for watching today. Be sure to subscribe to our show wherever you’re watching it. For more resources. And to learn more, check out the Trust Insights.
Unknown Speaker 30:00
podcast at Trust insights.ai slash ti podcast and a weekly email newsletter at Trust insights.ai slash newsletter. got questions about what you saw in today’s episode, join our free analytics for markers slack group at Trust insights.ai slash analytics for marketers. See you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Need help with your marketing data and analytics?
You might also enjoy:
Get unique data, analysis, and perspectives on analytics, insights, machine learning, marketing, and AI in the weekly Trust Insights newsletter, Data in the Headlights. Subscribe now for free; new issues every Wednesday!
Want to learn more about data, analytics, and insights? Subscribe to In-Ear Insights, the Trust Insights podcast, with new 10-minute or less episodes every week.