Track More with Google Tag Manager V2

Alex Bourret Analytics, Content Marketing, SEO Leave a Comment

4 Reasons We Love

1. Track PDFs as Pageviews

2. YouTube Analytics Tracking

3. Adwords Conversion Tracking

4. Endless Possibilities

Most people know that Google Tag Manager is not a new tool. However, it was updated for all users on May 20, 2015—with a better user interface and simplified ways of achieving the tracking needs of marketers. For many users, though, Tag Manager remains a giant question mark and has been left untouched and discarded as another complication.

Here at UpWord, we started making the switch to Google Tag Manager after hearing significant buzz around the latest release. We were also driven to the point of implementation after many missed opportunities to track KPIs (due to issues with code, developers, etc.). After making the switch, we’ve taken the pressure off of our developers and our clients’ developers, and become more empowered marketers.

For more on the basics of Google Tag Manager, take a fundamentals course here or here, or check out some FAQs. But for now, check out the ways we’re using Google Tag Manager V2 the most.


1. Track PDFs as Pageviews

As marketers, we strive to track everything we can on a given website. Ultimately, this is how we prove our value. Unfortunately, PDF’s have often been a no man’s land in regards to engagement metrics and tracking. This was unfortunate, considering PDF’s can rank well in search results and are often recommended in content marketing.

With Google Tag Manager and this helpful, step-by-step tutorial, however, we’ve been able to track PDF downloads as Pageviews in Google Analytics. The great thing about this process with Tag Manager V2 is that you only need to set up one new Trigger and Tag to begin tracking Pageviews of every PDF on your site. No need to hunt them down manually and track each PDF separately or set up OnClick tracking on PDF links. We’re able to see how many views each PDF received, as well as Avg. Time on Page, Entrances, Bounce Rate, etc. All valuable metrics when it comes to evaluating the effectiveness and worth of a particular content item.

PDF pageviews

Go one step further and begin tracking PDF Pageviews as a Goal in Analytics:

Goal Track

2. YouTube Analytics Tracking

Video is easier than ever to produce and publish. But to measure? Yikes. Not so easy. In fact, it’s somewhat of a migraine. How do you know how much of the video was watched? Did the user pause the video? Was the video replayed?

There have been ways to achieve this kind of tracking, but it’s never been so easy as with Google Tag Manager V2.

The following tutorial explains the process of tracking video plays, the duration watched, on which page, and more. It should be noted that this particular tutorial focuses on YouTube. Other formats can be supported (Vimeo, for example), however alterations would need to be made and further research completed. While the process is still somewhat involved, establishing this type of tracking will prove to be incredibly valuable.

Below is a sample of what you will see in Google Analytics once Youtube video analytics has been set up.

youtube tracking

3. AdWords Conversion Tracking

What used to require back and forth between you, the client, and the development team to update the source code is now a very simple process—one that cuts out both middlemen. Start tracking AdWords conversions almost instantly with Google Tag Manager. All you need is the Conversion ID and Conversion Label from the AdWords’ conversion tracking snippet. Add a new Trigger and Tag and AdWords should begin collecting conversion data within 24 hours—allowing you to focus on reporting and optimizations.

adwords conversion

4. The Possibilities Are Endless

Ultimately, the best aspect of Google Tag Manager is its ability to put greater control into the hands of the marketer. The updated solution allows for deeper tracking opportunities in a simpler interface for Google products, and for a growing list of third party products as well. All of these opportunities exist for us to easily track and measure KPIs, and get back to the real work: actual marketing.

How have you been using Google Tag Manager to expedite processes and track more? Share with us on Twitter or in the comments section to keep the conversation going! 



photo credit: Google Tag Manager,
Alex BourretTrack More with Google Tag Manager V2

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