How to Streamline Reporting with Google Tag Manager & Google Analytics

By Brett McHale

getting started with Google Tag Manager

One area that seems to elude many digital marketers is the relationship between conversion tracking and website analytics. Often, when businesses get started with online advertising, they have established each piece of the puzzle separately, with Google Analytics monitoring site traffic, and paid channels (like Facebook and Google Ads) tracking conversions individually within their respective dashboards.

This set-up may be effective on a small scale, but it will inevitably cause issues when your efforts expand. Having the proper tracking to view granular paid channel performance in Google Analytics will allow you to add another layer of attribution to hold each channel accountable for what’s really happening on your website.

In addition to Analytics, Google offers tools to streamline the process of managing website pixels and conversion tracking for each channel. With the combination of clean conversion tracking and reliable analytics, you should be able to scale your paid programs without having to worry about whether the information you’re looking at is accurate.

In this post, I’ll walk you through how to use Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics to improve your paid channel performance reporting in four steps.

Step #1: Implement Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager allows you to implement and manage the tags on your site in one place. This means you only have to place a snippet of code once across your site as opposed to manually inserting a tag from every channel individually. After the GTM tag is implemented, you will be able to add and manage tags all in one place. The reason I start here is that many advertisers will manually place each paid channel’s tracking pixel individually on the pages of their website. This can create confusion and clutter within your website’s code. To simplify the process of adding multiple pixels and tracking codes to your site, I highly recommend setting up Google Tag Manager as soon as you can. This will also make the life of your future web developer much easier if your team and operations scale.

To get started with tag manager you’ll have to create an account.

Once there, you’ll want to follow the steps for establishing your account information. Name the account after your business and continue to set up the “container.” The container will be your website address:

set up Google Tag Manager account

You’ll want to select “web” before proceeding. Google will then generate two tags for you to place across your site.

install Google Tag Manager

The top tag will be implemented within the and the second after the opening tag. It’s a good idea to copy and paste these tags and save them in a document so that you can easily access them at any time. If you use a platform like Hubspot …read more

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