Measuring campaign success is generally of the utmost importance to online advertisers. Tracking conversions and other meaningful actions on a website provides actionable insight. Not having useful tracking in place is much like flying blind, and never recommended. Ensuring the successfulness of a campaign, making informed decisions, and doing everything possible to increase the return on investment in an account is something that really can’t be done without implementing proper tracking.
Managing and maintaining various tracking codes from each and every advertising platforms is a daunting task, or can at least be respected as such. Most major advertising platforms have at least one tracking code, but more modernly make use of multiple tracking codes. Facebook, for example, has a site-wide Pixel tag, and numerous other event code snippets for tracking specific actions. It’s not uncommon to have five or more snippets of Facebook code installed for tracking a purchase conversion funnel.
The traditional method of implementing conversion tracking requires a website owner or developer to install each and every tracking code snippet in various locations within the source code of a site. Some codes are required to be placed site-wide, while others on a specific “thank you” page, a product page, fired as part of an Ajax response, etc… The point is that the code placement typically isn’t documented well, if at all. Much of the time it’s hard to even pinpoint each one of the installed tracking codes on a site. Tracking code can also age out as we’ve seen historically with Google and Microsoft. Microsoft over the past couple years phased out their antiquated Campaign Analytics solution in favor of Universal Event Tracking (UET). Microsoft’s Campaign Analytics conversion tracking code has ceased to function as of writing this. Not taking the time to upgrade to UET would have caused a lapse in conversion data as the old code ceased to function.
The solution to all of these conversion tracking, and code implementation woes? Three words: Google Tag Manager.
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free tool that offers centralized tracking code management. All tracking code that was previously installed on a website gets moved into GTM. The only code now left installed on the website is the GTM code block. You’ll never be left guessing which codes are installed on the website because they’re all conveniently and centrally stored in what Google calls a “Container.” GTM natively supports a vast number of predefined tags such as AdWords Conversion Tracking, AdWords Remarketing, Google Analytics, AdRoll Smart Pixel, Hotjar, LinkedIn Insight, Marin Software, Bing Ads Universal Event Tracking, and too many others to name here. For those tags that aren’t predefined, GTM gives the ability to create “Custom HTML” tags. Taking advantage of Google Tag Manager, and the almost limitless tracking capabilities it affords, is something every advertiser should seriously consider. It provides a fully streamlined approach to tracking code management in a friendly, easy-to-use web interface.
As an agency, JumpFly has widely adopted Google Tag Manager as our preferred tracking code management solution. It’s helped us streamline code deployment for our clients, and save precious time.