Google launches the new Google Tag

Photo Written by Finn Ruijter

Google came out with a tool this summer that pushes ease of use to even further heights. We cannot stress often enough how important accurate measurements are for your website, but this requires tags. Tags indeed, until now that is. The plural form can be exchanged for singular, as Google launches the new Google Tag (formerly gtag.js).

A few veterans will still be using Universal Analytics, but most of you are working with tags like Google Analytics 4 and Google Ads to unify measurements on your website. All these tags have to be set up manually via Google Tag Manager. Surely there must be an easier way to do that, Google also thought. 

Google didn't let go of this thought and so they came up with a suitable solution. With the Google Tag, the geniuses from Silicon Valley came up with something that allows you to set the Google Tag for the entire website, while linking it to multiple destinations. So it is no longer necessary to manage multiple tags for different destinations.

Google's new tool already includes a number of benefits, but this is only going to increase in the near future. Some of the current benefits are highlighted below:

  • If your website has more than 1 tag installed, you can choose to combine your Google tags. This way you get better data and centralize management.
  • Define internal traffic in one place. This means you have no difference between platforms and you can make changes in one place.
  • Domains on which the tagging may occur can be whitelisted in 1 place.
  • No complicated knowledge required to create multiple tags with settings in Tag Manager.
  • Allow multiple Analytics or Ads accounts within the Google Tag
  • Determine which individuals have access and what they can manage.
  • See if all pages on your website are tagged using the tag coverage tool. This will help you recognize where measurements are missing.

The only downside is that currently only Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts are destinations, however the plan is that there will be more options in the future. Think Optimize, Surveys or possibly external services.

How does it work now?

Each platform (Ads or Analytics) currently has its own Google Tag (gtag.js). This is a framework to make those platforms function properly. So at that time, the Google Tag had no added value for you as a user. Aside from the fact that it could be confusing, you were also more likely to find that the different tags didn't have the same settings.

Google launches the new Google Tag - 2manydots

In the new setup, Google gives you the option to combine these Google Tags (gtag.js). This allows you to measure everything from one tag and automatically measure events to different platforms. Should you ever make a change to, for example, the IP addresses you want to exclude or on which domains the Google Tag is allowed to measure, all combined platforms will take this into account. This saves time and is less prone to error.

How do you set up the Google Tag?

There's a good chance you've already done this step, since this is simply Google Analytics' tag, but we'll go over it anyway.
It

can get a little confusing when you want to set this up. You can set the Google Tag from Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics and Google Ads. We will focus on Google Analytics, as this is the most familiar territory for most marketers. Make sure the account you set it up on has 'Administrator' permissions from all the platforms you want to set up the Google Tag on.

  1. Go to Google Analytics.
  2. In the lower left corner, click Manage.
  3. Use the drop-down menu in the Property column to select the property in which you are creating the Google Tag.
  4. Click on Data Streams.
  5. Click on the data stream you want to install.
  6. Under the Google Tag tab, click View Tag Instructions.
  7. Selecteer ‘Handmatig installeren’. Kopieer het Google Tag script en plak dit in de <head> van je website.

In case you only have Analytics, you may skip the next step. We will now focus on adding Google Ads.

  1. Go to Google Analytics.
  2. In the lower left corner, click Manage.
  3. Use the drop-down menu in the Property column to select the property in which you want to create the Google Tag.
  4. Click on Data Streams.
  5. Click on the data stream you want to manage.
  6. In the Google tag management section, click Set Tag Settings.
  7. Click on Administrator.
  8. Click on Manage Google tag.
  9. You have the option here to add a new destination. The list you see are all possible destinations that you have administrator rights for. This could be a Google Analytics or Google Ads destination.
  10. Click Save.

You can repeat this process to add all your destinations in the Google Tag.

Google launches the new Google Tag - 2manydots

Extra: Tag coverage within your website

Do you think that not all pages are being measured properly? This is where the Google Tag can help you. The new tool can give you a clear overview of which pages are being measured and which ones you seem to be missing. Every time someone visits your website, the Google Tag is loaded. Together with Google Analytics, Google Ads and Google Tag Manager, it measures what is going well and what is not.

  • Get an overview of tag coverage across your website.
  • You have the ability to exclude specific pages from tagging. This can even be done with a CSV import.
  • Quickly identify where errors occur and send them in a CSV to your developer or internet agency.
  • Validate improvements.

You can find the tag coverage under Administrator > Tag Coverage in Google Analytics and Google Ads.

Please note that Google does not show all pages by itself. So you have to add these pages manually. Our advice is to use Screaming Frog or Integrity tools to create an export of all URLs to a CSV file and import it into the tag coverage tool.

Set up Google Tag


So the new Google Tag offers many possibilities, even more than are described above. Stay tuned for all the developments around the Google Tag and follow Google and 2manydots. Would you like help setting up the Google Tag? Please contact 2manydots.

Photo
Finn Ruijter Head of development
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