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Written by Finn Ruijter, 31 August 2022

Google launches the new Google Tag

Google came out with a tool this summer that propels 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 of these tags must be set up manually through Google Tag Manager. Surely there must be an easier way to do that, Google also thought.

Google did not let this train of thought go, and so they came up with an appropriate solution. With the Google Tag, the bright minds from Silicon Valley have come 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 contains 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. That way you get better data and centralize management.
  • Define internal traffic in one place. As a result, you have no difference between platforms and can go to one place for changes.
  • Domains on which tagging may occur can be whitelisted in 1 place.
  • No complicated knowledge required to create multiple tags with settings in Tag Manager.
  • Ability to add multiple Analytics or Ads accounts within the Google Tag
  • Decide which people will have access and what they can manage.
  • See if all the pages of your website are tagged using the tag coverage tool. That’s how you recognize where measurements are missing.

The only drawback 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 work well. So at that point, the Google Tag had no added value to you as a user. Besides the fact that it could be confusing, you were also more likely that the different tags did not have the same settings.

Breadcrumbs post example 01. Google launches the new google tag

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 across platforms. Should you ever make a change to, say, the IP addresses you want to exclude or which domains the Google Tag is allowed to measure on, 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 seem a bit confusing if you want to set this up. You can set up 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 on the Google Tag.

  1. Go to Google Analytics.
  2. Click Manage at the bottom left.
  3. Use the drop-down menu in the Property column to select the property in which you are creating the Google Tag.
  4. Click Data Streams.
  5. Click on the data stream you want to install.
  6. Under the Google Tag tab, click View Tag Instructions.
  7. Select “Install manually. Copy the Google Tag script and paste it into your website’s .

Should you only have Analytics, you may skip the next step. We are now focusing on adding Google Ads.

  1. Go to Google Analytics.
  2. Click Manage at the bottom left.
  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 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 of adding a new destination here. The list you see are all the possible destination that you have administrator privileges 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 tag overzicht. Google launches the new google tag

Extra: Tag coverage within your website

Do you think not all pages are being properly read through? 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. This measures along with Google Analytics, Google Ads and Google Tag Manager what is and is not going well.

  • Get an overview of tag coverage across your entire 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.
  • Validating improvements.

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

Note that Google, of its own accord, does not show all pages. 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 Google Tag

So the new Google Tag offers many possibilities, even more than those described above. Stay up to date on all the developments surrounding the Google Tag and follow Google and 2manydots. Want help setting up the Google Tag? If so, contact 2manydots.