November 4, 2018
20 Google Tag Manager Extensions and Tools for Fast and Efficient Work
Updated: Nov 4th, 2018. A lot of new things have happened in the industry since the first time when I published this blog post (back in early 2017). Almost two years have passed and a lot of new tools were developed (or discovered). The time has come for the 3rd version of this list.
If you’re using Google Tag Manager as often as I do, you’re probably looking for new ways to improve your performance, catch bugs faster and deliver the final result without much hassle. If my guess was right, you’ll enjoy these 20 Google Tag Manager extensions and tools (and not all of them are just for Google Chrome). And the best part – they’re all free! So do not hesitate and give them a shot.
All Google Tag Manager Extensions are displayed in no particular order.
- Tag Assistant
- Tag Manager Injector
- Data Slayer
- Data Layer Sifter
- Da Vinci Tools
- GTM Sonar
- dataLayer Inspector+
- GTM Variable Builder
- Data Layer Checker
- Copy CSS Selector
- GTM Tools
- GTM Copy Paste
- customTask Builder
- GTM Debug
- GA Debugger
- Facebook Pixel Helper
- Twitter Pixel Helper
The Tag Assistant Chrome extension is a very useful tool in testing and debugging your implementation. Not only does it help with troubleshooting of Google Tag Manager, but also Google Ads, Analytics, DoubleClick and other tools can be easily verified.
One of the most powerful features within the extension is recordings. This allows you to “record” a browsing session and produce a report on all of the hits being sent through and even how they will potentially show up within Google Analytics. By the way, you can find my guide on this extension here.
This is another favorite tool of mine when it comes to debugging and testing Google Tag Manager implementation. Well, it was favorite because I currently prefer dataLayer Inspector+, however, for this is still recommended for the very GTM beginners.
Tag Manager Injector simplifies the process of inserting GTM code on any site on the fly where no Tag Manager container code currently exists.
I used this in several scenarios:
- Someone asks me how can he/she track a particular element of their website with Google Tag Manager. I just simply inject my test GTM container to their website (all happens within my browser only) and play around with tags/triggers/variables.
- When I’m running a GTM workshop and teaching others how to effectively manage tags, it’s much easier for everyone to work on the same website and follow my instructions.
- I can start creating tags, triggers and variables as soon as possible. There’s no need to wait for a developer to add GTM container code to the website, as he can do it sometime later.
If you still don’t understand how this extension works, imagine a sandbox. Injector enables you to imitate as if your GTM container code was added to any website. But everything happens only within the boundaries of your browser window. So you can safely play with the tag manager without any consequences. Don’t worry! You’re not hacking anyone’s website.
Another entry in this list of Google Tag Manager Extensions, Dataslayer, adds a panel to Chrome Developer Tools that monitors tag management data layers and displays changes in an easy-to-read, user-friendly format.
Not only does it support Google Tag Manager, but also plays well with Tealium.
This Google Tag Manager extension helps you find DOM elements and their values within the Data Layer fast. GTM dataLayer Sifter can be used to search a particular event in the Data Layer for a DOM element to be used in Google Tag Manager.
If this is still difficult to comprehend, here is a sample use case of what you can achieve with DL Sifter:
If you wish to track Form Field values, you need to define element’s “path” on the website. This might be really time-consuming, but with help of Data Layer Sifter, this can be achieved much easier.
You can learn more about Data Layer Sifter in the video tutorial below:
This extension is for advanced users. WASP gives you a visual representation of the tags firing on your site and the correlation between them.
Clicking any of the tags provides deep technical insight into what’s happening behind the curtain. WASP’s functionality allows you to peer into the Google Tag Manager data layer which eases the troubleshooting of Google Tag Manager and Universal Analytics implementations.
WASP also supports Omniture, SiteCatalyst, DoubleClick, and any other platforms you may be implementing.
Da Vinci Tools brings handy enhancements, bug fixes and hacks directly into the Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager interfaces. To name a few:
- Focus on the same report when switching view in Google Analytics
- Set default page in GTM interface (instead of Overview)
- Ability to turn all GTM built-in vars on/off at once
- Ability to copy values from GTM Preview and Debug Mode’s Data Layer Tab and many many other enhancements.
And I’m just scratching the surface here! Many more enhancements are waiting for you.
Created by Simo Ahava, this extension lets you debug clicks and form submissions easier. When enabled, it prevents links from redirecting you to another page and form submissions from refreshing/redirecting you to another page.
Why prevent the default action of click or form submission? Simple, for debugging reasons it’s better if you stay on the same page. Halting the default action prevents links from working, thus you can easily check what happens on a website and what data can be used for tracking purpose.
This is one of my new favorites. What I like about it, is that the extension (by Analytics Pros) replaces Tag Manager Injector, logs what data was pushed to dataLayer, runs diagnostics for most common issues, and offers a bunch of other features.
Another extension to help you easier debug what’s happening in the Data Layer. But unlike Data Slayer or Data Layer Inspector, this plugin enables you to check the Data Layer without having to use the browser console.
Which one is better, you ask? Well, it’s up to you. Try all 3 and see which one fits your needs the best. My personal favorite is Data Layer Inspector because it also offers a bunch of other features, like injecting GTM container.
But if you don’t need the Swiss army knife and just want to debug the Data Layer, maybe Data Layer Checker could be your choice.
We’re halfway through. 10 Google Tag Manager Extensions down, 10 to go! There are some gems awaiting for you so don’t go away and continue reading.
If you’re regularly working with Matches CSS Selector operator in Google Tag Manager, then this extension is for you. Why is it useful? If you struggle with CSS Selectors or just want to save time, Copy CSS Selector will do the work for you. Just right-click the website element you wish to track, hit Copy CSS Selector, and paste the selector in your Google Tag Manager Trigger.
If you don’t know what CSS Selectors are, read this Simo Ahava’s guide. They are especially useful (but not limited to) when you want to track clicks of a particular website element which has no ID and shares the same CSS Class as several other elements.
Learning some basics of CSS Selectors opened new possibilities for me, so you should definitely dig in too.
Another very useful tool created by Simo Ahava. This time, it’s not a Chrome extension but a hosted web-tool that helps me audit and manage/clone GTM container. It has 3 main features:
- Container visualization (with it, you can find which container elements are heavily used or are not used at all).
- Inspect container
- Clone container. I’ve used this feature to export a part of a GTM container (because, by default, GTM exports the entire container). However, there’s a new player in the town, a Google Tag Manager Extension (for Chrome) that can help you do that even faster. Continue reading and I’ll show you what I mean.
Julian from MeasureSchool published an amazing time-saving Chrome Extension. With it, you can easily copy GTM container elements (tags/triggers/variables) and paste them to another container with a single click.
Take a look at these two videos to learn more:
There is a whole bunch of possible ways how customTask can be applied. To name a few: remove Personally Identifiable Information from GA hits, automatically reduce the GA payload size and many more. Since this feature is an advanced one, Simo Ahava prepared a customTask builder tool that will simplify the process.
An amazing Chrome extension developed by David Vallejo that eases the process of Google Tag Manager debugging. Among many useful features, here are the most noteworthy (in my opinion):
- Copy Data Layer pushes in a formatted way
- Ability to view Data Layer pushes of previous pages
- Filtering by GA Hit Type or GA account ID
- Simplified Enhanced Ecommerce debugging
These and other useful features are waiting for you in that extension so definitely try it out.
Recently, I stumbled upon this Chrome extension and probably haven’t uncovered its full potential yet. However, it looks really useful and offers some handy tweaks that Google Tag Manager’s UI is lacking. The most important to me: bulk delete feature. Just tick checkboxes next to tags and then hit the Delete Button.
The next 4 extensions are useful even if you’re not using Google Tag Manager. But since I am implementing (almost) everything with GTM, these tools always come in handy.
This extension lets you see what data is being passed to Google Analytics. For me, this was extremely useful while debugging Ecommerce implementation (until GTM Debug extension was created by David Vallejo).
With it, you can view cookies set by Google Analytics, delete, modify and even add additional cookies. This is a great tool for verifying GA trackers and any other custom cookies that may be in use.
Although you can also achieve the same result with the built-in tools of your web browser, Edit this Cookie makes the process much easier and user-friendly.
For me, this is a must-have tool when I set and read cookies with Google Tag Manager. Even though you can achieve pretty much the same result by using the browser’s built-in functionality, this extension makes the work easier.
The Facebook Pixel Helper is a troubleshooting tool that helps you validate your Facebook Conversion Pixel and Custom Audience Pixels. Using the tool you can verify whether the pixel is working properly, what events were fired and spot errors in no time.
A small number will appear on the Facebook Pixel Helper icon to indicate the number of pixel events. When clicked, a panel will expand to show a detailed overview of the page’s pixels, including warnings, errors, and successes.
Similarly to Facebook Pixel Helper, Twitter Pixel Helper does the same job, but for Twitter Universal Website tag.
Google Tag Manager Extensions: Final Words
All great things must come to an end, even this list. I hope you found the collection of Google Tag Manager Extensions useful. Spotted something new? Give it a try! Maybe you’ll love it. Now, I just can live (well, work) without them.
Did I miss some Google Tag Manager Extensions you can’t imagine your work without? Let me know in the comments below!