August 10, 2021
99 Things You Can Do with Google Tag Manager
Updated: August 10th, 2021
Ah… Good old clickbait. Add a huge number to the title of the popular topic and you’re good to go. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that #54 will shock you and you won’t believe what is in the #72!
Just kidding. All the entries on the list are definitely worth checking out. Pinky promise.
P.S. Most of the links below contain Google Analytics 4 examples while others still might refer to Universal Analytics.
You probably have heard at least something about Google Tag Manager (I hope so). But if that name still does not ring a bell, here’s a quick introduction: GTM is free software from Google that allows you to install various types of code (tags) to your website, like Google Analytics tracking code, Google Ads conversion scripts, etc.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg as there are many more things you can do with Google Tag Manager. Interested in increasing page load speed, implementing remarketing codes, tracking clicks, or form submissions?
Well, you’re in the right place because you’re about to see 99 Google Tag Manager use cases (and that number is far from the final one. The number of possibilities is much higher.).
Before we continue
This blog post assumes that you have at least some basic knowledge of Google Tag Manager. If you consider yourself being a total stranger in this territory, read this: 11 reasons why you should use Google Tag Manager.
Good to go? Let’s continue!
Google Tag Manager Use Cases
I’ve compiled a whole bunch of various articles, blog posts, resources explaining particular GTM techniques that you can apply in your analytics/marketing stack.
All items in the list are split into the following categories:
- Getting started
- Sales, ecommerce, conversions, remarketing
- Cookies and privacy
- Browser-related, navigation
- Additional user data
- Data quality
- Chats, comments
- Server-side tagging
Usually, every GTM journey starts with the installation and basic tracking. Since there are different entities that can be tracked, naturally, there are different solutions for them.
#2. Track page views of a single-page website or web application.
#3. Track Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Keep in mind that AMPs have a lot of tracking limitations compared to a regular website but there are still some things you can do with GTM and Simo explains them.
#5. Easily install various 3rd-party tools by using built-in tag templates. Google Tag Manager features a powerful tag template system to help simplify the publishing of tracking codes and eliminate errors. In addition to the templates for Google tags such as Analytics, Google Ads, and DoubleClick, templates for a growing list of certified vendors are also supported.
Additionally, in 2019, GTM introduced a new feature called Custom Templates. With it, anyone in the community can create a tag or variable templates to make the management of tracking codes easier. Here’s the gallery of currently available templates.
#7. Track contact links (emails (mailto🙂 and phone numbers (tel:)).
#8. Track file downloads, e.g. PDFs (this example is applicable to Universal Analytics or other tools that do not track this automatically).
#9. Track outbound (external) link clicks. Know where your visitors are leaving. This example is applicable to Universal Analytics or other tools that do not track this automatically.
#10. Track affiliate link clicks. If you are doing affiliate marketing on your website, you might want to track which affiliate links are clicked the most.
#11. Track accordion clicks. This example is applicable to Universal Analytics or other tools that do not track this automatically.
#12. Track form submissions. A comprehensive guide with 6 GTM form tracking techniques. Many different types of forms = many different form tracking methods.
#13. Track form abandonment. Keep in mind that not all forms are supported by this solution so make sure you read the requirements carefully.
#15. Annoy your email subscribers less. Don’t show them popups if they have already landed on your website from your email/newsletter.
#16. Form submission timing tracking. Track how long does it take your users to submit a form.
#17. Pre-fill form fields. This technique is especially useful if you want is the traffic source of your form submissions (and you’ll see that data in CRM or another list where all your form submissions are stored).
#18. Track checkboxes
Sales, ecommerce, conversions, remarketing
#22. Track affiliate sales. If you run your own affiliate program, you can do that via Universal Analytics. Of course, keep in mind that the more recommended way is to use specialized tools but if you want to get started quickly, this might be a solution for you.
#24. Track very large ecommerce transactions with Universal Analytics (this example applies to Universal Analytics)
#25. Track conversions (for example, Facebook Pixel, etc.)
#28. Track video players like Youtube, Vimeo, generic HTML5 players, etc.
Cookies and privacy
#32. Easier management of tags in order to be GDPR compliant. Once you implement the cookie consent mechanism via GTM, you can update all your tags to respect visitor’s preferences. Has a visitor declined from being tracked for marketing purposes? Then with GTM, you can automatically block Facebook pixel and other related marketing tags from firing.
#33. Store cookie consent data in Google Analytics (this example applies to Universal Analytics)
#35. Fire tags accordingly to the user’s traffic source. This information is stored in a cookie that replicates the old Google Analytics UTMZ cookie. With this solution, you can fire a specific tag only when a visitor completes a purchase and has landed on your page from Google’s search results.
#37. Implement Google Consent Mode
#43. SERP bounce rate. Find out how many people are jumping back to the search results right after landing on your website.
#45. Track visitor navigation (when a user/visitor navigates from page to page, reloads the page, etc.).
#46. Implement Scroll tracking
#49. Track Page not found errors (404) and find out where your website’s dead ends.
#50. Track when someone translates your website in their browser (an example is using Universal Analytics).
#51. Track Core Web Vitals with Google Analytics 4 and Google Tag Manager
Alright! You’re in the middle of the list. 51 down, 48 Google Tag Manager use cases to go. If you feel overwhelmed, bookmark this page and come back any time later!
Additional user data
#53. Fetch visitor’s weather data and also send it as a custom dimension to Google Analytics. This example is using Universal Analytics.
#54. Geolocation: use the visitor’s city or the country in your tags and triggers. This example is using Universal Analytics.
#55. Fire tags based on the visitor’s device type (see tip #4)
#56. Get visitor’s screen width (see tip #7)
SEO-related Google Tag Manager Use cases
If you’re working on a difficult project where a developer is not available to do SEO changes, you might try using GTM. Just keep in mind that mainly Google’s crawlers support SEO changes implemented via GTM. As far as I know, other search engines don’t (at least most of them).
Personally, I am not a fan of using GTM for this kind of task (if they are intended as long-term solutions). Nevertheless, you are free to make the choice.
So if possible, try implementing these changes directly in the code of a website.
#57. Enrich search result data by adding rich snippets (schema.org) (including price, rating, etc.).
#60. Add a noindex tag
#62. Block spam referral traffic from Universal Analytics. There are several techniques on how to get rid of that annoying fake traffic in your GA reports and GTM can help with one of them.
#63. Exclude internal traffic. Not all 3rd party tools have built-in exclude internal IP address features, therefore, you could do that with the help of GTM (and a little bit of help from a developer). Also, you can take a look at the solution adapted to GA4.
#64. Send duplicate Universal Analytics data to other analytics tools (like Snowplow).
#65. Avoid duplicate transactions in Universal Analytics. What happens if a visitor lands on an Order Confirmation page? You track a conversion, right? What if the visitor refreshes that very same page? Or comes back later? Unfortunately, you will track that conversion once again. Unless you follow this guide. Want to learn how to implement something similar for Google Analytics 4? I explain it in my Intermediate/Advanced GTM course.
#67. Configure cross-domain tracking. Do you own several websites that are related and visitors can navigate from one to another? Then you definitely need to implement cross-domain tracking in Universal Analytics. Here’s another useful guide related to this topic.
#68. Automatically reduce the Universal Analytics payload length if it exceeds the allowed limit. Yet another guide by Simo Ahava, who is the main guy solving difficult technical web analytics issues.
#69. Capture true impressions of products that are displayed to a visitor (Universal Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce related)
#71. You can also implement User ID tracking in Universal Analytics (via GTM) and get more accurate user-related numbers.
#72. Content personalization. Personalize your website content based on visitor’s landing page or campaign/channel they landed from.
#74. Track popups
#77. Track engagement time on every page (applies to Universal Analytics)
#78. Track page load times (applies to Universal Analytics)
#79. Track an average time until an event occurs (in Universal Analytics)
Chats, comments, logins
#82. Track comments
#83. Track logins with Universal Analytics
With the changing landscape of digital analytics, server-side solutions are becoming more popular. Luckily, Google Tag Manager can help here as well. This is a more advanced zone, brace yourself.
#86. Introduction to server-side tagging in Google Tag Manager and install tools like Google Analytics
#87. Write data directly from your tagging server to BigQuery
#88. Send data to Facebook Conversions API
I could not come up with where to put these Google Tag Manager use cases so, honestly speaking, I put them into one pile.
#89. Install the Konami code. Choose from one of the 4 options or create your own.
#90. Change the Android browser’s address bar color. Minor enhancement for your website.
#93. Transfer UTM parameters from one page to another. If a visitor lands on a landing page and then the Call-to-action is offering to go to another website (like the App store), in many cases GA cross-domain tracking isn’t possible. If this situation sounds familiar, check this solution.
#94. Combine multiple triggering conditions into one (with trigger groups). For example, you can track a Facebook Pixel event called “Engaged visitor” only if that visitor spends 120 seconds on a page, scrolls >50% of the page height and click some important page element
#95. Read query parameters from URL use them in tags, triggers, or other variables. And here is another example of how to get the part of the URL.
#97. Track rage clicks with Universal Analytics
#98. Separate different agencies and let them work separately on the same website. This is possible thanks to Zones in GTM 360.
#99. Track AJAX requests. AJAX is still very popular among website developers, therefore, many forms or other interactive elements are based on this technology. Luckily, with GTM you can track AJAX requests and identify when a particular interaction was completed. Here is a GTM recipe to get you started faster.
Frequently asked questions about Google Tag Manager use cases
If you just skimmed this article, here are some of the popular questions related to this blog’s topic.
Can Google Tag Manager track clicks? Yes, Google Tag Manager can track clicks. You can do that with help of Just Links and All Elements click triggers. Enable them by going to Triggers > New and select one of those triggers. Learn more
Can Google Tag Manager be used for SEO? Technically yes, you can add Schema and other parameters needed for SEO. Google’s crawlers can handle that. But this is more of a duct tape solution in my opinion. For scalable and more robust solutions, implement that outside of GTM.
Does Google Tag Manager affect page loading speed? Just like any code added to a website, GTM also impacts page loading speed. However, the largest impact comes NOT from GTM itself. The cause is what tags you put inside GTM. They are mostly responsible for decreased performance.
Google Tag Manager Use Cases: Final Words
Even though this list of Google Tag Manager use cases is already massive, there are many more things that you can do with Google Tag Manager. The goal of this blog post was to show how wide the possibilities are, but they can go even further.
So if you are a digital marketer, web analyst, SEO, PPC specialist, you will definitely find at least several use cases applicable in your projects.
Noticed some broken links? Please let me know in the comments and I’ll update it.