Unveiling the Mysteries of Google Tag: 10 Things You Need to Know

Unveiling the Mysteries of Google Tag: 10 Things You Need to Know
Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you’ve recently stepped into the realm of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and are scratching your head about the new kid on the block—Google Tag—fret not! We’re here to spill the beans on 10 things you absolutely need to know about this intriguing addition to the Google Analytics family.

1. GA4 Configuration Tag is now called Google Tag

If you’re setting up new tags for GA4 specifically, you may notice, we no longer have a GA4 configuration tag. This is because the Google Tag replaces the Configuration tag.

2. Automatic Migration for GA Config Tag Users

Good news for those who were comfortably using GA Config tags—they’ve been automatically ushered into the era of Google Tag without lifting a finger. No need for panic or swift actions; it’s a seamless transition.

3. Distinguishing GA4 Configuration Tag from Google Tag

Wondering how Google Tag stands out from the GA4 Configuration Tag? Think of Google Tag as the maven designed to standardize tracking across all Google products. It’s the container that holds the key to tracking important variables across the entire spectrum of Google’s offerings.

4. Expanded Destinations Await

As of the latest update in September, Google Tag’s destinations are currently limited to Analytics and Google Ads. However, anticipate more avenues opening up soon, providing you with a broader range of options to send your invaluable information.

5. Out-of-the-Box Activities

Google Tag doesn’t just sit idly by; it comes pre-loaded with a set of activities, including declaring common settings on GA4, setting GA cookies, and automatically dispatching collected and enhanced measurement events. It’s like a Swiss Army knife for your tracking needs.

6. Introducing Configuration and Event Settings

To enhance standardization in tracking, Google Tag introduces two new settings variables: Configuration Settings and Event Settings. 

Their function is pretty straightforward given their name, but since now you can add the same information in many ways, it can also make your tag setup a mess.

We’ll cover the best practices around how these settings variables interact in a different blog, but we for now, these are ways to standardize tracking between events and page views. 

It’s like setting a base configuration for all events and all pageviews—then customizing them from there to account for nuances.

7. Tag ID vs. Measurement ID

Ah, the crux of the matter—the Tag ID. Since Google Tag is a multi-product marvel, the Tag ID can take different forms based on where you’re sending the information. 

For GA4, it’s none other than the Measurement ID. Keep this gem in your pocket for seamless integration.

8. Default Settings Alert

The ‘Send page_view event’ feature is it’s enabled by default. We suggest managing it as a separate, standalone event for better control.

9. User Properties in ‘Shared Event Settings’

If you’re looking to set up user properties (and why wouldn’t you be?), the ‘shared event settings’ is your go-to spot. It’s where the magic happens, ensuring your user properties are in the right place for optimum functionality.

10. Farewell to ‘Fields to Set’ in Google Tags

If you’re bidding adieu to the Configuration Tag and making the leap to Google Tag, say goodbye to ‘Fields to Set.’ 

This was the go-to playground for configuring dimensions, but fear not, the transition brings new opportunities and optimizations.

Bonus Tip: One Google Tag Per Tag ID for a Single Page

To avoid a configuration clash, it’s wise to have one Google Tag per Tag ID for a single page. Overriding can get messy, so keep it simple and let each Tag ID shine independently.

Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding Google Tag nuances and embracing its capabilities can pave the way for a smoother, more efficient tracking experience across the vast landscape of Google’s offerings. So, strap in, tag along, and let Google Tag redefine the way you track and measure success!

Do you have questions about Google Tag?

Our team of data experts is here to help whenever you need us.

Author

  • Anirudh Kulkarni

    Anirudh Kulkarni is a Senior Digital Analytics Consultant with more than five years of experience in the space. Over his tenure, he has worked on delivering marketing analytics solutions for clients of varying industries spanning across (but not limited to) airlines, banking and insurance, OTT, hospitality, and retail. Anirudh has also worked on clients of different scales, from helping Fortune 500 clients with their measurement to setting solid foundations for startups. He enjoys learning new languages, chess, and traveling.

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Originally Published: November 9, 2023

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November 9, 2023

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