In 2014, new features in Google Analytics and the rise of Google Tag Manager changed the way we measure websites, making analytics configuration more accessible to analysts and increasing the quality and quantity of data we are able to collect. Below, we’ll outline three events that got us to the end of 2014, which we’re referring to as the Year of Tag Management.
Google’s Universal Analytics emerged from beta in April
The introduction of the public beta of Universal Analytics was exciting to us back in 2013, but key features that we depend on (such as remarketing lists) were not available quite yet. That all changed in April of 2014 when Universal Analytics came out of beta, including all the features of previous analytics versions and more. It allows us to customize the data coming into our analytics accounts and gives us the flexibility to add to it from a multitude of devices. We were able to add custom metrics and widen dimensions, which empowered us to analyze new sets of data and apply segments to existing data.
Google Tag Manager made tag management solutions commonplace in business
By placing a code snippet for Google Tag Manager (GTM) on every page of your site, you’re able to add and subtract tags from your site without having to modify its source. GTM launched in 2012, but like all new things, didn’t have its quirks ironed out until later. In October 2013, it added Auto Event Listeners, which enabled us to tag websites much more efficiently. After Universal Analytics emerged from beta in April, marrying GTM with an upgrade to Universal Analytics ensured we were getting our clients using the latest and greatest technologies, while equipping teams with the power to track website performance and marketing effectiveness.
Google Tag Manager will release a new user interface in January, 2015.
New features in Google Analytics allows us to track like never before
After upgrading our clients to Universal Analytics, we were able to take advantage of a host of new features in Google Analytics due to the flexibility that the tag management solutions offered. Many new features required changes to website code, which required developer resources. With the tag management solutions in place, we were able to add and subtract these code changes ourselves and free up the time of development teams. Our favorite new features include Enhanced E-Commerce, enabling us to measure user interactions with products across the shopping process (product clicks/impressions, views of product details, cart additions, refunds, transactions); Content Groupings, allowing you to group content into logical structures for your business; Benchmarking Reports, which compare your site performance to other industry verticals; and Data Imports, where you can bring in other sets of data to widen the dimensions available for analysis.