Google Tag Manager Conversion Tracking – News Couple
ANALYTICS

Google Tag Manager Conversion Tracking


If you are running marketing campaigns (and you want your audience to complete certain goals on your website), you need to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. What are the best performing ads/posts/content? Which one is worse? What keywords for paid ads are expensive but yield little or no results? All of these questions (and others) can be answered by implementing conversion tracking with Google Tag Manager.

But how do we do that? where do I start? In today’s blog post, we’ll look at Google Tag Manager conversion tracking, and I’ll also share additional resources for the most popular marketing/analytics platforms (because some of the configuration steps vary from vendor to vendor).

What kind of role does Google Tag Manager play here? It would be a way of how to implement conversion tracking codes (such as Google Ads or GA4) on a website.

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Table of contents

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before continuing

This blog post assumes that you have a working knowledge of Google Tag Manager tags. If you are a beginner, I recommend starting here. Want to be much faster? Take a look at my GTM master classes for beginners.

The minimum requirements to understand this blog post are:

  • You have the Google Tag Manager tracking code installed on your website.
  • You know what tags, triggers, variables, and dataLayer are and how they work in Google Tag Manager.

What is conversion?

I realize that some of my readers who come to this page may be completely new to the concept of conversions. If you’re one of them, here’s a quick introduction. And if you already know what conversions are, feel free to skip to the next chapter of this blog post.

Conversion is an important interaction that you want your visitors/users to complete. Transfers can be divided into partial and major transfers. An example of a partial conversion could be a newsletter subscription, downloading a technical document, etc.

Micro conversions are usually described as conversions that put your visitors/users one step closer to a major (overall) conversion.

Macro conversions are the most important interactions, like buying.

By tracking conversions, you can better understand what works for your business and what doesn’t. For example, you can create a segment of users who have made a purchase and then try to understand what they are doing, what their behavior is, etc. Also, conversions are used to measure the effectiveness of advertising campaigns and then redistribute your ads to donate.

We hope this very brief introduction has given you a better understanding of this concept.

Now, let’s take a closer look at Google Tag Manager conversion tracking.

general operation

The final conversion tracking setting in Google Tag Manager depends on where you will send your conversion data. Google Ads requires one process, Google Analytics 4 more, Bing conversions a third process, etc.

But despite the differences between them, there are some similarities as well. In this chapter, I’ll briefly explain the general setup process and then delve into each tool individually (and their uniqueness). Next, I’ll show you practical examples of preparation.

In conversion tracking, there are three very important things:

  • Actual conversion tracking code and generating a conversion tag in GTM (because you have to send the information to your analytics/marketing tool)
  • The moment when the transfer mark (trigger) must be activated / activated
  • Use browser extensions (helpers) to test your setup

Optionally, you can also send additional transfer data (such as transaction ID, order total, etc.).

Get the conversion tracking code and set the tag

The details of this step depend on the vendor you use. For example, if you track conversions with Google Ads, you should go to ads.google.com> Tools and Settings > Transformations > Create New Transform > get conversion label And Transfer ID (All details or information can be found here).

Once you have these IDs, you have to create a tag in Google Tag Manager. You will need to go to Tags > New > Google Ads Conversion Tracking > Paste the identifiers and save the tag (could be without any triggers for now).

This was the easiest part.

Set the switch flag to launch/enable

This step may be (and probably will be) more difficult. It largely depends on how your website is coded (and in some cases, it will require developer input as well).

The main output here is the trigger. When do you want to launch your conversion tag? When someone submits a form? When someone buys? When someone clicks on something? The operator will be responsible for activating your diversion tag when needed.

The list of potential “important actions” for your business may vary, so the configuration will also vary.

Here are some resources that you will find useful (you can use triggers from these articles:

Additional Transfer Data

Oftentimes, it also makes sense to send additional data to platforms like Google Ads. For example, what is the total demand? This type of data will help you know how much each ad campaign cost you and how much revenue it has generated.

There are different approaches you can go about here and it largely depends on how your website is coded.

For example, if the visitor is redirected to the Thank You page after purchase and the URL looks like this mywebsite.com/thanks/?order_total=19.99Then you can use the Google Tag Manager URL variable to fetch a value aggregate demand And use this variable in the conversion tag in Google Ads.

Oftentimes, you’ll also need developer input because, on many websites, order confirmation pages don’t have data by default (therefore, you’ll need to ask your programmer to make it available in the data layer).

Some examples (which I will share shortly) mention this.

By the way, if this all sounds too stressful, don’t worry. GTM is not easy to learn and there are many moving parts. If you want a clear step-by-step process of how to learn GTM and configure detours, have a look at my Google Tag Manager for Beginners homepage. It will save you a lot of time.

User “helpers” to test your setup

Many analysis/marketing tools offer their own Chrome extensions to help you debug setup errors faster. Install it, activate the conversion code on a site and check what the extension says. If there are some problems, the extension will identify them and you will have to fix them.

Some of the most popular extensions:

Examples of Google Tag Manager Conversion Tracking

If things are still not clear to you, don’t worry. We quickly looked into the theory. Now, let’s look at practical examples.

In this blog post, I will be sharing resources (my blog posts and video tutorials) covering the following conversion tracking settings:

  • Google Analytics 4 Conversion Tracking
  • Google Ads Conversion Tracking
  • Facebook Ads Conversion Tracking
  • Bing Ads Conversion Tracking
  • Twitter Ads Conversion Tracking
  • Pinterest Ad Conversion Tracking

All of them will rely on Google Tag Manager.

Google Analytics 4 Conversion Tracking

In short, the process looks like this:

  • Submit an event to Google Analytics 4
  • Then you mark this event as a transform in the GA4 interface
  • From that moment on, the event will be reported as a conversion in your reports

For the full implementation process and examples, read this guide (also contains a video tutorial).

In this case, you will first need to go to your ads.google.com account> Tools and Settings > Transformations > Create New Transform > get conversion label And Transfer ID.

Next, you will need to go to the Google Tag Manager interface, create a Google Ads conversion tracking tag and paste the IDs.

If you want, you can optionally add additional data such as Transaction ID or Order Total.

Last but not least, create a Google Conversion Linker tag to improve the accuracy of your setup.

The full implementation process is explained here.

Facebook Conversion Tracking with Google Tag Manager

To send transfers to Facebook, you will need:

  • Add the Facebook Pixel tag template to your Google Tag Manager container
  • Get your Pixel ID from Facebook Business Manager’s Events Manager
  • Paste this identifier into the pixel tag
  • Fire a flag when the conversion occurs
  • In addition, you can submit data such as products purchased, total orders, etc.

All steps are explained here.

Alternatively (if you want your data to be more accurate, you can implement Facebook event tracking using server-side Google Tag Manager container and Facebook Transformations API. I have a lesson on that in my intermediate/advanced GTM course.

Bing (Microsoft Ads) Ads Conversion Tracking Using Google Tag Manager

The process looks like this:

  • You will need to create a UET (Universal Event Tracking) tag in your Microsoft Ads account and get its ID
  • Then create a tag in Google Tag Manager, and paste the ID
  • In addition, you can also send things like transfer value
  • If the conversion depends only on visits to a particular URL, then the majority of the setting can be managed directly in the Microsoft Ads interface.

The full implementation process is explained here.

Twitter conversion tracking with Google Tag Manager

Process overview:

  • Create a Twitter Ads account, and get a Twitter Pixel ID
  • Create a global website tag, paste the ID
  • You can send additional conversion data to Twitter if you wish

Learn the full implementation process with these resources: How to install Twitter pixel with GTM and how to track conversions.

Pinterest conversion tracking with Google Tag Manager

Process overview:

  • Create a Pinterest Ads account, get the tag ID
  • Create a Pinterest tag in Google Tag manager, and paste the ID
  • You can send additional conversion data to Pinterest if you wish (for example, you can reuse the Pinterest Enhanced Ecommerce Data Layer).

Find out the full implementation process here.

Google Tag Manager Conversion Tracking: Last Words

In this blog post, I didn’t want to go into too much detail with each individual analytics/ads platform. Instead, I explained the overall process and shared additional links/tutorials. It digs deeper and will help you configure conversion tracking.

Remember that the main components are:

  • A tag that sends conversion data to the platform of your choice
  • Trigger that activates the conversion tag (can be related to form submission, purchase, or something else)
  • Test the setup with tools like helpers (browser extensions) that can validate your configuration. Also check the final destination of your data – the actual reports in the analytics/ads platform you are sending that data to.

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