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How to Defeat the Beast


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How to safely migrate from Classic Analytics, Universal Analytics, to Google Tag Manager.

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How to Defeat the Beast

  1. 1. How To Defeat The Beast Safely migrate from Classic, Universal, to Google Tag Manager. #AIM 5 #heweb17 Sylvia E. Nicosia Farmingdale State College @synicosia Follow Slides at: Day Of The Dead "Horse and Rider" Instant Digital Download Printable Art jpeg Print Mexican Folk Artist J Ellison
  2. 2. Analytics… in Higher Ed
  3. 3. ALL ANALYTICS TOOLS SERVE THEIR PURPOSEG a.jsAnalytics.js G tm .js W ebtrends yoast G oogle AnalyticsH ubspot hs-analytics.netG oogle classic piw ik SiteIm proveH otjarG oogle U niversal G oogle AdW ordsQ uantcast M onsterInsightsTw itter G oogle Tag m anager quintly K lout O pen w eb analytics Sim ply m easured fbq.push W P Plugin Acquia Lift bitly clicky sim ila
  4. 4. ____ COMMON DENOMINATOR IN HIGHER ED analytics.js gtm.js Google Analytics + Google Analytics Google Analytics +ga.js _______ ____ Classic Analytics Google Tag Manager Universal Analytics
  5. 5. WHAT’S EVERYBODY IN HIGHEDWEB USING? *As of August, 24, 2017 97%Google Analytics
  6. 6. GOOGLE ANALYTICS STATISTICS g of institutions and companies attending HighEdWeb 2017 use Google Tag Manager (gtms.js) use Google Universal Analytics (analytics.js). use Google Classic Analytics (ga.js). 40% 31% 11%
  7. 7. GOOGLE ANALYTICS STATISTICS Universal and GTM Classic and Universal Classic, Universal, and GTM 9% 2% 1% Classic and GTM 3%
  8. 8. GOOGLE ANALYTICS STATISTICS g use Google Universal Analytics. use Google Classic Analytics. 31% 11%
  9. 9. Should you migrate?
  10. 10. CLASSIC ANALYTICS  Uses old tracking code ga.js Javascript library  Google Analytics properties were transferred to Universal Analytics, however it’s unclear what will happen to those properties which are still utilizing the old tracking code  Misses features from Universal Analytics such as User ID  Google can make old tracking script stop working at any time  Needs custom JavaScript tags to track events <a href="" onClick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', ' PDF Downloads', ‘Click', ’Catalog');">Catalog</a>
  11. 11. UNIVERSAL ANALYTICS  Uses tracking code analytics.js Javascript library  All new Properties use it  Enjoys cool features from Universal  Connect multiple devices, sessions, and engagement data with the User ID.  Still needs custom JavaScript tags to track events <a href="" onClick="ga(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘ PDF Downloads’, ‘Click’, ‘Catalog’);”>Catalog</a>
  12. 12. GOOGLE TAG MANAGER GTM  Uses tracking code gtm.js Javascript library  GTM does not replace your analytics, but helps you easily add/manage JS tracking code (tags) to your website  Minimal amount of coding for more complex tags  Built-in debug feature, preview mode  Built-in variables and tags, plus you can make your own  Event tracking: No more custom JavaScript tags on your site <a href="" class=“gtm- catalog”>Catalog</a>
  13. 13. IS IT ONE BETTER THAN THE OTHER ONE? Classic Universal GTM Day Of The Dead "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil" 8x10" Art Print Poster Mexican Folk Artist J Ellison.
  14. 14. THE ISSUE IS IN THE MIGRATION Migration Classic Universal GTM m c u g =
  15. 15. YOU MAY BE TEMPTED TO… Classic GA Property ID Number Universal GA Universal ID Number GTM Google Tag Manager UA-XXXX123-1 UA-XXXX123-1 Your Website
  16. 16. WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Bad or inflated data by conflicting or overlapping code (i.e., using the same property ID all along) No data on any view in your property. No data at all! (i.e., not testing properly) Data from Goals and Events can stop while the code is switched (i.e., gap between deleting old code and new). bad Really bad Very Extremely Mega Bad
  17. 17. THERE’S A SAFE, ALTERNATE SOLUTION The “Parallel” testing with a migration plan gtm.js ga.js or analytics.js Property A Property B
  18. 18. WHERE YOUR DATA REMAINS CONSTANT Your current data:
  19. 19. YOU SHOULD CONSIDER MIGRATING IF… Classic Analytics Universal Analytics +20 Custom Tags Manage •Facebook tags •Twitter tags •AdWords •Any other custom HTML/JavaScript code •Make your life easier You Should Consider Google Tag Manager IF…
  20. 20. OLÉ An this is how it’s DONE. Day Of The Dead "The Bullfighter" 8x10" Art Print Poster Mexican Bull Matador Multiple Sizes Available Folk Artist J Ellison.
  21. 21. STEP 1: NEW PROPERTY 1 Create a NEW Property in Google Analytics and recreate all views/filters from your current GA Property. Current Property UA-XXXX123-1 Testing Property UA-XXXX123-2
  22. 22. HOW GOOGLE TAG MANAGER WORKS… 1. Tag: A snippet of code (usually JavaScript) added to a page. 2. Trigger: Defines when and where tags are executed. 3. Variable: Used to receive or store information to be used by tags and triggers. GTM has pre-defined variables like: Page URL: returns the full URL of the current page ( And you can build your own tags & variables.
  23. 23. STEP 2: CREATE CONTAINER IN GTM 2 Current UA-XXXX123-1 * Useful Tip: Use same name as your GA Property Testing UA-XXXX123-2 UA-XXXX123-2
  25. 25. STEP 4: INSTALL GTM CODE 4 Testing PropertyUA-XXXX123-2 Current Property UA-XXXX123-1
  26. 26. CURRENT PROPERTY + TESTING PROPERTY Current Property: UA-XXXX123-1 Testing Property: UA-XXXX123-2
  27. 27. PREVIEW AND DEBUG MODE Testing Property UA-XXXX123-2
  29. 29. STEP 5: WHILE YOU START COLLECTING DATA, REVIEW EVENTS 5 Review your Events. This is the best time to do an extensive inventory to find a common ground: •How many and where are they located? •Which Events will you keep? •Which ones to modify? •Which ones to remove?
  30. 30. EVENT INVENTORY WE ARE AMONG THE TOP 50 DESIGN AGENCIES IN THE UK. Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo.
  31. 31. EVENTS WITH UNIVERSAL <li> <a href=" us.shtml" class="btn btn-default .btn-sm btn-block call-to- action-gtm” onclick="ga('send', 'event', 'Footer Call to Action Buttons', 'click-contact-us', 'Footer Contact Us /about/contact-us.shtml', 10, {'nonInteraction': 1});”> <i class="fa fa-comment-o fa-fw"></i> Contact Us</a> </li> Event Category: Footer Call to Action Buttons Event Action: click-contact-us Event Label: Footer Contact Us /about/contact-us.shtml
  32. 32. CONFIGURE EVENT TAG IN GTM Same category name
  33. 33. EVENT WITH GOOGLE TAG MANAGER <li> <a href= us.shtml onclick="ga('send', 'event', 'Footer Call to Action Buttons', 'click-contact-us', 'Footer Contact Us /about/contact-us.shtml', 10, {'nonInteraction': 1});” class="btn btn-default .btn-sm btn-block call-to-action-gtm”> <i class="fa fa-comment-o fa- fw"></i> Contact Us</a> </li> Event Category: Footer Call to Action Buttons Event Action: {{Click URL}}  us.shtml Event Label: {{Page Path}}  / Trigger: When Click Classes matches RegEx (call-to-action-gtm)
  34. 34. COMPARE DATA RESULTS Current Property UA-XXXX123-1 Testing Property UA-XXXX123-2
  35. 35. TRACKING DOWNLOAD FILES IN GTM Download Links Setup in Universal Analytics
  40. 40. STEP 6: REVIEW YOUR GOALS 6 Just like with Events, do another inventory for all your Goals: •All Goals per View •Which Goals need adjustment since some Events’ actions and labels changed •Different from Events, Goals will need to individually be modified in ALL views.
  41. 41. GOAL INVENTORY Current Property Testing Property
  42. 42. GOAL SETUP IN GA DASHBOARD Current UA-XXXX123-1 Testing UA-XXXX123-2 *In all views
  43. 43. GOAL RESULTS Current UA-XXXX123-1 Testing UA-XXXX123-2 1,426 conversions 1,796 conversions
  44. 44. STEP 7: REVIEW DATA, MAKE ADJUSTMENTS 7 Testing UA-XXXX123-2 Current UA-XXXX123-1 Current UA-XXXX123-1 Testing UA-XXXX123-2
  45. 45. STEP 8: PLAN FOR MIGRATION 8 • After testing your data and you’re confident you have the results you want, it’s time to plan for the migration. • The migration/upgrade consists of: • Remove all existing Universal code (tracking code and event tracking code). • Switching GTM variable from Testing UA-XXXX123-2 to Current UA-XXXX123 • Set an official (realistic) date and timeline for the migration.
  46. 46. REMOVE ALL CUSTOM EVENT TAGS  An audit may be helpful to find them all.  All matches will have to be deleted.
  47. 47. MAKE SURE OLD EVENT TRACKING CODE IS REMOVED! <li> <a href= onclick="ga('send', 'event', 'Footer Call to Action Buttons', 'click-contact-us', 'Footer Contact Us /about/contact- us.shtml', 10, {'nonInteraction': 1});” class="btn btn-default .btn-sm btn-block call-to-action-gtm”> <i class="fa fa-comment-o fa-fw"></i> Contact Us</a> </li> <li> <a href= class="btn btn-default .btn- sm btn-block call-to-action-gtm”> <i class="fa fa-comment-o fa-fw"></i> Contact Us</a> </li>
  48. 48. DAY OF SWITCH: REMOVE ALL CUSTOM TAGS  Remove the GA code for Classic/Universal Analytics and schedule pages to publish on merge date.  Leave your GTM code intact  Remove all instances of Classic/Universal custom tags code and set pages to publish on merge date.
  50. 50. MAKE SURE NOW YOU’RE TRACKING UAXXXX123-1 Current Property UA-XXXX123-1
  51. 51. STEP 10: PUBLISH YOUR CONTAINER 10 Publishing both pages and GTM container must be done at the same time. Any gap or overlapping when switching can affect your data!
  52. 52. CHECK WITH GTM PREVIEW MODE  Check that all your tags are firing and passing the right variables
  53. 53. CHECK WITH GA REAL TIME  Check that you events and Goals are working properly  Keep closed monitoring in the next 48 hours
  54. 54. YOUR MAIN PROPERTY DATA CONTINUES… Current Property A: UA-XXXX123-1 Testing Property B: UA-XXXX123-2 That’s it!
  55. 55. Review Quick
  56. 56. CONSIDER UPDATING/MIGRATING IF…  You are using Classic Analytics  You are using Universal Analytics and you have at least 20 custom JavaScript tags on your website  You want to manage your Facebook tags, Twitter tags, AdWords, event tags, and any other custom HTML/JavaScript code  Make your life easier 
  57. 57. STEPS FOR A SAFE MIGRATION 1. Create a new Property in GA, recreate your views. 2. Create a container in GTM. 3. Setup your tracking code with a Page View tag and a variable to store your new Property ID. 4. Install GTM code on your website along your current GA code. 5. Review your Events. 6. Review your Goals. 7. Review your collected data, make necessary adjustments. 8. Plan for upgrade: Set a date and timeline, remove GA tracking code and custom tags, set pages to auto-publish. 9. On upgrade day, switch to current Property ID in GTM variable. 10. Publish your container and monitor for the next few days.
  58. 58. ADVICE  Same steps apply when migrating from Classic to Universal, Classic to GTM.  Do your testing for at least two months so you’ll have data for comparison.  Schedule the switch at the end of the spring semester.  Do it on a Monday! You’ll have all week to fix any mess. You’re welcome.
  59. 59. RESOURCES Simo Ahava’s Blog LunaMetrics Weber, J. (2015). Practical Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager for Developers. Berkeley, CA: Apress.
  60. 60. THANK YOU! Questions? Day Of The Dead "Street Party" Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, 8x10, Art Print Poster Mexican Folk Artist J Ellison. Slides available at: