Tracking analytics is one of the key factors for effective website promotion. After all, it is important for specialists working on website promotion to monitor traffic fluctuations, content perception and user behavior, conversions, achieved goals and other metrics that reflect the current state of the website in search results and the effectiveness of marketing activities, for example, contextual search advertising.
Like any other service, Google Analytics can crash. This happens when making edits, changing the Tag Manager settings, reconnecting the web analytics code, and other manipulations related to the web platform improvements. Therefore, it is important to detect data collection problems in time and promptly eliminate them.
Of course, if GA malfunctions, the tag diagnostics notifications will alert you to this. However, their main disadvantage is that they signal problems identified in previously collected data. You can check if the error is resolved after re-scanning the site. Thus, at the time of detection of problems in the analytics counter, part of the data will be lost. For example, a specialist opens Google Analytics and sees that the number of visits from organic search results in the last days is zero. The first thing to check is the correctness of data collection and the operation of the analytics system as a whole. Probably, the site contains 2 GA codes, which led to the counter malfunctioning.
To minimize the collection of corrupted data, and to identify problems at the time of the introduction of Google tags, we recommend using Google Tag Assistant - an extension for a web browser used to identify, check and troubleshoot when various Google tags are introduced on the site.
What functions does the GTA browser extension perform:
Demonstration of implemented Google tags.
A response report containing errors, warnings, recommendations.
A record of visitor actions to help identify tag configuration issues.
Tips for troubleshooting analytics failures with links to helpful manuals.
Google Tag Assistant analyzes the following tags:
The GTA extension will be useful for SEO-optimizers, PPC-specialists, marketers, developers. With its help, they can detect all the tags applied on the site, check the analytics counter operation immediately after implementation and in the event of anomalies in the future, including in the absence of access to the GA account.
Why is checking Google tags with Tag Assistant more effective than built-in analytics diagnostics? - you ask. As we previously reported, the key disadvantage of the second method is the processing of previously collected information. This is due to some limitations of GA's built-in troubleshooting:
It is impossible to identify and analyze inaccurate data in advance, since diagnostics can be carried out only after collecting primary information.
Pages requiring a password are not scanned by GA.
To troubleshoot analytics issues, you need to collect a certain amount of data.
Pages containing “?” In the url are likely to be crawled incorrectly.
As you can see, Google Analytics' tag diagnostics informs about errors with some delay. While Google Tag Assistant records tag triggers and events in real time. In addition, the GTA extension is able to fix pages that are outside the domain, but opened by a visitor to your site. For example, when paying for a purchase, a user enters the payment service, but after that returns to the original web resource.
In addition, Tag Assistant quickly identifies pages where, for some reason, the analytics code is not implemented.
Another advantage of GTA is tracking the error “Page took a long time to send pageview hit to Analytics”. It occurs if the site takes a long time to load. In this case, users, as a rule, quickly close the “braking” page, while the session data is not received by the analytics.
This extension integrates into the browser in just a couple of clicks. It is enough to find it in the search and download it through the Chrome web store. After appearing in the list of browser extensions, you need to click on the Google Assistant icon, select tracked tags and pages to scan, and click “Done”.
While setting up Google Tag Assistant is generally not difficult, some difficulties can arise. The most common notification is “No Google Analytics HTTP responses because opted out code detected”. It occurs if extensions are active that disable GA in the browser. Let's say services used to filter internal traffic, analyze broken links, for example, check my links and other web browser add-ons.
To activate GTA you need to click on the “Enable” button. To view tag information, you need to refresh the parsed page.
By default, the extension is disabled and does not check for the presence and status of tags. To change the default settings, right-click on the extension icon and select the "Parameters" tab. In the window that appears, specify the domains that need to activate the Assistant by default, and check the 2 lower options with the checkboxes:
Recording: Follow Links Across Tabs - Provides a record of the pages that open with each application of GTA in a new window.
Auto open recordings report when recording is stopped - automatic opening of the report after the end of recording.
In the same window, it is recommended to change the level of detail from the standard “Default” to the exact “Detailed Information”. Perhaps, in the future, it will help you in debugging the work of the Assistant.
The final touch will be the Auto validation and GA Debug settings. The first provides automatic activation of the Assistant on all browser tabs. This is convenient because you don't have to manually enable the extension every time before using it. Debugger debugs Google Analytics code without changing the tracking code itself. GA Debug replaces its equivalent Google Analytics Debugger extension, which is no longer required. Now that's it, the setup is complete. Let's move on to considering the functional.
Let's start with the color indication of the tags. When GTA is active by default, when you go to a website, its icon is highlighted. Let's take a look at what the GTA colors are signaling to us:
Green - all Google tags identified by the Assistant are fully functional.
Blue - No major issues found, but minor issues are possible.
Yellow - it is recommended to pay attention and check the implementation of tags.
Red - There are significant issues with Google tagging and tagging.
To prevent the Assistant from automatically hiding, you can open it in a new window. This function is useful if you frequently switch between pages. Generic notifications, links to help, and error information are displayed in the “Where to optimize” category. To view information on a specific tag, you need to click on it in the Assistant list. The data will be displayed in a new window.
Inexperienced users may have a question about the tabs that will appear there. Let's decipher them:
Metadata - GTM site and container ID, code version and syntax.
Code Snippet - snippet of analytics counter code.
Data Layer - shows the GA ID if the code is injected through the GTM container,
URL's - here you can also check the installation of the tag via GTM.
Pageview Requests - requests to view, visit a page.
Events - events that occur within the selected page visit.
Cookies - information about cookies.
Keep Alive - work in real time.
Green circles highlight the events taking place on the site at the time the GTA expansion is active. The functionality review is incomplete if we overlook the recording of transitions. It checks the analytics tracking on the site for a specific page, for example, checkout or newsletter subscription. The algorithm for enabling the recording of transitions is as follows:
Click on the "Record" button.
Click “Stop” to finish.
The recording stops and a link to the report appears.
As you can see, the Google Tag Assistant extension is a functional, convenient and useful marketing tool that facilitates effective work with Tag Manager and Google Analytics.
Still have questions? Do you want to know more about website promotion? Write to us or order a call back!