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Tracking PPC Campaigns With Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager PPC Tracking

Any PPC campaign has the potential to offer a business enhanced ROI, improved conversion rates and enhanced lead generation, however without efficient tracking, it’s impossible to tell how successful any one campaign is. Google Tag Manager (GTM) offers a central platform through which you can track conversions, user behaviour and more. For companies without a developer on hand or with a developer that’s usually busy, GTM offers a simpler way to not only track the information you need, but also makes the implementation of additional scripts much faster and easier in the future.

Here, we’re exploring a little deeper into how you can track your PPC campaigns using Google Tag Manager.

How Does Google Tag Manager Work?

For those running PPC campaigns, Google Tag Manager offers a simple way to implement code and then use the platform to track several different metrics, including form submissions, calls and more. In an age where web developers are growing busier and busier, this is the ideal way for those who aren’t necessarily good at tech, to get technical. While working alongside Web Developers can be a valuable way to update and optimise a website, this tool streamlines the process and allows efforts to be placed elsewhere.

Google Tag Manager is essentially a free tool that makes it possible to manage and deploy ‘tags’ on any website or mobile app. These tags are essentially bits of code which previously required web developers to implement them individually, one by one. With Tag Manager, there’s no need to modify the code directly on the website to implement tracking pixels, instead, offering a relatively simple way for marketers and webmasters to manage and change the code on a website without waiting on a developer.

While GTM does require some knowledge of how tracking pixels work and a bit of self-exploration on the website to get the hang of it, once you understand its use, it can speed up the process of amending and changing your website exponentially.

Setting It Up

Before you can begin using Google Tag Manager, you’ll need to set it up. The tool itself is completely free but requires you to make an account and follow a simple three-step process. We’ve created a guide, here:

Step One – You’ll first need to name the account and set your location. From here, you can then set up the container.

Step Two – You’ll need to include a container name – usually your website’s URL and select where you want to use your container. You can choose between web, iOS, Android and AMP.

Step Three – The next step is to implement a small snippet of code onto your website, that will allow you to manage all other codes and tags from GTM. It’s explained relatively simply, though those without much knowledge of HTML may still benefit from assistance from a web developer. Those using WordPress can use the GTM plugin to make the process even simpler.

Once you’ve got the account step up, you can check whether the installation was successful using the Google Tag Assistant extension in Chrome. This tool is also free and provides a simple view of whether a tag, or code, is functional. Any Google products will be listed here, and the state of the tag will be listed with a red, blue or green tag. Each colour indicates the following:

  • Red – There was an error with the installation of the code
  • Blue – There is a potential issue. This could relate to the placement of the code.
  • Green – If there is a green ‘smiling’ tag, the code has been successfully installed.

Tracking Installation

Once you have Google Tag Manager set up, it’s simple to install ‘tags’ that will track both remarketing and conversions. First, let’s cover remarketing:

Tracking Remarketing On Google Ads

Remarketing refers to the process of positioning targeted advertisements around the web to users that will have visited your website before. It can be a valuable tool, designed to encourage potential leads to return to your site and complete their journey through the sales funnel. These visitors may have previously viewed your website and either didn’t complete a purchase or may not have made an enquiry. Remarketing allows you to retarget these visitors with Ads on Google’s Display Network and drive them back to your website to complete the desired action.
In order to set up this tag for tracking, you need to do the following:

  1. Select ‘Add A New Tag’
  2. Choose a relevant name for the tag
  3. Within ‘Tag Configuration’, choose Google Ads Remarketing
  4. Enter the Google Ads Conversion ID (Found on Google Ads). You can also add Conversion Label, however, this is optional
  5. Select ‘Triggering’ and choose any triggers you want to specify, which indicate when the tag should fire. Typically, page views are the most commonly chosen trigger, but there are a number to suit each individual campaign.
  6.  Click ‘Save’ to save your progress and set up the tag.

Tracking Conversions On Google Ads

While you likely already know how many sales you are making, being able to track how many of these conversions are coming from your ads can be valuable information for determining which ads are offering the best return on investment. By tracking the number of conversions and their potential value, you can determine whether your campaigns are working effectively, or whether you need to take action to improve or pause the campaign.

To set up tracking for conversions:

  1. In Google Tag Manager, start a new tag. In ‘Tag Configuration’, select ‘Google Ads Conversion Tracking’.
  2. Log into your Google Ads account to get the Conversion ID and Conversion Label from your ad.
  3. Back in Tag Manager, you can copy these values into their respective fields. You could also choose to add Conversion Value, Order ID and Currency Code.
  4. Choose any triggers you need in the ‘Triggering’ section in order to determine when the code will be active. This will usually be a ‘thank you’ or ‘order confirmation’ page.
  5. Complete the set up by clicking Save.

By tracking your PPC campaigns through Google Tag Manager, you can more effectively determine just how each of your campaigns is performing. Those that are performing well could benefit from a larger chunk of your budget, while those that might not be bringing in much in terms of conversions can be amended, paused or taken down so the resources can be focused elsewhere.

For more information about Google Tag Manager, PPC tracking or how our experts can help you with your paid ad campaigns, simply get in touch with a member of our team on 0800 088 6000.

To find out more about the digital marketing services available at Absolute Digital,
get in touch on 0800 088 6000 or fill in the contact form below.

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