We all use great programs and tools each day to help us get our work done as marketers, business owners and analysts. For myself the two biggest tools in use day to day are Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager.
Throughout the use of those tools I definitely come upon a few features I would love to have. Usually this happens by coming to a roadblock with something I am attempting to do. In talking with others, there are a lot of requested features out there for each program and today I am going to dive into my top seven requested features for Google Tag Manager. Many of these are things I hear throughout the community.
If you have a recommendation for other features, please list them in the comments below. I frequently like to tweet @GoogleAnalytics with common suggestions, so I don’t mind passing some along.
- Non-Exact Lookup Tables
- Custom Metrics Tag (without creating an event)
- Better Organization of Google Tag Manager
- Default / Smart Variables for Common Places
- Default Selection of Built-In Variables
- Moving Containers
- An Improved Notes Area
Currently lookup table variables have to use exact inputs. If you want to create a lookup on Click ID, you have to list the exact ID, case sensitive and all. Even a minor update to include non-case sensitive spelling would help.
I love custom metrics. There is even a three part series dedicated to custom metrics on this blog. While implementing them in Google Tag Manager is a fairly easy process, there should be a way to fire a custom metric by itself.
Currently this must be done via a pageview, event or social Google Analytics tag. Sometimes though, you just want a custom metric and there is no need to fire an event.
About a year ago Google released the folders feature within GTM, which was a nice addition for organizing your tags. The issue with this feature is that is stands alone in the folder area. These don’t really move into the interface of tags, triggers and variables.
If you are looking for a better way to organize your tags, be sure to check out the GTM: Organization of Implementation eBook here.
While we all love working with dynamic (and static) variables within GTM, one of the biggest-little issues I hear is that every time someone creates a new tag they must bring up the variable for their tracking ID (i.e. Google Analytics UA number). While variables help us out here (create a constant variable to store your UA number) it would be nice to have this prepopulate once created. This could happen on all Google Analytics related tags.
When Google Tag Manager moved to version 2 a few years back, most of the analytics marketing world rejoiced. Everything was much easier in the way of auto-event tags and the entire layout of the tool. One area that has always been a head-scratcher though is the selection of built-in variables.
When you create a new container and go to the variables section, you must actually select all of the built-in variables you want to be available. Google could do everyone a favor and pre-select those for us.
There are easy ways to copy and duplicate containers via export and import in GTM, but what if we could simply move whole containers? I never thought about this until a recent issue I ran into. I started on a new project that actually had two different GTM accounts. The issue was that they weren’t really needed and took up more screen real estate (I have to have everything neat :))
It would be nice to just pick up and move an entire container instead of having to export, import and then have an entirely new GTM code and ID.
Many users may not even know, but there is a container notes feature within Google Tag Manager. I actually use this quite extensively, as a sort of annotation guide to any updates that go live. Right now everything is clumped together in one note, making it messy to read. If there were a way to have notes on a per version basis, that would improve this feature ten-fold.
Google Tag Manager is a great program with many amazing features that allow analysts and marketers to get into the implementation of tracking on the web. I know these are just seven of the thousand of feature requests that are out there, so if you have any others please share in the comments below.