How to Configure Google Analytics with Google Tag Manager

I’ve been placing the Google Analytics tracking code on websites since before I needed to shave. Seriously.

As a technically-savvy digital marketer, it may be the most common job function I’ve performed over the course of my career. Up until a few years ago, the process was fairly simple: create an account, copy the tracking code, and place on your website.

With the introduction of Google Tag Manager in 2012, the installation process became slightly more involved even though its purpose was to simplify tag management (which it does by consolidating tags with a single snippet of code that you can manage from a web app).

Before getting into the setup process, I want to provide a little bit more context and purpose to make sure you’re drinking the Kool-Aid.

What is a Web Tag?

Web tags are tiny bits of website code that help provide useful insights like behavior patterns or trends by gathering data on a website. They have many applications like third-party tracking, analytics, reporting, remarketing, conversions, live chat…the list goes on. Generally speaking, they are an important piece of an organization’s marketing technology.

Why Use Google Tag Manager?

Although you can still configure Google Analytics without Google Tag Manager (GTM), it’s recommended to configure both at the same time. There are plenty of advantages in setting up both, especially when you think beyond just Google Analytics.

Do you use Adwords Conversion Tracking, Adwords Remarketing, or the Facebook Pixel? These applications can all be set up in Tag Manager and you can determine when the tag should fire, when the tag shouldn’t fire, what pages the tag should fire on, and what the tag should do when it fires.

There are many advantages beyond managing many tags in the same place:

  • Place the GTM container code on your website once and eliminate the need to edit website code again.
  • Test and deploy tags quickly, without the assistance of an IT or web team. Remember, you only need to place the container code on your website once!
  • Many tags already built into GTM provide advanced analytics tracking. For example, globally add event tracking on external links or buttons without manually adding the code to individual links.
  • If one tag deploys asynchronously (loads more slowly), it won’t affect other tags being fired on the page.

See the benefit in configuring Tag Manager with Google Analytics?

How to Set Up Google Tag Manager

Setting up Google Tag Manager is quick and easy—you create an account, add one snippet of code to your site, then start managing tags.

Create an Account

This is pretty straightforward. Navigate to and click “Create Account”. You should see a screen that looks like this:

Creating a Google Tag Manager account

Fill out relevant details related to your website and select “Web” for Target Platform. Next you’ll have to read and approve service terms to officially create the account.

Install Google Tag Manager Snippet

As soon as you create the account, a screen pops up with instructions on how to install the code snippet:

Google Tag Manager snippet

Send those instructions to whomever manages your website. Additionally, Google provides a quick start guide on their website.

You’ll want to test that the tracking code has been placed correctly. We recommend downloading the Google Tag Assistant off the Chrome web store. It’s really easy to use and it will be helpful later to test whether the Google Analytics tag is firing correctly.

At this point, you’re ready to start adding tags.

Deploy Google Analytics with Tag Manager

We’ve created our GTM account and placed our code successfully. Now, we’re going to install the Google Analytics tag.

First and foremost, if you already have Google Analytics installed on your site, you’ll want to have your web admin remove it. The reason for this action is if you use both, it’ll track everything twice and provide inaccurate data.

Once that’s squared away, follow the steps below.

1. Within the main GTM interface, you’ll want to click “Add a new tag”. You’ll be brought to a screen that looks like this:

Add a new tag in Google Tag Manager

2. Click on “Tag Configuration” and then select “Google Analytics: Universal Analytics”. You’ll see a bunch of other options, but let’s ignore those for now. You’ll be brought to another screen that looks like this:

Add Google Analytics tag to Google Tag Manager

3. Leave the Track Type field as “Page View”. Know that this is where you can configure items like link clicks and event tracking in the future. Remember, one of the benefits of GTM is advanced analytics tracking.

4. Next, you’ll want to select “New Variable” on the Google Analytics Settings picklist. Note that you may have a variable already created, in which case you can select the desired variable from the picklist.

You will be taken to a screen that looks like this:

Configure a variable in Google Tag Manager

a. In the Tracking ID field, enter your Google Analytics ID.

b. If you have no other Google Analytics tags deployed on your site via analytics.js or from Tag Manager, you should leave this value set to “auto”. If you have other Google Analytics tags set up on your site or in Tag Manager, you should confirm that the Cookie Domain value is consistent.

c. Let’s ignore the additional settings for now. Know that you can configure a bunch of other settings like custom fields, custom dimensions, custom metrics, content groups, display advertising features, cross domain measurement and much more.

d. Finally, name the variable and click “Save” to complete creating the variable.

5. We’re almost done. Click on “Triggering” and select the default option that comes up “All Pages”.

6. Name the tag and click “Save”. At this point, your screen should look similar to this:

Trigger Google Analytics on all pages

Finally, you’ll want to click “Submit” and then “Publish” to push your changes live.

You can test two different ways to see if the code is working. Either navigate to your website where the container is placed and use the Tag Assistant extension to confirm. Or, navigate to your website then login into Google Analytics and check Real-Time tracking to see if your pageview is being tracked.

That just about covers a basic Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager installation; however, there are a ton more configurations you can make to get more detailed tracking and analysis. I recommend setting up events next.

If you have any questions, we’re here to help! Click on the chat in the bottom right corner and we’ll guide you in the right direction.

Do Your Research

You Don’t Really Know Your Target Audience Until You Ask the Right Questions

If you’re buying a gift for someone and want it to be something they will appreciate, you have to know at least a little bit about that person’s likes and dislikes. You might find yourself asking questions of the person (or someone who knows them well) to learn these personal details.

Creating messaging that resonates with your target audience is really no different; however, we often skip the step of seeking out those important details about our personas.

Why is that?

While we have access to many tools and platforms (especially social media) that provide insight into target audience groups, there is a far lesser emphasis on learning about our customers on a deeper and more reliable level.

Only research allows us to go beyond tools and social platforms and truly understand our audience personas.

These 6 research tactics will help you get deeper insights into your target audience and empower you with the information you need to create robust content strategies that drive effective buyer journeys.

  1. Tap Into Their Challenges

If you sell a product, you know all about that product. And you want to tell prospective customers all about it, too.

But wait!

Your customers have real challenges they’re trying to solve, and they want to know how you can help solve their problem.

Maybe you sell software that makes a cumbersome process faster and more efficient. That may seem like a great value proposition, but your target customer wants to know how your product’s speed and efficiency can help them. They might be spending revenue on additional software they would no longer need with your solution. Or, perhaps they are having trouble hiring because of the system they currently use.

Be sure your messaging speaks directly to the problem your customer is trying to solve. Here are a few easy research tactics:

  • Ask existing customers for specifics on how your product has helped them. This step can be done using a survey or having sales reach out.
  • Include specific questions about business challenges on forms for lead generation purposes.
  • Leverage conversational marketing to identify specific challenges at the time leads visit your website or landing page.

48% of B2B buyers are more likely to consider solution providers that personalize their marketing to address their specific business issues. (ITMSA)

  1. Build Detailed and Robust Customer Personas

There’s irrefutable evidence that building personas, and mapping content to those personas and where they are in the buyer journey, generates results for businesses.

Customer personas today are far more detailed than ever before. It’s not enough just to know, for example, that your audience is largely made up of female owners of investment firms in New England.

Your personas should be specific to the individual so when you put content in front of them, it speaks directly to their situation. Even something as basic as knowing a user lives in Vermont versus Connecticut can make a huge difference along their buyer journey.

Build your personas using the following criteria, and get as detailed as you can:

  • Give the persona a name and state their unmet need/business challenge.
  • Identify the action you want them to take based on that unmet need/business challenge.
  • Apply specific information to each persona based on the research you have conducted. This would typically include geographic and demographic data, personal preferences, and psychographic data such as behaviors, reactions to marketing activity, ethics and mentality.
  • Analyze and segment your audience data so you can identify the trends that uniquely set each persona apart from another. Resources like Chambers of Commerce, industry and trade research, and even the Bureau of Labor and Statistics can provide validating or insightful data.

55% of marketers create content that is relevant to the buyer journey and/or ideal customer profiles. (Uberflip)

  1. Map Keywords to Your Target Audience

The way each of us search for information online could almost be considered a fingerprint of our individuality. If two users who own different travel agencies are searching for a specialized software solution, one might search “CRM for small travel agency” while the other might search, “booking software easy for travel agency business”.

If you understand that your target audience has business challenges that include managing customer relationships and cumbersome booking software, you can incorporate keywords that speak to those needs to ensure users find your content–and find it useful.

  1. Pay Attention to Feedback and Negative Reviews

It can be so easy to view negative reviews or undesirable feedback as an irritating side-effect of being in business. But the truth is, all feedback–negative or positive–is an opportunity to learn more about your customers’ experiences.

Jet Blue airlines is wonderful at responding to customer feedback, and always replies to comments on social media in an effort to understand more about the situation and how they can help. If a customer has a negative experience because of something that’s simple to correct, wouldn’t it be worth knowing about?

This information can help you in several key ways:

  • Learn more about the particular customer and their mindset, which can deeply inform that persona.
  • Identify gaps in your messaging based on whether their issue stemmed from a misunderstanding or confusion after engaging with your brand.
  • Discover trends among personas by assessing similar feedback, positive or negative feedback, or the type of persona authoring the feedback. Then, you can be more strategic in how you message to those personas going forward.
  1. Hold an Event and/or Go Where Your Customers Are

Nothing brings customers together quite like a conference or networking event. It’s a veritable trove of opportunity to learn more about your target audience–and yet, many companies don’t prioritize hosting or attending industry events; and if they do, they often fail to execute marketing tactics that would provide more information about their audience personas.

The first step, of course, is to hold an event for your customers and others in your network, or attend events at which you know your customer base will be. After doing so, you’ll want to execute on the following:

  • Engage directly with customers by asking leading questions that delve into the information you need and want – their key business challenges, their current processes, and other information critical to building a persona.
  • Collect information from leads to ensure you can follow up with correspondence and a piece of content that demonstrates you understand their needs and can help solve their challenges.
  • View the opportunity as a long-term benefit to your business rather than trying to secure a single sale. The more you research your target audience, the better positioned you’ll be to drive greater business in the long run.
  1. Be Involved in Your Support Platform

If your company leverages a support platform, this is a great place to learn more about your customers and fuel your target audience research. Share this information with other departments–support should not be done in a silo as it can provide critical data for sales and marketing.

Paying attention to your support platform could provide information about:

  • Which aspects of your solution or product matter most to your customers and why.
  • Where frustrations or confusion lie when using or implementing your solution or product.
  • What aspect of your solution or product provides the most value, and why.

We live in a fast-paced digital world that makes it easy to use certain tools and social media and feel like you’ve adequately researched your audience. But in truth, there’s nothing more informative than speaking directly with customers to learn how they think, feel and act. Doing this type of boots-on-the-ground research will be far more effective for your business in the long run.

Want help with market research? Contact us!

Conversational Marketing – Personalized

We’ve Partnered with Drift to Create Better Connections

Conversational marketing is the fastest way to move buyers through your marketing and sales funnels through the power of real-time conversations. Interacting with buyers in this way builds relationships and creates unique experiences with customers and buyers.

If “live chat” or “chat bot” come to mind, you’re on the right track. But conversational marketing as you may know it has been reimagined by Drift, a company Fishnet is now leveraging to better communicate with visitors to our website and our client’s.

This tool and approach is growing in popularity, and is an increasingly effective communication strategy that definitely shouldn’t be ignored.

Change the Way you Convert Prospects

In marketing and sales, we’re all too familiar with the process outlined below. We’ve been taught inbound marketing strategies that can take weeks or months to even get on the phone with a prospect.

old way to convert prospects

Instead of forcing people to go through lead capture forms and wait days for a response, conversational marketing uses targeted messaging and intelligent chatbots to engage with people when they’re on your website. Making it easier for people to engage with your business will help you convert more of the right leads faster.

drift conversational marketing conversion

Capture new website visitors as they come to your site.
Qualify them 24/7, 365 days a year and make sure they’re ready to have a conversation with your sales team.
Connect directly to your sales team’s calendar in real time.

This Still Sounds Like a Live Chat Tool. What Makes Drift Different from Existing Live Chat Products?

Drift isn’t just any live chat tool. Here are a few big differences (among many others):

  • Intelligent messaging. Bots work 24/7, in real-time. They can ask people on your website qualifying questions, link them to your knowledge-base, and route them to the right person on your team. And that means you can be making money and helping customers—even while you sleep.
  • Alerts when leads are on your website. Drift allows sales reps to follow leads and prospects, so they get push notifications on their phones when those leads are on your website—and then they can hop in and say hello in real-time.
  • Personal profiles for every sales rep. Each rep has a unique link that they can use to schedule meetings or chat live. Drift Bot will handle picking a time to meet, confirming the meeting, and sending calendar invites to both sides.
  • Account-Based Marketing…and firmographic targeting. With Drift, you have a finely-tuned dial giving you complete control over both the volume and quality of the leads you’re getting. Only want your named accounts to get the opportunity to interact with your sales reps? Just say the word. In fact, Drift has joined with Adobe to release Conversational ABMTM for Marketo Engage, which will empower B2B marketers to personalize the customer experience at every stage of the buyer journey.
  • Integrations with your tech stack. Connect with Salesforce, HubSpot, Slack, Google Analytics, Marketo and many more. Don’t change the way you work—just improve it with conversations.

Drift is the New Way Businesses Buy from Businesses.

With Drift, a conversation can be a conversion. Traditional marketing methods rely on forms and follow ups, but Drift connects your business with qualified leads in real time. We’d love to show you how Drift can help acquire more customers for your business.

Get the drift? We’d love to talk with you further about implementing Drift conversational marketing into your website and overall strategy. Contact us today!

Interactive Content Works–But Only if You Do it Right

Drive the Engagement You Want for Your Content

The concept of “getting interactive” with your content isn’t new; nor is it losing traction as an effective way to capture customer attention.

Compared to even a year ago, interactive content has taken on almost a whole new identity as next-gen tools and technology have made more diverse types of user engagement possible.

More traditional types of interactive content include calculators, quizzes, animated infographics or live chats–to name a few. But marketers are expanding their interactive content marketing playbook to include gamified video, augmented reality, 360-degree video experiences, audio content on smart speakers, and live streaming on different apps.

It’s an exciting time for interactive content to be sure, and brands are looking to add a whole repertoire of interactivity to their content strategies to help them stand out amongst their competition and capture the attention of prospective customers. But, as with any content, it’s not enough to just create it, put it out there, and call it a day.

Interactive Content and the Buyer Journey

Earlier this year, we wrote about how as tools and technology for content strategy have become more automated, our relationships with customers largely have, too. We need to be careful not to forget that our customers are people–not just idealized personas in a buyer funnel. Marketers run the risk falling into the trap of throwing the “next big thing” at prospects and expecting it to magically capture their attention and turn them into paying customers.

Interactive content has been one of those “next big things”–and while it undoubtedly helps brands stand out and get users’ attention, simply making content interactive doesn’t automatically make it better. You can make a quiz, but if it doesn’t carry the right message or experience for your audience, the uniqueness of the experience will be lost.

When done right, interactive content has far-reaching benefits for your brand’s relationship with your customers–at every stage of their journey.

Marketing and Sales? Meet Your Customer.

Marketers want to deeply understand their target audience. Sales teams want to know as much about their prospects as possible so they can have an effective conversation. Interactive content allows both teams to gain better insight into their customers to support those conversations.

50% of marketers use interactive content to increase conversions, while 33% use it for sales and sales enablement.

(Content Marketing Institute)

Assessments and quizzes, for example, are a great way for marketing teams to collect valuable information about potential customers and pass quality leads on to sales. Simply asking prospects a short series of questions, and providing an enticing supplemental piece of interactive content as the hook (such as an E-book), uncovers data about their pain points, readiness to buy and barriers to purchase that can vastly improve their experience with your brand at the most critical touchpoints.

First, They Know You. Then, They Love You.

An ideal customer experience is one that results in evangelism for your brand. Interactive content has thrown the doors wide open for this type of brand-consumer relationship as it allows users to take some kind of real action–answering questions, experiencing scenarios, and choosing their own path through the information you have to offer. It’s the difference between reading a summary of an event or watching it unfold in real time.

77% of marketers agree that interactive content can have reusable value, resulting in repeat visitors and multiple exposures.

(Content Marketing Institute)

And when your customers take an active role in your brand rather than a passive one, they will come back for more and, ideally, share the experience with others.

So THAT’S What They Did!

What we love about interactive content–and especially content marketing platforms like Uberflip that make it easy to use–is how measurable it is. You might put out a piece of static content, like a white paper, but once the user downloads that content, you only know it’s been downloaded. You don’t know if they read it, what they found most interesting, how much they engaged with it, etc.

93% of marketers find interactive content is effective in educating their buyers.


Interactive content allows you to fully track a user’s consumption of your content. What parts of the infographic did they click on? What topics in your white paper did they find most interesting? Did they make it through your entire quiz? Why did they stop? This type of data is invaluable for learning more about your prospects and how they consume your content.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Because interactive content is so measurable, it provides insight not just into your audience’s consumption behavior, but into the overall effectiveness of your content. If you consistently see users drop out of your quiz or assessment after 5-7 questions, it’s a good indication you need to make it shorter.

51% of marketers agree that interactive content was helpful when tackling business challenges.

(Demand Gen Report)

Content platforms like Uberflip make it simple to not only gain and manage these insights, but quickly and easily make the necessary adjustments to your content without having to create or re-upload new files. You can also A/B test headlines, or select different audiences to view your content. When you know what works best, your content strategy pretty much writes itself.

The ROI of Interactive Content Marketing

A recent Demand Gen Report found that 45% of buyers surveyed said interactive content is one of their top three preferred content types.

Creating interactive content doesn’t have to carry a sense of tedium, either. Uberflip and other content marketing platforms have made it easy to create and manage interactive content, and the deeper insights and actionable data you can gain from this type of content will streamline your entire content marketing effort.

If you’re looking to invest in interactive content in 2019, we suggest you experiment at a level of time and budget commitment that you can manage; once you’ve seen the data and insights, consider increasing the effort.

Interactive content falls far more in line with what consumers expect out of a content experience today. New tools and technology will continue pushing the envelope of content strategy, and if you use them to better connect with your audience, it will pay dividends in the form of high-quality lead gen and marketing ROI.

Want help integrating interactive content into your company’s content strategy? Contact us today!