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I already read a few questions on such as "What is the difference between google tag manager and google analytics?" but haven't seen a question about going from a site already using Event Tracking hard coded to using Tag Manager.

I'm actually redoing the entire website right now from a design perspective to make it much more focused and relevant to our users. As I proceed I'm not sure if I should implement the same Google Analytics I was using which was fairly extensive, or switch to Tag Manager.

I don't do any reports or A/B Testing currently since we're not an eCommerce site. I track all pages as well as some custom events I created to know when someone watches our videos, clicks-through to a dealer website, or downloads a manual.

What steps and considerations should be made? My main goal is to not mess up the existing data.

  • Have you taken a look through this guide? developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/upgrade/…. It briefly walks you through the replacement of different tag types. Just based on my own experiences, GTM is very convenient and powerful and does a good job of taking all the tagging (repetitive or not) out of the site and into one location. – nyuen Oct 28 '14 at 19:36
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You can still track "[...] custom events I created to know when someone watches our videos, clicks-through to a dealer website, or downloads a manual" using Google Tag Manager.

You would use Click Listeners, Link-Click Listeners, Form Submit Listeners and Timer Listeners to trigger your events. Here is a great guide to Auto Event Tracking in Google Tag Manager.

I would set up a test property for your site and test/convert old GA events tracking code to GTM. Once you convert and test everything just flip the switch on the production site.

I would recommend 2 options for testing your implementation of GTM:

1) PREFERRED OPTION - If your hosting is setup for a staging environment then I would set up a new property for your staging site and test everything there. You can create two GAID marcos. One for staging and for your live site. That way when everything is tested all you need to do is switch the GAID macro and publish.

2) You can use Google Tag Manager Debug Mode to see your changes before you publish your tags. Here is a nice summary of how GTM Debug Mode works.

Other useful testing tools:

Google Tag Assistant

Chrome DevTools

  • Could you go into a little more detail about the test property? Do you mean setup a second domain and second analytics account to test everything? – Ryan Oct 29 '14 at 17:27
  • Are you using Universal GA or Classic? – dasickle Oct 29 '14 at 17:41
  • The newer Universal – Ryan Oct 29 '14 at 17:46
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    I updated the answer. Let me know if this helps – dasickle Oct 29 '14 at 18:12
  • Current place is hosting the domain themselves so nothing is setup automatically. We do have two domains though. actualname.com and actualname-web.com --- would I just implement the GTM Snippet on the actualname-web.com? Should I get a new Tracking ID or use the same one for this? – Ryan Nov 4 '14 at 20:43

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