The accurate measurement of digital advertising is fundamental for it to achieve the optimal results and so it relies on robust website tagging to help reach people who have visited a business’s website or app. It’s therefore critical that advertisers have a durable, privacy-centric measurement strategy through sitewide tagging as legacy identifiers such as third-party cookies are phased out.
Tagging helps to strengthen user privacy, keep up with rapidly changing regulations and continue measuring performance and consented modelling insights. Up to now Google has centralised its tagging solutions with Google Tag Manager (an enterprise tag management system), and the global site tag (gtag.js), which lets advertisers send website event data to Google Analytics and Google Ads to help measure the effectiveness of the website and ads.
Google has recently announced the global site tag (gtag.js) is now the ‘Google tag’, which is a single, reusable tag built on top of existing gtag.js implementations. With this change, new and existing gtag.js installations will unlock new capabilities to help to improve data quality and adopt new features without requiring more code. Google claims it will help to confidently measure impact and preserve user trust.
As with the global site tag, the new ‘Google tag’ should be installed on all pages of the business’s website. Existing gtag.js implementations will continue to work and will automatically become the Google tag, so if a global site tag is already on the website, it’s not necessary to update it to use the Google tag. (The new ‘Google tag’ is currently only accessible and configurable from Google Ads and Google Analytics 4).
Advertisers with multiple instances of the global site tag (gtag.js) can now combine those tags and centrally manage their settings in the ‘Google tag’ screens in Google Ads and Google Analytics where it’s currently only accessible and configurable from.
With ‘Google tag’ installations it’s possible to set up another Google product / account or create new conversion actions, instead of configuring additional code each time. For businesses using popular content management systems like HubSpot, Squarespace or Wix, it’s possible to install a new ‘Google tag’ without any code at all.
For advertisers using Google Tag Manager (GTM) there aren’t changes yet, but Google will provide future updates on tighter integration and upgrade paths between the new ‘Google tag’ and GTM.
Google’s upgrade and rebrand of the global site tag to the ‘Google tag’ should provide businesses, both big and small, more privacy-safe measurement capabilities, better data quality, and increased ease of use through more effective management of tags, including these benefits:
- It alleviates the need to implement additional in-page coding to set up every event you want to understand;
- It also alleviates the need for advertisers wanting to set up a second product or account to add an additional line of code to the gtag.js implementation to begin measuring with that second product;
- The newly introduced ‘Google tag’ makes it easier and faster to manage the tags through screens currently in Google Ads and GA4 (and those will expand to other products over time).
You can learn more about how to set up the Google tag.
If you want to know more about how using the simplified Google tag can help your business, including the business insights that come from Google Analytics, please get in touch.