A simple and non-technical explanation especially for small business websites
Google global site tag (gtag.js) plays a key role in helping you retrieve important data about your website and marketing efforts online.
In simple terms, we can call it a script or a tagging framework that sends data related to user activity to Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Google Marketing Platform. The data are then transformed into visual format through graphs that help you understand more about user behavior on your website as well as information about your Google ads, in case you advertise on Google through pay-per-click ads.
If you are viewing the statistics of your website traffic in Google Analytics then you already have a similar script added to your site. Either your website developer implemented that script or maybe you did that by following the Google Analytics process. At the end of this post, I will show you a simple way to integrate Google Analytics and get advanced statistics without the help of a developer.
In a similar fashion to Google global site tag (gtag.js) the existing script on your website sends data about user behavior in Analytics which then is transformed to the various stats and graphs that you can view about your website.
Before I describe what gtag.js does it is helpful I believe to first remind or educate you, in case you don’t know, what the simple integration of Google Analytics script can help you find out about your website. This way once you can then very easily understand and compare what can be done with gtag.js, which is essentially an upgrade on the existing way you track user activity on your website.
Judging based on my experience I would say that the majority of the sites are only using the simple type of integration and therefore only gather basic information about user activity on their site.
So here are some basic things you can do with the simple integration of Google Analytics:
- View number of total of users, new users, return users, and pageviews
- View the pages from where users exit your website
- View the bounce rate (people visiting only one page on your site and then leaving)
- View time users remain on the website or on a page
- View the source of traffic (direct, search engines, social media, etc)
These are just some of the basic traffic analysis you can do. There’s a lot more of course.
In addition, if you get the help of a Google Analytics Expert and/or the help of a developer with Google Analytics customization knowledge you can also deploy Google Analytics tags that will measure specific events such as:
- Track scrolling on-page to identify how much of the content your users read,
- Monitor form submissions,
- Conduct surveys,
- Generating heat maps to find out what grabs user attention,
Why install the Google global site tag
First of all consider it as an upgrade to the existing analytics.js script you might probably have on your site.
As per Google “Many sites and applications use outdated measurement libraries to send data to Google Analytics. It is strongly recommended that you upgrade to use a modern measurement library”.
Do note that a number of Analytics experts recommend that there is no need to upgrade if your existing Google Analytics setup includes all the necessary in order to properly track events on your website.
Knowing personally though that most small businesses have not yet even customized the basics with regard to Google Analytics, the Google global site tag would be of benefit to them if installed, as it would help them take their analysis to the next level.
If you are only checking how many visitors are coming to your site daily or weekly you better change your approach. Why? Because it doesn’t really matter. What matters is how many leads you generate. In order to generate leads or makes sales you must be looking at different metrics which indicate whether you provide a good user experience.
The Google global site tag (gtag.js) is important for this purpose. The problem with most small business owners is that they don’t really know the power of Google Analytics in revealing important information about their market and potential clients.
Fact is though that is important to know crucial metrics about your website as its crucial to know financial data. They are equally the same in terms of importance today. If you don’t know what’s happening on your website and why users do not convert then you are simply sending potential clients away.
How to easily install and use Google global site tag (gtag.js)
If you are website is based on the WordPress platform like most website then there is an easy way to install Google global site tag but also to easily get all the important metrics you need inside your WordPress dashboard.
The Monsterinsights plugin which is used by more than 2 million professionals and by brands such as Microsoft and Bloomberg allow you to easily install it.
Even if you have already setup tracking on your website based on the previous version analytics.js, MonsterInsights will automatically detect analytics.js events and pass them through the Global Site Tag (gtag.js).
Installing Monsterinsights will allow you to easily setup custom events in order to track important metrics about your website and understand how website visitors interact with the buttons, forms and other elements on your website.
I have written a review on Monsterinsights in case you want to have a look. Alternatively you can visit the Monsterinsights website for more information. Pricing starts from $199 per year but using this 50% discount coupon you can get it for only $99.50.