Mastering Google Tag Assistant

Google Tag Assistant is a free tool for the Google Chrome browser. This extension is very useful for those who work with contextual advertising ‒ it saves system resources and works quickly.

Its main functions are as follows:

  1. Quickly identify pages that don’t have Google Analytics code installed.
  2. Diagnose implementation issues and get bug reports during the tagging phase.
  3. See which ones are triggered and which data are being transmitted.
  4. Minimize the collection of corrupted data, troubleshoot.
  5. Record a sequence of actions that users take on a site in order to identify configuration issues.
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Fig. 1 ‒ What Tag Assistant checks

What tags does Google Tag Assistant work with:

  • Google Analytics;
  • Google Ads conversion tracking tag;
  • Google Tag Manager;
  • remarketing tag
  • and others.

1. Configuring Google Tag Assistant

Install the Google Tag Assistant extension from the Chrome web store.

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Fig. 2 ‒ Tag Assistant in the Chrome store

Install and enable Google Tag Assistant by clicking on the icon at the top, to the right of the address bar.

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Fig. 3 ‒ Installing Tag Assistant

By default, the extension is disabled, so when you click on the blue icon, click “Enable” at the bottom left of the drop-down window. After refreshing the page, the tool will work.

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Fig. 4 ‒ Select the desired Tag Assistant option

Click on the tool icon, select “Parameters” and enter the domain you want to check. The two bottom “checkboxes” should be active. The first one is responsible for writing the data of the page that opens. The second one is for automatically opening the report, otherwise you will have to open it manually.

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Fig. 5 ‒ Choosing a domain for tag tracking

The extension icon changes color and will show different numbers depending on the detected tags and their number:

  • red will indicate a critical error. Such a tag can distort data in reports and may not work properly.
  • yellow ‒ the placement of such a tag can lead to consequences that are difficult to foresee;
  • blue ‒ there are minor errors in the tag or you can give additional tips on optimizing tags;
  • green ‒ no errors were found, all tags are working.
  1. Next, change the level of detail for all tags (please ask for details).
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Fig. 6 ‒ Change the level of detail of tags from “Default” to “Detailed Information”

  1. The next item is to manually enable “Autocheck” and “Debug GA”.
    The first parameter enables the extension on all Chrome tabs, the second replaces the Google Analytics Debugger (debugging the Google Analytics code without changing the tracking code itself).
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Fig. 7 ‒ The final steps of setting up Google Tag Assistant

The instrument setup is complete. As you can see, it is very simple.
Now let’s talk about how to analyze the results of this diagnosis.

2. How to interpret Google Tag Assistant results

Open the Assistant result in a new window and look at the color of the icons. To view information related to a specific tag, click on the tag name in this list.

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Fig. 8 ‒ Google Tag Assistant results

As you can see from the screenshot with an example, there are no questions about Google Tag Manager in this case – everything works correctly.

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Fig. 9 ‒ Report on tags on the Google Tag Assistant page

The Metadata tab shows the code version, site ID, and Google Tag Manager container.
The Code Snippet displays a snippet of code that is important for troubleshooting.
The “Where to optimize” subsection displays general notices (or errors, if any) with links to help articles that can help fix this. Let’s see what the problem is with the blue icon.

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Fig. 10 ‒ Problem spot found by Google Tag Assistant

Thus, we see that 2 tags are identified on the site ‒ Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. No serious errors were found: Non-standard implementation, as explained by Google, does not in any way affect the operation of tags.

3. Transition recording

You can use Google Tag Assistant Recordings to test if Analytics tracking is working properly on a specific site. Before using it, you need to identify the main transition stages that should be recorded.

They usually include visiting certain pages on this site or other web resources that contain links to a page. So, for online stores, this sequence of actions may include visiting the checkout pages.
After enabling recording you need to reload the current page.

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Fig. 11 ‒ Google Tag Assistant Recordings feature

After reviewing the installation and interpretation of the results of the Google Tag Assistant extension, we see that this tool will be useful for any work with tags and saves specialists a lot of time.
It should be noted that the Google Tag Assistant extension does not track user activity on the Web and does not send data to third parties. The tool only checks the tags on the pages visited by users and shows the results.

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