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What is Google Tag Assistant and how to use it

Published
May 29, 2023

In today's digital landscape, effective tracking and optimization of online marketing efforts are essential for success. We’ve already described that server Google Tag Manager and server-side tracking are a must have if you want to improve your pagespeed and make your tracking accurate and secure. 

If you are a newbie in the analytical world or have just started implementing tracking on your website - you may face some challenges. That's where Google Tag Assistant comes into play.

In this article, we will delve into the fundamentals of Google Tag Assistant, exploring its features and explaining how to utilize this indispensable tool to maximize the efficiency of your online tracking and advertising campaigns.

What is Google Tag Assistant

Google Tag Assistant is a tool that enables website owners and digital marketers to ensure the smooth functioning and accuracy of tags in Google Tag Manager. With the rapid evolution of online analytics and advertising, it has become crucial to have a reliable means of validating the implementation of these tags. Google Tag Assistant simplifies this process by providing real-time feedback and comprehensive diagnostic reports, allowing users to identify and rectify any tagging errors quickly. 

google tag assistant

A tag is a snippet of code or configuration that allows you to collect data and track specific events or actions on your website. It is a fundamental component of Google Tag Manager's functionality and helps you manage and deploy various tracking and marketing tools without directly modifying your website's code.

When you create a tag in Google Tag Manager, you specify its type, such as Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, AdWords Conversion Tracking, or any custom HTML or JavaScript code. Each tag type has its own configuration options and requirements.

Key features and functions of Google Tag Assistant:

1. Tag Validation: Google Tag Assistant automatically scans the pages of your website and checks for the presence and correctness of Google tags. It verifies if the tags are properly installed and configured, ensuring that they are functioning as intended.

google tag assistant tag validation

2. Real-Time Monitoring: real-time feedback on the firing and behavior of tags as you navigate through your website. It helps you identify any issues or errors related to tag firing, such as missing or duplicated tags.

3. Diagnostic Messages: detailed diagnostic messages to help you understand and resolve any problems with your tags. It offers suggestions and recommendations for fixing issues, allowing you to ensure accurate data collection and tracking.

4. Tag Recording: record a browsing session and capture the tags that fire during that session. This feature is useful for analyzing the firing sequence and behavior of tags and identifying any potential conflicts or issues.

tag recording

5. Tag Performance: The extension provides insights into the performance of your tags, including load times and the impact on page speed. It helps you assess the efficiency of your tag implementation and optimize the overall performance of your website.

6. Compatibility Checks: Google Tag Assistant checks for compatibility issues between different tags, ensuring they work harmoniously together without conflicts. It also alerts you to any conflicts with other extensions or scripts that may affect tag functionality.

7. Multiple Environments: it supports different environments, allowing you to test your tags in various scenarios, such as development, staging, or production environments. This helps ensure the proper functioning of tags across different stages of your website.

How to get started with Google Tag Assistant

Follow these steps:

1. Install the Extension:

  • Open your Google Chrome browser.
  • Go to the Chrome Web Store.
  • Search for "Google Tag Assistant" in the search bar.
  • Click on the "Add to Chrome" button next to the extension.
  • Confirm the installation by clicking "Add extension" in the pop-up window.

2. Enable the Extension:

  • Once the extension is installed, you will see the Google Tag Assistant icon added to your browser's toolbar (usually, at the top right).
  • Click on the Tag Assistant icon to activate the extension.

3. Navigate to Your Website:

  • Go to the website where you want to check the tags.
  • Ensure that you have the Google Tag Manager container code or other relevant tags implemented on the site.

4. Analyze Tags:

  • Click on the Tag Assistant icon in your browser's toolbar.
  • A pop-up window will appear, showing a list of detected tags on the current page.
  • The tags will be color-coded based on their status: green for correctly implemented tags, yellow for potential issues, and red for critical issues.

5. Review Diagnostic Messages:

  • Click on a specific tag in the Tag Assistant pop-up window to view detailed diagnostic messages and suggestions for resolving issues.
  • The diagnostic messages will provide insights into tag implementation errors, conflicts, or other issues that need attention.

6. Record a Browsing Session (Optional):

  • If you want to capture and analyze the firing behavior of tags during a specific browsing session, you can click the "Record" button in the Tag Assistant pop-up window.
  • Navigate through your website as you normally would while the recording is active.
  • After you finish recording, click the "Stop" button to end the session.

7. Review Performance and Compatibility:

  • In addition to validating tags, Google Tag Assistant also provides information on tag performance and compatibility with other extensions or scripts.
  • Use the information provided to optimize the performance of your tags and address any conflicts.

Remember to refresh the page or navigate to different pages on your website to capture the firing of various tags and get a comprehensive analysis using Google Tag Assistant.

Does Google Tag Assistant help with server-side tracking?

No, Google Tag Assistant is primarily designed to assist with client-side tracking implementations. It focuses on validating and troubleshooting tags that are implemented within the browser environment, such as tags managed by Google Tag Manager or other client-side tags like Google Analytics or Google Ads conversion tracking.

Server-side tracking, on the other hand, involves collecting and processing data on the server before it reaches the user's browser. This type of tracking typically involves implementing tracking codes or scripts directly on the server-side infrastructure.

Google Tag Assistant is not specifically designed to validate or troubleshoot server-side tracking implementations. Its functionality is limited to the analysis of tags within the browser environment.

For server-side tracking implementations, you may need to rely on other debugging and monitoring tools or consult the documentation and resources specific to the server-side tracking solution you are using.

Conclusion

Now you can start using Google Tag Assistant to validate and troubleshoot the implementation of tags on your website, ensuring accurate data collection and tracking.

And if you’ve got some questions regarding server-side tracking - please don’t hesitate to contact our support.

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