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Alessandro Russo, Instructor - Google Tag Manager (GTM) Crash Course

Alessandro Russo

Tech entrepreneur with 15 years enterprise experience in Software Engineering across multiple sectors, including fashion, TLC, non profit, financial, media, fintech, adtech, SaaS, cloud, and supply chain. Alessandro is the Marketing Director @ E-ducare for Youth LTD. He also has an In depth experience working with large multinational (including fortune 100 and fortune 500) companies: Workday, FDCS, FBD, Version 1, Yellow Pages, and others. He's an Instructor with more than 10.000 students.

Instructor: Alessandro Russo

Learn how to Manage your Marketing Tags the Smart Way

  • Know exactly what Google Tag Manager (GTM) is and how to use its features to manage and simplify tag implementation for marketers, analysts and developers.
  • Manage multiple analytics and marketing tags from a single dashboard with (almost) no help from a developer.
  • Understand what the Data Layer is and how it can be used to unlock the full power of Google Tag Manager.

Duration: 2h 56m

Course Description

In the noisy digital world, data is what really matters. Every day a new or existing vendor releases a new pixel/marketing tag, a short snippet of code that collects information about website visitors and their behaviour on the site, to help analysts, digital marketers, and developers collect more data. The painful problem is that each one of these tags (e.g. Hotjar, Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Linkedin Pixel, Doubleclick Floodlights, and others), generally need to be manually deployed on the website, and typically require some level of Javascript knowledge to be implemented. Hence, it's pretty much mandatory to team up with development teams every single time a new tag needs to be deployed. On top of that, there's always a consistent effort required to configure and manage all these different pixels and tags, and it's hard to have those communicate with each other. This course is about the solution to the above issues, Google Tag Manager. The course covers the inside outs of the latest version of Google Tag Manager (2018). WHAT IS GOOGLE TAG MANAGER AND WHY DO I NEED TO LEARN THAT? Google Tag Manager is a free tool that makes life easier for people struggling with these issues, by providing a centralized dashboard to create and manage every single tag and pixel needed, with little or no help from dev teams (that will be able to focus on what really matters and provide support only or advanced implementations and on a limited number of use cases). Google Tag Manager, or GTM, provides a single Javascript Container that will have to be deployed just once on a given website. From that moment onwards, marketers and analysts will be able to track events, implement new tags, make changes or even remove them from the GTM dashboard, with consistent productivity improvement. GTM offers many features that will be fully illustrated throughout the course, with both simulated and real-world examples. IN THIS COURSE YOU WILL LEARN Master all the Google Tag Manager (GTM) features, including Containers, Workspaces, Tags, Triggers and Variables Setting up a GTM account Create and Manage Containers How to use Google Tag Manager with Google Analytics and track page views How to track links and button clicks with GTM and send data to GA or any other analytics tool How to install the Facebook Conversion/ Retargeting Pixel using Custom Tags How to Manage Versioning and Rollback How to create environments and generate environment-specific containers What is the Data Layer and how it unleashes the real power of Google Tag Manager How to use the Data Layer to manage Dynamic Events on a Website (e.g. Add to Cart) How to implement advanced tagging features like HTML5 Video Tracking What the Preview Mode is, and how to use it to ensure tagging has been done correctly, before deploying to production During the course, you will have the opportunity to test your skills by completing a set of challenges, and interact with your instructor and fellow students, by participating in the course community. WHY YOU SHOULD LEARN FROM ME I am a passionate Tech Entrepreneur with 15 years+ In-Depth Enterprise experience in Software Engineering and Web/Digital Analytics and Marketing across multiple sectors, including Adtech, Fashion, Telecommunication, Financial, Media, Fintech, SaaS, Cloud companies and Supply chains. I am the founder of Webyourmind LIMITED, a software house which today provides Software Development and Tag Management and Troubleshooting services to several clients, and I have personally implemented and troubleshoot tags and pixels for leading technology and media companies. I have developed several courses and can count today more than 10.000 Students around the world, both online an in person. Who is the target audience? Anyone who is in Digital Marketing Anyone who is in Web/Digital Analytics Anyone who wants to learn Google Tag manager I hope to see you inside the course, and I guarantee you I will always make myself available for any question or doubt you might have while attending the class. I am sure you will appreciate the challenges and will start using Google Tag Manager for your business, after completing the course.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Know exactly what Google Tag Manager (GTM) is and how to use its features to manage and simplify tag implementation for Marketers, Analysts and Developers;
  • Manage multiple analytics and marketing tags from a single dashboard with (almost) no help from a developer;
  • Setup a GTM Account;
  • Create a Tag Container and deploy it onto a Website in order to start using GTM; 
  • Create Tags, Triggers, Variables in Google Tag Manager;
  • Interact with the majority, if not all, the features provided by Google Tag Manager;
  • Use Event Tracking to track user behaviour on a website (and its pages) an send relevant information to Google Analytics;
  • Manage Versioning and Rollback;
  • Use the Google Tag Manager Preview mode to test tags before publishing to production;
  • Create different environments to define a Tag deployment pipeline;
  • Understand what the Data Layer is and how it can be used to unlock the full power of Google Tag Manager and send dynamic data;
  • Use Trigger Filters to fire tags only when specific conditions are satisfied; 
  • Master Advanced topics like HTML5 Video Tracking with Custom tags and variables;
  • Use recommended tools for marketers, analysts and developers to monitor tags and debug tagging implementations

Prerequisites and Target Audience

What will students need to know or do before starting this course?

  • No GTM knowledge is required to attend the course
  • Digital marketing/analytics or website development background preferred, but not necessary
  • (Optional) Basic HTML/Javascript knowledge preferred, but not necessary

Who should take this course? Who should not?

  • This course is intended for students with digital marketing / analytics background, but it can be followed by whoever wants to learn Google Tag Manager
  • This course contains valid insights for web developers (or teams) dealing with marketing tags and web analytics implementations 


Module 1: Course Introduction

Lecture 1 Course Overview & Instructor Introduction

Let's kickstart this Google Tag Manager course by providing an overview of the topics we will encounter in each module. The Instructor, Alessandro Russo, will introduce himself and provide the students with brief information about his background and why he came up with this course.

Lecture 2 What is Google Tag Manager (GTM)?

In this lecture we will meet Google Tag Manager for the first time. The instructor will illustrate what are the main benefits of GTM, why the tool is useful for Marketers, Developers and Analytics teams and how traditional tag implementation differs compared to managing it via Google Tag Manager.

Module 2: Entering Google Tag Manager

Lecture 3 Setup a GTM Account

In this lecture the students will learn how to create a Google Tag Manager account and complete the initial configuration.

Lecture 4 Containers & Container Types

The student will learn what is a GTM Container and how it represents the foundation to manage marketing tags on a website. The instructor will conclude the lecture by providing an overview of the different types of available containers.

Lecture 5 Create and Deploy our first Container

By the end of this lecture, the student will be able to create and deploy a GTM Container on a Website, and verify that it has been deployed correctly.

Lecture 6 The Admin Panel

The instructor will discuss the different features available in the GTM Administration Panel.

Lecture 7 The Workspace Panel

The Workspace Panel offers several kind of features. In this lecture the instructor illustrates each feature and discuss in details the most used ones.

Quiz 1 Exercise: Setup a GTM account and publish your first container (See Description)

It's time to face the first challenge of the course and setup your own Google Tag Manager account. In order to complete this exercise, you are required to complete the following: - Visit https://tagmanager.google.com and Signup for a Google Tag Manager Account; - Login to your Google Tag Manager and configure your account; - Visit the external codepen resource attached (in this exercise) and: - Click on "FORK" in the top right corner, on the codepen page (you might be asked to create your codepen account to do so); - After forking the Form page, click on "Settings", in the top right menu bar; - Create a new Container on GTM (I recommend to use 2 tabs, one for GTM and one for Codepen); - Copy the Container code that goes within the <head></head> tags in the right section under your codepen settings; - Replace my comment on the codepen page with your container code that goes in the <body> tags; - Save your codepen; - Publish your container on GTM; - Verify that the "Container Not Published" message on GTM disappeared If you get stuck anywhere, watch again the lectures of this section, or contact the instructor in case you have doubts.

Lecture 8 Create and Manage Workspaces

In this lecture, the student will learn how to Create/Manage and Delete Workspaces inside a Google Tag Manager container.

Module 3: Tags Implementation 101: Let's Unleash the Power of GTM (Part 1)

Lecture 9 Our First Tag: Google Analytics (GA)

Google Tag Manager offers unlimited possibilities when it comes to manage marketing tags. In this lecture the student will learn to create a Google Universal Analytics Tag via the GTM tag creation wizard.

Lecture 10 Testing our Tags: The Preview Mode

Google Tag Manager offers a powerful tool to test any change within a Workspace, before publishing it to a specific website: The Preview Mode. In this lecture the students will learn to use the preview mode to test their tags before deploying to a live website and ensure everything works as expected.

Lecture 11 Share Preview and Tags Deployment

In this lecture the student will learn how to publish triggers, variables and tags to a live website GTM Container. The instructor demonstrates how GTM provides a feature to Share a Preview with a team. The student will also start grasping the concept of Versioning, which will be covered in more details during the course.

Lecture 12 Tags and Tag Types

In this lecture the student will learn what are the different Tag Types present in Google Tag Manager. The instructor will illustrate how the tool offers a set of predefined parameters that can be configured for the majority of marketing tags, and will mention how to deal with pixels an tags not present in GTM. The Custom Tag topic will be discussed more in-depth In Module 5.

Lecture 13 Triggers, Variables and Events

The instructor will discuss in depth how to use Variables and Triggers to determine how to fire a specific tag.

Lecture 14 Event Tracking with GTM and Google Analytics

In this lecture the instructor will teach how to send events to Google Analytics alongside relevant data. The student will learn how to determine which data will be sent alongside an event, how to use the "Real Time Events" view in GA and how to make sure events are sent correctly.

Quiz 2 Track a click event with GTM and Google Analytics

You are required to: 1. Setup a Google Analytics account (using the same account you have used for GTM); 2. On Google Tag Manager, create a new Workspace; 3. After switching to your newly created workspace, make sure to: a. Create a Universal Analytics Tag, properly configured in order to track a click EVENT; b. Create a Click Trigger (and enable any variable you might need) that will fire the tag whenever a user clicks on any point of your codepen page (which you have created during your first exercise); c. Make sure to use the PREVIEW MODE to test your changes; d. Verify that when a user clicks on any part of your codepen page, the GA tag fires correctly; e. Submit your changes to the LIVE environment; 4. Well done!

Quiz 3 Track a Pageview Event with GTM and Google Analytics

Following a similar process to what you have done in the previous quiz, try to implement a Pageview Event and send data to GA when a user visits your codepen URL.

Module 4: Tags Implementation 101: Let's Unleash the Power of GTM (Part 2)

Lecture 15 Trigger Firing Conditions: Track Click Events on a Specific Element

In this lecture, the student will learn how to trigger a Google Analytics Tag when a user clicks on a specific element on the page (a button). The instructor will also show what click events are and how to make sure to avoid losing important information in GTM Previews on page refresh.

Lecture 16 Trigger Firing Conditions: Track Pageview events on certain pages

The student will learn how to fire tags only on pages satisfying certain conditions. Similarly to the example shown in the previous lecture, the instructor will use a real world website to illustrate the concepts.

Lecture 17 Version Management: Submit Tags to Production

After grasping the concept of versioning in the previous lecture, the student will now acquire more in-depth experience on versioning in GTM.

Lecture 18 Environments

The instructor will illustrate how to create and manage different environments in Google Tag Manager, and how to generate and deploy containers that are specific to a given environment.

Lecture 19 When everything goes wrong: Versioning and Rollback

The student will learn how to rollback a Workspace to a previous Version, in order to remove unwanted changes.

Quiz 4 Track a click on a CTA (Call To Action) Button

You are required to: 1. Implement a Trigger which fires a tag (you can use the same tag you have created in the previous exercise) when a user clicks on the red "SUBMIT" button; 2. The Tag should NOT fire when a user clicks any other element; 3. Once you finish, submit your changes;

Module 5: A Step Further: Advanced Implementations in GTM

Lecture 20 Custom HTML Tags

The instructor will explain how to use Custom HTML Tags to implement marketing tags that are not part of the standard Google Tag Manager suite, as well as inject HTML/Javascript code in a website.

Lecture 21 Custom Variables

In this lecture, the student will learn how to create custom variables, and specifically Javascript based Variables, to determine if an HTML5 VIdeo is present on a page. The instructor will then explain how to fire a tag based on the value of the custom variable.

Lecture 22 Install the Facebook Pixel with Google Tag Manager

The student will create a Custom Tag in order to deploy a Facebook Pixel in Google Tag Manager. The instructor will also give a brief introduction on what a Facebook Pixel is, and its main features.

Lecture 23 The Data Layer

The instructor will illustrate one of the most advanced and important features in Google Tag Manager, the data layer. In this lecture the student will learn what the Data Layer is, how it can unlock the full power of Google Tag Manager and help marketers in gathering custom data from user interactions, dynamic conditions and other useful scenarios.

Lecture 24 Advanced Custom Event Tracking: HTML5 Videos

The student will learn to use all the concepts learned so far, and specifically the advanced ones, to track PLAY events on HTML5 Video, and send to Google Analytics information concerning the Event itself, for example the name of the video that the visitor viewed, and other important data.

Lecture 25 (BONUS LECTURE) Useful Tools: Google Tag Assistant and Ghostery (for Chrome)

In this Bonus lecture, the instructor will explain how to use 2 powerful Chrome Extensions that will be valuable allies for Digital Marketers and whoever deal with Tags on daily basis: Google Tag Assistant and Ghostery.

Quiz 5 The Final Test: Track Play and Pause events on in-page HTML5 Videos

Congratulations, you have reached the end of the course. Time to face one last challenge. This time you will use all the skills acquired during this course to: - Create a new GTM container; - Fork the codepen on https://codepen.io/WebYourMind/pen/pKyJme and configure it properly with your Container settings; - Create a new Workspace; - Inside the Workspace, do the following: a. Create a Custom HTML Tag that will fire when a user clicks play on the HTML5 video; b. Create a Custom HTML Tag that will fire when a user clicks pause on the HTML5 video; Hint: You will definitely need to create some code to push custom events into the data layer (as we did in this module). I have attached a couple of EXAMPLE resources to the quiz. Make sure to adapt those to suit your needs. If you don't have javascript knowledge, watch again the lecture in the module where I explain how to read the code. Good luck, and thanks for being such a valuable student!

Module 6: Summary and Conclusion

Lecture 26 Congratulations

This is the final lecture of the course. The instructor will say goodbye to the students and wrap up the course.


1 Review

Daniel L

July, 2018

This course has by far exceeded my expectations! I already had a little background in Google Tag Manager but since its such a complex tag management system I needed a clearer picture on how variables, tags and triggers worked together. I love how the course takes you through the set up but also through the more complex aspects such as Custom HTML tags and Custom variables. While it does show you how to implement some useful tags, I appreciated how it gave a broad overview on what Google Tag Manager does and really shows you how detailed you can get with your tagging. It also went into some aspects like Environments that I didn't even know existed. Thank you!