Get lead scoring data right in Google Analytics with Google Tag Manager

Ruth Burr Reedy, VP of strategy at UpBuild, on the benefits of setting up lead scoring in Google Analytics and the steps to get there.

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Ruth Burr Reedy, VP Strategy at UpBuild
Ruth Burr Reedy, VP strategy at UpBuild speaking at MarTech Conference 2019 in Boston.

“These are the wrong kind of leads.”

Sound familiar? If you’re a lead generation marketer, it’s an unwritten right of passage to get that complaint from your sales team.

Perhaps you are generating more leads, but they’re coming from higher funnel campaigns, and sales isn’t seeing them convert like quickly enough. “Top of funnel marketing means you’ll get top of funnel leads,” said Ruth Burr Reedy, VP of strategy at digital marketing agency UpBuild, during a talk at our Martech Conference in Boston last month. Those higher funnel leads will, by their very nature, need more touches to convert to sales. “If the sales team is not expecting them, they’ll be unprepared to deal with them,” said Burr Reedy.

Expectation-setting is critical when marketing teams run higher funnel lead gen campaigns. To help marketers get a claear sense of how their campaigns are performing, the touches involved in converting certain leads and other insights, Burr Reedy laid out a framework for setting up lead scoring for attribution in Google Analytics. This can provide a better picture than what you get in your CRM. “Attribution in CRM can be really confusing and not snapshot of reality,” she said.

How to get started

First, talk to the sales team about how they qualify leads. “If you press them,” said Burr Reedy, “they’ll tell you they look at one or two dimensions — often title, company revenue or company size.” Then agree on the thresholds for those dimensions that qualify a lead as hot, warm or cold. Be sure you’re capturing these criteria in your forms.

Establish with sales the criteria for each lead type.

Once you know the fields you’ll be tracking, using your browser developer tools, get the field ID for each. Then, in GTM create a custom JavaScript variable for the ID with getElementById or getElementByName.

Test your custom variables in the GTM console and in preview mode to be sure they’re returning the data you want. (If you want to track fields from a dropdown list on your forms, Burr Reedy recommends Simo Ahava’s blog post for tips.) Of course, be very sure you’re not collecting personally identifiable information (PII).

Next, in GTM, create Triggers for each lead type — hot, warm, cold — and then Event Tags for each one.

Configure Triggers in Google Tag Manager for hot, warm, cold leads.

Establish and document naming conventions for capturing your lead criteria. Burr Reedy suggests putting lead type criteria right in your Event Labels in GTM for clearer reporting and continuity.

Document your naming conventions.

How to use the lead scoring data in Google Analytics

Once you have this set up, you’ll be able to get a much better picture of how these leads perform from within Google Analytics.

See customer pathing to understand how long the leads take to convert. Share this information with sales to help set expectations as well as get a better understanding of where you should focus your efforts by seeing which referral sources drive a disproportionate share of hot/warm leads that convert. You can also use this information to find on-page optimization opportunities. Look at landing page reporting in Analytics to see which pages drive hot/warm leads and which pages only drive cold leads.

Capture lead scoring data in Google Analytics to better inform your marketing efforts and communication with sales.

To make this work consistently, said Burr Reedy, “You need to have a good system for managing all of your IDs. When a form is changed, be sure there is a process for notifying and capturing those changes. Be consistent with naming conventions.” This requires tight orchestration between any internal and external teams involved in any piece of the process.

Once it’s up and running, marketing will have a much more accessible and real-time view into the lead performance to inform their campaigns, site content and communication with sales.

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Simplifying Google Analytics configuration with Google Tag Manager

Using analytics through GTM allows you to simplify the code in place on your site and quickly set up advanced features like cross-domain tracking.

The post Simplifying Google Analytics configuration with Google Tag Manager appeared first on Marketing Land.

Google Analytics is a crucial part of any online marketer’s toolbox. Getting analytics data starts with a proper installation of the tracking code. Thankfully, Google Tag Manager makes this process simple, even when modifications to the Analytics code are required.

Google Tag Manager (GTM) allows you to deploy Google Analytics tracking without adding any further code to your website. Extensive configuration options allow you to tweak the setup based on your needs.

In this article, I’ll cover how to set up Google Analytics through GTM, along with some tips for customization based on your needs.

Installing a global Google Analytics tag

Navigate to your desired GTM account and container. From the Overview screen, select “Add a new tag.”

Next, click within the Tag Configuration box to choose a tag type. Select “Google Analytics: Universal Analytics.”

Leave the “Track Type” dropdown set to “Page View.” Next, under “Google Analytics Settings,” choose “New Variable.”

Now, you’ll create a variable that includes your unique Google Analytics Tracking ID. After a one-time setup, you’ll be able to reuse this variable in any future GA tags. You can also customize settings for the variable under “Advanced Configuration,” or override settings within a specific tag by checking the “Enable overriding settings” box.

Find your Tracking ID (you can locate this quickly by going to Tracking Info > Tracking Code within the Admin section of your GA account) and paste it into the respective field in GTM. Name and save the variable.

Now, return to editing your tag and select the GA variable you created.

Next, click within the Triggering section to choose which pages you want the tag to appear on. To deploy globally wherever your GTM code is in place, select “All Pages.” Submit changes to push your tag live.

Event tracking

Events are incredibly useful in Google Analytics to track any interactions that aren’t registered by default. Some possible actions include clicks on elements within pages, scroll activity, file downloads, video views, and form submissions.

To fire an event, choose “Event” from the “Track Type” dropdown when creating your GA tag. Next, fill in the fields with the appropriate parameters for your event.

For instance, in this example, we’re tracking a whitepaper download. Our fields include:

  • Category: “Whitepaper”
  • Action: “Download”
  • Label: “Blue Whitepaper”

Also note the Non-Interaction Hit dropdown. By default, when set to “False,” the event will count as an interaction, meaning the session won’t be considered a bounce if the user completes the associated action. If you set this dropdown to “True,” a user could complete the action but still count as a bounce if they leave the page before doing anything else.

Cross-domain tracking

If you’re using the same Google Analytics account across multiple domains, you should enable cross-domain tracking to ensure that users are being tracked properly when going from one domain to another. Otherwise, they’ll be seen as separate visitors to each domain.

First, under “More Settings” for your GA variable, open the “Fields to Set” section. Type “allowLinker” for Field Name and “true” for Value.

Next, further down in the “More Settings” options, click the “Cross Domain Tracking” dropdown. In the “Auto Link Domains” field, insert all domains you’d like to track, separated by commas.

If you’re using a form that takes a user to another domain upon submission, you’ll also want to choose “True” in the “Decorate Forms” dropdown.

Save the variable and submit to push live. You should now see unified reporting across domains, eliminating duplication of user counts if the same people visit multiple sites with your GA tag.

Enhanced link attribution

Google offers a handy Page Analytics Chrome extension, which allows you to visualize click data for links on your site. You can see how many clicks occurred on each link, as well as what percentage of total clicks for a page went to each.

Unfortunately, by default, this report groups together counts for any links going to the same URL. So if you link to the same URL from both a top navigation bar and your site’s footer, each link will show the same click count.

Thankfully, a simple setting change allows you to differentiate between clicks on different elements. When editing your Google Analytics variable, look for the “More Settings” option below where you entered your Tracking ID.

Within the options that appear, click “Advanced Configuration.” You’ll now see a dropdown labeled “Enable Enhanced Link Attribution.” Select “True” here.

Once you’ve saved and published this change, you’ll now see unique counts for each link in the Page Analytics report.


Google Tag Manager offers an extensive integration with Google Analytics, allowing you to configure anything from installing the default code to covering advanced tracking scenarios. Setting up Analytics through GTM allows you to simplify the code in place on your site, as well as easily allow access to tweak settings without requiring development updates. You can quickly set up advanced features like cross-domain tracking.

If you haven’t done so yet, make GTM a part of your workflow for setting up Google Analytics implementations. Explore advanced options to customize as needed. You’ll save time and reduce friction with developers.

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