This week’s Adobe Digital Marketing Blog post for Analytics offers insight into Adobe’s plans for Dynamic Tag Management (the recently acquired Satellite tool). I found it most interesting that in 2014 it will support a formal integration of Google’s Universal Analytics, as well the possibility of DTM being made available publicly, not just to Adobe customers. I only wish there were more documentation, samples and other education about this fantastic tool available now.
At last, the good articles about creating and maintaining a web analytics Data Layer for tag management are coming to light. Josh West at Web Analytics Demystified has written an article entitled “Getting the Data Layer Right” and while it does not mention any specific tag management system (TMS), it builds the case for making careful choices when setting up a data layer and reasons for using a data layer rather than relying on query strings or accessing DOM elements directly.
I became aware of Josh’s post when an email arrived from Jan Exner’s Web Analytics for Developers blog, and it contained his commentary ‘”Data Layer” Tips’ which provides additional guidance more closely related to using Adobe SiteCatalyst/Adobe Analytics. This is primarily because he mentions using Processing Rules and Context Variables and s_code.
Enjoy these articles and enjoy the benefits of implementing a data layer for your current or next web analytics project!
The LunaMetrics blog has a great writeup about the web analytics data layer aimed at non-techies. Actually, it’s perfect for techies as well. The vibe that I’m picking up so far is that many folks aren’t using a data layer in their web analytics implementations just yet. But once you master the data layer concept, it opens many new capabilities in web analytics data capture, especially when using a tag management tool.
I initially read about the data layer with regards to Google Tag Manager, and it seemed odd to me that more advanced web analytics tools such as Adobe Analytics and Webtrends weren’t using this method to facilitate data collection. Turns out that some SiteCatalyst implementations had already used this technique, but few people had written publicly about it. (Why?) Recently I used a data layer on my first Adobe Tag Manager implementation and I found it was the best decision I’d ever made since I learned how to configure a hybrid Webtrends data collection setup back in 2006.
So, take a look at the two links above, and feel free to leave a comment below and share your thoughts and questions. As for me, my next mini-project is to implement Google Tag Manager with a data layer on a VPASP ecommerce site. I will pass along my experience with this project in future posts.
Like most shootouts, all tag management players aren’t included, mainly because its about free TM tools, but it’s still a good read: Comparing Three Free Tag Managers: Google Tag Manager, Qubit Open Tag, and DC Storm Tag Manager
In fairness, Adobe Tag Manager and Adobe’s new Dynamic Tag Management (DTM) tools are free but getting access to them is not free because to get them you’ve got to be running Adobe Analytics, which is a paid web analytics platform.
Meanwhile, Tealium is a premier-level tag management tool for web analytics and it is most definitely not free. If you get a demo, you’ll understand why its not free. Read more about Tealium in this detailed blog post.
Once you make the switch to using tag management, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. I look forward to your questions and feedback about tag manager usage and practices!
So apparently Yahoo! Mail thinks it needs to emulate Gmail. Not very bright. If Yahoo users wanted Gmail, they’d use Gmail and not Yahoo! Mail, right!? A couple days ago Yahoo decided to get rid of some of the most useful elements of their user interface, the tabbed calendar and email paradigm. I sure wish they’d roll it all back, especially for paid users of the service – we didn’t ask for these changes! I’ve already sent feedback to Yahoo… what do you think about Yahoo’s changes? (thanks for the rant bandwidth!)
I think the old term for this type of interactive map was ‘Google Mashup’. It’s amazing how terms like ‘mashup’ get created then forgotten. Why bother? Anyway, Amtrak has this new functionality which can help passengers and folks meeting trains to get a good status on train whereabouts, train speed, etc. I’m sure low-key railfans will find it useful as well. Enjoy!
And so this topic remains more on-topic than you’d might expect… Amtrak.com uses SiteCatalyst and Test&Target. While staring at the interactive train tracker, I decided to fire up DigitalPulse to see what came back, and surely three requests are fired.
I just came across this handy code generator created by Alex Moore at Lunametrics. It will help you to understand link tracking with jQuery and event tracking with Google Analytics. But I’ve used it to help me nail down some tracking with SiteCatalyst (Adobe Analytics) a/k/a Omniture. I simply removed the
_gaq.push line and substituted a call to
s.tl(), such as:
Read the comments and you’ll learn about using the code generated by this tool within Google Tag Manager. Thanks Alex and Lunametrics for making this online tool available publicly!
One particularly attractive benefit of using Adobe Tag Manager is that it comes with a worldwide content distribution network (CDN) so you don’t have to worry about cache or load speed issues as you develop your custom tagging. However, when you’re in debug mode you might not enjoy waiting on the CDN to propagate your latest tagging updates before restarting your test process.
The good news is that you don’t have to wait. You can take out the code and host it locally for debugging purposes and quick turnaround. Like the idea? Follow the instructions at this Tag Manager post on Adobe’s blog to speed up the debug process, then paste your newly tested code back into ATM and deploy!
Google Analytics Academy is offering a three-week course hosted by Justin Cutroni starting October 8th. Take a look at the mini-site with all the details. The course is all online, and should take 4-6 hours to complete. It will help you prepare for the GA IQ certification test (not included, of course!).