No Code Required: Auto-Event Tracking with Google Tag Manager

Thursday, October 10, 2013 | 9:38 AM

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We’re excited to announce that Google Tag Manager has publicly launched Auto-Event Tracking, which lets you measure events happening on the page without writing HTML or Javascript. Those of you measuring events in Tag Manager today will already have minds racing with the possibilities - skip ahead to the screenshot. Everyone else, read on.


As sites become more dynamic and want to understand users’ site experiences in more detail, business owners need to know more: how long are visitors staying on a particular page? How are they interacting with interactive elements like image carousels? How many are clicking the Contact Me button? How many are clicking outbound links? Increasingly, site analytics are incomplete without answers to questions like these.

Unfortunately, until now, answering these questions required adding custom Javascript code to your website to tell Google Analytics when the event occurred. Google Tag Manager users also needed to modify the HTML of each page where they wanted to track an event. That means every time you want to track something new, or change the way you track something, you need to modify site code directly (or, in some cases, ask another colleague to do it for you.) And slower deployment of measurement campaigns directly impacts your ROI.

With Google Tag Manager’s launch of Auto-Event Tracking, we’re excited to announce a solution that provides the power of event tracking without needing to write code. By using the new Event Listener tag, you can tell Tag Manager when you want to listen for events, and then write detailed rules for what to do when an event happens. See an example of listening for form submits here:


Once you have your event listener set up, you can have tags fire based on form submits using a rule that looks for the event gtm.formSubmit. (Of course, Tag Manager supports more than form submits: it also includes clicks and timer events.) You can also make sure you’re getting the right form by using our Auto-Event Variable macros that let you narrow things down with attributes like the element ID and the form target.

The end result: you can deploy event tracking to your site and send event tracking data to Google Analytics without adding any code to your site. You can deploy measurement campaigns faster, and not writing custom code makes your solutions more robust.

Of course, it’s easiest to see the whole picture by walking through a full example. Check out the following resources for more:
We’re looking forward to getting your feedback - let us know what you think!

Posted by Lukas Bergstrom, Google Tag Manager PM