How to add Google Optimize via Google Tag Manager

Last Updated: August 28, 2021

Table of Contents For How to add Google Optimize via Google Tag Manager

Introduction to Google Optimize

Google Optimize allows you to test the different versions of your web pages and let you know how they are performing against your business objectives.

This tool will monitor the performance of two or many versions of your web pages over a period of time and provide insights about how users are interacting with different versions.

In this article, let us see how to implement the Google Optimize snippet using Google Tag Manager.

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Prerequisites to installing Optimize on your website

  1. GTM snippet code placement
  2. Install Optimize anti-flicker code snippet
  3. Data layer declarations on the pages

GTM snippet code placement

The GTM snippet is small piece of JavaScript code that should be placed on every page that you would like to track.

This code should be placed immediately inside of a head tag. The higher the code is placed, faster it loads. 

It is highly recommended that you place the snippet on head section of your website code. Placing the tag in the <head> section will help you track the percentage of traffic that left before even the page has loaded.

Installing Optimize anti-flicker code snippet

The Optimize anti-flicker snippet should be installed on pages to mitigate the page flicker. The flicker occurs when the elements on the page momentarily ‘jump’ due to the loading of external CSS before default styles.

Installing anti-flicker code on a page ensures loading of the Optimize container asynchronously; hiding the page until the container is ready to show different versions of the same page to the users.

To know more about the installation process and steps read through this Google Optimize documentation.

Note: The anti-flicker snippet should only be installed inline directly on the page and it should not be implemented through a tag management system

Data layer declarations on the pages

Make sure that the data layer declaration for the pages appears before the Optimize page hiding and Tag Manager snippets.

Since we are using the data layer method, and the Optimize code been implemented from the GTM, it is recommended that the data later is initialized on the page first before the Tag Manager and page hiding snippet.

Prerequisites to installing Optimize using Google Tag Manager

Before you set up the Google Optimize tag in your Google Tag Manager account, make sure that you have this information handy.

  1. Google Analytics tracking ID
  2. Google Optimize container ID
  3. Google Analytics variable used for Tag Manager and Analytics tracker settings use the same property ID.

Steps to configure Optimize tags in Google Tag Manager

Step-1: Log in to your Google Tag Manager account and select the account in which you would like to create a Google Optimize tag.

Step-2: Click on the tags on the left-hand side.

GTM Tags

Step-3: Click on the new tag.

New Tag in GTM

Step-4: In the tag configuration, click on the tag type in order to set up the tag.

Tag Configuration

Step-5: Choose Google Optimize from the tag templates available.

Google Optimize Tag Type 1

Step-6: Enter the Optimize container ID and select the Google Analytics settings variable created for the GA pageview tag.

Google Optimize Tag Details

Step-7: Save the tag without any trigger condition attached to it.

No Trigger Selected

Step-8:  Now, navigate back to the tags and select the Google Analytics pageview tag.

GA Pageview Tag

Step-9:  Click on the ‘Advanced settings’ option in the GA pageview tag, as shown below:

GA Advanced Settings

Step-10:  Now, select ‘Tag sequencing’ which is available when you click on the ‘Advanced settings’ option.

Tag Sequencing

Step-11:  When you click on the tag sequencing, you will have two options. ‘Fire a tag before GA pageview tag fires’ or ‘Fire a tag after GA pageview tag fires’. Select first option as highlighted below.

Tag Sequencing options

Step-12:  When you select the tag sequencing to fire a tag before the GA pageview tag, you should now see the ‘Set-up tag’ option.

Setup tag

Step-13: Select the GA Optimize tag which we have created recently.

GA Optimize Tag Sequence

Step-14: In ‘Tag firing options’, make sure that you are selecting ‘Once per page’.

Tag Firing Option

Step-15:  Click ‘Save’ and publish the changes in your GTM container.

You are done setting up your Google Optimize tag using Google Tag Manager!

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