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Google Announces 5 Changes Coming To Mobile Search
At today’s Google’s Search On conference, the company announced it’s rolling out five significant changes to how people search on mobile.
Starting today on the Google app for iOS, you’ll see shortcuts to various actions you can perform other than typing in a traditional search query.
In the coming months, Google is upgrading the mobile search bar with features that will help users find more relevant resultHowway Google displays results on mobile is about to change, becoming more visual with a greater focus on images and video.
Here’s more information on the updates rolling out today and in the near future.2. Google Search Shortcuts
There are many ways to search Google beyond typing in a text query.
You can find products by uploading screenshots, translate text with Google Lens, or even find songs by humming into the microphone.
Now, on the Google app for iOS, all the advanced methods of searching Google will be more apparent with tappable shortcuts.
See an example below of what they look like:Screenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022. 2. Results In The Search Bar
Google is making finding things in mobile search even faster by displaying links to results in the search bar.
When you start typing, Google will begin populating results before you submit the query
In the example below, you can see Google displaying a link to a location page in the search bar:Screenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022.
This feature is scheduled to roll out in the coming months.3. Enhanced Query Refinements
Google is making it easier to find the most relevant results by displaying an assortment of query refinements.
As you type a query into the mobile search bar, Google will offer ideas to make your question more specific.
In the example below, you can see Google suggesting different ways to expand on the query “best Mexico cities”:Screenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022. 4. Google Web Stories
Google is making mobile search more visual with deeper integration of Google Web Stories
Google states in an announcement:
“So we’re also making it easier to explore a subject by highlighting the most relevant and helpful information, including content from creators on the open web. For topics like cities, you may see visual stories and short videos from people who have visited, tips on how to explore the city, things to do, how to get there and other important aspects you might want to know about as you plan your travels.”
Here’s an example of what the new layout will look like.Screenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022.
The way content is displayed almost looks like iOS widgets.
You can tap on the story to open it in full-screen mode.Screenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022. 5. Combining Text, Images, & Video
Google is turning mobile search results pages into an endless feed of discovery.
You’ll no longer have to toggle between the Web, Images, and Video tabs, as Google will display it all on the front page.Screenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022.
Google describes this combination of text, images, and video on the same page as a “reimagining” of the way it delivers search results:
“We’re also reimagining the way we display results to better reflect the ways people explore topics. You’ll see the most relevant content, from a variety of sources, no matter what format the information comes in — whether that’s text, images or video.”
Additionally, you’ll have the option to continue scrolling to explore related queries.
The example below shows the bottom of a search page where you can choose to get more results for your query by tapping “More search results.” Or you explore the query “historic sites in Oaxaca” by scrolling vertically.Screenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022.
These new ways to explore information in mobile search are rolling out in the next few months.
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Google Tag Manager: A GA4 Beginners Guide
Learning a new skill, like Google Analytics 4, is intimidating. Add to this the fact that there’s a looming deadline, and you can’t afford to be dragging your feet on getting started.
I’m sharing an easy-to-follow beginners guide for setting up GA4 using Google Tag Manager to get you up and running.
In it, we’ll take a look at how Google Tag Manager works, followed by an easy five-step GA4 setup tutorial with pictures.Google Tag Manager Defined
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free tag management solution that allows you to add and edit segments of code (tags) that collect and send data to Google Analytics.
For example, “back in the day,” marketers would receive a segment of code from a third-party vendor – like Facebook Ads.
This code would collect and send information about how users from Facebook Ads engaged with the site back to Facebook.
Site owners and marketers relied heavily on developers to install the code directly on the website.
But if we use Google Tag Manager, all we need to do is place one snippet of code on the website, and that container acts as a middleman between your site and third-party vendors.
Any tags we need to add or edit can be adjusted from within the GTM interface.
Aside from ease of use, the major benefit is condensed code and a much faster site.Difference Between Google Tag Manager And Google Analytics
Google Tag Manager (GTM) and Google Analytics (GA) are completely different tools that work together to get you the data you need to make smart marketing decisions.
Google Tag Manager is used for storing and managing the code – it is literally a container.
There are no reporting features and no option to analyze data within the tag manager.
Google Analytics is used for data analysis.
All reporting – user reports, conversions and engagement, sales, etc. – can be viewed within Google Analytics.
To understand why you need GTM in addition to Google Analytics, you need to know how GA gets the data you see in reports.
At a high level, the main steps to getting started with Google Tag Manager are creating an account, installing the container on your website, and adding tags (like the GA4 configuration tag) to collect and send the information you need.
Below, we will walk through each step for getting started with Google Tag Manager.Consider Account Management
First, you’ll need to decide how account management will be handled.
Should someone change roles or leave your organization, you want to retain the work put into developing your analytics.
It is best practice to create the Tag Manager account using the login credentials of the person managing the account in the long term (most likely the website owner).
Tip for managing client accounts: If a client cannot create a Tag Manager account themselves, hop on a video call where you can control their screen and walk through each step.
After creating a Tag Manager account, you can add users and set permissions within the Admin screen in the top navigation.Create A Google Tag Manager Account
Below are instructions for creating a Google Tag Manager account. This will take approximately three minutes.
Login to Tag Manager (Tag Manager tends to work best in Chrome) and click Create an account.
Enter an account name; this is commonly the organization’s name.
A Tag Manager account represents the organization’s topmost level, meaning only one account is needed per company.
A company with multiple websites with separate revenue channels can create separate containers under the same GTM account.
Select a Country and whether or not you’d like to share data to improve Google products.
Enter a Container Name. Choose a descriptive container name for internal use, most often the site URL or name of the app.
Select the Target Platform. Are you creating an account for a website (Web), app (iOS, Android), AMP, or Server?
Your final screen will look similar to the example below. Click Create.Screenshot from Google Tag Manager, October 2022
After this screen, you will be prompted to install your new GTM code. Click OK to clear this dialog, or follow the install directions.
After closing out of the snippet dialog box, you will be on the workspace screen, where you will be creating your marketing tags and triggers.Install Google Tag Manager On Your Website
If you close the web container installation dialog box, you can find instructions to install Google Tag Manager within the Admin tab.
Instructions for installation will look like this:Screenshot from Google Tag Manager, October 2022
Examining the container code will help you understand how Google Tag Manager works.
In the first part, highlighted in yellow, you will see .
This loads your GTM container on your page. It also tells your site that the page can continue loading while Google is doing its magic.
You will see a no-script tag in the second part, highlighted in yellow.
This no-script tag is your backup.
A common question while installing the GTM container is: Does placement really matter as long as it is in the section?
The answer is yes; the placement of the GTM container really does matter.
Placing the container snippet as high in the as possible improves accuracy.
Placing the snippet lower on your page may result in incorrect data.
And don’t skip out on the second part; it needs to be placed directly after your tag.
If you plan on using GTM to verify Google Search Console, you will need both tags placed as Google recommends; otherwise, verification will fail.
Tip for managing client accounts: When multiple marketing agencies have worked on a site, there tend to be numerous marketing tags. You can check for extra tags using Google Tag Assistant (legacy). Remove any additional tags on the site because deploying tags twice will cause inaccurate data.Setting Up Google Analytics 4 With GTM: Step-By-Step
Google Tag Manager makes setting up Google Analytics 4 easy. There are only three steps: creating a trigger, creating a tag, and testing your setup.
The entire process will take less than five minutes to complete.
Please note: If you have not installed GTM on your website yet, scroll up and complete the section above titled “Getting Started With GTM.”1. Create GA4 Trigger In GTM
The trigger you create in GTM tells the tag (segment of code) under which circumstances to collect the data.
To create a trigger, open your Google Tag Manager account and click Triggers in the left-hand navigation.
Then hit the blue New button to create a new trigger.
Name your Trigger: Page View – All.
Click within the Trigger Configuration box and choose Page View as the trigger type in the right-hand menu. You want this trigger to fire on All Page Views.
Your final screen will look like the screenshot below. Click Save.Screenshot from Google Tag Manager, October 2022
Step 1 is complete! You have created a rule that tells Google Tag Manager to deploy tags associated with the Page View – All trigger when a page (any and all pages) on your website is viewed.2. Create GA4 Tag In GTM
To send this information to GA4, we need to create a tag telling GTM what to do with the page-view data it captures.
To create a tag, open Tags in the left-hand navigation and click the blue New button.
Name your tag “GA4 Config.”
Click within the Tag Configuration box and select Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration from the right-side menu under featured tag types, highlighted in the example below.Screenshot from Google Tag Manager, October 2022
Enter your GA4 Measurement ID.
Click within the Triggering box and select the trigger you made in the previous step, Page View – All trigger.
Your completed GA4 configuration tag will look like the image below. Click Save.Screenshot from Google Tag Manager, October 2022 Where To Find GA4 Measurement ID
Hold on – what is a Measurement ID, and where can I find it?
To find your unique Measurement ID open your GA4 Property. Click the gear icon in the lower left-hand corner to enter the Admin section.
Tip for managing client accounts: If you cannot open the Admin section of the GA4 account, that is because you don’t have admin permissions on the account. Remember to set up GA4 under the owner’s email address, not your own.
Within the Admin section, find the property column and open Data Streams.Screenshot from Google Tag Manager, October 2022
Select your data stream, and you will see the associated Measurement ID in the top right corner; it will look like G-A2ABC2ABCD.Screenshot from Google Tag Manager, October 2022 3. Publishing A GTM Container
After you have added the Page View – All Pages trigger and GA4 Configuration tag, you need to publish your container to make the additions live.
To publish a container, click the blue button Submit in the top right corner of the Google Tag Manager Workspace.Screenshot from Google Tag Manager, October 2022 4. Testing GA4 Configuration In GTM
Data can take a day or more to start showing up in GA4.
To test your setup, click Preview within Tag Manager, enter your website’s URL, and click Connect.
Your site will open in another tab, and you should see that the GA4 Config tag has fired.
Click on the fired GA4 Config tag and ensure that you are sending the page-view event to the correct GA4 account by double-checking the Measurement ID.Screenshot from Google Tag Manager, October 2022 GA4 Events
Hooray! You have successfully added the GA4 configuration tag to your website.
This one tag (GA4 configuration tag) will set Google Analytics cookies for your property and automatically send some events to your analytics account.
Automatically collected events are easy to toggle on and off within the Google Analytics 4 interface.
Because this is a beginner’s guide, we will be focusing on best practices and terminology to help you use the different types of GA4 events available.Creating An Analytics Strategy And Implementation Plan
The best practice is to have an analytics strategy and tag implementation plan.
I promise creating this plan is not as complicated as it sounds.
Sit down with the marketing team, content team, and decision-makers at your company to have a conversation about what information you need to collect.
If you don’t know what information you need to collect, start by creating an SEO goal pyramid.Screenshot from Ahrefs, October 2022
In short, you will define your overall SEO goal, what performance goals will get you closer to achieving this goal, and which process goals are 100% within your control.
What events do you need to track on your website to measure whether you are achieving the goals you mapped out above?
Now, identify all the tags you have deployed on your site (I use a spreadsheet for this step). If this is a brand-new GTM account, you won’t have any yet, and that’s ok!
Taking the time to complete an SEO goal pyramid and mapping out your event tags will ensure that you cover everything you need to make smart marketing decisions.Understanding The Types Of Events Available
There are three basic types of events you’ll work with in Google Analytics 4 and GTM: automatically collected events, enhanced measurement events, and custom events.
Below you will learn what types of events fall under each category.Automatically Collected Events are collected… well, automatically; you will not need to do anything extra to collect a user’s first visit, page views, or session start. Enhanced Measurement provides events you can toggle on and off within Google Analytics 4 web stream details. Screenshot from Google Analytics 4, October 2022
No code changes are required to capture scroll events, outbound clicks, site search information, video engagement, and file downloads.Custom Events can measure anything that’s not automatically collected or a recommended event.
In GA4, custom dimensions are limited to 50 event-scoped and 25 user-scoped custom dimensions.Final Thoughts
This beginner’s guide to Google Tag Manager and GA4 merely scratches the surface of what analytics can do for your company.
Even if you’re not a developer, I highly recommend reading Google Tag Manager’s Developer Guide.
More Resources:Google Integrates The Google Tag With Ads & Analytics 5 Ways To Check If Google Analytics Is Working The Ultimate SEO Audit Checklist
Featured Image: Merkushev Vasiliy/Shutterstocksource