Advanced Data Layer Implementation Techniques

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Once you’ve set up and checked your data layer, you can begin using it to gain even more advanced insights. Here are some advanced data layer implementation techniques you can use:

Implement Consolidated Naming Conventions

While businesses might have different country or language websites, naming conventions of pages, products, page categories, services, and many other business related aspects might vary, it is important to be able to consolidate this information that refers to the same concept such as the page of a determined product.

In such cases, instead of relying on tons of content variations, a good approach in consolidated data collection is to unify naming conventions and populate such standards in the data layer under different variables that represent page names, product names etc..

User Attributes

Align with your CRM stakeholders and populate data layer variables with user related attributes such as log in id, or any other relevant information such as customer type, customer category, customer membership etc.. so that you can leverage this information in web analytics. This way you can track your customers across devices and you can understand more about their demographics and psychographics or marketing classifications according to their behaviors on your website.

Multiple Data Layers

It is a good idea to implement multiple data layer objects for the purpose of avoiding to use the push method or to override data layer variables with multiple values. For example in the case of click events or any other events that do not require the page load, instead of repopulating the same variable with new values, it is possibile to rely on a separate object dedicated to new events that happen after the page load with the same or different variable name and update value.

For example if we have a variable called dataLayer.formStep that is populated by default with step 0, and the user proceeds to step 1 it is possibile to populate a variale called formStep in the object dataLayerUpdate.

This is not a recommendation to use all the times, especially when tagging taxonomies or multiple variables can be leveraged differently for the same purpose, but it can be a way to avoid confusion and enhance configuration efforts or complexity on the tag management side.

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    Manipulating the Data Layer with JavaScript

    You can use JavaScript to manipulate the data layer, add new data, and modify existing information. This helps you create more customized tags and events for your web analytics to collect more accurate data. Remember to set your TMS triggers to listen to data layer updates.

    Implementing Custom Data Layer Events

    You can also implement custom data layer events to track specific events or user interactions on your website. For example, you might track how many times a user clicks on a particular button or submits a form. This is a best practice that if feasible, it allows to rely on more concrete and independent criteria rather than just relying on available CSS selectors or other front end elements that might change according to the needs of other functions such as website design.

    Integrating the Data Layer with Google Tag Manager and other TMS

    By integrating your data layer with Google Tag Manager, you can gain even more advanced insights into user behavior on your website. This allows you to create more customized tags and events, leading to more accurate and insightful web analytics.

    In conclusion by using such advanced data layer implementation techniques, you can empower your analytics and reporting teams, as well as you can use this information in further marketing activities such as dynamic retargeting, through the collection of solid and accurate information. Keep in mind however that complex data collection plans require frequent maintenance and auditing.

    Read more to understand what are data layers and what are they used for.

    Read more about setting up correctly your data layer.

    Read more about inspecting your data layer in the browser console.

    Read more common data layer issues and troubleshooting.

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