Unlock the Maximum Profit Potential Hidden Inside Your Google & Facebook Campaigns

by Toby

November 28, 2023

Double Your Leads With GTM GA4

This Little-Known Trick Doubles Your Leads and Sales (we guarantee it)

Maximizing profit is the number one goal for any for-profit business. And in this post, I will cover how to ensure your Google Ads and Facebook Ad campaigns are doing just that - maximizing your profit.

Toby Danylchuk, 39 Celsius Web Marketing Consulting

Toby Danylchuk, Founder


It all starts with tracking the correct conversion actions using Google Tag Manager (GTM) and Google Analytics (GA4) and pushing the conversion data back to the campaigns to act on. 

You see if you can tell Google and Meta (i.e. Facebook, Instagram) specifically which people are converting on your site, each of those platforms then know precisely who to look for and will find more of just those people, avoiding the looky-loos and, thus, saving your ad spend and increasing your profit. 

Prefer to watch a video on this topic? 

Each ad platform knows where customers are going each day, what stores they shop at, what they buy, what websites they visit and what they do on those sites, how long they engage, and other signals. The ad platforms also know who will likely complete our desired conversion actions if we tell them.

So, to leverage all that behavioral data and help Google and Facebook find the people that convert for us, we have to push back our ideal conversion actions from our website using Google Tag Manager (GTM) in combination with Google Analytics (GA4).

A good analogy for GTM is this:

Google Tag Manager Analogy

Google Tag Manager Analogy

GTM is like a fisherman's net. If it has holes, fish (customer conversions) slip through unnoticed, leaving you without crucial data. This means you wonโ€™t know how many fish youโ€™ve caught, where the best locations were, or what kind of fish you were catching.

The consequence of not accurately recording conversions:

  1. 1
    Your campaigns underperform
  2. 2
    You neglect successful marketing channels
  3. 3
    Underestimating campaign performance
  4. 4
    Misallocating ad budgets (related post here: how much should I spend on Google Ads)
  5. 5
    Faulty strategic direction
  6. 6
    Inaccurate reporting to stakeholders
  7. 7
    Failure to identify any technical issues
  8. 8
    Ignoring profitable keywords
  9. 9
    Inadequate optimization of ads and landing pages
  10. 10
    Ineffective A/B testing

Ready to learn more?

Buckle up and read on because what I share below can be a game changer for your profitability and sales for ad campaigns on Google and Facebook.

Why Using Google Tag Manager (GTM) Is Essential

Without using GTM and GA4, you are limited in what you can track, and thus your campaigns will be limited. The majority of websites already have GA installed, but many of those same sites are not using GTM.

What is GTM?

It is a tool that Google created that allows website owners and marketers to manage and implement various types of tracking tags (e.g., GA4) on their websites without having to modify the website's code directly. 

Tags are snippets of code - in our case, GA4 - that collect data and send it to third-party tools or platforms, such as Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Google Ads, and many others, to track user interactions and behaviors like clicks, gather analytics data, and implement various marketing functionalities.

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What is Google Analytics (GA4)?

In comparison, Google Analytics, specifically GA4 which stands for Google Analytics 4, is like a super-smart helper for websites.


A lemonade stand as an analogy of GA4:

Google Analytics Analogy - Lemonade Stand

Google Analytics Analogy - Lemonade Stand

Imagine you have a lemonade stand and want to know how many people stop by what kind of lemonade they like the most, and what time they usually come to buy it. GA4 does something similar but for websites.

When someone visits a website that uses GA4, it keeps track of things like how many people visit the site, which pages they look at the most, and how they found the website (like if they clicked on a link in Google or on social media). This helps website owners understand what people like and don't like about their site, so they can make it more effective and more interesting for visitors.

GA4 is the latest version from Google, which means it has the latest features compared to the older versions. 

Why Is GTM, GA4 Essential to Campaign Success and Profit?

Using GTM with GA4 provides a more flexible and powerful way to gather data, allowing for more sophisticated tracking setups that are impossible just for GA4 alone, or just the Facebook pixel.

However, it's important to note that GTM is a tag management system that does not track user data itself; it enables the implementation of tracking tags (like those from GA4) to be more efficient, effective, and manageable.

Remember, the more meaningful conversion actions you can track, the more of those types of people your campaigns can find to produce more sales. 

And there are far more actionable actions you can track using GTM plus GA4, which means you can improve the leads and sales results of your ad campaigns. 

Plus, it's not uncommon that the desired conversion action often happens on a different website from your main site, and you canโ€™t track and push those conversions back to your campaigns with just the pixel. 

For example, this happens with restaurants that use a different site for their online ordering, or with spas and salons that use a different site for online appointment reservations. 

Hereโ€™s an example of the Five Guys restaurant near me. The URL of the page is, https://restaurants.fiveguys.com/32195-temecula-parkway

Restaurant Order Now Button Tracking Clicks

Restaurant Order Now Button Tracking Clicks

But when you click the Order Now button, you are taken to a new website URL to order which is a subdomain of the main URL, https://order.fiveguys.com/location/five-guys-redhawk/menu/burgers

And itโ€™s these 3rd party sites that process online orders where itโ€™s common that you cannot track the actual sales conversions and push the data back to your campaigns. 

But if youโ€™re using GTM with GA4, you can track the Order Now button clicks before they reach the subdomain and push those data back to your campaigns. Button clicks are about as close as you can get to a completed order before the visitor leaves your main site.

Benefits of using GTM to track conversion actions:

  • Advanced Triggering Options: GTM offers sophisticated tracking options, allowing you greater control over what is tracked. This can be based on user interactions, such as clicks, form submissions, page views, button clicks, or more complex conditions. It gives you greater flexibility and precision in tracking conversions than using just the pixel from Google and Facebook. 
  • Centralized Management: GTM allows you to manage everything in one place. This means you can add, edit, or remove tags, codes, and scripts without needing to access the code on your website or needing assistance from a developer. This centralization makes it easier to manage tags across various platforms (Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc.) from a single interface.
  • Integration with Other Tools: GTM integrates well with other Google products like Google Analytics, as well as third-party tools. This integration can enhance your data collection and analysis capabilities. And it even integrates with Meta (i.e., Facebook Ads), to push all the conversions you want to track back to your Facebook ad campaigns. 
  • Enhanced Security: Since you're not adding code directly to your website for each new tag or script, there's a reduced risk of introducing security vulnerabilities through third-party code. All your tags and scripts are added to GTM, pushing the code into your website.
  • Ease of Use: GTM has a user-friendly interface that doesn't require deep technical knowledge. Non-developers, such as marketers, can quickly implement and update tags, which can speed up the process and reduce dependency on IT resources.

List of trackable conversion actions:

  • Online sales (completing a purchase)
  • Button clicks on a web page
  • Form submissions
  • Click-to-call phone numbers
  • Page engagements (e.g., page scroll 10%, 20%, 75%, or 90%, etc
  • Registrations
  • Button clicks for driving directions and more

Examples of Website Conversion Tracking for Leads, Sales

Below are examples in different industries where we track various behaviors and push these data back to each respective platform with GTM and GA4.

Tracking Restaurant Online Orders

Below is a table showing the Google Ads campaign conversions for a fast-casual restaurant with 8 locations. 

Similar to the Five Guys example above, this restaurant uses a second platform that visitors click through to from its website to complete online orders. But that the second platform doesnโ€™t allow us to track conversions all the way to the end.

Tracking Order Now Button Clicks With Google Tag Manager

Tracking Order Now Button Clicks With Google Tag Manager

But with GTM and GA4, we track the โ€œOrder Nowโ€ button clicks, which is almost the same as a completed order.  And it is these data, along with button clicks for driving directions, that we push back to the campaign to act on to find us more of these same people. 

Restaurant Conversion Tracking with GTM

Restaurant Conversion Tracking with GTM

So, from the table above, we can see weโ€™re getting $1 - $4 per conversion from our Google Ads campaign for this restaurant (related post here on running successful Google Ads for restaurants and another helpful post on how to set up successful Facebook ads for a restaurant).

Tracking Leads for A Spa and Salon - Reserve Now, Phone Calls, Driving Directions

This next example is for a spa and salon landing page. Like the restaurant example above, the book online appointment function was on a separate site from the landing page. However, we could not push the data back to our Google Ads campaign from the online booking site. So, instead, we tracked the following conversions:

  • โ€œBook Onlineโ€ button clicks on the landing page that takes visitors to the booking page
  • Clicks on the button for Driving Directions
  • Click-to-call mobile phone calls
Spa Landing Page Conversion Tracking

Spa Landing Page Conversion Tracking

And with Google Tag Manager, we can differentiate each one of these different button clicks (i.e., conversion actions). 

Tracking Leads for a Restaurantโ€™s Open Table Reservations, Driving Directions, and Phone Calls

Many higher-end restaurants use Open Table reservations and embed the โ€œReserve Nowโ€ Open Table widget on their website. 

Wouldnโ€™t it be great to track those reservations outside of Open Table and feed the data back to your ad campaigns on Facebook and Google? Using Google Tag Manager and GA4, you can track this. 

Tracking Open Table Reservations on Your Restaurant Website

Tracking Open Table Reservations on Your Restaurant Website

And because this restaurant had a lively bar scene, we also tracked driving directions requests and website click-to-call. 

Tracking Open Table Find a Table Conversions

Tracking Open Table Find a Table Conversions

Tracking Lead Generation for Attorneys

Hereโ€™s an example of a personal injury attorney website where weโ€™re tracking form submissions and sending that data back to the Google Ads campaign.

Tracking Lead Form Conversions - Personal Injury Attorney

Tracking Lead Form Conversions - Personal Injury Attorney

Below are the weekly conversion actions (form submissions) from a Google Ads campaign that is chasing conversions, not clicks. 

Tracking Personal Injury Attorney Lead Conversions

Tracking Personal Injury Attorney Lead Conversions

So whatever behavior you want to track and optimize for, you likely can.

And then, when you have enough conversion data pushed back in your Google Ad account (30 conversions in the last 30 days) or Facebook Ads, you can focus on producing more conversions and not just clicks, impressions, or brand awareness. 

Each platform has campaign objectives that focus on conversions.

And just a note of caution, in the case of Google Ads, if you turn on campaigns to focus on conversions too early before you have enough conversion data, it may not work well - below is an example of a client that did just that and their traffic dropped quickly. However, the traffic recovered once we reverted the bidding change until we had collected enough conversion data. 
Google Ads Changed Bidding to Conversions from Traffic - Killed Clicks

Google Ads Changed Bidding to Conversions from Traffic - Killed Clicks

Setting Up The Digital Plumbing - Google Tag Manager (GTM)

Ideally, your digital plumbing is set in place before any campaigns are turned on. This all starts with adding the Google Tag Manager code to your website and configuring GA4 in GTM. 

Below is a general outline of how the process works step-by-step. I do not go into all the details since your situation is unique, so refer to the Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics links below for more details. 

  1. 1
    First, youโ€™ll have to create an account, which you can do here.
  2. 2
    Next, Add GTM Code to your website. Google provides instructions for this, but there is a small amount of code that is placed in the <head> section of all the pages on your website, and then a small snippet of code that goes into the <body> tag on all pages. If youโ€™re not comfortable adding code to your website, reach out to IT or your web developer.
  3. 3
    Verify The Code Is Installed. From within GTM, you will preview your website.

Heer's how to verify the code is installed and working. 

Google Tag Manager Preview Mode

Google Tag Manager Preview Mode

After you click the โ€œPreviewโ€ button, GTM will open a new tab with your website loaded on it with a popup that shows if GTM is now connected.

Google Tag Manager Preview Mode - Confirmed Installed

Google Tag Manager Preview Mode - Confirmed Installed

For our conversion trackin, we will use Google Analytics (i.e. GA4) as the tag. Here are specific instructions from Google on how to set up Google Analytics with Google Tag Manager.

So, at this point, we have GTM installed and verified, and Google Analytics installed and verified and working with GTM. The fun part is next - configuring our specific conversion events. 

To set up Triggers. 

Triggers are Events that happen on your website through the Google Analytics Tag. For example, conversion events such as button clicks, form submissions, video views, specific page views, etc). Here is more information on how to set up Triggers that you want to track.

From within GTM, click on Tags, then New.

Google Tag Manager - Setting Up New Tags

Google Tag Manager - Setting Up New Tags

Now you will see a screen like this - click on Tag Configuration:

Google Tag Manager - Setting Up Tags and Triggers

Google Tag Manager - Setting Up Tags and Triggers

And hereโ€™s where we choose Google Analytics as the Tag which we configured in an earlier step: 

Google Tag Manager - Setting Up Google Analytics Tag

Google Tag Manager - Setting Up Google Analytics Tag

Once you have designated Google Analytics (GA4) as the Tag, now we can set up our desired triggers (i.e., conversion actions).

Google Tag Manager - Configuring Triggers

Google Tag Manager - Configuring Triggers

Once you click on Choose Trigger Type, you will see all the options for tracking behaviors that are associated with our GA4 tag. The below screenshot only shows a handful of these trigger types. 

Google Tag Manager Set Up - Trigger Types Examples

Google Tag Manager Set Up - Trigger Types Examples

I highlighted with red arrows a few that stand out - Form Submissions, YouTube Video, Just Links (the above screenshot is only a partial list).

So let's say you want to track Form Submissions of a newsletter signup, the Form Submissions trigger type option is where you can set that up as a conversion action. 

Or perhaps you have embedded YouTube videos on your page, you can use the YouTube Video trigger type to identify site visitors who are watching your embedded YouTube videos as conversions. 

Or perhaps you have links to your โ€œorder nowโ€ pages that go to a separate website, you would use the Click - Just Links to configure those specific link clicks as conversions. 

Or maybe you have a chat widget on your site and want to track people who click on the โ€œchat nowโ€ button - thatโ€™s a link click that you can track too. 

The point is there are many options to configure exactly what you want to track to push back to your ad campaigns. Here are more details from Google about the various Trigger Types.

Summary

In conclusion, the key to unlocking maximum profit potential in your Google and Facebook campaigns lies in the strategic use of Google Tag Manager (GTM) and Google Analytics (GA4).

By meticulously tracking the right conversion actions and feeding this data back into your ad campaigns, you can significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your advertising efforts.

GTM and GA4 not only offer you the tools to capture crucial data but also the flexibility to tailor your tracking to the specific needs of your business. Whether it's tracking button clicks, form submissions, or more complex interactions, these tools ensure that every aspect of your customer's journey contributes to a more informed and profitable advertising strategy.

So, implement these powerful tools, track the conversions that matter, and watch as your campaigns transform into high-performing, profit-generating machines. Embrace the change, and the results will surely follow.

About the author 

Toby is the co-founder of 39 Celsius. He has over 20 years of digital marketing experience and has started several companies throughout his career. He's an expert in SEO, Social Media Ads, Google Ads, Marketing Automation, and more. He has a BA in Chemistry/Biochemistry from UC San Diego and an MBA from SDSU.

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