Book Review: Practical Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager for Developers

I’ve been reading through Practical Google Analytics (GA) and Google Tag Manager (GTM) for Developers over the last month. It’s the kind of book you get great value from when reading for the first time, but even more value when the time comes that you actually need to start setting things up in GA and GTM.

Practical Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager for Developers Book Cover
Book 1 – Practical Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager for Developers

GA and GTM can be very intimidating if you blindly stumble into mountains of data and before long it’s information overload. Having a clear understanding of what you, or your client, wants to track allows you to focus in on what needs done and the best way to do it. Having a resource like this book sitting on your desk makes it that much easier to get from deciding what you want to track to actually implementing it.

While not claiming to be a developer, I generally know my way around code – it can be a huge advantage as an SEO or digital marketer to have an understanding of code and the elements that operate within it. That rings very true for setting up GTM & GA where, as a marketer, you will need to work closely with developers to instruct, or at least understand, how data can be pushed into GA and / or GTM.

“One of those books that is always handy to have close-by when setting up or adding new ways to track visitors to your website. A treasure trove for marketers and developers alike.”

Jonathan Weber and the team at Lunametrics have done a great job at taking complex problems and breaking them down into bitesize tasks. Using the guides in the book also provides clarity on responsibility between what marketers need to do (usually setting things up directly within GTM and GA) and what the developers need to do (adaptations to code to push the right data into your reports).

Scores on the doors:

Cost (£23) – 7/10

If this was measured on value alone, I could easily have given this a 9 or 10. Coming in at £23, it’s a fairly average priced book but in terms of getting what you pay for, this punches above it’s weight. A very solid 7.

Actionable – 10/10

This book was written around actionable advice. 15 chapters describing a variety of scenarios where you need to implement Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. With step-by-step guides it clearly outlines the how, why, what and where needed for successful GTM and GA setups.

Recommend – 9/10

This score will largely depend on your previous experience with GA and GTM. If you’re entirely new to it, this book will lay the foundations and point you in the right direction for future implementations. If you work with multiple clients who all have different needs in terms of what they want to track online, you’ll struggle to find a better starting point than dipping into these chapters.

Total – 8.7 / 10

I’ve a feeling this one will sit around my desk for quite a while and get passed around the team at Made To Engage.

Next Month’s Book

Up next I’ll switch my attention to link building and the Ultimate Guide To Link Building from Eric Ward and Garrett French. Eric Ward was a link building pioneer who sadly passed away in late 2017. I never got around to reading this book when it was first published but I was reminded of it when the news broke about Eric last year. Keep an eye out for my review in early March.

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