How to Create a GTM Measurement Plan

What is a GTM measurement plan?

As the name implies, a GTM management plan is simply a document used for planning what data to measure. It can be as simple or complex as you like but it should act as a clear road map to guide your measurement process. Here are a few suggested metrics to consider.

  • Status – Active or inactive. This is important information to know when determining timeframes.
  • Date – What date measurement was created also supports the overall status above.
  • Objective – Type of business objective. Financial, engagement, community, etc. Depending on the type of website you implement this plan to will greatly impact what your objectives are.
  • Conversion Type – Micro and macro conversions. A macro conversion generally refers to your primary goal whereas a micro conversion typically represents a supporting conversion. For example, a purchase would be considered a macro conversion on an e-commerce site but downloading a product brochure of that product would be considered a micro conversion.  
  • Strategy – Donation, Purchase, Social, Time on Site, etc. Depending on the type of site your strategies will differ but generally can be represented by Goals.
  • Type – Submission, Purchase, Event, Goal URL.
  • KPI (Key Performance Indicators) – Revenue generation, engagement, brand building.

When should you create a measurement plan?

If you have decided to use Google Tag Manager to measure your website’s performance it is a good idea to create a measurement plan first. If you are not planning on utilizing GTM but plan to measure the performance of your website in a different way, creating a measurement plan is still a good idea.

The reason you should create a measurement plan first is to ensure you are capturing the data that is most important to your organization. It is tempting to jump in head first and start running ads but without a clear measurement plan you run the risk of either capturing data that is not relevant or failing to capture important data altogether. 

How to create your plan

  1. Determine your website’s main objectives. Each website focuses on different goals but many should be universal. For instance a commerce site will typically have an objective of sales revenue and would also want to measure customer engagement, brand building, and customer retention. A website that does not offer direct sales but represents a brick and mortar business would have many of the same objectives such as customer engagement, brand building, customer retention, and phone calls.
  2. Identify your micro and macro conversion goals. This will allow you to add weight to each goal. Remember that micro conversions will provide value. Not all interactions will be transactional and the more micro conversions that are completed, the better the odds are of future macro conversions.
  3. Assign a strategy to each micro and macro conversion. An obvious strategy for an e-commerce site would be a macro conversion of a completed sale but there are many micro conversions that lead up to the conversion. A micro conversion might be to measure a product brochure download or the act of watching a video demonstration of that product.  Other micro conversions might include time on site or newsletter signups. Take your time during this process by visiting each page and looking for conversion opportunities that match the above criteria.
  4. Assign a type to each conversion. While this step might be a challenge if you are not yet familiar with GTM and data layers, don’t worry because this step can be completed once you are actually creating the triggers and tags. Some common types include, but are not limited to: Events, form submissions, time on page, purchases, and even goal urls.
  5. Monitor each objective’s KPI. This might be a monetary value measured over a specific period of time or an engagement ratio measured across X number of visitors. The choices are entirely up to you and what you have decided is important to measure for your unique circumstance.

Here is a simple example of Measurement Plan for reference.