Tracking Gravity Forms Submissions in Google Analytics with Google Tag Manager

Tracking Gravity Forms Submissions in Google Analytics with Google Tag Manager

My previous article discussed the simpler side of conversion tracking in Google Analytics and its importance to business owners. Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to discuss the top goal for most websites: contact form submissions.

How your site is built will dictate which method you have to use. At Blueprint, most of our clients’ sites are built on WordPress platforms and use the Gravity Forms premium plugin to produce contact forms. Keep in mind that if you have a WordPress site, but are not using Gravity Forms, this method works for many free contact form plugins as well. The one exception is Contact Form 7, which I’ll cover in the next article.

For now, let’s focus on implementing conversion tracking for Gravity Forms (v1.9) on WordPress (v4.2.2).

Google Analytics Goal Configuration for Contact Forms

To start, go into the Admin > View section of Google Analytics to create your Goal. This time, your Goal Type will be an ‘Event’. As for naming your goal, I would recommend using a clear, but short, description. This will help when you return to your Analytics goals later in that you won’t have a hard time understanding what action that goal is tracking.

Once you get to Step 2 of creating the goal, labeled “Goal Details”, it’s time to decide your Event Conditions:

  • Category: Typically the object the user interacts with (e.g. button)
  • Action: The type of interaction (e.g. click)
  • Label: Useful for categorizing events (e.g. nav buttons)
  • >Value: If you know the value of an incoming lead for your sales funnel, you can add that data into Google Analytics here (e.g. a lead is worth $25 to your brand). This value cannot be negative.

Whatever you decide to enter in these fields is completely at your discretion. The important part is to take note of each value so that you can refer to it later.

Using Google Tag Manager for Form Submissions

After you’ve set up the goal in Google Analytics, you can immediately add code to your Gravity Form so it can start working. However, I do not recommend this because when you do that, you have to wait to see whether your tracking is working. Then all the debugging or diagnosing is on you. This is where Google Tag Manager comes in handy.

To access Google Tag Manager, go to http://www.google.com/tagmanager/. If you haven’t done so already, follow the Wizard to create your account. Similar to most Google products, signing up is a cinch. You’ll then be asked to set up a Container. Think of this as you would a Property in Google Analytics with one very cool exception – containers can span multiple domains for various tracking features.

Once you’ve created your Container, complete with the name and where to use (Web for this case), you’ll be given a snippet of code to add to your website’s header.php just after the opening <body> tag. If you’re not sure of how to add this code to your website, get a hold of your site developer.

I also recommend that you test whether Tag Manager code is properly placed on your website by using that handy Tag Assistant by Google Chrome extension (This comes in pretty handy for spotting Google Analytics code as well).

Now you can start creating Tags that will link with Google Analytics for tracking those contact forms. As you do this, keep in mind that earlier rule of naming your Tags as clearly and concisely as possible. This will help you remember what they are should you need to come back and view them again.

For the product, you’ll want to select Google Analytics, of course, with the Tag Type being Universal Analytics. If you are NOT on Universal Analytics, then read this article about how to update.

Google Tag Manager Tag Creation | Blueprint

On to step 3 with “Configure Tag.” You’ll need to add the proper Google Analytics Tracking Code (this can be found easily through the Chrome extension mentioned earlier). Make sure this is the right tracking code for your site! Your Track Type is ‘Event’ and for the parameters, they need to be the values you entered when setting up the Goal in Google Analytics.

So great! We’ve got it hooked up to Google Analytics so that when Google Tag Manager triggers, it will  send the proper event tag to Google Analytics. But how does it know when that should be? Here’s where you start with the last step, “Fire On.” Select a “Form” as your Event.

Setting Your Google Tag Trigger | BlueprintNow Tag Manager offers you some option to configure your Trigger. These options include Waiting for Tags and Check Validation. I highly recommend using both. Waiting for Tags, and the wait time you enter (I recommend 2000ms), means that a user submitting the form within 2 seconds would only count as one event instead of two. Second, Check Validation means the event is only counted if a successful message is returned. Think of how often people incorrectly enter their email address into a  form. You don’t want those rejected Submissions to count as met goals.

Lastly, Enable When determines which event where would start the whole process. For contact forms, you’ll want it to be a form submission. Thankfully, Google Tag Manager comes with a handy listener for these types of events that we can activate by entering “gtm.formSubmit.” What’s even better, this string works for most contact forms on WordPress I’ve tested, except for Contact Form 7.

Lastly, select whether you want that goal to fire on All Forms or only Some. This can come in handy if you have multiple forms on a single page and want to track which one is more successful.

And Publish!

Publish Your Google Tag Manager | BlueprintNow the fun part! Save all your changes and when ready, Publish!

In the next part of this series, we’ll take a look at what changes are needed for making this work with Contact Form 7. Then, I’ll provide a few tips for testing everything you just set up.

By: Samantha Torres
  • Jeff Cline

    Still a “relatively” new tool, Google tag manager allows us in marketing to deploy valuable additional conversion tracking, and usually without the assistance of a team of coders and developers. A personal favorite tool of mine and some great technical insights, Thanks Samantha!

  • Joshua Bains

    Tracking has been one of the important ways to market for over 100 years. So everything here isn’t new…it’s really old. Now you’ll feel it’s not so complicated…

  • I appreciate how Samantha walks readers through each step of the process in a way that is easy to follow. She shows just how useful Google Tag Manager is to businesses. I’m looking forward to reading the next part of the series.

  • I am light on my understanding of Google’s varied and flexible tracking system, outside of the normal website metrics like bounce rate, time on site, etc. I very much appreciate the bread crumb approach you took here to textually and visually tell the Google Tag Manager story.

  • Emily Fogarty

    As someone who has very minimal experience with Google Analytics, you’ve broken it down to something that even us less savvy can understand the value.

  • Naima

    Thank you so much for sharing the step by stem procedures for conversion tracking in Google Analytics and Tag Manager. Most of us know the importance conversion tracking, but very few know how to implement goals in order to get the best data possible. Very helpful article!

  • Soletia Owens

    Understanding Google Analytics is no easy task. Reading your article helps a lot. Businesses that don’t know how to track conversions are missing a valuable tool. However, knowing how it works and what you have to pay attention to makes it that much easier and you successful. Thanks for sharing Samantha.

  • Chuniq Inpower

    This series of posts are very helpful for taking analytics to the next level as well as for increasing understanding of very important SEO principles. Navigating Analytics can be a beast of a task for the unprepared. Appreciate your unboxing of this!

  • Aaron Ward

    Gravity Forms are just one of the latest tools to help track conversion. I am looking forward to the learning more about the other tools in your next blog post. Great breakdown.

  • John

    This was fun to read… I have always read that video is a big conversions booster, so I have been really interested to learn how conversion tracking works on a practical level. And it was easy to follow, which for me is the best!

  • Adam Baxter

    Well written and easy to follow! Looking forward to the sequel!

  • Marko

    Hi Samantha, thanks for putting together this very informative article. I’m sure many people like me will find it very useful. I have an issue with sort of implementation at the moment and I can’t work out what’s wrong. Analytics and tag manager work in every scenario except when I submit the forms through a mobile device. But only in certain circumstances m. For example it works on our office wifi but not anywhere else. It works when the Google implementation team tested it in India but it doesn’t work here in Australia. Is there anything you can think of that could help us solve this mistery?