Advanced Google Tag Manager

Advanced Google Tag Manager

Do you feel like you know Google Tag Manager, but you’re only scratching the surface? Has your website’s growth plateaued?

Master Google Tag Manager’s complexities with Google Developer Expert Simo Ahava. Take advantage of Simo’s years of experience to customize interactions with your web page and tailor GTM’s data collection to maximize revenue.

In this 5-class live training program, you'll learn:

  • Understand the data model of GTM, and how it can work for (and against) you
  • The ins and outs of the dataLayer
  • learn how to turn GTM into a true force of power in your data organization

This live course starts on Tuesday November 21st, 2017.

Simo Ahava, Senior data advocate @ Reaktor




This course is right for you if...

  • You want to learn how to best utilize GTM and how to use JavaScript for customizing web analytics tracking
  • You want to know how to make GTM management easier with the API
  • You need help with GTM or web tracking JavaScript issues

This course is NOT for you if...

  • JavaScript is alien to you, and you have no motivation to learn it
  • You are looking for a deep-dive into mobile GTM or the GTM programmatic API
  • You are only just starting with GTM and don’t like technical descriptions, live coding, or browser developer tools
  • Web analytics deployment and implementation is not important to you, or you think GTM replaces your IT department or developers

Skills you should have:

  • Intermediate understanding of how GTM works, especially how tags, triggers, and variables interact

  • Basic understanding of JavaScript, especially DOM manipulation
  • Basic understanding of how the web browser works, especially when it comes to event tracking, the Data Layer, and Chrome’s developer tools


Get more confidence with the technology stack of the web

Google Tag Manager sits firmly in the fascinating interface between different parts of the organization: marketing, IT, HR, sales, and products & services. It’s a tool that can be utilized by everyone in the organization to not only track and to enhance advertising capabilities, but to collect and distribute information between different systems connected to the website (CRM, for example).

To understand this interplay between the different departments of an organization and the systems they use to communicate data to and from the website, it’s important to understand the web browser and how GTM is firmly entrenched in the capabilities and limitations that the browser technology stack imposes. This course will help you understand the dynamic nature of JavaScript, and how things like event tracking and DOM manipulation can both work for you and against you.

Learn the ins and outs of the Data Layer

It’s not hyperbole to say that the Data Layer is what makes GTM tick. To many, Data Layer is just a JavaScript Array that feeds data into Google Tag Manager. However, this is only a very small part of the whole picture.

In this course, you’ll learn about the multiple faces of the Data Layer. You’ll understand how the Array is actually just a message bus, feeding messages to Google Tag Manager’s internal data model. You’ll learn how Google Tag Manager introduces an imitation of “state” in the browser, and how you can use this to your advantage when passing data to and from the website.

Understanding the interplay between the website, the Data Layer, and Google Tag Manager is vital if you want to make the most of the tool.

Understand how Google Tag Manager works under the hood

Much of this course will be about how Google Tag Manager works under the hood. It’s not just a theoretical exercise, though, as the learning curve of GTM is very steep and necessarily involves understanding how things like GTM’s data model, event tracking, and end-to-end debugging work. These lessons can be easily translated to actual use cases, and you can use this knowledge to make the container more than just the sum of its parts.

JavaScript is ever-present when talking about “advanced” Google Tag Manager. The deeper you plunge into GTM, the fuzzier the line between Google Tag Manager and JavaScript become. At some point, you’ll find yourself coding more JavaScript than using the GTM UI in your daily work. The tips and tricks shared in this course will help you get a better grasp of the JavaScript paradigm you’ll need to subscribe to if you want to make the most of Google Tag Manager.

About your instructor:
Simo Ahava

Simo Ahava is a recognized expert on customizing web analytics and tag management solutions to improve the entire “life cycle” of data collection, processing, and reporting. His main areas of expertise lie with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. Google has appointed him as a Google Developer Expert in these fields.

Simo holds the position of Senior Data Advocate at Reaktor. He also writes a popular blog on all things Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager development at

An experienced speaker and prolific blogger, Simo can be seen and heard in conferences, product forums, support communities, and developer meet-ups alike.

Simo Ahava, Sr data advocate @ Reaktor

Why we hand-selected Simo to teach this course

If you want to learn a new skill, it is best to learn from the expert. For Google Tag Manager, that expert is Simo.

Even better, he is not the expert just for his knowledge but also for his ability break that knowledge down to a level that others can understand and learn to apply themselves.

Peter O’Neill, Director at LeapThree

Even though I have read most of his articles and consider myself an experienced GTM user, Simo’s teachings have made me realize there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

I would say that his unique experience takes his training sessions to a whole other level no other instructor can provide. 

Taavi Kalvi, Analytics lead @ Holini


In just 5 sessions,
you’ll be able to:

  • Understand GTM and the GTM data model, learn useful Javascript skills, and automate tasks using the GTM programmatic API 
  • Learn how to customize GTM event tracking to track interactions on a site
  • Customize your Google Analytics setup using Tasks API, hitCallback, the Google Analytics Settings variable, and regular expressions

Your 3-week live class schedule:

The 45-60 minute live classes will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. US Central time. Folks in Europe can tune in in the evenings.

Recordings of all classes are made available so you don't have to watch each class live, although we recommend joining live if possible.

Those who attend live will have the opportunity to take part in Q&A.

Everyone will have access to the forum where Simo will answer your questions and provide feedback. Your instructor will be involved in the forum only during the weeks that the course is live. However, the forum will remain open for students who want to discuss ideas even after the course ends.

Advanced Google Tag Manager

Class 1

JavaScript For Google Tag Manager

We’ll go over some necessary JavaScript concepts you’ll need to understand to make the most of Google Tag Manager. Most of these have to do with manipulating the Document Object Model.

You’ll also get a refresher on function syntax, closures, callbacks, good coding practices, and how these all tie in with Google Tag Manager. It won’t be just a coding lesson--we’ll also learn some cool tips, tricks, and custom variables you can use to power up your container.

Topics covered:

  • Basic JavaScript concepts: Boolean logic, functions, closures, variable hoisting, global namespace, etc
  • Dealing with race conditions, asynchronous loading, jQuery, etc.
  • How to debug JavaScript in the browser.
  • How to execute JavaScript in Google Tag Manager.
  • Good practices for writing JavaScript in Google Tag Manager.

Class 2

Event Tracking

Event tracking is one of the defining features of Google Tag Manager. Using GTM’s native listeners, you can track user interactions on the site with great accuracy. However, there are pitfalls you need to be aware of, and we’ll cover these in this lesson.

We’ll also go over the steps to create your own custom listeners, talk a bit about event propagation, and discover how other JavaScript on the site can easily mess up your event tracking via GTM.

Topics covered:

  • How GTM’s triggers work.
  • How to debug GTM’s triggers and the underlying mechanisms.
  • What typically breaks event propagation.
  • How to create custom event listeners.

Class 3

The Data Layer

The Data Layer is another key feature of Google Tag Manager. It serves multiple purposes - acting as a message queue that feeds data from the website to Google Tag Manager (and back), as well as structures the data in GTM’s own internal data model. There are ways to manipulate the data in the data model, and we’ll take a look at these methods in this class. You’ll learn about Data Layer messages and events, about the interface to GTM’s data model, how to manipulate the data in the data model, and how this all relates to GTM’s core features like tag sequencing.

Topics covered:

  • The dataLayer array
  • State in Google Tag Manager
  • Debugging the Data Layer in Google Tag Manager
  • Google Tag Manager’s internal data model
  • Recursive merge and the Version 2 of the Data Layer Variable

Class 4

Advanced Google Analytics Tracking

Google Analytics is, for many, the main reason to migrate to Google Tag Manager. In this class, we’ll take a look at how you can use GTM to manipulate the data collection of GA, by focusing on advanced features like hitCallback, customTask, and the “transport” field. We’ll also go over things like cross-domain tracking, and how GTM interacts with the tracker object created by analytics.js.

Topics covered:

  • Google Tag Manager and the tracker object
  • Cross-domain tracking using GTM
  • customTask for advanced configuration
  • Enhanced Ecommerce tips and tricks

Class 5

The API, Tips And Tricks

In this final class, we’ll first do a live walkthrough of the GTM API, by programming a Google Sheets add-on, which pulls in information from Google Tag Manager. Not only will you learn about Google’s APIs and their authentication methods, but you’ll also have a good grasp on how to use these APIs to automate your own tasks. We’ll wrap up the whole course with a handful of tips and tricks learned after using Google Tag Manager since day 1.

Topics covered:

    • Quick overview of the Google Tag Manager API
    • Live coding lesson for pulling account/container data from the API into a Google Sheets document
    • 30 hand-picked tips from 5 years of working with Google Tag Manager

You will also get introductory
video lessons

In addition to classes, you’ll get access to snack-sized video lessons to bring you up to speed on the course topics.

1. Advanced GTM intro

2. Chrome developer tools

3. JavaScript

4. Internal data model

5. Triggers

6. Custom event listeners

7. Universal Analytics tracker object

8. customTask in Universal Analytics



Show Off Your New Skills: Get a Certificate of Completion

Once the course is over, pass a test to get CXL certified in advanced GTM.

Add it to your resume, your LinkedIn profile or just get that well-earned raise you’ve been waiting for.

Why you'll learn more from live classes

In short: You'll actually make time for learning.

Most people don't ever complete self-study courses. It's difficult to prioritize learning over urgent items on your to-do list. (Hey, we’re all busy.)

How do we know?

  • A 2015 study shows that the current average completion rate for MOOCs (Coursera, edX, Udacity) is approximately 15%. So 85% drop-off rate. The course that received a Coursera award for having the highest completion rate — wait for it — had a rate of 20%!
  • Seth Godin reported that his courses on Udemy and Skillshare have an 80% drop-off rate.
  • We've run self-study courses for years, and our numbers confirm this

Our previous live coaching classes have had over 90% completion rates. Around 60% attended every single live class, the rest watched recordings (due to time zone differences, etc).

Our #1 goal is customer success... That you actually master this stuff. We're confident that this live class format will do it.


Enroll now
before it's too late

You'll get...

  • 5 live classes with Simo and your peers.
  • Introductory video lessons to bring you up to speed.
  • Live Q&A and forum to get personalized feedback from Simo and classmates.

Need help communicating the value of this course? Use this PDF


Teams of 2 and more get a 25% discount during checkout.

After completing the payment you can login to the course homepage. 7-day money back guarantee.