Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu

Help us improve Analytics Education. Tell us how you like to learn!

Using Tag Assistant Recordings

Learn how to install, configure and use Google Tag Assistant Recordings.
In this article:

Install / uninstall Google Tag Assistant

Google Tag Assistant Recordings is part of the Google Tag Assistant Chrome extension.

Get Google Tag Assistant

OK, I installed it. Now what?

After installation, the Google Tag Assistant icon will appear in the extensions bar of your Chrome browser: Google Tag Assistant Recordings icon

From now on, the Google Tag Assistant will analyze the tags on every page you visit. Note that the extension's icon may change color and display numbers, depending on the tags it finds. For example, a page with a single tag with an error will appear in red with the number 1: Google Tag Assistant Recordings icon with error

Google Tag Assistant does not track your online activity. It only examines the tags on the pages you visit and shows you—and only you—the results. See About Google Tag Assistant Recordings > Privacy for more information.

Remove or disable Google Tag Assistant

To remove the Google Tag Assistant extension, right-click the icon and select Remove from Chrome. Alternatively, you can delete or disable the extension on the Chrome Extensions page:

  1. Select Window > Extensions
  2. Locate the Tag Assistant (by Google) extension.
  3. Uncheck the Enabled box to disable the extension. Click the trash icon to delete it.

Record a flow

Recording a flow helps you validate that Analytics tracking on your site works as expected. Choose a critical set of steps to record. These steps typically include pages on your site. You can also include pages from other sites from which a user may initiate a visit to your site, such as google.com, or a third-party site with an ad linking to your site. For example, if you run an ecommerce site, run through the pages and steps required to select an item, place the order, and submit payment. If your site's purpose is lead generation, walk through the process of navigating to and signing up for your promotional newsletter.

Before beginning the recording, choose an appropriate starting page. This could be a page on your site, but also consider starting from a 3rd-party site, such as Google Search, Facebook, or Yahoo!, where you would find a link to your site. Begin recording and reload the current page (so that Google Tag Assistant Recordings can capture the tags and actions for that page). Then navigate through the flow you want to record. When you're finished, end the recording and view the results in the Google Tag Assistant Recordings reports.

Begin recording

  1. Click the extension icon in the Chrome extensions toolbar
  2. Click Record in the lower left corner of the Google Tag Assistant window.
  3. The Google Tag Assistant icon changes to show that recording is active
  4. Begin navigating through the flow.

Check the Follow recording when link opens a new tab box if your flow opens a page in a new tab or window. Otherwise, that page won't be recorded and you'll need to return to the original tab or window to continue or end the recording.

End recording

  1. Click the extension icon in the Chrome extensions toolbar
  2. Click STOP in the lower left corner of the Google Tag Assistant window.

When you finish a recording, the Google Tag Assistant Recordings window displays the Analysis Report, which is a summary of the number of pages recorded and number of tags fired.

Click Show Full Report to display more details about your recording. Select the detailed report you wish to view.

Click Resume Recording to continue adding to the current flow recording.

Tag Assistant report

The Tag Assistant report shows all the tags that fired on all the pages you visited during the recording session. The controls in the left-hand panel let you do the following:

Filter tags

Check the account checkboxes to hide or show tags for the various accounts found during the recording.

Details

Select Detailed View to display additional information in the tag section of the report, such as Analytics tracking code version and cookie information.

Expand / collapse pages and tags

Click the plus and minus icons to show or hide the details of all the pages and tags visited:  Expand iconCollapse icon

Show / hide ignored requests

You can mark individual issues or entire pages as ignored, then choose to show or hide them using this control.

To ignore an entire page, mouse over a Pageload card and click the minus icon to add this page to the ignore list. To mark an issue as ignored, click the minus icon next to it in the details section.

Note that ignored pages are still processed by and will appear in the Analytics report.

Recorded Pages

The main body of the report contains one or more cards which show the details of the tags found on each page visited during the recording. Click the plus icon to expand a card and display the page details, including any errors found.

Page load details

The Page load panel includes the following fields:

Field Meaning
URL The URL of the loaded page.
Time The date and time the page loaded.
Tags The number of tags found on that page. In addition, the number of errors encountered. (Warnings and suggestions are not counted here, only critical errors).
Page Load The time it took for the page to complete loading.

Tag details and messages

Every tag found on the recorded page is shown, along with details of that tag. Tags and issue messages are color-coded to indicate the types of problems or issues found:

  • A green tag icon or message means that no issues were found with the tag.
  • A blue tag icon or message means that a tag was found with minor implementation issues, or that there are suggestions on improving your site tagging.
  • A yellow tag icon or message warns you that the implementation may lead to unexpected results.
  • A red tag icon or message means that a tag was found with critical implementation issues. The tag may not work properly and could lead to incorrect or missing data in your reports.

Mouse over an issue message to display the a tooltip giving more information about the message. You'll also see a ? (help) icon to get even more information. Click the minus icon to add this issue to the ignore list.

Analytics report

Click the GOOGLE ANALYTICS tab to display the Analytics-specific results of your recording. This report gives you a detailed analysis of your Analytics implementation by showing you an approximation of how the recorded data would look in reports for that view. Note that you must have permission to access those properties and views to see the data in the report.

The Analytics report can also reveal problems or issues including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Dropped AdWords IDs
  • Broken sessions across domains
  • Exceeding your hit limit
  • Hits sent late on page
  • Double hits
  • Invalid custom dimensions, metrics or variables
  • Pages missing tags
  • Invalid Events
  • Missing conversions
  • Missing user IDs
  • Invalid filters
  • Invalid Goals

See the list of specific alerts and their meanings.

The controls in the left-hand panel let you do the following:

Update

Rerun the currently loaded recording against your Analytics configuration. This lets you make changes to your site and/or Analytics configuration and then quickly see the effect of those changes on collected hits.

Choose Property & Views

Select the Analytics property and view(s) on which to report.

Change Location

Displays the currently selected location information. Click Change to set a different location. You can provide an IP address, a geographic location, or choose to use no location at all. This lets you test location-based configuration settings, such as IP-based filters.

Open Recording

Import a recording from a .HARZ file.

The HAR (HTTP Archive) format is a standard way of recording HTTP session information. (HARZ is a compressed HAR file.) This is the format used to store a Google Tag Assistant Recordings session. You can create HAR files in browsers other than Chrome using the HttpWatch utility.

Note: Importing a recording will replace any current recording being displayed in the Analytics report tab.

Save recording

Save the current recording to a .harz file.

Send the current report to the printer.

Details

The controls in the Details section expand or collapse the selected information type in the Flow section of the report. For example, click + Page Loads to expand all the page load details in the Flow section. Click - Page Loads to collapse those details.

Jump to

Navigate to the corresponding section of the report.

Understand the Analytics report

The Analytics report contains several sections, which should be mostly self-explanatory:

Recording Summary

Provides an overview of the current recording. The information provided here includes the following fields:

Field Meaning
Recording time The time and date the recording began.
Location The IP address or geographic location sent by your browser. You can override this with the Change Location option.,
Total page loads The number of pages loaded by your browser during the recording session.
Tracking codes The number of Analytics tracking codes found during the recording session. This also reports the number of Analytics properties which you are authorized to access.
Selected property The Analytics property currently being displayed.

Alerts

Any problems found during the recording are listed here.

  • A yellow icon means Google Tag Assistant Recordings has found a minor implementation issue, which may or may not affect your site metrics and data.
  • A red icon means that Google Tag Assistant Recordings has found a critical implementation error, which should be fixed as soon as possible.

Click an alert message to see where it occurred in your recording flow and to display further details about the alert.

See multiple repeat alerts

When multiple alerts of the same kind are found, Google Tag Assistant Recordings only shows the first alerts. To see the additional alerts, click the plus icon at the end of the message. Click the minus icon to collapse them again.

View Summary

The views section displays selected details from the Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions Analytics reports.This lets you see an approximation of how the hits for the pages you recorded would appear in the selected Analytics views, if those hits were actually sent to Analytics.

For example, the Acquisition section can tell you if the Source and Medium campaign dimensions are being properly populated. The Behavior section can show if filters are being properly applied to content URI. And the Conversions section can help you validate your Goal configuration. If the data in these sections is not what you expected, review the Flow details section below to troubleshoot the problem.

NOTE: The data shown in this report are the result of an emulation of Analytics hit processing. There may be discrepancies between the Google Tag Assistant Recordings report and what is shown in Analytics. For example, the Google Tag Assistant Recordings report won't display data from linked AdWords accounts.

Flow

This is the heart of Google Tag Assistant Recordings. You can see each of the pages loaded, as well as the hits and events that on those pages. Use these details to identify and troubleshoot issues with your Analytics configuration.

 

Expand or collapse individual page loads by clicking the plus and minus icons in this section. Expand or collapse all the report details using the controls in the Details portion of left-hand panel of the report.

Page load details

The Page load panel includes the following fields:

Field Meaning
Redirect The URL of the origin page, if the page load occurred as the result of a redirect.
URL The URL of the loaded page.
Time The time when this page load occurred. Page load 1 is the starting point, so the date and time of that page load is recorded. For subsequent page loads, this is the elapsed time since Page load 1 occurred.
Hits The number of hits generated by this page load, and the number of properties receiving these hits.

Page hit details

The Page hit panel includes the following fields:

Field Meaning
Time The elapsed time since page load 1 occurred.
Hit URL The URL of the hit sent to Analytics. Click the plus icon to see the complete URL, if necessary.
Analytics property The Analytics property receiving the hit.
Hit number in session The sequential (index) number of the hit in this session.
Title The page title.
URI The URI of the hit sent that would be stored in Analytics.
Hostname The hostname of the hit that would be stored in Analytics.
Custom dimensions The values of any custom dimensions or metrics set by the hit.

Event hit details

The Event hit panel includes the fields described above for page hits, and in addition, the user-defined values for the Event fields: Category, Action, Label, and Value.

Learn more about Events in Analytics.

Other hit details

This section includes other types of hits: for example, DoubleClick hits, video hits, social hits and user-defined hits all will appear here, if available.

Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?
Google Analytics training and support resources

Check out our comprehensive list to learn more about Analytics solutions.