- The result you should expect from the built-in Youtube trigger in GTM
- Why is the built-in Youtube trigger not working in Google Tag Manager?
- How to fix Youtube trigger in Google Tag Manager? (+ some alternatives)
- #2. Play around with the new “Enable this trigger on” setting
- #3. Load the Youtube Iframe API library
- #4. Privacy-enhanced mode
- Other solutions to replace the built-in Youtube trigger in GTM
- #5. Custom Youtube listener by Bounteous
- #6. Modified Cardinal Path’s solution
- Conclusion: what to do when Youtube trigger in Google Tag Manager is not working
- You must have at least one Youtube video trigger enabled on a page
- When you interact with the embedded Youtube video player, a gtm.video event appears in the Preview and Debug console (that’s because the Youtube auto-event listener catches the interaction and pushes it to the Data Layer).
- If this happens, you’re good to go. Enabled built-in video variables in GTM, create a tag (e.g. GA Event) and fire it on those gtm.video Data Layer events.
- On the earliest moment when GTM container loads (gtm.js event)
- When the Document Object Module is ready, a.k.a. DOM Ready (gtm.dom event)
- When all scripts are loaded on a page, a.k.a. Window Loaded (gtm.load event)
- An embedded video must be already present on a page when GTM container loads
- Or the Youtube Iframe API script must be present on a page when GTM container loads
- The default Youtube trigger will properly track YT videos if:
- enablejsapi is added to the URL of the embedded Youtube video player and is set to 1 (you can check that by inspecting the iframe of the Youtube video and checking its src attribute).
- and one of these conditions is met:
- Youtube video player is already present on a page when GTM container loads (and that’s why lazy loaded videos are not tracked by default)
- Youtube Iframe API script is already present when the GTM container loads
- Take a look at whether your embedded videos are using the privacy-enhanced Youtube mode
- Try implementing custom Youtube listeners. These solutions are not very elegant (compared to the built-in functionality of GTM) but still might serve as a plan B.
- Check whether the URL of the embedded YT player does not contain origin=null query parameter. If it does, it should be removed (or set to the domain of the parent page).
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Updated: March 6th, 2019. This is an updated version of the blog post posted back in 2016 (when the built-in Youtube trigger was not a thing in GTM yet).
In the autumn of 2017, Google Tag Manager team released multiple awesome features and native Youtube trigger was one of them. Before that happened, the industry was utilizing custom video tracking solutions created by Bounteous (ex Lunametrics) or Cardinal Path.
Even though the new Youtube trigger was a great addition to the feature set within GTM, it wasn’t (and still isn’t) bulletproof. Due to particular factors (I’ll explain them later), it will not be able to track some YT players. That’s why you can still occasionally see new posts popping up in GTM communities or forums asking for help tracking YT videos.
In this blog post, I’ll share several tips/workarounds you can implement in order to track videos when the Youtube trigger isn’t working in Google Tag Manager.
Table of contents
The result you should expect from the built-in Youtube trigger in GTM
Here’s how Youtube video tracking should work in the perfect scenario:
However, this does not always happen. The main problem that occurs with Youtube trigger in GTM is that gtm.video does not appear with all videos. Why?
Why is the built-in Youtube trigger not working in Google Tag Manager?
The main cause of this problem is a thing called lazy-loaded videos. For example, if a video player is not loaded together with the entire page document but later (e.g. in a popup after a user clicks a big blue button on your homepage), that is considered as a lazy-loaded video and the built-in GTM trigger will not track its interactions.
Other possible reasons are: the embedded Youtube video is using privacy-enhanced mode or has a query parameter origin set to null. Let’s take a closer look at them and what are the possible solutions.
How to fix Youtube trigger in Google Tag Manager? (+ some alternatives)
#1.1 Ask a developer (or change it yourself if you have access to the website’s code) to add an additional query parameter enablejsapi=1 to the URL of the embedded Youtube video. Before you do that, you need to make sure that this is a problem at all. Inspect the video player and keep looking for the iframe element that loads the YT video. Check its src attribute. Does the URL contain enablejsapi=1? If no, then you could indeed ask a developer to add this parameter to the embedded video’s URL.
The main advantage of this solution is that it does not require a developer’s input. But on the other hand, it will add a flicker effect to the player. This means that GTM will reload the player once in order to load it with the enablejsapi query parameter present. This can become an issue if a video on your page starts playing automatically (because it might start playing, then GTM will reload it and it will start playing again). This is a VERY rare edge case (but still worth knowing).
Important: If the embedded YT video is already using the enablejsapi parameter that is set to 0 (enablejsapi=0), then GTM will not change its value to 1. Unfortunately, that’s how GTM works right now (thanks to Simo Ahava for his comment).
Also, another important note from Simo was that if the embedded player’s URL contains the query parameter origin that is set to null (origin=null), Youtube trigger will also not work. Ask a developer to remove that parameter from the URL (or it should contain the URL of the domain that the player is embedded on).
#2. Play around with the new “Enable this trigger on” setting
One of the main reasons why I published this blog post today is the new feature in GTM. On March 6th, Google Tag Manager team added a new setting to YT and Scroll triggers. You can now control when the trigger is enabled on a page:
By default, Youtube Trigger is enabled on the DOM Ready event, however, you may try to delay it and enable on Window Loaded. Maybe that will help if the video is injected dynamically into the page and that happens after the DOM ready event has already occurred.
#3. Load the Youtube Iframe API library
I’ve learned this today as Sergii Lysenko (a member of the GTM community on Facebook) shared his tip (and Simo added his two cents as well). Thanks!
In addition to the enablejsapi=1 requirement, there are two more things you need to keep in mind in order to make the Youtube listener start working. If at least one of those two things (read requirements) is met then the built-in YT trigger in GTM will work:
So if one of these two things are present on a page, then the YT listener will be activated and will start listening to video interactions.
However, as I have mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, the main problem comes with the lazy-loaded videos. When GTM loads, the lazily loaded video (and the Youtube Iframe API script) are not present yet, therefore, the listener never activates.
A solution? Load the Youtube API script before the Youtube Trigger is enabled. Create a Custom HTML tag with the following code:
It will push the “youtube” events to the Data Layer. If you’re not sure what variables and trigger should you create, everything is explained in the Cardinal Path’s blog post. All you need to do is to update Cardinal Path’s Custom HTML tag’s code with the one that I’ve posted above.
The solution isn’t perfect (compared to those that are at the beginning of the post) and it can cause some video flickering but if you are looking for a plan B, this might be it.
In this case, you should also remember that this solution uses custom triggers and variables (meaning that you’ll need to create Data Layer Variables and Custom Event trigger on your own. The built-in video triggers will not work here.
P.S. Here’s a GTM recipe (that automatically created triggers, variables, etc.).
Conclusion: what to do when Youtube trigger isn’t working in Google Tag Manager
So there you have it. 6 ways how you can solve the puzzle when the built-in Youtube trigger isn’t working in Google Tag Manager. Here are the key takeaways:
As for those other two conditions (where at least one must be met), create a Custom HTML tag that contains the Youtube Iframe API script and fire it before the Youtube trigger is enabled.
All pages trigger assigned to that Custom HTML tag should do the trick.
If these settings do not work (even though they should), consider checking other tips:
As always, the comments section is at your service. Did I miss anything? Let me know.
The post Youtube trigger isn’t working in Google Tag Manager? 6 ways to fix it appeared first on Analytics Mania.Click here to read more
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