What is Google Tag Manager (GTM)?
Google Tag Manager is a unblock tag management system that allows you to manage and deploy market tags ( snippets of code or tracking pixels ) on your web site ( or mobile app ) without having to modify the code .
here ’ s a very simple example of how Google Tag Manager works. information from one datum informant ( your web site ) is shared with another data beginning ( Google Analytics ) through Google Tag Manager. GTM becomes very handy when you have lots of tags to manage because all of the code is stored in one place .
A huge benefit of Tag Manager is that you, the seller, can manage the code on your own. “ No more developers needed. Whoo hoo ! ”
Sounds easily right ? unfortunately, it ’ s not that simpleton .
|“ GTM is unfortunately misconstrue, overused, and abused. Although the idea of empowering marketers to easily do technical thrust on websites was/is very appealing, the fallout of not in full understanding the technical implications of code interpolation and tag can be damaging to page structure and load time performance. ” – Angie Schottmuller, Conversion Optimizer|
Is Google Tag Manager easy to use?
According to Google ,
“ Google Tag Manager helps make tag management simple, easy and reliable by allowing marketers and webmasters to deploy web site tags all in one locate. ”
They say it ’ s a “ elementary ” instrument that any seller can use without needing a network developer .
I may get run over in the comments section for saying this, but I ’ thousand standing my grind. Google Tag Manager is not “easy” to use without some technical knowledge or training (courses or self-taught).
You have to have some technical cognition to understand how to set up tags, triggers and variables. If you ’ re dropping in Facebook pixels, you ’ ll need some understanding of how Facebook tracking pixels work .
If you want to set up event tracking in Google Tag Manager, you ’ ll need some cognition about what “ events ” are, how Google Analytics works, what data you can track with events, what the reports look like in Google Analytics and how to name your categories, actions and labels .
Although it is “ easy ” to manage multiple tags in GTM, there is a teach bend. Once you ’ re over the bulge, GTM is pretty crafty about what you can track .
| “ Google Tag Manager has made the process of managing analytics and marketing tags easier than ever before. With this, most marketers do not realize what Google Tag Manager is actually doing and what happens when mistakes are made . |
At Analytics Pros, we never recommend anyone use Google Tag Manager on their live web site without a few months of coach and experience. GTM is injecting code directly on the site, which means while unlikely, there is a possibility could break your web site .
We have seen issues where users have injected plaintext on their pages, break URLs and crack market tags and Analytics. The most successful GTM accounts have both marketing and technical resources involved with configuration, maintenance and updates. ” – Charles Farina, Analytics Pros, @ CharlesFarina
Let’s go over how Google Tag Manager works…
There are three independent parts to Google Tag Manager :
- Triggers: This tells Google Tag Manager when, where or how to fire a tag
- Variables: Additional information GTM may need for the tag and trigger to work
What are tags?
Tags are snippets of code or tracking pixels from third-party tools. These tags tell Google Tag Manager what to do .
Examples of common tags within Google Tag Manager are :
- Google Analytics Universal tracking code or GA4 tracking code
- Adwords Remarketing code
- Adwords Conversion Tracking code
- Heatmap tracking code (Hotjar, CrazyEgg, etc…)
- Facebook pixels
- Custom HTML scripts
- Cookiebot and other GDPR data privacy scripts
What are triggers?
Triggers are a room to fire the rag that you set up. They tell Tag Manager when, where or how to do what you want it to do. Want to fire tags on a page opinion, link snap or is it custom ?
Examples of common triggers within Google Tag Manager are :
- Links clicks
- Form submissions
- Scroll depth
- Custom events
What are variables?
Variables are extra information that GTM may need for your tag and trip to work. hera are some examples of different variables .
The most basic type of variable star that you can create in GTM is the Google Analytics UA number ( the track ID issue ) .
Those are the identical basic elements of GTM that you will need to know to start managing tags on your own .
If you ’ re blase read this right now, you won ’ t have any issues managing your tags. If you are wholly lost, you are going to need help from person more technical .
How is Google Tag Manager different from Google Analytics?
Google Tag Manager is a completely different instrument used merely for storing and managing third-party code. There are no reports or any way to do analysis in GTM .
Google Analytics is used for actual report and analysis. All conversion tracking goals or filters are managed through Analytics .
All report ( conversion reports, custom segments, ecommerce sales, clock on page, engagement reports, etc… ) are done in Google Analytics .
What are the benefits of Google Tag Manager?
once you get over the learn arch, what you can do in Google Tag Manager is pretty amazing. You can customize the datum that is sent to Analytics .
You can set up and track basic events like PDF downloads, outbound liaison clicks or button clicks. Or, complex enhanced ecommerce merchandise and promotion chase .
Let ’ s say we want to track all outbound links on the web site. In GTM, choose the category identify, action and label. We chose offsite connect, snap and suction stop URL .
In Google Analytics go to Behavior > Events > Top Events > Offsite associate .
now select either event action or label to get the full reports. The data that we set up in Google Tag Manager is now appearing in the Analytics reports. bang-up !
Want to try out a cock on a free trial basis ? You can add the code to Tag Manager and test it out without needing to get your developers involved .
other perks :
- It may help your site load faster depending on how many tags you are using.
- It works with non-Google products.
- Flexibility to play around and test out almost anything you want.
- All third-party code is in one place.
- GTM has a preview and debug mode so you can see what’s working and what’s not before you make anything live. It shows you what tags are firing on the page. Love this feature!
What are the drawbacks?
1. You must have some technical knowledge, even for the basic frame-up .
Check out the software documentation from Google on how to setup Google Tag Manager. Once you get past the “ Quick Start Guide, ” it takes you to a developer lead. not a seller ’ randomness guide. If you are a first time exploiter, this will read like gibberish .
2. It’s a time investment.
Unless you ’ re a season developer, you will need to carve out a ball of research and test time. even if it ’ south reading a few web log posts or taking an on-line class .
3. Make time for troubleshooting issues.
There is a fortune of troubleshooting that takes place when setting up tags, triggers and variables. particularly if you are not in Tag Manager regularly, it ’ sulfur identical easy to forget what you just learned. For more complex tag, you will likely need a developer with cognition of how the web site was built .
What can you track in Google Tag Manager (GTM)?
- Events (link clicks, PDF downloads, add to cart click, remove from cart click)
- Scroll tracking
- Form abandonment
- Shopping cart abandonment
- Video views tracking
- All exit link clicks
| “ One of my favorites is contentedness grouping in Google Analytics combined with Google Tag Manager. It allows you to define contented groups by Rules/Macros. You can then see which elements of your web log posts ( e.g. images, videos, distance, title length ) head to the most conversions, longest time on page, etc . |
I besides use it for cross-domain trailing, tracking social interaction and telephone number clicks on mobile. – Shanelle Mullin, ConversionXL, @ shanelle_mullin
We are good scratching the surface of what you can do in Google Tag Manager. The possibilities seem about endless. But, as Himanshu Sharma points out, the more tags and data sources you have the hard they are to manage .
|“ The happiness that you get by managing all the tag from one cardinal location is short lived and the trouble oneself is around the corner. As your need for integrating web site data with diverse data sources increases and become more complex, you cursorily realize, how hard it can be to create and maintain each integration. ” – Himanshu Sharma, Optimize Smart, @ optimizesmart|
Where can I learn more about Google Tag Manager?
I took a live course through Conversion XL with Chris Mercer. It was one of the best on-line classes I ’ ve taken. You can purchase the recordings if you are interest.
early go-to resources are :
Your turn. What do you think of Google Tag Manager?
Google Tag Manager can decidedly make your life easier if you are will to learn how it works. Make sure that you are actually using the data that you are setting up in GTM. differently, what ’ s the detail ?
I ’ molarity curious to hear your experience with Google Tag Manager. Has it been easy or hard ? How are you using it in your marketing ?