Are you familiar with Google Tag Manager? If not, then you may be missing out. Google Tag Manager is a valuable digital marketing tool that can take your website to the next level.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what Google Tag Manager is, how it’s used, and more.
What is Google Tag Manager?
Google Tag Manager is a free tool that helps to collect and keep data organized. The tool also helps in making decisions about your website. Google Tag Manager (GTM) works by creating small bits of code on your site but without having to modify the site’s code in any way.
With GTM, all that’s necessary is to create a snippet of code or a tracking pixel for your site. This can be done without having to change all the code on your site. From there, GTM gathers the information from your website and shares it with analytics. This means all the data passes from the website, through Google Tag Manager, and then through to Google Analytics. All the code is stored in one place, too, which makes managing all the data easier.
With GTM, there’s no need for a developer, which can help your business save a ton of money. The tool helps with analytics for marketing, tracking customer conversion rates, as well as other analytics needed to understand your online business. But is Google Tag Manager easy to use?
Google Tag Manager Can Be Challenging for Some
While Google advertises their GTM tool is easy and simple to use, the reality is quite different. To use GTM, it’s necessary to have some technical knowledge, take training courses, or be self-taught. Some tech knowledge is required in order to set up tags, triggers, and variables.
While it’s true managing multiple tags is easy in GTM, there’s a learning curve to using the tool. Once you have the knowledge, then the tool is easier to use. So, some technical knowledge is required to use the Google Tag Manager tool.
How Does Google Tag Manager Work?
The GTM tool has three main parts: tags, triggers, and variables. We’ll take a look at each of these to get a better understanding of what they are.
Google analytics universal tracking code
- Adwords conversion tracking code
- Heatmap tracking code
- Adwords remarketing code
- Facebook pixels
Triggers: these tell GTM when to do what you want them to do. This is also called “firing.”
Variables: are additional information that may be needed by GTM for tag and trigger work.
The most basic variable that’s possible to create with the Google Tag Management tool is the Google Analytics UA number (which is a tracking ID number).
How is Google Tag Manager Different to Google Analytics?
This a common question, and no wonder when it seems that Google Tag Manager is doing what Google Analytics does. However, the two tools are quite different.
For instance, GTM is used for storing and managing third-party code. It doesn’t compile reports or conduct any type of analysis. This is where Google Analytics comes into play. It’s only used for reporting and analysis of data. Google Analytics takes care of conversion tracking goals and filters.
This means that Google Analytics takes care of conversion reports, time on page, bounce rate, ecommerce sales, custom segments, and more.
The Benefits of Using Google Tag Manager
The GTM tool offers many benefits once you’ve mastered the learning curve. For one thing, this is a completely free tool. The tool makes it easy to custom the data sent to Analytics, for instance. What’s more, it’s possible to set up and track events such as PDF downloads, outbound link clicks, and more. It’s even possible to track promotions and more with the Google Tag Manager. You have control of all tags used when the tag should “fire” or not, and what happens when a tag does fire.
Other benefits include helping your site load faster, depending on the number of tags used. GTM provides you with the flexibility to test almost anything, as well as use third-party codes. It also works with third-party products (non-Google). And the Google Tag Manager also provides a preview and debug mode, which makes it easy to see if things are working or not before going live. It also shows which tags are firing on any specific page.
With all the control offered by GTM, you’ll have more useful information to understand your site’s analytics. In the end, this means your site can become even more successful.
Disadvantages of the Google Tag Manager
As with any great tool, there are bound to be some disadvantages to consider, too. Here are some of GTM’s disadvantages.
It’s necessary to have some technical knowledge to use GTM. After setting up the tool, you’ll be taken to a developer guide, not a marketing guide. Unless you’re a developer, this guide will not make any sense to you.
Another disadvantage is that it takes time to set up and get running. If you’re a developer, this will be a breeze; however, for those without technical knowledge, it will take time to figure out how GTM works and get it all set up.
You’ll also need to make time to troubleshoot any issues that happen after setting up tags, triggers, and variables. And for those tags are that are more complex and involved, you will need a developer who knows how the website was built.
What Can Google Tag Manager Track?
There are several things GTM can track, including:
- Abandoned shopping carts
- Abandoned forms
- Events (link clinks, add to cart click, PDF downloads, and more)
- Video views tracking
- Exit link clicks
In the end, the Google Tag Manager is a free tool that has so many possibilities. However, it’s important to realize the more tags used, the more difficult it will be to manage. So, keep things as simple as possible, and you’ll have an extremely useful tool to help you better understand your website’s data analytics. With this knowledge, it will be possible to grow your business and increase revenues while even increasing customer conversion and satisfaction.
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent a decade working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.