Google Tag Manager (GTM) is an essential online tool from Google to help marketers with tracking codes and collecting analytics on websites. The resource can be used to insert tags such as Google Analytics tags, to facilitate the collection of this information. In digital marketing it is essential to be able to measure the results of actions through metrics such as traffic, events or conversions. Therefore, Google Tag Manager is one of the best friends of professionals in the area.
The functionality has countless resources and is totally free. Therefore, with GTM it is possible to follow all the information of a website in a centralized place that stores the necessary data. Want to know everything about the tool and how to use it? Then come with us and keep following!
What is Google Tag Manager?
Google Tag Manager is a free tag management system that allows you to manage and deploy marketing tags (code snippets or tracking pixels) on a website (or app) without having to modify the code on the pages.
This eliminates the need to place many different codes on a single site. The same code is placed on each page, so it doesn’t need to be rewritten for individual pages. You can also use the tool for apps.
Instead of manually coding the tags on a website, you can use Google Tag Manager to update them automatically. That way, once you’ve added code snippets related to your site or app, simply connect to Google Tag Manager. When that step is complete, a web-based interface will automatically place the codes on the page.
Those using Google Tag Manager can also choose triggers in the interface. That way, when some action happens on the site, the trigger will be triggered. Some examples of events would be the loading of the page, a user touching the screen or selecting an option or clicking submit on any form you have on your site. Once the event happens, GTM is triggered, collects the data and then it is sent back to Google Analytics.
Google Tag Manager is designed to be simple to use and requires no specialist programming skills. That way, marketers can easily link the data measurement tools they need to the sites they manage.
How to use Google Tag Manager?
There are a few different components in Google Tag Manager required for the tool to work properly. There are three main components that work together. They are:
- Triggers: these tell Google Tag Manager when, where or how to trigger a tag.
- Variables: additional information that GTM may need for the tags and triggers to work.
What are tags?
Tags are the part responsible for tracking what is happening on each of your web pages. They can, for example, find out how users interact with a website’s features. Tags are snippets of code or tracking pixels from third-party tools. These tags tell Google Tag Manager what to do.
Some common tags in Google Tag Manager are, for example:
- Google Analytics universal tracking codes or GA4 tracking code, Google Ads remarketing, Google Ads conversion tracking and heat map tracking (Hotjar, CrazyEgg, etc…)
- Facebook pixels
- Custom HTML scripts
- Cookiebot and other GDPR data privacy scripts
What are triggers?
Triggers are a way to trigger the tag you have set up. In other words, they tell Google Tag Manager when, where or how to do what you want it to do. Check out some examples of common triggers in Google Tag Manager:
- Page views
- Link clicks
- Form submissions
- Scroll depth
- Custom Events
What are variables?
Variables are another important component of Google Tag Manager. They have the ability to send very specific information to functionality according to what is configured. This way you can specify variables or simply use the option to include all types of clicks when a visitor clicks on a link. This will allow all the different variable options to remain open.
It is interesting to use variables to track certain actions, such as clicks on a URL, for example. Some variables can include the speed a user scrolls up or down the page, the amount of what they purchased, or even how long they spent on a specific page on the site.
These variables can help track the most important and relevant information needed for marketing or usability purposes. Therefore, they are used in conjunction with triggers and tags to get more specific information. This can help discard unimportant data, so you have exactly the data you need, when you need it.
Google Tag Manager Advantages
- Simplify tag management. Allows you to add and modify tags to evaluate all aspects of your marketing strategy. Its design is easy and intuitive, so you can make all the necessary changes.
- Reduce the risk of tag management errors. It has a very simple error checking system, loads tags quickly and allows you to test in a pre-production environment. All of this makes it easy for you to ensure your site works perfectly at all times.
- Implement Google and third-party tags. It is compatible with all tag types and has a large number of pre-configured tag templates. If you can’t find a specific tag, you can add it as a custom tag.
- Collaborate with your team. Includes workspaces and access controls so your team members can collaborate more effectively.
Want to learn more about Google Tag Manager, or need professional help implementing the tool in your company? Get in touch with our experts!