Data drives digital marketing. However, used alone, data has its limitations and needs to be combined with other tools.
Employing tools like Google Analytics for data collection is critical for expanding the reach of your business, making conversions, and for optimizing your digital marketing strategy.
Google Analytics for instance works more effectively when combined with tags. Tags are tracking pixels or code snippets from 3rd-party tools that tell the Google Tag Manager (GTM) what to do.
But what is Google Tag Manager?
Google Tag Manager is a web-based interface, a user-friendly tool that simplifies how you work with tags. It’s a tag management system (TMS) that allows you to add, disable, and edit tags quickly and easily on your website. TMS helps in the easier management of user interactions.
GTM becomes particularly useful when you got many tags to manage as all the code gets stored in one location. To code tags manually can be a difficult and tedious process if you lack coding experience.
The biggest benefit that comes with using Google Tag Manager is it makes it easier for you as a marketer to implement tags on your own without relying on web developers.
Who Can Use Google Tag Manager?
With Google Tag Manager, your entire process of tagging becomes much easier. You simply embed a code into your pages once, then every time you need to create a tag, GTM codes it and even embeds it on your behalf.
The GTM is fully compatible with several analytics platforms and you can use it in managing numerous 3rd-party tags such as Bing Ads, Twitter, Hotjar, and Crazy Egg.
For those using a Content Management System (CMS) that allows the usage of plugins, you might discover that already there is a plugin that installs GTM for you. You only need to add your GTM container ID.
Google Tag Manager Components
Tag, Triggers, and Variables are the 3 building blocks of GTM.
- Tags: Tracking codes that tell the Google Tag Manager what action to take on a particular page.
- Triggers: They fire and tell GTM whento take the action you want it to take.
- Variables: Extra information that may be needed by GTM for your trigger and tag to work.
Setting Google Tag Manager
The process of setting up GTM need not be stressful.
- Create or use an existing Google account
- Install the container snippet in your website/mobile app
- Add and then publish your tags.
The container snippet is created by default. It’s a small piece of code that enables the GTM to fire tags
Setting up Tags
The Google Tag Manager includes a number of in-built tag templates for major ad and analytics platforms including Google products.
Setting up Triggers
You can base your Triggers on several actions such as clicks pageviews, time on site, forms submissions, element visibility, and many more.
By default, a limited number of variables will appear in your options when setting up your triggers. However, if you want to go deeper into customization, ensure you enable extra variables in the GTM interface.
After the GTM code is implemented on your page(s), you need to preview and test its working to ensure it was actually installed properly.