Google Tag Manager Introduction and why use it?

If you’re not that familiar with Google Tag Manager, you are probably wondering what it is, why and where you should use it. Let’s see the most common questions around GTM

What is Google Tag Manager (GTM)?

GTM is a tag management system (TMS) tool that allows users to easily add and edit snippets of custom or templated code called “tags” to a website. Tags can add analytics tracking, manage advertising pixels or create additional site functionality. GTM includes many predefined tag templates requiring no custom coding.

Below is a schematic example of how GTM works. Information from one data source (your website) is shared with another data source (Analytics, etc) 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.

How GTM Works?

Google Tag Manager is a user-friendly solution to managing the tags, or snippets of JavaScript that send information to third parties, on your website or mobile app. Adding other products to your site, including but not limited to AdWords Conversion Tracking and Remarketing, DoubleClick Floodlight, and of course, Google Analytics is a breeze.

GTM makes your life easier by simplifying the process of adding these JavaScript snippets to your website. Instead of updating code on your website, you can use the interface to decide what needs to fire and on what page or what action. GTM then adds the appropriate tracking to your site to make sure it all works.

Google Tag Manager consists of three main parts:

Tag: A snippet of code (usually JavaScript) added to a page.

Triggers: Defines when and where tags are executed.

Variables: Used to receive or store information to be used by tags and triggers.

Some of the reasons why GTM Is Special

1. It’s Free.

Not to worry, it’s both free and awesome! Google Tag Manager has a multitude of robust features, including (but not limited to) usability, accounts and user roles, tag firing rules, and supported tags (Google, third-party, and custom HTML tags).

2. Do It Yourself

Insert the container tag once, make changes whenever you want without much hassle, and voilà! With the available debugging tools and preview mode, you can be sure of what you’re doing before you publish it.

3. Implement Features With Google Analytics

Google Tag Manager makes it easier to implement some of the more complicated Google Analytics features, such as User ID tracking. User ID tracking gives you the ability to measure real users instead of devices. This provides more accurate data for you, which ultimately helps your users! It’s a win-win.

Tag Manager also helps with common challenges in Google Analytics, such as Custom Dimensions, Cross-Domain Tracking for multiple sites that are tracked together in Google Analytics, and Enhanced Ecommerce that requires collaboration with developers.

4. Easily Track More Things

With so many great resources available on the web (and our own site!) it’s easier than ever to track things like YouTube videos on your site, print tracking, or AJAX form submissions.

You are also able to control the access by granting different levels of permission at both the account and container levels.

5. Debug Mode

With debug options, built-in error checking, and version controls, you can rest easy knowing that everything you do with GTM can be tested and debugged before it’s deployed on your live website.

How is Google Tag Manager different from Google Analytics?

GTM is a completely different tool used only 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 reporting and analysis. All conversion tracking goals or filters are managed through Analytics. All reporting (conversion reports, custom segments, eCommerce sales, time on page, bounce rate, engagement reports, etc…) are done in Google Analytics. 

What do you think of GTM?

Has it been easy or hard?

Need help with Digital Analytics? Get in touch!

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