what is google tag manager

Digital marketing thrives on data and analytics. No matter what the type of website – eCommerce, a personal blog, or a small local online business – it’s essential to understand how it performs.

Google Analytics provides valuable insights, but it has limitations. But by using it in conjunction with Google Tag Manager, you can collect information that is more valuable and relevant to your business needs.

What is Google Tag Manager and How Does It Work?

google tag managerEnter Google Tag Manager!

Google Analytics generates reports and statistics, including:

  • Number of visitors on your website
  • Location
  • How many pages they have visited

This is done by placing a marketing tag (usually called the GA Tracking Code) on every page of the website. It is great if you just want to track general information such as bounce rate, page views, referrals, and so on. But if you want to see how many visitors use a specific feature or want to track sales, you will have to add custom tags.

You can ask the developer to add a few tags, but what if you want to track hundreds of interactions? Well, here comes the Google Tag Manager to the rescue!

Google Tag Manager makes it easier to manage hundreds of tags by letting you define the rules of when a particular tag should fire.

So let’s get to know a little more about this tool.

What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager offers simple, reliable, and easily integrated tag management solutions used for tracking and analytics on websites. Simply put, this free tool allows managing marketing tags on your mobile app or website without modifying the actual code.

You can easily add and edit snippets of template or custom code to your site. It will eliminate the manual process of creating tags, which makes the marketing process more precise and efficient.

While Google Tag Manager is a Google product, it’s not limited to Google services — it can also be used to manage many different third-party tags, such as Bing Ads, Twitter, Crazy Egg, and more.

google tag manager tutorialHow Does Google Tag Manager Work?

The Google Tag Manager has its own container tag and can be put on your website pages. It eliminates the need to place multiple codes within the site. The exact code is placed on each page, so you don’t have to rewrite it for individual pages of a site.

With GTM, you don’t have to code tags manually as they can be automatically updated on the site. You can even tag for multiple websites, which makes the management of websites extremely easy.

how to use google tag manager

Component of Tags & GTM

There are four parts to Google Tag Manager – tags, triggers, variables, and data layer.

Tags

Tags are the snippet of JavaScript or tracking pixels. Basically, these are pieces of code that you can place on the back end of the website to retarget visitors or track conversions. This code sends important information to a third-party tool such as Google Analytics.

Tags track what is happening on your web pages. These can even send out behavioral emails and measure scroll depth and much more. Tags are more helpful when used with Google Tag Manager as it can automatically track the information you need.

Some of the common tags within GTM are:

  • Google Analytics: Universal Analytics
  • Google Ads Conversion Tracking
  • Google Ads Remarketing
  • Floodlight Counter
  • Floodlight Sales

Triggers

Each tag needs to serve a specific purpose. For instance, you can send information when a form is submitted, when a particular link is clicked, or when someone downloads a file. These types of events are called triggers. All tags need to have at least one trigger assigned to it.

You can choose from different triggers, including click, page view, element visibility, history change, JavaScript errors, form submission, timer, scroll depth, custom events, and YouTube video.

Moreover, triggers have two key components: events and filters. While configuring a trigger in GTM, you will get a list of triggers to select from. After choosing an event, you can set up your filter.

Variables

GTM uses multiple aspects to make sure the condition of a trigger has been met. These are known as variables. Just like tags are dependent on triggers, triggers are dependent on variables.

Basically, the tag evaluates the variable’s value to the value in the trigger, and if both the value matches, your tag will be executed.

Some examples of variables are what the user has purchased, the speed at which they scroll a page up or down, and how much time they have spent on a specific page.

Variables will help to monitor the relevant information needed for marketing. These are used with both tags and triggers to get the most specific information. It rules out unimportant data to give you exactly what you need.

Data Layers

A data layer is a JavaScript object that stores the information tags need. As tags shouldn’t waste time searching through HTML to find the information they require, this is a great method to improve site speed. With data layers, tags can find everything they’re looking for in one place when the page loads.

Google Tag Manager – For Better, More Robust User Experiences

Besides saving you a lot of time, Google Tag Manager will make things better for your users as well. You can easily add any software for improved personalization such as live chat, email automation, and even heat map software, which can help to enhance user experience. What’s not to like?

Ready to integrate Google Tag Manager into your business?

Our ninjas can help! Get in touch today to start brainstorming how Google Tag Manager can improve outcomes for your business.

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