An introduction to Google Tag Manager

An introduction to Google Tag Manager

What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free tool by Google that allows you to easily add and edit snippets of code on your website or mobile app. Tags can add analytics tracking, enhance site functionality, manage your advertising pixels or even add custom code that you would like to run. You can do all of this with GTM without having any coding knowledge, you can simply click, copy and paste.

What’s the difference between GTM and Google Analytics?

There’s a lot of confusion around Google Analytics (GA) and Google Tag Manager (GTM). GTM is often mistaken as a similar or latest version of GA. This is far from reality as GTM is a completely separate tool.

Google Tag Manager is an extremely helpful tool. Instead of updating code on your website, you can use an easy to understand interface to add programs such as Google Analytics, AdWords Conversion Tracking and Remarketing, Facebook Pixel and many other products, to your website. GTM consists of three important parts:

  1. Tag – The code that runs on your site. For example to update Google Analytics with a new session each time a page is loaded.
  2. Triggers – a trigger tells the tag to fire when events, such as form submissions, button clicks or page views are detected on your website.
  3. Variables – a variable tells Tag Manager when to fire the trigger. For example when a Call Now button is clicked a variable is used to tell GTM to only fire an event for buttons called Call Now.

Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google. It helps you track and report website traffic and other important data on your website. You can use this data to improve your website and digital marketing efforts.

The importance of GTM

The bigger your site becomes, the worse it may actually perform. This is because websites are continually adding code to track their analytics, conversions, events and/or other functionalities. All these extra pieces of code add up and can end up crowding your pages and slowing down your website.

For this reason, GTM is very welcomed, especially by marketers and developers. Previously, if you needed to add GA tracking code, AdWords conversion code, event listening code, etc., everything was controlled by webmasters, who had the highly technical task of adding the relevant code to each page of your website. Now, no extensive coding experience is needed to enhance your website with programs and updates.

This is ideal for fast-paced digital marketing environments as it speeds up the process from a marketing perspective and allows webmasters to work on other important tasks.

Benefits of GTM

  1. Speed up work processes – GTM allows marketers to add, edit or remove marketing and measurement tags without the intervention of webmasters.
  2. Keep up-to-date with website modifications – It makes future upgrades and enhancements on your website easier since modifications can be made through GTM and not through each page of your website.
  3. Ensure website security – You control who has access to your GTM account and can remove access from someone at any time.
  4. You don’t need coding experience – GTM has built-in tags for tools such as AdWords conversions, remarketing and GA.
  5. You don’t have to manually tag each link you want to track – GTM has built-in triggers to help you add tracking to form submission, buttons, clicks, etc.
  6. Test updates before you publish them – GTM allows you to test and debug each update in your browser before publishing the change.

Google Tag Manager Overview

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