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An Introduction to Google Tag Manager

An Introduction to Google Tag Manager

Lately, we have been asked a lot of questions pertaining to Google tag manager by our clients. “How helpful would Google Tag Manager be for our business? Would it create any value addition?” “Does it work with WordPress? If yes, how to use Google Tag Manager with WordPress?” These are just a few of the many questions that we have been bombarded with. But before we attempt to answer these questions, we thought it would be apt to give an introduction to this amazing Google product; as a lot of you may not be aware of it.

  

Whether it is an e-commerce giant, a personal website, or a website for small business, it is absolutely essential that you know how people tend to interact with your site. Data is simply a ‘non-negotiable’ for digital marketing to thrive. Google Analytics could offer some really important insights that you are looking for. However, Google analytics, and all other similar analytics tools for that matter, do have a few limitations when used alone. They tend to work much more efficiently when used with tags and this is where Google Tag Manager comes into the picture.

 

What are tags?

Before we give an introduction to Google Tag Manager and explain Google Tag Manager for beginners, or go a step further and create a full-fledged Google Tag Manager implementation guide, let us first understand what a tag is. In a general sense, a tag is a snippet of code that you embed in your site’s JavaScript or HTML in order to extract certain data from your website or mobile app and send it to a third party service. The third party service may be Google Analytics, Adwords, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Your business craves accurate data and tags are what that capture that data. To draw an analogy, data is a photograph and a tag is the camera.

 

Tags could be used for a host of different purposes such as:

  • Measuring traffic
  • Tracking and visitor behavior (how did they arrive on your site, how much time did they spend on a particular page, the links they clicked upon, etc.)
  • Gauge the efficacy and impact of online advertising (including social media)
  • Monitoring form submissions
  • Generating heat maps
  • Site personalization

 

What is Google Tag Manager?

Each and every tag tracks something different. You will need to create a new tag for each item you need to track and the quantum of code required to create them all could become pretty overwhelming; particularly if you resort to manual coding and do not possess much development and coding experience. However, Google Tag Manager simplifies this process for you to a large extent. All that you are required to do is to embed a Google Tag Manager code within your site pages just once and then each time you wish to create a tag, Google Tag Manager would code it and embed it for you.

Google Tag Manager LogoIn a nutshell, GTM is a tag management system that enables you to create and track tags on any user interface without having to write the code every time you need to construct a new tag. You can also edit or disable the tags without even touching the source code with the help of this user-friendly, web-based interface. It manages the entire code deployment process with a single program.

 

The benefits of Google Tag Manager

GTM offers a plethora of benefits to both developers and marketers. More than 41% of the top 200 marketing websites use Google Tag Manager. Let us discuss some of the more prominent and proven ones that we have the first-hand experience of and not the ones you’d find on a random Google tag manager guide on the internet.

Speed!

Quite simply, the greatest benefit of GTM is speed; a ‘must have’ for any business in the modern business environment. With GTM, you can change the variables in your code with immediate effect, leading to instantly optimized results. It provides you with unprecedented marketing agility.

 

GTM also reduces the load time for your pages. Replacing all tags on your site with a single line of code is a time-consuming process. GTM streamlines the code and loads it asynchronously, that is, it deploys only those applications that are relevant to the visitor and to the page. The streamlined Google Tag Manager code accelerates the load time; and faster loading time means more visitors and higher conversions.

 

Coding errors are minimized

Manual tagging is a highly tedious process that increases the occurrence of human errors. Human error could lead to improper application of tags, which has the potential to sabotage your measurements and ultimately create additional costs and loss of data. GTM helps avoid these issues by condensing the tags into an easily manageable form.

 

Web developers could focus on priority tasks

Developers are usually occupied with more high-priority tasks and tagging is often the last thing on their minds. But as GTM allows you to add or edit tags without touching the source code, marketers can make these changes on their own without relying on the web developers’ assistance. Web developers can thus concentrate on performing more specialized tasks.

 

Efficiency of application testing process is improved

Digital marketers are always on the lookout for the ideal combination of online marketing applications. Finding out the vendors and applications that provide you with the best results requires live testing. Usually, you would need your IT team to develop a script for the various pages and tags for measuring the results with accuracy. This process, though, could take weeks and months. GTM enables you to set up split segmentation within minutes even without your IT team and you can instantly find out which vendors or applications are performing the best.

 

Advanced analytics tracking becomes possible

 

Google Tag Manager Platform

 

Through the various inbuilt tags and various and effective use of the Google Tag Manager tracking code, you can implement advanced tracking for your website in a very short amount of time. For instance, if you want to track the clicks on your website (without using GTM) to determine the quantum of traffic the site is sending to other sites (affiliates, advertisers, etc), you would need to add an event tracking code to every external link. GTM allows you to track this activity without breaking a sweat. If you wish to implement advanced analytics for your business at its fullest potential, learn how to use Google Tag Manager with Google analytics.

Related Article: Google Analytics E-commerce Tracking with Google Tag Manager

More than 2 million websites around the world use Google Tag Manager. The best thing about Google Tag Manager is that businesses of any size stand to benefit from it. If you learn how to use Google Tag Manager effectively, you can work wonders for your business even with limited access to technical support. And now that you have been given a decent enough introduction to Google Tag Manager through this Google Tag Manager guide, and that GTM is free, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be using it.

Posted by Vishal Bhatia / Posted on 28 Nov
  • Data Driven Marketing, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manger
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