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Google Tag Manager – What Is It?

Google Tag Manager - What Is It

Google Tag Manager is a tool that has been widely used for more than a decade but is still relatively less known than other services from Google, like Google Ads or Google Analytics. Google Tag Manager can be very valuable when it comes to managing the website’s source code – especially when we don’t have programistic skills and experience in web development. How does Google Tag Manager work? When should it be used? Read on and learn a few things about Google Tag Manager.

What Does Google Tag Manager Do?

Google Tag Manager is a tool that allows you to add, remove and modify scripts (so-called tags) on your web page. In other words, Google Tag Manager helps you manage all the tags – or at least the tags that you need to analyze a website’s performance, increase conversion rate, etc. When using Google Tag Manager, you don’t have to manually place the script on the web page – GTM will do it for you, taking the role of a messenger between the script and the web page thus eliminating the risk of making major mistakes during this digital “open-heart surgery”.

With time, a typical web page gets more and more tags. Among others, the most popular ones are certainly Google Analytics (data about traffic and conversion), Facebook Pixel (measuring ads’ performance) or Google Ads tag responsible for remarketing. But it’s only the tip of the iceberg – from a marketing specialist’s point of view, the digital market consists of thousands of useful services that come with tags. Thanks to Google Tag Manager, you don’t have to manually inject all of them into the web page – all that has to be done is to implement the Google Tag Manager code once, and then you can implement all the tags through it.

Google Tag Manager – Set Up

To get started with Google Tag Manager, you first have to create a container and implement that container snippet on your web page. To do so, you have to set up an account. Google recommends one account per company. Create the account by inserting the account name, usually, it’s the name of the company. Then you have to name the GTM container (an entity, which contains the tags, triggers, and variables). The name of the container can be the name of your web page. Remember that you can use Google Tag Manager for different platforms, including mobile apps. Now all you have to do is to click the “Create” button and you’ve set up your first GTM container. The last step is implementing on your website the snippet that will pop up on your screen. And that’s how you get started with Google Tag Manager.

Google Tag Manager – Structure

In Google Tag Manager, the structure is very simple. The highest instance is the account – it collects all the subsets in the tool. Within the account, you can create containers – figuratively speaking, containers are separate boxes for sets of multiple tags. Each container has its code that has to be implemented in the website’s code. After proper implementation, the entire set of tags stored in it is active on the website.

The tags are tracking codes that gather pieces of data from the website. Depending on the type of the tag, it can be information about website traffic, conversion, event tracking, etc. Each tag should have an assigned trigger that runs the tags (you can track things such as contacts from form submissions, phone number clicks, etc.) – you can add a trigger that tells the tag to fire on all subpages or only on some of them. For example, when measuring the conversion, you can assign a trigger that tells the tag to collect data only from the purchase confirmation page.

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Assigning user permissions in Google Tag Manager

In Google Tag Manager, you can assign a role to a certain user – both on an account level and a container level. If we want the users to have access to all the containers you have created, you should give them account-level permissions. We have two types of permissions here: Read Only and View, Edit, and Manage. However, it is worth mentioning that the second type doesn’t allow making any changes within the containers – it only allows the user to see what settings have been selected for each container.

There is also a possibility to permit the users to edit the container (useful also if you don’t want to give them access to the entire account). In this case, at the container level, you have three options: 

  • View Only 
  • View and Edit 
  • View, Edit, Delete & Publish

Thanks to this, you can freely manage access to the account and retain full control over the data it contains.

Google Tag Manager – Why Is It Worth It?

Google Tag Manager offers many benefits to website owners. The most important qualities are listed below.

Advantages of Google Tag Manager

Making changes on the website easier

Sooner or later, every website needs technological updates. If you change the website layout, CMS, or a template, it is necessary to move all the scripts implemented directly into the code. This task can be difficult, especially if your website uses many services. Using Google Tag Manager, the mission is much easier – all you need to do is move the GTM container code. That’s why it is advisable to implement Google Tag Manager when you are about to launch your website. Of course, at first, it may seem that with only a few scripts this is an unnecessary difficulty, but their number can grow quickly making any changes harder and more time-consuming. It usually starts with Google Analytics code… but rarely ends up with just one tag. 😉

Shorter loading time

Every additional tag in a website’s code makes loading slower. If it takes too much time, many users will get impatient and simply resign from visiting the page. With Google Tag Manager, it is easier to keep the tags in order and remove those that are no longer needed. Using Google Tag Manager has one more crucial advantage – with GTM, tags can be loaded asynchronously. What does it mean? To put it simply, faster-loading scripts don’t have to wait for others, which significantly shortens the overall website loading time.

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Container template import

If you have a set of tags implemented on a website, you can easily import that to a new account. This way you don’t need to waste time on making a new GTM container from scratch if you plan to create a new website with similar tags.

Switching tags off

When you don’t want the tags (which are directly implemented on the website) to collect data, the only way is to completely remove them. However, such a radical solution is not always the right choice – sometimes you can’t be sure whether you will need a given tag in the future. With Google Tag Manager, you can simply temporarily disable a given tag.

Quick script verification

Google Tag Manager enables both script preview and debug mode, so you don’t have to wait to see if the tag has been properly implemented. Otherwise, you would have to wait for the tag to collect the data to check if the implementation was successful.

Tag configuration without a programmer

When it comes to making changes to the website, many owners prefer hiring a web developer to ensure that the process goes smoothly. Programmers are expensive, and including an additional person in the process can make it much slower. The tag configuration can be performed in Google Tag Manager. You can implement new tags in the site code and manage tags by yourself, being sure that you won’t face a long-term failure of the website caused by the new tag code. If something bad happens, all you have to do is to return to the GTM container settings before the last tag was deployed.

Creating tags easier than ever

Advantages of Google Tag Manager

GGoogle Tag Manager is a powerful tool – in fact, this tag management system is a game-changer if you want to get your tags organized. With GTM, you can collision-free add & manage the tag code for most popular services – not only Google tags, like Google Analytics or Google Ads, but also third-party tools, for example, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and many more, including custom tags and event tracking (for example form submissions).

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