What is Google Tag Manager?
Simply put, Google Tag Manager is a free tool offered by Google that allows your marketing team or agency the ability to add and edit your own website tags without involving “the website guy.” Nothing against our fellow web developers, but setting up a remarketing, conversion tracking, or analytics campaigns for clients is typically more time-efficient with fewer cooks in the kitchen. Rather than manually adding tags to your website, Google Tag Manager acts as a container where you can easily manage tags in one place without having to be a coding expert.
What are tags?
Top 3 Benefits of Tag Manager:
Event and Conversion Tracking
Events are user interactions with content on your website that can be tracked independently from a web page or screen load. Downloads, mobile ad clicks, gadgets, Flash elements, AJAX embedded elements, and video plays are all examples of actions you might want to track as Events. Traditionally, Google analytics event tracking was implemented using a custom code on the website, but you can easily add new events in GTM using their graphical user interface. In three easy steps, you will be able to start tracking a new event on your website.
Less Dependence on Developers
As mentioned, one of the main benefits of Google Tag Manager is to streamline the process of adding tags to your site. Before Google Tag Manager, when you wanted to put a tracking pixel or tag on your site, you would have to contact your web developer with a script and implementation instructions, verify that set-up was successful, and troubleshoot potential issues if it failed. Using GTM saves the time and manpower otherwise needed to effectively deploy tags.
Keep everything under one roof
Whether it be Google Ads, remarketing, or any advertising campaign, there is a lot of hustle and bustle during setup, execution, and launch. Often times, the tracking portion of a campaign becomes an afterthought, and by the time it is setup you’ve already missed out on valuable data. Having all of your tags in an organized platform all in one spot makes it easy to stay on top of what you are currently tracking and what has yet to be implemented. GTM can be used to keep you honest and become part of your campaign execution process.
Free Tip! Google Tag Assistant
Tag Assistant is a great free tool that can be added to Chrome browsers. It allows you to easily navigate to any website and tell if any tags have been added to it. It’s great to be able to double check or to use when troubleshooting errors.
(Updated July 2018 to reflect Google’s change of Google AdWords to Google Ads.)
Dave is a Paid Search Strategist at Incentric. Fascinated by the way buyers make purchase decisions, you’ll usually find him optimizing a PPC campaign, researching keywords or trying to keep up with the latest Google trends. If not that, he’s probably out on the water or up in the mountains, depending on the season.