What actually is Google Tag Manager? – Georgia
Well, that is a very good question. Let me try to explain…
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free tracking tool and tag management platform, allowing various tags (snippets of code or tracking pixels) to be added to your website without having to amend the code on your website or get your web developers involved (always a bonus). Once installed all your tags will be stored and controlled in one place, making it much easier to manage, and as GTM is linked to GA then all your goals will be visible to report on from there.
You may be thinking ‘Ahhhh, we don’t need GTM as we already have Google Analytics’ – don’t be fooled into thinking you only need one or the other, they both do different jobs and have their own purpose so ideally you will need to both to get the full picture.
Google Analytics is able to report on a variety of things – who is visiting your site, how they got there, what pages they visit, the demographics of your visitors as well as metrics such as New Sessions, Bounce Rate, Time On Site, Page Views, etc.
Google Tag Manager uses small snippets of code to track actions that are taken on a particular web page. Most of our clients use GTM to track how many people call, email, or complete an online form. However, some clients also wish to track when people download a file on their site or sign up to an event they are running. Every client is individual, as are their goals & targets.
To measure these goals on GTM we need to understand and set up 3 labels;
Tags – this is the code that is needed to send data to Google Analytics (or an alternative system)
Triggers – these triggers detect when a event has occurred. When this happens they tell the tag to fire the data over to Analytics.
Variables – these relate to Tags & Triggers and are a named placeholder for a value that will change, e.g a price, date or product.
So what are the benefits?
- Bypass your web developer and add, edit or remove, tracking tags to your website yourself
- All your tags can be controlled from one place, rather than having to find all the separate pieces of code each time you need to make an amendment.
- There are testing tools within GTM which allow you to check your tags are working before you publish them live onto your website.
- Simple event tracking – After you have mastered setting up the tags you can start to track goal completions on your website, eg. Calls, form completions, downloads etc
- Its free
There is far more to GTM and so many more benefits but hopefully this explains the basics.
I have recently spent a lot of time setting up GTM for our clients and am now able to show more accurately how using My Mustard to manage their advertising campaigns has had a positive impact on their business.