search marketing

Sep 2020

Google’s Ecosystem: Tag Manager Explained

Ollie Ody

Co Founder

What is Google Tag Manager?

Being able to relay the results of digital marketing comes down to data. Regardless of platform, device or sector, being able to understand what users are doing on your site and the value it brings is essential to modern marketing. Google Analytics provides plenty of important insights but by using it in conjunction with Google Tag Manager we are able to collect even more.

The benefits of GTM

Google Tag Manager allows brand owners, webmasters and agencies to quickly make updates to sites tracking without having CMS access or getting input from a developer streamlining implementation and lowering cost. User access and permissions are perfect for business owners to want to subcontract tasks out to agencies but want to retain ultimate control over all their digital assets.

GTM also offers a form of future-proofing a website with modifications being made through its interface, rather than directly on each page of your website. GTM has an excellent built-in debugging feature allowing you to test updates prior to their publication. All updates you make are displayed clearly, meaning you can roll back to previous setups quickly.

Event tracking historically involved adding code to a website from which correlating event conditions (category, action, label and value) were adding within Google Analytics. GTM’s auto-event tracking eliminates the requirement to tag each link you want to track, instead of tracking can be implemented via attributes that existing within a button, link, video etc.

What are tags?

Tags are little snippets that tell Google Tag Manager (GTM) what to do. Rather than adding the tracking code or pixel directly into the header GTM allows you to apply these codes via a single entry point. Common examples of tags we add to GTM include; Google Analytics, Google Ads, Search Console verification, Facebook Pixels or Hotjar.

What are triggers?

Triggers are instructions for GTM to fire the tags you have setup, this could be a clicking a button, view a page for a certain period of time or upon the submission of a contact form.

What are the variables?

Variables are additional instructions that GTM might require for a tag or trigger to function. For example, you might need to tag a ‘submit’ button on a contact form and this could be achieved via several different methods such as; click classes, click the element or click ID. In this case, you would need to configure variables to include the attribute you had used.

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