Google Tag Manager: The Basics

Maybe you have heard of Google Tag Manager. Maybe you are looking for an easier way to make some adjustments to your website so you can better measure traffic and visitor behavior without having to go through your webmaster. In either case, in this article I will explain exactly what Google Tag Manager is, how it can make your life easier and the first steps to using it on your website.

What is Google Tag Manager?

To answer this, we first have to understand what Google defines as a tag:

Tags are tiny bits of website code that let you measure traffic and visitor behavior, understand the impact of online advertising and social channels, use remarketing and audience targeting, test and improve your site, and more. – Google,

It’s basically a few lines of code that you would put on a web page that help you understand more about the traffic your website is receiving. Think Google Analytics, Ads Conversion Tracking, remarketing tracking, DoubleClick or even custom HTML tags.

What Google Tag Manager lets you do is manage all your tags in one place, online, through a Google interface. And best of all, it’s free!

Why Would You Use it?

Now that we know what Google Tag Manager is, the question turns to why someone would use it for their website. There are 2 main reasons why you may want to try Google tag manager:

  1. Save time. If you have to wait a month, week or day for your webmaster to make changes to your website, this may be for you. By managing your tags through Google Tag Manager, you can make changes to your tags, or add new tags to your website, at any time. The changes are immediate. This means you are tracking your website the way you want to or running campaigns when you would usually have been waiting for the changes to be made.
  2. Efficient management of tags. If your website has a number of tags, they may or may not on each webpage correctly. Some may be entered incorrectly and some may be on certain pages multiple times. To clean this up or edit these pages can take a good amount of time. If you are managing all these tags with Google Tag Manager, you can easily see how the tags are entered, and on what pages each tag will be made available.

How To Start Using Google Tag Manager

If you have decided that Google Tag Manager is for you, what do you do next? The quick answer is that you would:

  1. Set up a Google Tag Manager account.
  2. Create a placeholder within your GTM account for the tags for your website.
  3. Add a piece of code to each page on your website (you may need your webmaster assistance here).

From there it depends on what tags you have on your current site, what tags you want to move to Tag Manager and what tags you may want to add to your website – a topic for another article.

Want more great tips on managing your website? Take a look at these informative website management articles.

About Brian McGrath

Over the past 20 years, Brian has experienced many aspects of marketing, including brand management, copywriting, campaign coordination, paid search marketing, social media marketing and internet marketing. Brian now uses this knowledge to help our clients maximize their presence on the internet. His expertise in all things marketing gives our clients – and the Mannix Marketing SEO team – a distinct advantage in all areas of search. His extraordinary analytic skills provide SEO, social media and paid search clients with real, measurable results. To maintain his cutting edge expertise, Brian stays current on the latest trends in social media and digital marketing by reading industry publications, attending conferences, and consulting with peers.