Good marketing revolves around data, but not just any data will do.
Brands have to collect informative data that helps their marketers take better action. No matter your audience, industry, or team, your brand still relies on this data to make better decisions to grow your business.
But it’s easy to find yourself swimming in a sea of data. How can brands take advantage of this data without overwhelming the team?
Google Tag Manager (GTM) won’t help you analyze your data, but it will help you collect relevant, timely data that directly affects your KPIs. By collecting better data that’s relevant to your goals, you’ll finally see a return on your data efforts.
It’s time to look beyond just Google Analytics; use GTM to find richer data that works for your business.
What is Google Tag Manager?
To understand Google Tag Manager, you’ll need to first understand tags.
Tags are short snippets of code that fit inside your website’s source code. Tags help marketers measure the behavior of website visitors and will only fire according to very specific parameters that you set.
Brands use tags for a variety of things, including analytics, conversion tracking, and remarketing.
Tags measure micro-actions onsite, helping you optimize the user experience with more granular reporting. Track actions like scrolls, form submissions, file downloads, link clicks, and even shopping cart additions.
Most brands have a variety of tags on their website. The problem is that tags require a lot of code; they can get bulky and difficult to manage as your website grows. If you aren’t careful, poor tag practices can slow down or even break your site.
Google created Tag Manager to streamline the tagging process. GTM is a free, web-based dashboard that integrates with other Google products like Analytics, Search Console, and Ads. It also integrates with third-party applications like Facebook, Bing Ads, and more.
Brands commonly use GTM for Google integrations, to set up remarketing, and to enable website heatmaps.
Use GTM to add, edit, delete, and manage tags without going directly into your website’s source code. Although you don’t have to use GTM to use tags on your site, the service simplifies tagging in an age when marketing departments are strapped for time.
How does GTM work?
GTM seems straightforward, but it can get complex quickly. We recommend studying Google’s free Tag Manager Fundamentals course to get familiar with GTM before you use it for your brand.
You start in GTM by creating a container. You’ll set up one container for each domain you own. The container carries all of the tag code for your website in one place.
If you don’t know how to make a custom tag, you can choose from Google’s list of predefined tags. These are the most common tags that people use and include actions like form submissions, video views, and more.
Tags are composed of triggers and variables.
Triggers tell the tag under which conditions it needs to fire. You can have multiple triggers per tag, but you need at least one per tag.
The trigger is the specified event or action that a user has to take for you to record the data. It tells the code that, when someone clicks on a certain link, the tag needs to fire.
Keep in mind that GTM also includes blocking triggers, which define when you don’t want a tag to fire. These are important for keeping your data clean.
Variables give GTM more information so it can determine when a tag should or shouldn’t fire. It uses mathematical logic to help the system understand which actions count as a trigger.
For example, you could define a variable as “equal to” a URL on your website; when a user clicks on this URL, the tag will fire.
After generating your tag code, add it to your container and drop it into your website’s source code. If you’re using WordPress, there are plenty of plugins that will do this for you.
The benefits of Google Tag Manager
GTM can be complicated to use at first, but it’s worth the investment. GTM gives brands better insight into their website performance as well as many other benefits.
Empower your marketing team
Before GTM, marketing teams had to rely on web developers to adjust the source code. This lengthened the amount of time it took to add a simple code to the website, delaying marketing initiatives and creating more work for developers.
Thanks to GTM, marketers are empowered to adjust tags without the need to touch the source code. This helps marketing turn around projects more quickly and protects your web developers’ time.
If you don’t have a web developer on staff, GTM reduces the need to hire outside contractors for simple tasks.
GTM is marketers’ go-to tagging service because it integrates with so many other services. In addition to other Google products, GTM integrates with plenty of third-party tags. Whether it’s Adobe, Salesforce, or Twitter, you’ll be able to integrate other tags with ease.
Simplify and speed up your site
As your website grows, it gets more complicated to manage all of the tags on your site. With increased complexity comes the challenge of keeping your site fast and user-friendly.
GTM helps you manage tag updates in a way that’s less complicated than source code edits. It also helps brands streamline their code to keep the site running fast.
Google knows the world is mobile, and that’s why GTM isn’t just for desktop sites. It also works with AMP sites and phone applications.
This is a big time savings if you have an app; you don’t need to issue an app update every time you want to adjust the source code, improving the customer experience.
Versioning and previews
GTM saves every version of your tag over time. This is helpful if you want to revert to a previous tag or if you need to troubleshoot.
But don’t worry—you can also troubleshoot in GTM’s preview mode to make sure your tags are firing correctly before publishing.
Remember to frequently check your tags. GTM will let you know if there are any errors, but it’s on you to make sure everything is syncing correctly.
If you’ve never created a tag before, don’t worry. GTM comes readymade with a long list of available tags to choose from. This is ideal if you have limited coding skills and want to get started quickly.
The Bottom Line
Google Tag Manager has a place in your marketing strategy. Become a data-driven brand by using GTM for streamlined data practices. Collect better customer insights and drive the bottom line with the power of better data.
Need a helping hand with your next campaign? Logical Media Group’s team of Google experts to ensure your Google Tag Manager is firing correctly. Get in touch now to schedule your free brainstorming session.