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What is Google Tag Manager, and why should you use it?

Apr 28, 2022  |  Reading Time: 3 minutes

What Is Google Tag Manager (GTM)?

Google Tag Manager is a free tag management system that enables you to manage and implement marketing tags or tracking pixels on your website or mobile app. With its easy-to-use web-based user interface, marketers and web admins can embed code snippets or tracking pixels without modifying the website code. 

So how does Google Tag Manager work?

There are three main parts of GTM:

  • Tags: Snippets of code, usually JavaScript or tracking pixels, that tells GTM what to do. Among the most activated tags within GTM are Google Analytics universal or GA4 tracking code, Google Ads conversion and remarketing codes, heatmap tracking code such us from Crazy Egg, and Facebook pixels. 
  • Triggers: This tells GTM where, when, or how to fire (trigger) a tag. The most common triggers are Google analytics all pageviews, custom page views (for thank you pages), link or button clicks, and scroll depth.
  • Variables: Additional information GTM needed for the tag and trigger to work. Variables are either preset or custom. Examples of preset variables are Click ID, Click Classes, Click Element, Click URL, and form ID. 

Custom variables are variables that a user creates. The most basic custom variable type is the Google Analytics UA number (the tracking ID number).

How is Google Tag Manager different from Google Analytics?

It is imperative to note that GTM and GA are entirely two different tools. GTM is used only for implementing and managing tracking codes within tags. You cannot see any report in a Google Tag Manager dashboard. All the data collected by the tags are sent to Google Analytics. Hence, GA is used for actual reporting and analysis. 

Why Use Google Tag Manager?
  1. Fast deployment of tracking codes and doesn’t require coding knowledge

Google Tag Manager speeds up many tracking implementations. The user-friendly web interface allows users to edit, remove, or add code without the help of web developers.

GTM also provides flexibility to quickly implement experiments and improve strategies that align with new digital marketing trends without waiting for outside assistance.

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2. Everything is in one place

With the use of Google Tag Manager, everything is in one place. Long gone are the days when a developer is needed to locate various JavaScript code snippets in a website or app’s source code to make additions, changes, or deletions. 

With the help of GTM, everything is in one simple interface. This eliminates repetition and potential errors and dramatically improves efficiency.

3. Testing tools

With GTM’s Preview and Debug mode, troubleshooting and correcting tag errors is simplified. This feature of GTM shows which tags are and aren’t fired on a page. It also includes information about triggers that fire tags and data contained within tracking tags. 

So, before you publish tags, you can debug them and ensure they are working correctly.

4. Simple Event Tracking 

Google Tag Manager comes with a feature called auto-event tracking. Once you enable specific triggers in Google Tag Manager, they will automatically listen to particular interactions on a web page. 

Although there is a setup required, it is relatively easy to do. 

5. It’s Free – Like Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager is free. Although there’s a premium version of it in Google Analytics 360 Suite, digital marketing agencies can attest that the free version is more than enough for many businesses.

Get more insights to help you with your business decisions

Now more than ever, an increasing number of marketers and webmasters require the use of codes to fetch user data, whether it is a PDF download, form submission, or add to cart button clicks. 

And these are just a couple of user’s activities that can be tracked to give marketers more valuable insights. However, managing them can be a bit complicated and time-consuming without GTM. 

If you want to fully exploit the capabilities of Google Tag Manager or would like it to be implemented in a way that is personalized to your unique business requirements, get in touch with Creativo today. 

Our comprehensive digital marketing consultancy includes Google Analytics data analysis to optimize your website and increase leads and conversions.