Quick Google Tag Manager Overview for Beginners

True-blooded digital marketers care so about many things:

  • How the site looks
  • What contents to publish 

And especially, about data 

  • Where the traffic comes from 
  • How many page visits
  • How many subscribed
  • What is the conversion 
  • How to improve the conversion
  • Etc., etc., etc. 

Their lives revolve around numbers — sales, the profit, the ROI. 

If you’re just new to digital marketing, a pro, or anywhere in between; you know it’s true. 

There are a lot of things that happen behind those likes, shares, comments, of each content. For e-commerce — it’s the site visits, add to cart, and of course sales. 

What is responsible at the backdoor of internet marketing are analytics and tracking, on top of the numbers and codes. 

The analytics tool does not tell you the whole picture of what is happening inside your site. Yes, Google Analytics is a wonderful tool. But there are some important customer behaviors that it cannot tell you. 

It tells you about web visits and page views. But it cannot tell you how many minutes a visitor stayed on your site or if he added a cart but did not push through buying that product. 

That’s why you need to add more tracking tools into your website so that you can measure the important information that analytics can’t. 

What is Google Tag Manager

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Google Tag Manager is a free tool that you can use to add more tracking codes or tags/pixels to your site. It is a tag management system that makes it easy for you to administer actions or make changes into your tags without the need to hire a web developer. 

It works with a lot of analytics tools. So, it is so easy for you to use, and you need not worry if your understanding of analytics and tag manager is still limited. 

Why does Google Tag Manager Matter 

When you do tracking and analytics, then you also need to understand what Google Analytics Tag or Facebook pixels are. 

When you understand how Google Analytics tags and pixels work, then you would appreciate the work that Google Tag Manager does. 

  • A tag or pixel is a little piece of code that sends back information on what’s happening in your landing page or site to third party platforms such as Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel. 

You can also put codes on your website so that you can track your visitors. You will know what they did and will be able to follow up with them later on. 

When you have a website, you would likely use Google Analytics. Then, if you want more traffic, you would need to advertise in Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or Snapchat. 

When you want to run ads on these platforms, you are required to put Google tags, Facebook pixels, or Snapchat pixels for them to work properly. They need this so that you can send information back to those third-party platforms. 

Without these tags or pixels, you will never be able to which campaign on Facebook or Google Ads is driving traffic into your site. These tags or pixels are also their way of monitoring what’s happening to your site. 

The more platforms you use, the more tags and pixels you have to keep track of and add to your site. 

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Just imagine how hard it would be to remember all those codes, campaigns, and landing pages. You have to put one code in one platform, and another code to another. Then you need a conversion code for this page and another code for that page. 

This is where Google Tag Manager comes in. 

What it does is act as the middleman between a website and a third-party tool. 

Benefits of Google Tag Manager 

Here are a few things to help you understand the power behind Google Tag Manager. And what it can do for your business. 

1. You will not lose any tags or pixels. 

Google Tag Manager takes all your tags and pixels like a virtual file cabinet and shoves them into one easy-to-find place. 

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You don’t need to install one tag or pixel here, there, and everywhere. You can put everything on one shelf or container. 

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Before tags and pixels were scattered across your website and the platforms you use. It is very confusing and a headache to find where these tags are placed. Even if you have a record of every code that you did. 

Because we are just humans, sometimes the code will go missing. Hence, data collection will give wrong results. 

This is especially true when you frequently have different web developers working on your site. It is quite a headache. 

What is special about Google Tag Manager is that it saves the version of the changes that you did in one of your landing pages for a particular campaign. So, you are reminded of the history inside a certain campaign on a certain platform. 

So, it keeps your codes and tags organized. And you have better control of your website. 

2. It will minimize your dependence on a web developer

In the past, when you wanted to do a marketing or remarketing campaign, a marketer got a tracking code. Then he calls on a developer to install code. 

Google Tag Manager allows you to perform this task on your own. Without having to wait for a web developer to arrive. This will save you time and money. 

But, I am not saying that you should do away with a web developer. Of course, you need one. But at least, not in this particular instance. 

You only have to break open your website one time (with or without the help of a web developer). Then whatever you supposedly have to do inside your website, you do it inside of the Google Tag Manager interface. And you can do it without the need to touch your HTML. 

The interface is so user-friendly. You don’t have to be technically savvy to understand its interface. Just a few clicks. And your tags are good to go. 

Other important features of this tool are: 

  • Preview mode — This will allow you to test if your tags are fired on a page just the way specify it. 
  • Debug mode – You can easily fix if something is wrong during your preview. This will ensure that your tags do their jobs before your page goes live. 
  • Tag templates – You can customize tags even though you don’t have coding knowledge. 
3. Helps with your site speed

Google Tag Manager helps speed up your website. When your tags and pixels are organized, it fires in a way that your site will not get bogged down. Because things load at the same time.

Unlike when your tags are all over the website, they will not synch in as they do their actions. So, data loading will be more of a chaos than arranged. 

Tip: Research shows that a visitor leaves a site if it does not load within three seconds. One way to help with your page speed is to compress all your images. There are free image compressors that are available online. 

Trigger

One special feature of Google Tag Manager is called a trigger. 

A trigger is a condition that tells the tag when it should fire. They are the listeners who wait for a particular action to be done on your site. 

For example, you can tell the tag manager that when someone clicks a submit button. And they get a free PDF, then tell Google or Facebook that it happened. 

A trigger can be an add to cart, page view, subscribing to your blogs, or any specific action. 

Here’s another example. 

You want to track how many people click the button to submit the contact form. And you want to send that information back to your different traffic sources so that you can properly know which ad, blog post, or video gets you that new subscriber. 

Then a trigger works. And all the tags that are connected to it acts and acts as the messenger to a certain platform. 

What is amazing is that you can control the triggers to tell Facebook, and not Google, or vice versa. You can choose which platform gets the information, and which does not. Because you don’t care about traffic sources to know what happens to your site. 

It is overly simple. You can do it in a few clicks. 

Here’s a graphical view of what you can see inside of Google Tag Manager.

With the use of triggers, you can better understand what your visitors do on your site. And this is important so that you can have an idea of their behavior when they’re on your site. Triggers are so specific that it can help you measure how many clicks, which part of your blog they highlighted, and other tiny details. 

The results will give you an idea of whether or not your visitors are happy inside your site. Or they left a page in a few seconds. With this, you can craft a better marketing strategy or goals. 

Note: You may have to install some setup to use some triggers. 

If you don’t have a Google Tag Manager, you have to manually set up all those tags and codes individually across all your traffic sources. 

With Google Tag Manager, you only make one event. And tell or not tell other platforms what happened. 

Conclusion 

Google Tag Manager is free. There is no risk when you want to try it on your site.  

You will even learn how to use and appreciate it.

It may need some learning curves to learn and apply everything that’s inside the tool. But the Google Tag Manager interface is very user-friendly. You have nothing to worry about. 

The benefits are very useful for your business. It will reduce the headaches of running your website. So you can focus more on analyzing the results and improving your business. 

If you want to learn more, you can visit our tutorials about Google Tag Manager. These are full-blown free tag manager courses that will walk you through how to set up and do it with Facebook, Google analytics, and Google ads. And with WordPress and any traffic platform that gives you little pieces of code that need to go on your site. 

I hope you learn a lot about this Google Tag Manager overview. And until the next, keep building the business you love.

Jason Whaling
 

Jason Whaling is an online marketing expert, consultant, author, and a lifelong entrepreneur. Combining a mix of dynamic business strategy, consumer psychology, and social media marketing, Jason works with people like you to build their personal brands and business.