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January 14, 2021

What is Google Tag Manager and Why Your Site Needs It

Successful online marketing and advertising campaigns revolve around adept use of data. The kind of website you own, be it e-commerce, small business, or personal website, won’t matter. The only things that matter are the interaction quotient and how many people interact with the website you own. -And for this reason, there is free software provided by Google called the Google Tag Manager

It allows you to add various tags or codes to your website. Google Analytics tracking code, Adwords conversion script, Google Analytics event codes are a few examples of Google Tag Manager. 

You can also include custom codes through Google Tag Manager (GTM). If you want to collect more data than you normally do, you should tag your website through GTM with Google Analytics

This post will take you deep into the world of Google Tag Manager and help you understand what it is and how you can use it to optimize the online presence of your site. So let’s get started-

What is Google Tag Manager?

GTM is a TMS or tag management system that enables you to quickly and easily update measurement codes and other associated code fragments collectively understood as tags on your site or mobile application.

GTM offers easy, reliable, conveniently integrated tag management solutions for free.

It lets you have full control over how your tags are defined and used. Different tag technology that GTM can manage-

  • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Support
  • Asynchronous Tag Loading
  • Define Reusable Variables
  • Mobile App Support
  • Tag Pausing
  • Tag Blacklist
  • Tag Sequencing

Components of Google Tag Manager

There are mainly two components of GTM: Containers and Triggers. 

  • Containers – When you start your work with GTM, the first step is to create a container. The use of a container is to hold the tags that you create for your website. When you are done creating a container, Google Tag Manager will provide you with a certain code. This code is called the ‘container code.’ This code is then added to your website’s source code and will be visible on each page. Some websites need plugins to add a container code, and your web developer will add that for you. Once this is done, you can add, edit, or remove the tags using GTM. 
  • Triggers – all the tags that you put on your website have to serve a purpose. For example, if you want a particular tag saying ‘send information’ when someone is downloading a file or when someone is submitting a form, these events which take place are called ‘triggers.’ It is necessary for all the tags to have a trigger or else they are of no use. Triggers are further divided into two components: filters and events. 
  • Events – the long list with several types of triggers that appears on your screen when you want to configure a trigger in Google tag manager; that list is called events. Once you have decided your event, you can further choose a filter. 
  • Filter – filters have three parts, namely, variables, values, and operators. The operator tells whether the event is greater than, less than, or equal to the tag. The value is a certain condition that has to be met. The value here means a URL or a keyword. 

Reasons to use GTM 

There are several reasons to use the Google tag manager. A few are mentioned below – 

1. Easy implementation of tracking codes

The classic way of tracking codes was when you had to send the codes to the developer, and then the work was taken further. But with GTM, you can easily avoid the developer (in most cases). You can implement these tracking codes all by yourself. Every code you receive is called a ‘tag,’ and these tags can be managed through Google Tag Manager. This speeds up the whole process and adds the tags to your website rapidly. 

2. Enables you to manage all tags in one place

All your tags can be managed in one single place. Earlier, all the tracking codes were scattered in different files. If you wanted to do even a minor change, the developer needed to find these tracking codes and then update them. But with GTM, there is an option called ‘tags,’ and you can find all the tracking codes there. 

3. Lets you easily troubleshoot and correct tag errors

There is an option called ‘Preview and Debug mode’ in GTM. This helps you to find out which tag is active and which is not on your page. This is very important for your tags because it assures you that your tags are working before publishing them. 

4. Comprises Reusable container templates

You can create your reusable container templates in Google Tag manager, i.e., you can easily export all the triggers, tags, and variables into one single file. This feature is mainly important for companies that have to implement Google Analytics all the time. 

5. Offers tag management services for free 

Google Tag Manager is available for free! There is an available premium version, but the free version is good enough for businesses (especially small and medium) 

6. Simple to use

GTM is very flexible and convenient to use. If you make any changes in the container, GTM comes up with a new version. But if you change your mind or make the changes by mistake, you can go to the ‘Versions’ page and restore the previous version easily. 

7. Ensures top-notch security

The security of GTM is well appreciated. It scans the tracking scripts which are added to the Custom HTML, and if any malware is found, it automatically pauses all the activities in the domain, URL, and IP address. You can also control who can access your GTM account. 

8. Lets you control your tag manager installation across live/production websites or apps

Google tag manager provides you with an option called ‘Environments’ that helps you control the tag manager when your website is live. This option helps you to launch your tags in different environments. The other option is called ‘Workspaces’ that lets you and your team members work together on the same Google tag manager container. It does not overwrite the changes that are made by other team members. After every team member is done with the work, all the changes made in the container are later merged. 

9. Highly popular and community benefits

Google is a company known for launching really good products/applications like Google Reader, Google Classrooms. Google tag manager is one of the best launches Google has ever done. The popularity it has gained over time is tremendous, and every day more people are using it. The number of users for GTM – free or paid, is increasing every day. The support for Google tag manager helps people who have some difficulty or are facing some issues. 

These are just a few reasons why you should use Google tag manager and how it is user-friendly software. It makes your work much easier and convenient. Along with these reasons, there are some downsides to GTM as well, so let’s look at those as well-

Cons of Google Tag Manager 

Even though there are a lot of reasons for using GTM, you should be aware of the few cons as well– 

  • Although Google tag manager helps reduce reliance on site developers, it does not eliminate the option. Many websites still need a developer for adding the container code on every page of the website. 
  • GTM has many tags that are very easy to use and can be used without the help of a developer, but customized and complex tags require someone who understands coding. 
  • Tags can sometimes slow a website when used together at the same time. When the tags are activated, if one tag is slow to load, it will slow down all the other tags’ speed. And, if the site takes a long time to load, people will leave, resulting in a decrease of traffic to the website. 

Summing Up!

Using Google Tag Manager is an easy and convenient way to manage a website. It helps you control the tracking codes in one particular place, and you don’t have to look for codes in different folders.

If you are going to get into complexities of running a website, you need to invest time in learning about tags and managing your website so that you receive good site traffic and engagement. 

Using Google tag manager is one of the best decisions you can make because it helps you manage your website on your own and does not usually involve a developer.

You won’t always have to contact a developer to help you with small website issues. Google Tag Manager is a one-stop solution for handling websites and increasing the traffic and engagement on them. 


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Akash Kumar works as a Digital Marketing Head at Digital Vidya. Digital Vidya is a global leader in digital marketing and data analytics training.

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