What is Google Tag Manager and How to Use?

Marketers use different support services: analytics systems, A / B testing services, retargeting, advertising and call tracking platforms, widgets, online messengers, and many others. For them to work, it is necessary to embed codes (tags) on the site, which causes a number of problems. So today, know What is Google Tag Manager and How to Use it?


What is Google Tag Manager and How to Use?

Firstly, every time you need to add a new service or make changes to the functionality, you have to set a task to the programmer and wait for the result for several days (and sometimes weeks).


Secondly, if there are a lot of services, the page loading speed slows down, which is known to be bad for SEO.


Third, it is inconvenient to work with a lot of extraneous code, which leads to unnecessary labor costs and increases the likelihood of errors.


What is Google Tag Manager:


In 2012, Google launched the Tag Manager, built specifically for marketers. It allows you to manage all the tags of various services from one interface. Only one code is integrated on the site, and the marketer independently adds the other codes to the Dispatcher without the participation of an IT specialist.


Similar platforms existed until 2012, but they only worked on a paid basis. The revolution of Google Tag Manager is that it is completely free. Initially, only Google services tags were built into it, but later there was support for third-party tags. It is also possible to add custom tags.


• Despite the usefulness of the Dispatcher, its use does not always make sense. There are at least two cases where GTM is not needed:


• If you have Google Analytics installed and you track only basic indicators, then you will hardly appreciate the simplicity and flexibility of Tag Manager. In this case, it is more convenient to add codes directly to the site and not return to this question.


The Dispatcher is not necessary if you do not experiment with different services, do not choose the best one for yourself, do not test functionality. Once you install the codes on the site and forget about them for a long time.

If there are many services, the code is often refined, it is constantly necessary to supplement and change it, then the Tag Manager should be in the arsenal of the marketer's tools.


How to Use Google Tag Manager:


The first stage is registration. To do this, go to GTM and create an account (or log in with an existing Google account). Set the name of the account and container and indicate where the container will be used (website, application, AMP pages ):


After clicking the "Create" button, you need to confirm the terms of the user agreement, after which the code for integration into the site will be available. Note that the code is in two parts: the first is in the <head> section and the second in the <body> section.


If you don't paste the code right after creating your account, you can do it later.


For the service to work properly, it is recommended to place only the Tag Manager code on the site. If you have Google Analytics and other systems installed, you should transfer all tags from the site to the created container. In this case, all data collected earlier will be saved. A short (usually no more than a minute) "drawdown" in collecting statistics is possible during the tag transfer, but this is not critical.


Now you can create tags, but first, we advise you to understand the structure of the Manager.


Structure of the Tag Manager:


The Google Tag Manager interface is pretty simple. The workspace menu contains the following tabs:


Overview. This is the home page. Here you can create a new tag, see the history of changes and unpublished containers.


Tags: These are pieces of code that are executed (activated) on the website. Tags have different purposes, but in Tag Manager, they are primarily used to transfer data. For example, Google Analytics and Google Ads conversion tracking tags transmit data about the actions of website visitors.


The Manager has a ready-made tag template system. It greatly simplifies the work with a number of supported services: AdRoll, Google Ads, Clicky, Crazy Egg, Criteo, DoubleClick, Google Optimizer, Hotjar, Twitter, and many others. etc. You can also define custom HTML tags.


Triggers. These are the actions of site visitors, in response to which tags are activated. For example, the Scroll Depth trigger with a value of 50% triggers a remarketing tag if the user views more than half of the page.


How does the Tag Manager know that the condition specified in the trigger has been met, and it's time to activate the tag? This requires the programmer to set up a so-called data layer object.


A data layer is an object that contains all the data that you plan to transfer to the tag manager, where these values ​​are captured by variables.


In order for the tag manager to receive the value of the variable, you also need to send the event using the push command. See the Google Developers Guide for details on adding variables.


Examples of using the Tag Manager:


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1. Connecting Google Analytics:


First, click on New Tag / Tag Configuration. Activate "Universal Analytics" in the drop-down list.


In the section "Google Analytics Settings" click "New Variable ...":


Please enter your tracking ID. To do this, go to Google Analytics in the "Administrator" / "Tracking Code" section. The code is in the format UA-xxxxxxxxx-xx - just copy it:


Paste the code into the appropriate field in the tag manager:


Click "Save", specify a name for the variable and save again. That's it, you've created your first tag.


Now you need to set the rule for its activation, that is, the trigger. Click on the Trigger area under the Tag Configuration area, select the All pages trigger from the list and click Save:


This is not all. The created tag will only work after it has been published. To do this, click on the "Send" button:


Specify the name of the version and a short description (so that you understand the essence of the changes made) and click "Publish":


A description of the new version of the tag and variables will appear in the "Versions" section:


The analytics system will now start collecting data (assuming the Tag Manager code is integrated across all pages on the site).


2. Tracking events:


Google Analytics has a report in the Behavior / Events section:


It is empty by default. To collect data, you need to configure events using the Tag Manager.


Events can be of several types:


 clicking on a specific or one of the specified links;

 clicking on an element (for example, an image, banner, or button);

 timer triggering;

 submitting the form.


Let's consider setting up an event using the example of a click on a page element - the "Details" button. To do this, you first need to know the class of the element. To do this, open the page, select the element and click in the context menu in the browser "View Code" and find the name of the class (in our example - more-link):


Select the "Variables" section in the Manager, click "Configure" and activate the "Click Classes" variable:


Select the "Variables" section in the Manager, click "Configure" and activate the "Click Classes" variable:


Click Save and name the trigger GA - Trigger - Click More.


Now create a new tag (type - "Universal Analytics"), specify the type of tracking - "Event", Category - "Button", Action - "Click", Label - {{Click ID}}:


Add a trigger "GA - trigger - click on the More button" to this tag.


It remains to check that there are no errors ("Preview") and publish the trigger. After that, data will begin to flow into the Events report in Google Analytics.


Other features of Google Tag Manager:


In addition to the examples of using GTM, you can use it to:


• Add semantic markup to the site (here's a detailed instruction );

• track conversions and set up remarketing in Google Ads;

 monitor calls after conversion on the site;

 integrate the Google Optimize platform for A / B testing;

 link conversions on different domains;

 connect third-party services (Adometry, comScore, FoxMetrics, Infinity, MouseFlow, Placed, etc.).


Summing up:


Google Tag Manager is an essential tool for online businesses that make working with analytics much easier and safer. It allows you to quickly manage tags for tracking, optimization, remarketing, etc. You can add and change codes for Google Ads, Google Analytics, and other services without having to change the source code of the site and involve programmers.


If you are not yet ready to implement analytics on the site yourself, use the “ Personal Manager ” service from PromoPult. A specialist will help you install and configure web analytics counters, configure goals and events, and other parameters.

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