Now, instead of relying on your website developers to make any changes to your UI coding, or having to wrestle with it yourself, Google Tag Manager will make some of these changes for you.
According to LunaMetrics, “You use the interface to decide what needs to fire and on what page or what action. [Google Tag Manager] then adds the appropriate tracking to your site to make sure it all works.”
There are four key components to Google Tag Manager, defined by Google as follows.
- Tags: html code that executes on a page used to send info from your site to a third party (i.e. sending data about website activities to Google Analytics)
- Triggers: Determine when Tags are fired, based on events such as when a visitor interacts with something within your website or app, or when a web page or mobile app loads
- Variables: help define Triggers and what data they send
- Data Layer: an optional Javascripst object that you can use to help manage the information your Tags are gathering from your site, or object code that can be used to pass events and Variables to Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager is a single console whereby you can select from a variety of Tags you’d like to use and associate them with Triggers to determine when each Tag is fired/executed. Without Google Tag Manager, the html code of each Tag would need to be added to the source code of your website or web app.
Tags can be Triggered when a visitor performs a specific action within your website or app, or when a web page loads.
Tags can be used for simple scenarios such as adding a tracking pixel after a visitor performs a specific action, or as sophisticated as running scripts such as presenting online shoppers with ‘recommended accessories’ when a he/she adds a product to his/her shopping cart.
So while you may wish to involve your web developer in setting up more sophisticated scenarios and Data Layers, you can now implement more simple Tags and Triggers yourself, without having to write any code or risk breaking your entire site.
Sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it? If you need more convincing, here are six reasons why you should be using Google Tag Manager as one of your online marketing tools:
#1 It’s so Simple, You Can Take Care of [Most of] it Yourself
If you need to update your Tags or add new ones, you can do it on your own through Google Tag Manager’s simple interface. According to an article written by Matthew Kay on the Klood Digital blog, this is a great option because you don’t have to rely upon your developer to make simple changes.
#2 It Has Tags Available for You
If you’re not familiar with Tagging and coding, Google Tag Manager has pre-made Tags ready for you to use. According to the Klood Digital blog, these include DoubleClick, Marin, and comScore. Google Tag Manager also supports many other Tags, which you can find here.
#3 Test Tags with Debug Mode
When using this mode in Google Tag Manager, it will allow you to test out your Tags in advance and make sure they work. This way, you can make changes to the code if needed. According to the Klood Digital blog, “this ensures it never affects your live data.”
#4 It’s Armed with Many Helpful Features
Along with Tagging, Google Tag Manager has other features you can try out. One of the features LunaMetrics mentions is “user ID tracking, [which] gives you the ability to measure real users instead of devices.” Google Tag Manager “also helps with common challenges in Google Analytics, such as Custom Dimensions, [and] Cross-Domain Tracking for multiple sites that are tracked together in Google Analytics.”
#5 You Don’t Have to Just Track Tags
Though the tool is called Google Tag Manager, Tags are not the only thing you’re able to track. According to LunaMetrics, you can also track the YouTube videos you post to your website, how often people print things from your website with print tracking, and keep an eye on AJAX form submissions.
#6 It’s Free to Use
All you need to do to use Google Tag Manager is create a Google account or log in with the one you already use. You don’t need to pay for any of Google Tag Manager’s features.
There are certainly scenarios which warrant involving your web developer. And we strongly recommend you retain your developer’s help in getting you set up with everything you need to start using Google Tag Manager’s features yourself, or before handing the reigns to your online marketing team.
Does it all sound a bit confusing? We can help! Contact us at McAllister Marketing for more information on how Google Tag Manager can be used as part of your online marketing strategy. We specialize in web development and online marketing tactics that help you attract, convert and retain more customers.