Google Tag Manager – Everything You Need To Know In 2021

As a marketer or online business owner, you use several tools to keep the business running. Some tools such as Ubersuggest help you find keywords for content and stay ahead of the competition. Tools such as Freedcamp help you be more efficient by assigning tasks to your team members.

And some tools such as Google Tag Manager (GTM) deal with the technical aspects of your website.

If you haven’t heard of GTM, then buckle up! Because I’m going to answer several questions related to this tool today, for example:

  • What is Google Tag Manager?
  • What is GTM used for? Is it easy to use?
  • How is it different from Google Analytics?
  • And more…

So without further delay, let’s get into it!

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What Is Google Tag Manager (GTM)?

This useful tool helps in managing and deploying marketing tags (snippets of code or tracking pixels) on your website (or mobile app) without editing code. And it’s completely free to use.

Let’s say you want to share data from one source (your website) to another (Analytics). GTM acts as an intermediary for the sharing of data and managing several tags.

Another great benefit of this tool is that you (the marketer or website owner) can manage your code. You won’t need a developer. But it’s not as easy as it sounds like. We’ll get into that later.

People misunderstand this useful tool, so they use it in the wrong way. Giving marketers the access to do technical stuff easily sounds great, but if things like code insertion and tagging are not dealt with great care, page structure and load time performance can be affected negatively.

Is It Easy To Use?

Google says,

“Google Tag Manager helps make tag management simple, easy and reliable by allowing marketers and webmasters to deploy website tags all in one place.”

This is a useful tool, but saying that it’s easy can be an exaggeration. I know what you are thinking: Google is saying it’s simple, but you are saying it’s not. Well, I just think it’s not as simple unless you have some technical knowledge or training.

To set up event tracking in GTM, knowledge of events, Google Analytics, and data tracking using events are necessary. So without some technical knowledge, you’ll find a hard time setting up tags, triggers, and variables. Plus, if you want to use Facebook pixels with it, you’ll need to know about the working of Facebook pixels.

Most marketers don’t realize their mistakes while working with this tool, because they don’t understand how it works. As this tool is directly injecting code on the website, there’s a chance it could break your website. So I highly recommend taking a course or learning thoroughly about it on the web.

Main Parts of GTM

Here are the three main parts of GTM:

Tags: These are snippets of Javascript or tracking pixels from third-party tools. They command GTM what to do. Examples of common tags include Google Analytics Universal tracking code, Adwords Conversion Tracking code, Heatmap tracking code, and Facebook pixels.

Triggers: This is a way to fire a tag. Common examples include Page View, Link Click, and Custom event.

Variables: Additional information GTM may need for the tag and trigger to work.

Is It Different From Google Analytics?

Yes, GTM is an entirely different tool from Google Analytics. It’s mainly used for managing code snippets. You won’t find any reporting or analysis functionality in it.

On the other hand, Google Analytics is used for reporting and analysis. You can also track conversions using this tool. 

Google Tag Manager

Benefits of Using GTM

After you get familiar with GTM, you can do amazing things using it. One of those things includes customizing the data that is sent to Analytics.

It allows you to set up and track events like PDF downloads, outbound link clicks, eCommerce product tracking, etc. It can also help you to better understand conversions.

Here are some other benefits of using it:

  • It may increase your website’s loading speed.
  • It works well with non-Google products.
  • It’s quite a flexible tool, so you can test new things with it.
  • All third-party code is available in one place.
  • Using the preview and debug mode, you can see if everything works before going live. It’s an amazing feature!

Your marketing and IT teams can collaborate using features like workspaces, granular access controls, and support for multi-environment testing.

Let’s Look At Some Drawbacks

 Mona Gandhi, a software engineer at Airbnb say,

“With Google Tag Manager, it’s a matter of an hour or so from receiving a tag to testing to QA to deployment. It’s exponentially better.”

I know it sounds like a benefit rather than a drawback. But you’ll be to do it all in one hour when you have enough knowledge and experience.

So having technical knowledge is necessary. Even if it’s the basic setup, you need to know some technical aspects to work on it.

It’s time-consuming. No matter if you have coding background, it will take some time to research and test it. It might take reading a few articles or taking an online class.

Working on GTM will involve troubleshooting. So if the tags are complex, I recommend working with a developer who knows how the website was built.

Over to You

GTM helps you manage tags without having to edit the code. I recommend learning it thoroughly before you start using it.

I want to hear from you. What are your thoughts on Google Tag Manager? Do let me know in the comments below!

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