What is Google Tag Manager?

What is Google Tag Manager

I was recently asked if Google Tag manager had anything to do with hashtags and tagging topics on a website?

Including the word ‘Tag’ is a little confusing. The Tag, in Google Tag Manager, actually refers to tagging elements on your website to enable the ability to track a variety of activities that occur on your site.

Google Tag Manager is a really great tool that enables you to measure and track elements on your website and push the data into other platforms like Google analytics for analysis without needing to hire a developer.

You can use Google Tag Manager to measure loads of elements on a website, like measuring conversions, clicks, scroll depth, video plays, form submissions, file downloads and an endless amount of measurable attributes on your website or app.

Having access to data can really help you to understand how your website is working. You can get some really great insights from Google Analytics.

However, on its, own Google Analytics can become a bit limited. By combining the ability to tag your unique elements on your website you can really start to understand how your visitors use your website and how you can improve.

Google Tag Manager works by adding just one line of code to your website. After this, you don’t need to edit or touch the website code at all. You then work with Google tag manager to create the tracking elements. Once you have created the elements in Tag Manager you then update them into a container. The container is connected to the line of code on your website and talks between the two elements. You can edit and test the elements in the container in tag manager and make sure they are working before pushing the container to your website.

Google Tag Manager isn’t just a product designed solely for use between Google products. It can be used with Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and a host of other data platforms.

What Are Google Tag Manager Containers?

The container is best thought of as the folder that stores all of the tags for your website. When you create a container, a GTM ID is created. Once you have created a container, Google Tag Manager generates a line of code that includes the GTM ID that you then insert into your website. Many platforms like WordPress and Wix build in a section where you simply add the GTM ID and this adds the code for you, making adding the code really easy.

What Are Google Tag Manager Triggers?

Without triggers, your tags won’t actually do anything. Triggers can be anything from the following –

  • A Page View
  • When a particular element is clicked – This can be clicks on text, buttons and images.
  • User Engagement
  • Form Submission
  • Scroll to a particular section of a page
  • Video views
  • Custom Events

You can then add filters to your triggers. For example you could set up a filter to only work on one page. For example a trigger on the contact page to count form submissions.

Or you could add a trigger to all pages to deter whether a user scrolls to the bottom of the page or whether they see the first paragraph then disappear and go elsewhere?

Google Tag Manager Trigger Examples

What Are Google Tag Manager Variables?

I appreciate this is getting confusing, but for a tag to fire and talk to another program and send some data, it needs to know when to trigger. Triggers! But for these triggers to fire, you also need to use Variables. The variables in simple terms are the Value.

For example a variable could be a scroll depth. The value for a scroll depth could be 25%, 50%, 75% or 100%.

Variables can be from one of two types ‘Built in Variables‘ and ‘User Defined Variables‘.

You set the variable – Value. Set what Triggers this value and then send the data via a tag.

Google Tag Manager Built In Variables Example

Using Google Data Studio can really open up how you evaluate what your users are doing on your website. It can help you to improve your users customer journey and increase return to your business when used properly.

If you want to learn more about what users do on your website and how they interact, using Google Tag Manager is really great starting point.

If you require some help setting up Google Tag Manager or want help with your Digital Marketing for your business, please get in touch for a chat.

Published by amandawhitedigital

Amanda White is an SEO specialist with over ten years of experience working with some of the largest eCommerce websites in the UK with both an agency and in house background.

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