Why Every Marketer Should be Using Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager

As marketers, we love to have as much as information as we can about our target audience. After all, the more we know, the better we can do our job. In the digital space, the technology barriers to tracking user’s behavior in detail is decreasing (all without violating privacy). Using small snippets of code (usually HTML or JavaScript), we can measure user behavior, understand where traffic is coming from, what they do when they are on your website, remarket to them, and do so much more.

Why Google Tag Manager?

There are a number of great reasons to use Google Tag Manager, but one stands out above all the rest: rapid deployment. When you need to add, remove or modify existing tags or code, GTM lets you cut out the middle man (your development or technical services team) and do it yourself. Creating events on the fly to represent different user actions will save you an immense amount of time.

Secondly, you can deploy versioning and notes without someone else standing over your shoulder. Just add a note and it’ll keep track of your changes without confusing future users.

And, as Google points out, its Tag Manager has several other real-world benefits, including the fact that it’s mobile-ready, error-proof and “plays well with others.” It also features flexible tag firing, which means you’re able to set up macros and auto-event tracking to learn more about your users. 

A Little History

Traditionally, these snippets of code needed to be hardcoded on the backend of a site. Generally, you would have to involve a programmer or technical team to accomplish this. While not a terrible thing, this also means that you need their assistance for each and every snippet of code you want to put on your website … or if you need to modify existing code – even slightly, you’ll need their help. This can be cumbersome, allows for errors, and often takes more time than is necessary. Definitely not something we want with the ever increasing importance and pace of digital marketing.

Queue Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a product from Google that can house all of your tracking code in one place and execute them based on rules you define. These code snippets can be anything from specific Google Analytics tracking code to 100 percent custom code. These are referred to as tags and many are prebuilt within the user interface of Google Tag Manager, making it easier to create them and it is much faster than hardcoding them on a site.

Setup

You will have to create a Google Tag Manager account and install the container code on every page of your site, but after that, there will virtually never be a need to modify existing website code for tracking. Also, because you will now be using Google Tag Manager, you will have to remove all other hardcoded tags on your site, as they will now be administered directly through Google Tag Manager. To make sure things are working correctly without testing it, Google Tag Manager has a built in preview mode so you can see when things are working and when they are not.

It will obviously take some time to get used to implementing tags through the user interface for Google Tag Manager, but once you do, you will find that it is effective, efficient, and can actually be fun. By eliminating the need for constant technical support, you can free up time and resources and get tracking right away.