What Is Google Tag Manager And Why Should You Use It?
Success in digital marketing depends on tracking user behavior data so you know exactly what’s going on in your website.. If you work with any kind of website, either for a small business or for an enterprise client, it is very important for you to know and understand how visitors interact with that website so you can optimize the UX and your media buying.This is where various analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, and media buying platforms, such as Facebook Ads, come into play. By sending user behavior data into these platforms, you can start using this data to make the site experience even better for visitors. So the next question is: how do you send site behavior data to these platforms?
Google has created a brilliant and easy to use solution called a Google Tag Manager (GTM). The magic of GTM is that you just have to add the GTM tag once to your website and you can start adding/removing pixels as needed. Google Tag Manager (GTM) can house all of the pixels, or tiny scripts that send data back to these analytics and ad buying platforms, so you can efficiently keep track of all of your pixels and send data without slowing down your website. If you’re an agency providing marketing services to clients and don’t have direct access to the website’s source code, it’s especially efficient to use GTM as you don’t have to communicate back and forth with developers and potentially lose track of all of the pixels on the website.
For basic operation of GTM, you need simple understanding of components like “containers”, “tags”, “triggers”, “variables”, and “data layers”.
What is a container?
Some content management systems, like WordPress, provide you with plugins that can assist in adding the container code to the source code of your website. However, in other cases, you might need to request a developer to add it to every page of your website. Once it has been added, it will be very simple to disable, add, edit and remove tags, exactly you need them, from the main console of GTM.
What are Tags?
What are Triggers?
Every tag that you have added to your site has to have a “trigger”, which is how GTM knows when to execute the tag. For instance, you require a tag to forward some information as soon as somebody submits a form. or agrees to terms and conditions etc. Such events are called “triggers”. Every tag requires one or more triggers that have been assigned to it, without which it would not be functional. When the trigger event occurs, the tag will fire and execute the relevant pixel. There can also be conditions under which you want a tag to not fire, in such a case a “blocking trigger” can be created, to stop the tag from getting deployed.
What are Variables?
Tags rely on triggers in order to function, similarly triggers rely on variables. “Variables” are the values that a trigger has to evaluate in order to decide whether or not it should fire. The value of the variable is compared with a constant defined value designated in the trigger. If the conditions specified in the trigger are met by the variable, the tag will be deployed, otherwise, it won’t. A very simple example is that you can set a tag to be deployed when a client adds 15 items to a shopping cart.
In addition, variables can be data points such as revenue, which dynamically change and must be captured by the pixels. For example, if you want to track each time a user makes a purchase, you want to create a “variable” that tracks how much a customer has spent and place that variable inside of the “tag” so your analytics and ad platforms know exactly how much each transaction was worth.
There are some variables that are very commonly used while managing marketing tags, these are called “built-in variables”, as they are already added to the main console of the Google Tag Manager. You can simply access these built-in variables from the main console, and configure the settings according to your requirements. They are very useful for common web containers. More built-in variables can be accessed by going into the “configuration” of the Google Tag Manager. In addition to that customized variables can also be created. These are not previously added to the console of the GTM, but you can add them as “user defined variables”. A list of different variables is available, from which you can choose, according to your requirement.
What is a dataLayer?
How Much Should You Know Before Using GTM?
Google Tag Manager is not a difficult or complicated tool, but it is not easy to use without training. Some degree of technical knowledge is required to operate this tool. One does not necessarily have to be a developer to use it, short self-study courses are available online that are quite sufficient to develop a basic understanding of the functionality and implementation of GTM. You can even read up on some blog to get some understanding of the concept by which tracking programs functions, what type of data they require in order to function, the data that can be can be generated by tracking various events and understanding the reports generated by analytics tools so that you can be better equipped to implement and use GTM. It is not advisable to tamper with the code of your website blindly, even when using GTM, because making mistakes, like syntax or placement errors, using broken tags or incorrect URLs can damage the website or may generate data that is incorrect.