Digital Marketing: Google Tag Manager: The Marketer's Guide To Web Tracking

Digital Marketing

Google Tag Manager: The Marketer's Guide To Web Tracking

By Darren June 25, 2015 • 5 minutes to read

One of the most important things in digital marketing is measurability. As a marketer, the tracking of user behaviour and business-specific KPIs are essential to gauging campaign performance. The main problem here is implementation. Even if you’re a bona-fide marketing genius, very few marketers have the technical know-how to implement every kind of tracking necessary on the back-end of a website. That’s the developer’s job, right? Not anymore. 

With services like Google Adwords, Facebook Custom Audiences and call tracking, implementing tracked script on a website has become a lot more complicated than downloading a simple Google Analytics plugin. Not to mention the increase in page load-speed that can be caused by using too many tags! A marketer who can implement his/her own tracking, and test it in real-time, is a valuable asset to any company. With Google Tag Manager, this has become easy-peasy.

"Google Tag Manager allows marketers, through an easy dashboard, to have complete control over the tracking scripts in a website, without any coding knowledge necessary"

So, What is Google Tag Manager All About?

In short, Google Tag Manager combines all of your tracking scripts into one code that will never need to change. This code can be implemented in the back-end of a website once and doesn’t need to be adjusted again. The marketer then has access to a GTM dashboard, where they can implement any sort of tracking they want (instantly), without having to make any changes to the website or ask for help from a developer.

Google Tag Manager Overview

Benefits To Using Google Tag Manager:

  • Publish new tracking scripts in seconds
  • Fast tag-loading improves site-speed and reliability of data
  • All tags can be viewed / changed in one place
  • Preview mode allows for non-live troubleshooting
  • Tag templates available for ease-of-use
  • Rules determine where / when tags should fire
  • No need to access site code

Have tags that are non-Google? No problem! With Google Tag Manager, you can implement any marketing / conversion tags, both Google and Non-Google. Here is a preview of some pre-configured tags available at a single click:

Google Tag Manager Tags

Tag Manager Setup

All you need to set up a Tag Manager account is a Google log-in. Once you’ve set up your Google Tag Manager account, you can easily plug in any Analytics tracking ID, Adwords conversion code, or anything else that you already have set up. Just as with Google Adwords or Google Analytics, Tag Manager operates as a hierarchy. Here’s how it works:

Google Tag Manager Heirarchy

*Rule Examples: Fire on all pages, fire on a thankyou page, fire after a form submission etc.

Is this thing working?

Once you’ve installed your GTM snippet and published tags into it, you can use the Google Tag Assistant Browser Extension to test that your tags are firing as they should. For more detailed event tracking, the Google Analytics real-time reporting is useful to see a live version of what’s being pushed successfully into the Analytics platform.

If your tracking kung-fu is already quite strong, you may want to check out Google’s Tag Manager Fundamentals course. If not, contact Markets Online for customised advanced tracking solutions.

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