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The ease of collection and analyzing the data is the biggest boon the digital age has gifted us. Data analytics is an essential element of the Marketing Department. Understanding how people behave and interact with your business is what drives the era of digital intelligence.

With analytics getting prevalent in marketing, tools like Google Analytics is critical for expanding business reach. No matter what the size of a business is, it is essential to know how people interact with your site. Google Analytics has its limitations, but they work effectively when they are combined with website tags.

 What are Website Tags?

A website tag is a tool used to gather data from a website. This tag is a piece of JavaScript code, a pixel code or a transparent image. This enables you to gather information about a person’s on-site behavior on the company’s digital properties.

For digital marketers, it includes form submission, PDF downloads, session times, number of page views or even what products they added in the cart.

Each website tag represents a particular behavior, for example, you might create a tag when someone fills your online form or download your PDF. This tag can then send information to Google Analytics or Google Ads or even a third party tool.

As mentioned above, a website could use different types of tags, but coding each tag manually can turn into a tedious task. Besides, it would burden your web development team to write and paste each code manually into your website.

Google Tag Manager helps you with your tagging process. You just need to copy and paste the code in your website and the next time you try adding a tag, Google Tag Manager codes and embeds it for you.

 What is Google Tag Manager (GTM)?

Google Tag Manager” is a tag management system which allows you to create and monitor tags, instead of writing each code manually. You simply paste this code into each page of your website or the pages you want to track. This eliminates the job of creating tags manually and helps online marketing company to extract information without the help of a website developer.

Tags increase the efficiency of your analytics systems by giving you an in-depth understanding of how your audience actually interacts with your website.

Like most of the Google tools, even the tag manager is free. You could create an account and try it risk-free. You can create multiple accounts in a single Google tag manager account, each representing a different business. I am giving you a step by step procedure on how to set up and use Google Tag Manager.

Important Components of Google Tag Manager

Before diving into the setup of Google Tag manager, let’s understand some important components from the tool which will help you better understand this guide.

Container

When you set up a new account, you need to first create a container. A container is something which holds all your website tags together. Each container represents a specific domain and the set of tags that a website must follow. Once you specify the tags, triggers and variables, you will get a complete container.

You can create multiple containers with different domains within one Google tag manager account.

Triggers

Each tag on a website has a specific purpose. You might create a tag when someone reads your blog post to a depth of 75%, or if someone clicks a particular CTA (Call-To-Action), or if someone fills your online form. Now, these actions are known as triggers and each tag needs to have at least one trigger.

Variables

As mentioned above, each specified action taken on your website is known as a trigger, but how does a tag manager evaluate whether the action taken on a website is a trigger. This is done using variables.

A variable is a value specified which a trigger needs to evaluate before deciding whether it should fire or not. A tag compares the value mentioned in the trigger to the value of the action taken and if the value matches it fires a trigger.

Data Layers

Now, all these above-mentioned events work on data that is received when a user performs a particular action. But how or where does a tag get this information from?

Well, this can be done using two methods. One is making your program go through the entire HTML code. But this is not an efficient way to do it. Since the time taken to find the information may increase the loading time of this website, also some websites frequently change their website’s HTML code and hence tags can break when navigating through the website.

Another clever to do this is to use data layers. A data layer is a JavaScript code which keeps all the information needed by the tags at one place. Since tags, don’t have to navigate your entire website’s code to access the information, using data layers could prove beneficial in increasing the websites loading speed.

How to Set Up and Use Google Tag Manager (GTM)

Setting up a free Google tag manager account is easy but is different from other Google tools, to make it easy; I have recorded a step by step process.

  • To begin, go to Google Tag Manager, and click on create an account, under set up account enter the name of the company, choose your country and hit continue.

 Create a new account in GTM

 

  • Next step is to set up a container, paste your domain name as the Container name, and choose where you want to use the container (Web, iOS, Android or AMP). When you are finished, click on “Create”.

 Set up GTM Container

It’s not mandatory to use your domain name as the Container name, but this is what Google suggests as the best practice.

One thing to keep in mind while dealing with Google Tag Manager is to name everything clearly.

You can create multiple accounts within one GTM account and hence it is recommended to create a separate container for every domain. You don’t have to create separate containers for each tag or each website page; all tags can be placed within one single container.

  • Accept the terms and conditions. Next, you will be given a code with all the instructions. Copy this code and paste as high in the <head>tag as possible. Paste it onto every page of your website.
  • There is another code below which you need to paste in the <body> section. (If it is not possible to do it now, you can skip this part for now and access the above two codes later; they are available in your dashboard) and then click “Ok”.

GTM code

Now you become eligible to create tags,but before you jump on the task of creating tags, I want you to evaluate and decide which tags you are going to use. Although you can add as many tags as possible, Google recommends it to keep it to minimum.

Creating a Tag in Google Tag Manager

  • When you create a container, the first you will see is the GTM dashboard. Click on “Add a New Tag” and continue.

 google tag manager dashboard

But before you add a new tag, it is important to decide the name of the tag. Since you will be creating multiple tags throughout your analytics journey, it is important to name them concisely to avoid jargon and confusion.

Google recommends the following name convention: – Tag Type – Detail – Location.

For example, a Google analytics tag that tracks the number of leads through a home page can name “GA-Form Submission-Home Page”. So, if there is another lead form on a contact page, this nomenclature will help you distinguish between the two.

  • Once you click on add new tag on the dashboard, this is the window you will see.

 How to add a new tag in GTM

  •  Click on the “Tag Configuration” and the tool gives you various embedded tag templates for you to choose from. These are the most frequently used tags and that’s why the tool recommends it. If you don’t find the type of tag you want, choose “Custom HTML” to add your own code.

 GTM tag types

Since the exact type of tag needed for a website is dependent on individual requirements, it is impossible to write about each tag, but let’s use Google Analytics as an example to analyze Pageviews.

After choosing “Google Analytics-Universal Analytics”, this is the window you would see.

GTM Tag Configuration

From the “Track Type”, let’s select Page View from the drop-down menu and then enter variable using Google Analytics information. If you haven’t created a variable beforehand, you can click on the drop-down menu and choose “New Variable”.

Each tag needs to have at least one trigger, so the next step is to create a trigger.

  • Click on the Trigger, and you will see this window.

GTM TriggerThen click the plus sign on the top right side of the window. Then you should select the metric you want to analyze. If you need the trigger to fire on all the pages, you can select “All Page Views” and if you want the trigger to be fired at specific pages, you can add the URL of specific pages.  Click+’ to add pages and ‘’ to subtract pages.

Trigger configuration in GTM

Once you configure the tag and the trigger, you can either repeat the same process to different tags or click “save”.

 

Wrapping Up

Google Tag Manager is a very useful tool and can benefit your business by providing useful information about your audience. But learning this tool can be a little bit of overwhelming. The information provided above is a good place to start and understand the basic working of the GTM tool.

This tool is specially developed to help online marketers and developers save their precious time by giving you ready made templates to use from.