Google Tag Manager: What is it & Why Use it?

Google Tag Manager: What is it & Why Use it?

Managing your site's tags doesn't have to be a coding nightmare. Discover how Google Tag Manager can simplify your marketing efforts and give you deeper insights into user behaviour—all without touching a single line of code.

Written by

Towfiq Ahamed

Published

6 June 2024

Categories

Data

Marketing

Phone in hand with Google Tag Manager logo

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Google Tag Manager 101: Understanding its use

In today's fast-paced digital world, understanding what your users are doing on your website is essential for business success.

Enter Google Tag Manager (GTM), a game-changing tool that simplifies tracking and managing your marketing tags, all without diving into complex coding.

Let’s break down what GTM is, why it’s a must-have for your business, and how it can supercharge your digital marketing efforts.

What is Google Tag Manager?

Think of Google Tag Manager as your digital marketing assistant. It helps you create and track marketing tags without the hassle of coding. These tags are crucial for monitoring user actions on your site, like clicking on a product or completing a purchase.

GTM lets you set specific conditions, like triggering an “add to cart” action when a user clicks that button. Whether you’re tracking analytics, running marketing campaigns, or integrating third-party services, GTM has got you covered.

Do I need Google Tag Manager? Isn’t GA4 enough?

While Google Analytics 4 is powerful, it might not cover all your tracking needs. If you’re missing specific events, like form submissions or newsletter sign-ups, GTM steps in to bridge the gap.

Here are some scenarios where GTM shines:

  • Complexity and Volume of Tags: Got custom forms or activities to track? GTM makes it easy to manage multiple tags for analytics, marketing conversions, and remarketing.
  • Dynamic Marketing Needs: If you’re constantly updating your marketing strategies or running multiple campaigns, GTM offers the flexibility you need. Duplicate tags and triggers quickly for events like Black Friday, Christmas, or Mother’s Day, and get your campaigns live in no time.

What should I track with Google Tag Manager?

With GTM, you can track a variety of activities to get a complete picture of your user behaviour:

  • Form Submissions: Track when forms are submitted to gauge your conversion rates.
  • User Engagement: Measure interactions such as video plays, scroll depth, and file downloads to see how users are engaging with your content.
  • E-commerce Data: Monitor activities like product views, additions to cart, and purchases to refine your e-commerce strategy.
  • Event Tracking: Set up custom events that aren't automatically tracked in tools like Google Analytics, ensuring comprehensive data capture.
  • Scroll behaviour: One of my personal favourites for understanding where customers are focusing on your page. Usually, images and bullet point content hold the user's attention, which can help you strategically place calls to action, like a “Shop Now” button, in high-attention areas.
Source: Google

What are the benefits of Google Tag Manager?

While Tag Manager requires some technical knowledge, it saves marketers a tonne of time and resources, and the benefits are huge.

  • No developers required: Marketers can quickly add and manage tags on their own. While it's slightly technical, the process is mostly intuitive.
  • Stress-free testing: Preview, test, and debug changes before they go live, minimising errors and eliminating the need to test on a live site.
  • Easy integration of tools: Add and configure a variety of tools and tracking tags easily using code snippets or templates.
  • Centralisation: Keep all your tags organised in one place, no matter which department created them. This centralisation helps avoid duplicates and keeps everyone on the same page.

Does GTM have any cons?

GTM is fantastic, but like any tool, it has its quirks. Issues can arise if it’s not set up correctly or if it’s neglected over time.

Too many unnecessary tags can slow down your website. Thankfully, Google’s Lighthouse speed test will flag these unused tags, and you can easily pause or delete them to keep your site running smoothly.

Conclusion

Google Tag Manager is an invaluable tool for any business looking to optimise their digital marketing efforts.

It offers a streamlined way to manage and deploy marketing tags, gain deeper insights into user behaviour, and drive better results—all without the need for extensive coding. Whether you're running complex campaigns or need to track specific events not covered by GA4, using GTM is a no-brainer.

Need help getting started? Book in a chat with our Chief Data Officer, Preet Singh today.

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Written by

Towfiq Ahamed
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