A beginner guide to Google tag manager


Google Tag Manager: The revolutionary new tool by Google that helps with SEO

Before we dive into the oft-riveting question that is ‘How does Google tag work?’, let us try to understand know the definition and significance of a tag. A tag is essentially a snippet of code that helps you analyse web traffic, overlook your marketing campaign and study about user behavior.

Imagine possessing the ownership of a console that helps your steer your business. Your website performance can be tracked and evaluated using a single tab. Google tag manager (GTM) seamlessly help any user like a website owner, entrepreneur or individual bloggers to monitor every metric associated with their website.

It is one stop shop to manage traffic, clicks, ad revenue or PPC results of your website without having to run and operate individual tool. GTM is easy to install, simple to operate and effective in its result. It creates a platform for a non-technical person to perform operations that a developer is trained to execute. It is a SEO tool that interweaves every website performance monitor into a unified system for better tag management.

Why is Google Tag Manager a Game-changer?

It is extremely frustrating and a time-killer when your website is performing lower than its potential. A website, especially a blog primarily exists to provide value to its reader seamlessly. Before the introduction of Google tag manager, a site owner would have to hard code a script from a snippet into the HTML source file.

It eliminates the need to code, and aids in applying analytics, advertising, monitor user behaviour etc by only copy pasting tracking ids. GTM deploys tags on website asynchronously, which means a tag that is slow in its deployment does not affect or does not repress other tags from being deployed.

It simplifies this otherwise crucial yet complicated process into a task that can be single handedly managed by a non-technical business owner. In fact, GTM puts you in the position of a front runner of your website, which grants you massive control and personalization over the site proving to be a game changer for its user. A user of GTM can optimise the use of marketing technologies deployed on a website, reduces time and financial expenditure. It puts them at an advantage over a competitor that is not a GTM user.

What are Tags, Triggers and Variable?

Google tag manager is extremely important for updating code of on your website. GTM supports first and third party tags, the list of the tags is continually expanding, such as Google Analytics, Ad words, Eyereturn, Tribal fusion, Adroll, Floodlight etc. Essentially a GTM consist of two significant bits namely Tags, Variables and Triggers. Understanding these two terms can answer the question ‘How Google tag manager works?’

Tags – It is a snippet of code that is incorporated on a web page. Tag is like a command or direction given by a user to GTM. For example “Send information of a potential buyer on your website.”

Trigger – It defines when and where the tag has to be executed. Example “When a buyer adds a product to their cart”

Variables – Variable stores value that tags and triggers can execute. Essentially a variable is a function which is represented using a syntax command like {{Variable Name}}. You can find more about Variable here.

Metrics define the performance of a website, without this information, a business is operating on a blinder. With growing use of a variety of first and third-party web tags, GTM has gained paramount importance. In addition Google, through its tools it is pushing the integration of GTM, and therefore it has become a mandate and is no longer an add-on or an option.

What are the opportunities available to an SEO expert?

SEO experts have already embraced GTM, a tool that is rapidly evolving with changing business. GTM chops and disintegrates a monumental task, thereby making the process of operation digestible.

A business or blog to be effective in marketing must be able to trace the results of the efforts invested. GTM simplifies the process by incorporating multiple marketing tools into a single console, thereby providing a direct comparison between different marketing tags.

By doing this, an SEO expert has access to key metrics in a consolidated setup. Click rates from website user can be compared to the number of page views while using the same tools with differing triggers. Key information like these, provide necessary insight to take advanced steps in Digital marketing and helps us position the brand more suitably.

A SEO expert can learn more accurate user behaviour by using GTM. Google forces GTM user’s i.e SEO experts to paste GTM snippet on the header of page. It wants your site to load up precious information on user’s behaviour before it even loads up the key content on the website.

Google made the installation of GTM easy because with the ever-changing social media landscape, marketing conditions and search engine algorithm, a business owner has to immediately respond to such changes. Google understands that the IT team of your company is busy working on product catalogues update.

If you are a business owner and you wish to add a squeeze or landing page tag on your website for only two days. Time becomes crucial at the launch of a product, hence GTM allows you add and publish the tag in a few minutes. Once the product launch is complete, you can disable the tag. The beauty of GTM lies in its simplicity and relative ease at deploying tags which otherwise would have been a monumental task.

Two most important feature of GTM

  1. GTM completely removes the need to alter, edit or modify your website source file. GTM contains container which stores tag and deploy them as and when instructed by the website owner.
  2. Moreover, GTM allows its user to debug and preview each tag and how they respond. You do not have to test a defunct code by experimenting on your website, why should you lose essential data.

Loss of information is loss of business, right? Google understand this pain area, and included a debug and preview function that allows you to test the shallow waters become you take the dive. By doing this, you essentially can proof your website from unintended consequences and view the impact before it becomes live.

Can this tool be solely used for SEO purpose?

GTM offers unparalleled flexibility for managing and tracking the performance of a website. Web users who land on a webpage, may not completely read the entire content. GTM helps in tracking the actual percentage of page read say 25%, 50%, 75% or 100%. It helps in microscopically analysing user-behaviour.

By setting up Google Tag Manager, the code of website remains untouched and snippets of code from multiple tags can be edited and modified without tampering the source file of the website. With the source code file retaining its base DNA, the website loads faster.

What are other tools I can use together with GTM?

With GTM a digital marketer can throw all the tags in GTM container. For instance, a more refined form of analytics is possible using GTM universal analytics tag. On Google Tag Manager’s official website, specific micro events can be tracked on Google Analytics such as click on links, any kind of click on a page or when a form is submitted.

GTM evaluates the performance of marketing effort by calculating –

  • Analytics – Tracking page views, Impact of call to action through Tag template such as Universal analytic, Unified digital management etc.
  • Search – GTM can help in monitoring how effective is an ad click, what is the final behavior of customer such as website purchase, phone calls, app downloads, newsletter sign up and more through Adword conversion tracking.
  • Remarketing – For a business or website owner to magnify their marketing efforts through PPC, GTM offers a wide variety of Remarketing templates such as Adroll SmartPixel, Adword Remarketing etc.
  • Display track advertising – With tag templates such as Doubleclick Floodlight counter, Double click Floodlight Sales and Turn conversion tracking, a marketer gets to know number of times a user have visited a particular page after seeing or clicking their ads.

Google tag manager shortcomings

GTM is an excellent tool, however, it has its share of shortcomings!

An SEO expert must have Google Tag Manager to independently control and manage the promotion and marketing of a website. However, being overtly reliant on a single tool can cause an imbalance in the budgeting and marketing effort. Therefore, it is prudent if you club your marketing strategy through various other tools including Google Tag Manager.

Google Tag Manager is fraught with a few shortcomings in its approach. GTM expects its user to have technical knowledge of at least above a basic level. When you seek help from GTM guide, it leads to a developer guide which may sound alien to most marketers.

GTM acts an excellent starter application for tag management, however falls short for medium or large businesses. It is free to use tool and caters perfectly for small businesses or blog that are individually managed. With big businesses comes larger complexities and because GTM lacks dedicated support, and it may not be the best choice.

The real question is, how quickly can I learn and master Google Tag Manager?

As an SEO professional, learning GTM should consume lot of time. If you are building the basics then, you need to invest a lot of time by undertaking online courses or skimming knowledge through blog or videos.

This makes the learning curve steep for digital marketers who do not possess some background in coding. When using a GTM, it is also important to understand how tags fire and records data. For example , hen using an Analytic tag, you may experience that the tags are firing but no data is being recorded in Analytics.

Due to lack of dedicated support, it may be impossible to find out that the requisite variable may not have entered in Analytic tag. The most effective solution to his would be creating a custom variable that holds the Analytic property ID. There are specifics that needs to be learnt by trial and error, and through extensive research of highly personalized problems that arise out of the use of GTM.

So, let us know what you think about the tool. You can find more info on how to install here. We really appreciate it. Do you think was it hard to learn? Did it save time to you as well? Let us know in the comments below.

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