Andy Pullen

Andy Pullen

11th March 2022

How To Use Google Tag Manager

Analysing your website analytics is more important than ever. Whether it be a website or mobile app, web pages not only need to be optimised but tagged to help you make more informed marketing decisions and improve the performance of your website. 

The need to analyse and improve your website is vital, and includes fixing any pages that are broken or have issues, and identifying and continuing to improve web pages that are performing well. One way to do this is to configure, tag and track your web pages in Google Tag Manager

What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager is a tag management system that allows you to implement tags on your website or mobile app without having to change any code on your website. Simply embed the Google Tag Manager code into each page of your website. Once you’ve done this, it eliminates any future need for manually coding tags on your website, saving you a copious amount of time and allowing less technical team members to amend code without going through the web development team. Embedding this code effectively ensures that your marketing process is not only more precise, but also efficient.

So what exactly can you tag in Google Tag Manager?

With so many web pages and tracking tools at your disposal, housing all your tags in one place would be helpful, and that is exactly what Google Tag Manager does. Not only does it house all of your tags, it works with other tools to pull data and help you manage it effectively. Think of Google Tag Manager as your toolbox and inside you have Google Analytics as your measuring tape and Google Ads as your hammer. 

Google Analytics is not the only tag compatible with Google Tag Manager. Others include:

  • Google Ads Conversion Tag

  • Google Ads Remarketing Tag

  • Custom HTML/JavaScript code

  • Facebook pixel code

If you’re interested in learning more about Google Ads and conversion tracking on Google Analytics, following the following links - What types of Google Ads should you be using and Google Ads offline conversion tracking explained are both useful articles to help.

How to use Google Tag Manager

    1. Setting up GTM

If you haven’t created an account already, setting up a Google Tag Manager account for your website is fairly straightforward.  You can follow the steps on the Google Tag Manager site by inputting all of the relevant information. Once you have set up your account, the main interface will be shown. At the top, you will see your unique ID number assigned to your Google Tag Manager container. 

At the top of the platform, you will see your Container ID and when you click on your number you will see two code snippets.

1. The first code snippet uses JavaScript and Google Tag Manager will instruct you to paste this into the <head> of every page of your website. 

2. The second code is an HTML frame used when JavaScript is not available and it should be placed in the opening <body> tag on your website.

You can find more information about setting up your Google Tag Manager on the Google Support site.

    2. Tags, Triggers and Variables

The Google Tag Manager interface has many components that will help you to set up and include tags on your website. On the platform itself, you will see tags, triggers and variables. These three components play a vital role in Google Tags Manager and understanding each of them will help you track and measure each web page.

  • Tags - Tags are used to collect and report on data used in systems such as Google Analytics or Google Ads.

  • Triggers - A trigger can be used to observe an interaction, which can be anything from a click to impressions or web form submissions. When triggered, any tags that referenced that specific trigger will be highlighted.

  • Variables - A variable is used to highlight information on a page and provides that information to the triggers or tags when needed or likely to change, for example, a product name, price or date.

To find out more information about tags, triggers and variables, from the Google Support site.

    3. Creating a Tag

Once you gain an understanding of how tags, triggers and variables work, the next step is to create your tag. Not only is this relatively straightforward, but you can create unlimited configurations of tags in your Google Tag Manager. To create your tag, follow these steps:

  1. On the Google Tag Manager dashboard, click on the tag section and create new

  2. Configure your tag and create a title

  3. Choose a tag type, for example, Google Analytics

  4. Link your tag to Google Analytics 

  5. Choose a trigger for the tag

  6. Save the tag and then activate it by clicking on submit

Continuing to configure, create and test your tags is always a good SEO practice. It is important to utilise Google Tags Manager because not only is it a brilliant tool to help your marketing efforts run smoothly and efficiently, but it can give you valuable insights. For example, does including call to action buttons on every page increase conversions? Or does publishing a news article or blog post regularly increase or decrease visitor numbers? With Google Tag Manager you will be able to get these insights and test, implement and make informed decisions that will directly impact and improve your website. 

If you would like help with your SEO, get in touch with SilverDisc.

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