Leveraging the Effectiveness of Tags in Google Tag Manager

As the owner of a website or as a marketing professional for an online business, you can use Google Tag Manager (GTM) as an effective marketing tool. It makes website measurement and tracking extremely easy and secure. The idea behind using GTM has always been to make it easy for your team to add, delete or edit tags to your websites and mobile apps, without requiring any help from developers.

Once this process of quick deployment of website tags is in place, you can leverage all the benefits of GTM. You just need to add a single script to your website and then you can add the tags (code snippets for tracking) to your website. To support the tags, there are certain settings done for GTM to follow in the form of triggers. So, when your websites load on visitors’ browsers, GTM will send instructions regarding the tags to fire.

Setting up Accounts and Containers in GTM

You only need one GTM account in which you can create tags for all your websites. To create this account, just navigate to the GTM website and give it a name that is similar to your company or brand name. If you need additional accounts, you can sign in to your existing GTM account and click on “Accounts List,” followed by the “Create Account” option. Thereafter, follow the prompts to create an account.

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Once the account has been created, the next step is to create a container, which will hold all the tags for a particular website. Hence, it is a good practice to name the container after the website for which the tags are to be stored.

You can create your container from within your GTM account by clicking on “Create Container” from the accounts menu at the top-right corner. (If your website contains two domain names, you need to have one container for each domain and each should be named after the respective domains.)

Once the container is formed, you need to add the two available Google tags to every page of your website. This addition needs to happen systematically: One should be located as high as possible in the <head> section of your page and the other immediately after the opening <body> tag.

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This completes the easy process of setting up your GTM account with containers.

Creating Tags and Triggers in GTM

When the container is ready, you can initiate the process of creating tags for your website or app. The best part of GTM is that Google provides you with templates for its own tags and third-party solutions, such as LinkedIn and Marin. Google also allows you to create custom tags.

Some of the well-known tags include the following:

  • Adwords Conversion Tracking
  • Universal Analytics
  • GDN Remarketing
  • DoubleClick Floodlight Counter
  • DoubleClick Floodlight Sales
  • Custom HTML Tags
  • Custom Image Tags

Let us consider the case of adding the analytics tag to your container. You just have to go to your container and open the tags section to click on the “New Tag” option that appears on the top-right corner. You can then select from the various tag templates or choose a custom HTML tag.

You are then prompted to select the tag type, which would be “Universal Analytics” or “Google Analytics” in the case of the analytics tag. For every tag type, you will have to enter relevant information, such as track type, cookie path, and web property ID for Google Analytics and conversion label and conversion ID for Adwords Conversion Tracking.

With the Google Analytics tag, you need to configure the tag by using a UA number from the script. Instead of remembering the UA number for multiple tags, your team can add a UA number as a variable to reduce errors, while creating new tags. This can be done by navigating to Variable -> User Defined Variables -> New. Give a name to your variable, select “Constant” and add your UA number to the corresponding field. Then select the “Create Variable” option.

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You can then set the tag to fire on all website pages by adding a trigger. Generally, the “Fire On” section defines the triggers for which the tags are fired. In case of the Google Analytics tag, which needs to be fired on all pages, you can select the trigger as “All Pages” by default. For some other conversion tags, you would need to add them only for the conversion pages by having a rule to match the URL.

Once the tags are added to your container, you need to publish them manually by linking them to a particular container version. You can initiate this process by selecting the “Versions” option at the top of the screen to get an idea of your current version or by creating a version by clicking on “Create Version” (first time round). You can also track your change history by using this “Versions” feature.

Your team can use the “Preview” option to check out the tags for your website and try out the “Debug” option to get a list of tags that have fired and those which have not fired. This is a vital option to verify whether each tag is firing appropriately, before you actually go ahead and publish the tags.

Managing User Access

Users will be added to accounts on a container basis, with the following four different types of access for each container:

  • No Access (to the listed container)
  • View Only (everything in the container, including tags, rules, and macros)
  • View and Edit
  • View, Edit, Delete and Publish

We hope that the above information about creating and configuring tags in GTM, combined with the use of triggers and variables, proves useful for your business websites or mobile apps. Feel free to share your inputs or queries in the comments section below.

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