As a webmaster or a marketing manager of a website, one of your biggest challenges lies in getting more traffic for the site, which is only possible if you understand your users’ behavior well. So, you have to add small scripts (known as tags) to your site’s code to measure traffic, track user actions, and test and improve your site.
However, the interventions needed to add such tags can cause problems, such as:
- Being time consuming and delaying the marketing campaign kick-off
- Slowing down your site due to too much code
- Providing distorted or inaccurate results due to the improper application of tags
Google Tag Manager (GTM) helps to overcome these problems by making it easy to add your own tags quickly and change them whenever you want. It allows you to validate the status of the tags with its easy-to-use error checking feature. But, how does GTM work?
In this article, we discuss the features and elements of GTM that add immense value to your marketing campaigns.
What exactly is GTM? As the name suggests, it is a tag management system that makes it relatively easy to place tracking scripts (tags) on your website without intervening directly with the code. So, there is minimal or no requirement for any IT professional or web developer to add the tags to your site.
In short, GTM is a code management platform that helps to trigger all your tags through its single interface.
GTM comprises various elements in the following hierarchy:
- Account - This element forms the top-most level in the GTM hierarchy. You can create a single account for your company (either for web or mobile apps) by signing up here.
- Tag - This is a small snippet or tiny portion of website code that allows you to monitor site traffic and the behavior of the users, check the effectiveness of online advertising campaigns, conduct remarketing to target particular audience and more.You can start creating tags once the container is ready. GTM provides you with templates for its own tags as well as other third-party solutions, such as LinkedIn and Marin. Some typical examples of GTM tags include Universal Analytics and AdWords Conversion Tracking. In addition, it allows you to use custom HTML tags or image tags.
- Trigger - This GTM element corresponds to the conditions or criteria for the tag to fire. You will be able to add a trigger in the “Fire On” section, while configuring a Google Analytics Tag.
- Variables - These serve as key-value pairs for which the values are passed into the workflow in order to determine the tag fire (trigger) conditions. You can use either built-in variables or user-defined variables.
- Data layers - You can also create the user-defined variables as data layers that represent information that you need to transfer to the Tag Manager.
Once you are logged in to your GTM account, you have access to container code that can be installed or placed on your site or app. This code enables a connection between your app or site and the Tag Manager servers.
You can then use the web-based user interface in GTM to install tracking codes (tags) on your app or website. While configuring the tags, you can set up triggers to fire in the case of an event, such as the loading of a site page or a click on a screen. The trigger fire leads to the execution of the tag code.
Consider the following example: You have used a Google Analytics tag. Once the GTM tool identifies a page load activity, it triggers the tag (Google Analytics one) that was configured to fire. Later, the tag passes the data back to the Google Analytics servers. All these activities are performed through the web interface in GTM.
Advantages of GTM
Here are some benefits of GTM:
- While GTM does not help decrease the number of tags used, it does help you manage them easily. Once you have configured GTM correctly for your website or app, you may not need to insert or modify any additional code for any of your analytics or marketing campaigns. Everything can be managed without difficulty from the single web interface.
- You can fire tags only when they are required by configuring the appropriate trigger conditions and thereby ensuring the quick loading of your site’s pages.
We hope that the above information about GTM proves useful to you and your website or mobile app. Please feel free to share your experiences, feedback or queries in the comments section below.