Google Tag Manager is a tool that is over a dozen years old, and yet relatively little known compared to other products of the American giant such as Google Ads or Google Analytics. Meanwhile, it is extremely useful in managing the website code, especially if we do not have programming knowledge. How does it work and when can it be useful?
Google Tag Manager – what is it?
Google Tag Manager is a tool that allows you to easily add scripts (or tags) to the website, remove or modify them. In other words, thanks to it, you can manage all the tags we need from one place to analyze data from the website more effectively, increase conversion, track traffic sources, etc. Using GTM, we do not have to interfere directly with the website every time we want to implement a new script. site code. It is a kind of intermediary, thanks to which you do not have to insert any tags “rigidly”, burdening and slowing down the page. It also allows you to avoid errors that may occur when you try to implement the tag manually.
Over time, we place more and more tags on websites. The most popular are the Google Analytics tag, thanks to which we can collect data on traffic and conversion on the website, the Facebook pixel that allows us to measure the effectiveness of advertisements, or the Google Ads remarketing tag. However, there are also many other scripts that are useful from a marketing point of view. Thanks to GTM, we do not have to place all of them manually on the website – we just need to implement the Google Tag Manager code once, and we can implement all other tags through it.
How is Google Tag Manager built?
In Google Tag Manager, the account is the highest in the structure – it collects all the smaller subsets in the tool. Within the account, we can create containers, i.e. figuratively speaking, separate boxes for collections of tags. Each container has its own code to be implemented in the code of the page. After its implementation, the entire collection of tags contained in it is active on the website.
The tag itself is a type of tracking code that, once installed on your website, starts collecting data – this could be information about traffic, conversions, etc. – depending on the type of tag. Each tag should have an assigned rule that says when the script should run – we can add a rule that the tag should work on all subpages or only on some of them – for example, when measuring the conversion, we will assign a rule that the script should collect data only from the purchase confirmation page.
Assigning permissions in Google Tag Manager
In Google Tag Manager, we can grant permissions both at the account level and at the level of the container itself. If we want a user to have access to all the containers we have created, we should give them account-level permissions. We have two types of permissions here: Read Only and View, Edit and Manage. However, it is worth knowing that the second type of permissions cannot be edited within the containers – it only allows you to see what settings have been selected for each of them.
If we want to give the user the ability to edit the container or do not want to give him access to the entire account, we should grant permissions at the container level. In this case, we have three options: View Only (view only), View and Edit (view and editing) and View, Edit, Delete & Publish (view, edit, delete and publish). Thanks to this, we can freely manage access to the account and maintain full control over the data it contains.
Why is it worth having a Google Tag Manager?
Facilitation when making changes to the website
Sooner or later, most pages need updating or even more radical corrections. If, however, we change the appearance of the website, CMS system or template, it is necessary to transfer all scripts implemented directly in the code. When there are a lot of them, it is easy to skip any of them or paste them incorrectly, and in addition, it is simply tedious and time-consuming. By using the Google Tag Manager, we have an easier task – you just need to move the code to the container in which we placed the tags from a given site to trigger all the scripts on a given page. Therefore, it is worth thinking about implementing GTM at the beginning of running a website – at first it may seem that there are not many scripts, so this is an unnecessary difficulty, but their number can quickly grow and make any changes difficult.
Faster website loading
Each additional script in the page code makes the site a bit slower, and the longer the page load time, the more likely the user will get impatient. Thanks to GTM, it is easier to keep order in tags and to easily remove those that we do not need, so as not to unnecessarily burden the site. However, using this solution has one more important advantage – thanks to it, tags can be loaded asynchronously. what does it mean? Simply put, faster loading scripts do not have to wait for others, which shortens the overall page loading time.
Container template import option
If we have prepared and implemented a set of tags on one page, we can easily import it to a new account. Thanks to this, we do not have to waste time creating a completely new container with scripts if we launch a second or another website.
Ability to disable tags
If we implement the scripts directly on the website, we have to completely remove them if we do not want them to collect data further. However, we do not always want to decide on such a radical solution – sometimes we are not sure whether we will need a given tag in the future. With the help of Google Tag Manager, we can simply temporarily disable a given script.
Ability to quickly verify the correctness of the script implementation
Google Tag Manager gives you the ability to preview and debug, so you don’t have to wait to see if the tag has been properly implemented. Otherwise, we would have to wait for the tag to collect the data to be sure the implementation was successful.
Possibility to implement tags without the help of a programmer
When it comes to tampering with the website code, most people prefer to seek the help of a specialist to make sure that the change does not cause problems with the website. The need to involve a programmer in the implementation not only extends the entire process, but may also be associated with an additional cost. However, if we use Google Tag Manager, we can implement new scripts ourselves, being sure that we are not threatened by a long-term failure of the website caused by the new tag. If, as a result of our actions, the website starts to work incorrectly, it is enough to return to the container settings before the last script was deployed.