Google Tag Manager Basics for Beginners - Retailors Group

What is Google Tag Manager and Why You Should Use it

Find out why you should use Google Tag Manager and how to get started setting it up

There is a whole suite of Google services available that makes life easier for webmasters and marketers. More often than not, individuals that run a website will install Google Analytics to track website traffic and they will likely utilize Google Search Console and/or Google Ads for their SEO and PPC efforts.

For the most part, you can run your website and marketing efforts based on these services and do a good enough job with your conversions.

If you are looking to gain greater visibility on what website visitors are doing on your site once they get there, then Google Tag Manager is for you.

What is Google Tag Manager?

According to Google, straight from their site, they say:

 

Google Tag Manager is a tag management system that allows you to quickly and easily update tracking codes and related code fragments collectively known as “tags” on your website or mobile app. (click here for full overview)

 

So, what exactly does that mean and why should you care? Basically, tag manager allows you to track certain events that occur on your website. And what does that mean? Well, if someone for instance clicks the “call now” button on your website, having that button tagged will then trigger an event that you can see on Google Analytics!

Is this the Only Way to Track Events on my Website?

No, not necessarily. If you are good at coding javascript, you can manually tag buttons, links and other desired events. This is the beauty of using Google Tag Manager though, you don’t need to be an expert coder to start tracking these events.

So, Why Should I Care About Tracking Events?

In this day and age of digital marketing, there are various sources of traffic coming in. To properly attribute where this traffic is coming is crucial, but being able to attribute who is converting, where the source of this conversion came from and what elements on your site are not converting will allow you to better spend your marketing dollars.

Say for example you received 30 phone calls from potential leads to your business last month. Your marketing efforts included SEO, PPC Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Which marketing effort drove the 30 phone calls? Now, one month shouldn’t determine how you spend your marketing dollars, nor should one type of event, but at least this is a good starting point for developing a larger digital marketing strategy.

Related Article: How Google Can Help Your Small Business

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How Do I Setup Tag Manager?

Here are the steps to setup Google Tag Manager:

1. Go to https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/tag-manager/

2. Sign into your Google account and click Create Account

3. Fill in account information, country, website address and choose web (for website, this tutorial is for tagging your website)

Google Tag Manager Screen Shot
Google Tag Manager Screen Shot

4. Read over the terms and service, accept and proceed.

5. Next, you see a pop up similar to below. This is the most coding that is required before you start using Google Tag Manager. You will need to add a piece of code in the <head> and a piece of code in the <body> sections of your website.

Google Tag Manager Screen Shot

You are now all setup. On the screen you will see your “workspace”. The 3 main compnenets to pay attention too are tags, triggers and variables.

Google Tag Manager Screen Shot

What is a Tag?

A tag is basically a set of code that gets executed when an event occurs and it then sends information to a source like Google Analytics. In order for a tag to execute, it looks for an event to happen which is usually triggered by a set of rules that you design.

What is a Trigger?

A trigger is basically a set of rules that you design that Google Tag Manager will be on the look for to occur on your website. As mentioned above, once these rules are met, the tag will then communicate this information to Google Analytics as an event occurring.

What is a Variable?

A variable is a a compartment used to store values. Huh? Well, to break it down in a way to better understand, a variable in Google Tag Manager is basically things that can potentially happen on your site that your can create rules around. As an example, “click text” is a variable. Now, we can create a trigger that says when the variable “click text” = call now, fire the trigger. Then, we can create a tag that is on the lookout for this trigger, and when it happens, it communicates with Google Analytics information for you to see on your Google Analytics dashboard.

A lot of this can seem a bit overwhelming at first, but the information you receive from tagging your website properly can give you the data you are looking for to properly attribute which marketing campaigns are driving your best ROI.

Check back again for a future article that will show you how to create your first tag on Google Tag Manager.

About Retailors Group

Retailors Group helps businesses with their sales and marketing efforts. We offer field marketing, on-site sales assist and digital marketing. We are Toronto SEO experts and also offer full digital marketing services like website design, PPC digital advertising, Facebook and other social media advertising, social media management and more.

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