Whether you’re a marketer or a developer, working in a large business or a small one, becoming familiar with Google Tag Manager could be the single most important investment of your time this year.
Implementing Google Tag Manager (GTM) has many advantages to any organisation’s website, and by taking the time to polish up your knowledge and understanding of what can be achieved with it, you will be in a position to take your marketing or website development on to the next level. Not to mention, you’ll become invaluable to the company for whom you work and improve conversations with agencies or developers that currently manage configurations.
So, here is why you need to become your companies Google Tag Manager Superhero.
What is Google Tag Manager?
Before we explain just why GTM is so useful, it’s important to first to know what it is. As the name suggests, GTM is a tag manager. It allows for all manner of functionality to be added to the website through the implementation of tags and pixels.
Perhaps the most common use for Google Tag Manager is the insertion of tracking pixels and tags which can provide marketers, developers and webmasters with a tonne of information about user behaviour on their website. And as all of this rich, statistical information is being produced, it’s also being delivered directly into Google Analytics, putting everything in a single place.
In addition to tracking, GTM can also be used to easily drop other code snippets into a website with minimal – or no – coding knowledge whatsoever, not to mention making the implementation of advertising pixels easier than ever.
If you’ve previously had to go via a web company or your development team to implement codes for specific tracking packages previously, then GTM is going to make your life a whole lot easier as you can do it yourself, within seconds.
How does it help?
There are many benefits to using GTM, and within an eCommerce environment, it can be vital to helping to understand your customer journey from lead to conversion. Some of the benefits include:
» Speed – Previously, implementing code changes and adding new tracking pixels or tags may have taken you a long time. If you’re a developer, then you’ve probably come up against constraints when it comes to version control and testing. Well, every time you implement a tag, it can be tested, reviewed and a version history is created automatically. Site errors can even be debugged there and then.
For marketers, getting that new tag on to the site to allow you to track a specific behaviour or action, and to follow the conversion funnel of your visitors would often be a frustratingly drawn-out process. GTM allows you to do it directly yourself, with no risk of breaking the site.Finally, due to how GTM loads, there is even an increase of your general website page loading time. It’s a win-win.
» Flexibility – GTM is incredibly flexible, allowing users of all technical expertise to really profit from using it. There are a whole host of predefined tags that users at a basic level can simply drop-in to their site with minimal set-up, while extreme customisation can be achieved in a much safer and cleaner way for developers.
» Safety – Thanks to its in-built debugging and testing, tags can be created and tested prior to being put on a live site. This is a priceless tool for those looking to test that code snippets, tags, pixels etc actually work without harming your site, prior to deploying them to live.
» Custom workspaces and dashboards – If many people within your organisation are working on GTM, then it is possible to create custom dashboards and environments so that different users have different permissions. This can be incredibly helpful. For example, if desired someone within your marketing team could have access to create new tags, although only a developer may be able to test and deploy the tags in their dashboard.
» Easy editing of common tags/code – A huge advantage of GTM is that from the Tag Manager interface, you are able to add and update tags for Google AdWords, Google Analytics, DoubleClick Floodlight as well as many third party tags. Everything in one place, simpler than ever before.
Tips for getting the most from Google Tag Manager
As you’ve probably noticed, the advantages of using Google Tag Manager are enormous to any business. So now that we know what it does, how do we go about getting the most out of GTM? Well, you can start by following our top tips for Google Tag Manager success:
» Like anything in business, and certainly marketing and eCommerce, before implementing GTM it is worth taking the time to consider in advance what it is you’re looking to achieve. At Red Alien we like to map out the landing pages and their goals and build various scenarios into GTM. Consider is there something specific you want to track? Is it a third party tag you wish to implement? Knowing what you are looking to get out of Google Tag Manager ahead of diving in will greatly enhance your chances of getting it right, and having a clean and well-organised dashboard of tags.
» Consider who in your organisation will need access to Google Tag Manager? Will you use internal developers or an agency for testing and debugging, or are you happy to keep this task within your marketing department, for example? If you are in a company with large teams, then someone from each team could be given access to GTM rather than having many people logging in. This will keep consistency when it comes to the naming of tags, etc.
» Decide how you will view the data in advance. Google Analytics will give you access to the data your tags are producing from GTM. Alternatively, you may want to consider Google Data Studio which allows for many custom dashboard options, as well as an excellent visualisation of data that you are monitoring. Google Data Studio is excellent for driving analysis and insights into your websites, and so from an eCommerce point of view, it can be invaluable. This is an important step to consider during your planning of GTM because you’re going to need to get to your data and be able to read it quickly and easily.
» Finally, perhaps the most important tip ahead of getting started with Google Tag Manager is to take the time to learn about it properly or work with an agency (like Red Alien) or developer that can provide clear guidance. Google themselves have produced many online resources and video tutorials about how to use Google Tag Manager, from the basic tasks through to the more complex scenarios. Having a broad overview and working knowledge of GTM will help you get up and running quickly.