Google Tag Manager is a stand-out tool that simplifies the process of incorporating tracking pixels into your website. Whether you need to add a specific tracking pixel or track form submissions for a newly created form, GTM has got you covered.

You no longer have to wait for a busy developer to add these tracking codes, which can sometimes take days. With GTM, you can often take matters into your own hands.

Of course, you can still partially replace developers — it’s a collaborative effort. GTM empowers you and your team to swiftly implement new marketing campaigns and web analytics tracking, making you much more agile in these endeavors.

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Is GTM Easy?

How does Google Tag Manager work? Is it easy to use? Diving into GTM may seem intimidating at first. It’s like a complex machine that requires specific knowledge, and your standard driver’s license won’t be helpful here.

Like any other tool, GTM has its learning curve. That’s why we’ve created this GTM guide—it’s your initial step toward gaining more independence and control over your analytics and marketing tracking codes.

The World Before GTM

When you want to implement Google Analytics or any other web tracking tool, the process typically involves adding a specific piece of JavaScript code, known as a “tag,” to your website.

Everytime a visitor lands on your website, the system executes the Google Tag Manager code,  enabling visitor tracking.

Initially, adding a single tag to your site is relatively easy. You can request a developer to handle it, and they’ll take care of it, often within a reasonable timeframe, whether on the same day or over several days, as it’s a one-time task.

However, here’s the caveat — While GA4 (Google Analytics 4) offers a range of metrics and some automatic event-tracking features right out of the box, making well-informed decisions often requires tracking more specific interactions, such as form submissions and sales, among other things.

It needs additional tracking codes for your website. Sometimes, existing ones must be modified or removed. This situation was prevalent before the introduction of Google Tag Manager GA4. It is where the developer, and often the entire IT department, can experience bottlenecks.

Given their existing workload and projects, tasks related to marketing and analytics frequently take a back seat in terms of priority. Consequently, you and your team find yourselves waiting, and the wait can sometimes be extended.

Getting to Know GTM

GTM empowers you to incorporate, store, and oversee marketing tags effortlessly without modifying your website’s underlying code.

Marketing tags are compact code designed to monitor user interactions and gather valuable data. A classic example of a marketing tag is the Google Tag Manager code, which is utilized to install Google Analytics and other Google services.

Furthermore, you’ll encounter other common marketing tags, such as Google Analytics event codes, Google Ads conversion scripts, Meta Pixel code, and tags for remarketing purposes.

These tags serve various marketing and analytics functions, enhancing your ability to collect and interpret data effectively.

What Are the Uses of GTM?

GTM tracks and manages various events and user behaviors on a website. It streamlines adding, updating, and maintaining tracking codes without requiring manual changes. Here’s how it works:

  • Setup

You install the GTM container code on your website to get started. It is a single piece of code that needs to be added to your site’s pages.

  • Container

Within Google Tag Manager, you create a container. A container is a digital space where you manage your tracking tags and configurations. You can have one container per website or app.

  • Tags

Tags are code snippets that you want to implement on your website. These can be for various tracking purposes, such as Google Analytics, Google Ads conversion tracking, or any custom tracking script.

GTM offers a wide range of built-in tag templates for popular services, and you can also create custom tags.

  • Triggers

Triggers define the conditions that determine when a tag should fire. For example, you can set a trigger to fire when a user clicks a specific button, submits a form, or reaches the end of a page.

  • Variables

After you install Google Tag Manager, you can utilize the variables feature. This feature allows you to collect dynamic data from your website, which can be used in your tags and triggers. For instance, you can capture the text in a form field or the URL of the page a user is on.

  • Testing and Preview

Before deploying any changes, you can use GTM “preview” mode to ensure your tags and triggers work as expected. It helps you avoid any tracking issues.

  • Publishing

Once you’re satisfied with your setup, you can publish your changes. The tool will then manage the implementation of your tags, triggers, and variables on your website.

  • Updates and Maintenance

The beauty of Google Tag Manager GA4 is that it allows you to make changes or updates to your tracking without needing to access your website’s source code. You can do this directly within the GTM interface.

GTM simplifies tracking user interactions and behaviors on your website by providing a user-friendly interface to manage tracking codes, triggers, and variables.

It offers greater flexibility and control, making monitoring and analyzing user actions and collecting valuable data easier.

Google Tag Manager vs. Google Analytics

The objective of GTM is not to replace Google Analytics but to work in conjunction with it, providing marketers with a versatile and easy-to-maintain approach to tracking diverse statistics.

Roles

The primary distinction between the two lies in their roles — GTM supports deploying and managing marketing tags on your website, including conversion tracking tags. At the same time, Google Analytics focuses on measuring and analyzing website traffic and the effectiveness of these tags.

Third-Party Integrations

Regarding third-party integration, GTM does not offer integration with external tools, whereas Google Analytics can be integrated with other reporting systems.

This seamless Google Analytics and Tag Manager integration provides a more comprehensive view of website traffic and user behavior, aiding in evaluating the success of marketing initiatives and identifying areas for website improvement.

Conversely, GTM cannot be integrated with third-party solutions, serving as a standalone tool exclusively for website tagging management.

Modifications

The flexibility of GTM is highlighted as it allows independent addition, modification, and removal of Google Analytics tracking tags, as well as the incorporation of tracking scripts for various platforms, such as Facebook and Google Ads.

It means you can use GTM for website tagging independently from Google Analytics.

Data Handling

Concerning data handling, GTM is not involved in data processing, whereas Google Analytics is specifically designed for data collection and analysis.

While click funnels Google Tag Manager simplifies tag management, Google Analytics provides detailed information about website visits, enabling precise performance tracking, conversion analysis, and informed adjustments.

User Interface

Regarding structure and user interface, Google Analytics organizes your website or mobile application into properties and views within the user interface. Each property can have multiple perspectives, with various reports contained within each view.

On the other hand, GTM  employs container tags to represent websites or apps, including numerous triggers, variables, and tags within each container tag.

These differences highlight their respective purposes and functionalities, emphasizing the cooperative relationship between the two tools.

Setting Up GTM

Follow these step-by-step instructions to set up your GTM account.

Step 1: Install Google Tag Manager

Your initial step is establishing a GTM account to implement GTM on your website. Start by navigating to https://tagmanager.google.com/ and logging in to the platform using your Google account credentials.

Once you’ve successfully signed in, select “Create Account” and complete the account setup by following the provided instructions.

Step 2: Generate a Container

Upon successfully configuring your account, the subsequent step is to generate a container. A container is the repository for all the tags related to your website. To craft a container, click the “Create Container” option and follow the instructions to establish your container.

Step 3: Incorporate the GTM Container Code into Your Website

After you install Google Tag Manager and create your container, the next essential step is integrating the GTM container code into your website. This process involves copying the container code provided by GTM and pasting it into the header section of your website’s HTML code.

Step 4: Integrate Tags to the GTM Container

The subsequent step is incorporating tags into your container after successfully adding the GTM container code to your website. To add a tag, navigate to the “Tags” option in the left-hand menu, then select “New.”

Proceed by following the provided instructions to create your tag and ensure you save it once it’s configured to your requirements.

Step 5: Preview and Deploy Your GTM Container

After successfully incorporating your tags into your Google Tag Manager code container, the next step involves previewing and deploying your container. To achieve this, click “Preview,” located in the upper right-hand corner of the GTM interface.

This action enables you to test the functionality of your tags on your website. Upon confirming that your tags function correctly, click “Publish” to deploy your container.

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Explore and Utilize GTM With Clicta Digital

Discover how GTM can revolutionize your web tracking and analytics. Seamlessly manage tags, boost user experience, and gain valuable insights into your website’s performance.

Join us at Clicta Digital and embark on a journey to harness the full potential of Google Tag Manager for your online success. Let’s explore, implement, and transform your digital presence together.

Take the first step toward a data-driven future — explore and utilize GTM by calling Clicta Digital today.