Why You Should Implement Google Tag Manager

google tag manager

Here at Flying Cork, our SEO and Analytics team switched to using Google Tag Manager to implement various tags, utilities, and platforms on the websites and analytics accounts we create and manage, rather than placing codes in their respective places directly into the HTML. Since we switched over to the tag manager method, simple implementations and coding tasks have become so much faster and easier. I’ve started questioning how I ever lived without GTM. I’m convinced that everyone with a marketing plan should implement Google Tag Manager on their site!

Here are my top five reasons why:

  1. It’s easy for non-developers to understand. If you don’t have a background in Javascript coding, implementing in-line event tracking or other tags can get confusing or overwhelming … and sometimes it may just not work. With Tag Manager, you can skip the Javascript for most tracking tasks. You don’t need to add lines to the Analytics code or manually add event tracking snippets. Instead, you set up these same tags through a user-friendly interface that feels more like software than frontend coding.
  2. It saves time and resources. Once your web team has placed the GTM code snippet on your site, you’re ready to roll – solo. You don’t have to harass your developers or clients for simple things like changing out pixels or adding event tracking (most of the time). You can run tests and install utilities without needing login credentials or CMS access. After you’ve set up your tags, triggers and variables, you can test right in the browser, clearly see what’s firing, and troubleshoot what’s broken until you get it right. With a plain old Analytics implementation, you may have to get a developer to place the code, then push it to a dev site, where you can test the results in real time. If the tags don’t work, you go back to the developer, make changes and repeat the process. With Google Tag Manager you can stop making simple tasks a multi-person effort. Sure, every now and then you’ll come across a utility that isn’t supported by or compatible with GTM; in that case, you’ll have to get the snippet coded on to the page. But for the most part, you’ll be able to handle a lot more on your own. You can get your pixels up and running with little to no downtime.
  3. It makes tracking a breeze. Want to see how many people are clicking a specific button? Need to trigger virtual pageviews for your goal funnels? What about setting up cross-domain tracking? Google Tag Manager makes this process practically foolproof: There’s no need to alter the Analytics tag or write event tracking codes. You can easily remove these functions, too. You can find events and triggers a lot easier in a Tag Manager container than in code, and get an at-a-glance idea of what tags you have running and where—provided you’re keeping things organized!
  4. There’s a ton of support documentation out there to help you get started, so you’ll never be lost. If you don’t know how to implement a tag or push certain kinds of information to Google Analytics, chances are you’ll be able to find a detailed step-by-step tutorial with a simple search. You can find tons of free, custom Javascript shared by tracking experts to do things like track page scrolling or video plays. The resource that really got me hooked on GTM was Google’s Tag Manager Fundamentals course, which offers a detailed overview of crucial Tag Manager concepts that you’ll use daily; this is stuff that can apply to almost any site.
  5. It can help introduce you to more complex concepts, ultimately making you more well-rounded and tech-savvy. One of the things I love about Analytics in general is that the skills you learn are incredibly buildable—once you understand one thing, it’s easy to segue that knowledge onto something deeper. Tag Manager has helped me dig into things like understanding the data layer, grasping how information moves from the webpage to Analytics, and getting a better understanding of Javascript. I know I’ve said over and over that you don’t need to have a coding background for GTM, but it has inevitably exposed me to a technical side of tracking that I used to depend on developers to carry out. But with GTM, it’s presented through a more right-brained approach, which definitely makes it easier for the less technical among us to comprehend.

Honestly, this just touches the surface of my deep, deep love for Tag Manager, but for anyone who’s just starting out or thinking about giving it a try, hopefully this gives you the push you need to get going. With its amazing flexibility for general analytics maintenance and overall marketing strategy implementation, there’s really no reason to wait any longer!