The Beginner’s Guide to Google Tag Manager

Tracking users on your website is essential and if you’re not using Google Tag Manager to do it, check out this guide.

The Beginner's Guide to Google Tag Manager


One of the main goals of internet marketing, for any business, is expanding your reach. Digital strategies like paid advertising and content marketing work best when you apply a targeted approach, communicating effectively with your target audience through your web contentwhat’s on your website.

But how do you know how effective your efforts actually are?


Your website has a well of data waiting to be mined. It collects information every day about how people are interacting with your site. You just need the right tools to measure and track that information.


Google Analytics reports can help with this when it comes to analyzing data from landing pages and paid advertising. If you want to get into some advanced analytics and learn how to get excellent new insights on how to generate more leads and sales from your website, Google Tag Manager is a great tool that makes data tracking easier for everyone. So, here’s the beginner’s guide to Google Tag Manager.


Google Tag Manager Basics


To get started, let’s briefly go over the nuts and bolts of Google Tag Manager: tags, triggers, variables, and containers.  


Tags – GTM uses tags, or snippets of HTML code, to gather information about what’s happening on your site, and how users are engaging with it. 


Triggers – Your tags are looking for specific events to happen so they can collect that data. Triggers are those events, like page views, clicks, and much more (we’ll get into the finer details of that later).


Variables – Variables define precisely what data tags collect, and when triggers should fire. Triggers have to meet the conditions of variables before they’re allowed to fire.  


Containers – Provide a home for all of your tags by containing them all in one place.

Why Google Tag Manager Can Work for You

Why Google Tag Manager Can Work for You


Aside from gaining insights about how users are interacting with your site, there are many reasons why you’d want to start using GTM.


Non-Web Developers Can Use It


I won’t lie to you. There’s a learning curve to understanding how GTM works. You’ll need to develop some basic technical knowledge of web analytics, but overall, anybody can figure it out with practice. GTM was made to make it easier for marketers to use it without a web developer’s help. If you decide to go the DIY route with implementing Google Tag Manager, it can free up your web developer to handle the more complicated aspects of maintaining your website.


It Makes Tag Creation Simpler & Faster


GTM can track multiple systems and provide advanced analytics by creating streamlined Google verified tags. You can choose from pre-made templates that are already optimized, which means they have tracking scripts built-in. You don’t have to create code yourself. Your web developer will be the first to tell you that creating tags “by hand” is a complicated and tedious process that can overload your site if you’re not careful. 


Overloading your site with tracking code slows it down. A slow website is an ineffective site, especially when you consider that even a 0.1-second delay in page loading speed can reduce your conversion rates by 7%


All that means is people are impatient. If they see a website is slow to load, they’re more likely to leave than stick around, which is another reason why GTM is such a great tool.


Creating Tags Will Be More Accurate


There’s another even more important reason why you don’t want to build the code for tags yourself. Like everything else in life, we have to consider human error. A tag with any mistakes at all won’t function, and that’s just dead code taking up space on your site, slowing it down.


Google Tag Manager takes all that out of the equation. GTM has a user-friendly portal, and it’ll let you know when there’s a typo in your tag before you even implement it. 


It’s Designed to Work Together with Google Analytics


Another plus for being user friendly, GTM works seamlessly with the Google Analytics application. You can maintain, organize, and debug collected data from your site all in one place, and in a much more systemized way. GTM can even be used with mobile apps and AMP sites, which are accelerated mobile pages specially created and optimized for mobile devices.


What Does Google Tag Manager Actually Do?


So, I’ve gone over why Google Tag Manager works for gathering website information. Still, by now you’re probably wondering how all this’ll enhance your internet marketing efforts. This is what GTM does as far as data tracking and analyzing.


Events Tracking – Events are literally anything that a user does on the page, from scrolling to clicking. The options will seem endless, but the key to these events is only tracking the data you can use to improve your marketing strategy and make the most sense for growing your business.


Scroll Tracking – How far down the page a user gets to. Seeing how often someone actually scrolls to the bottom of a page will tell you how helpful or engaging they think your web content is. If you have a high abandon rate (they navigate away from the page without reading all the way), you’ll know there are some changes to be made. Bounce rates include how many users abandon a page without scrolling at all. 


Form Submissions – This can give you an idea of your conversions through a useful portal like form submissions. If you’re getting people to follow CTAs and fill out contact forms or subscription forms, you’re doing something right! This also tracks form abandonment, which has the same idea as page abandon rate. 


Where & How Users Find Your Site – Kind of self-explanatory. You definitely want to know how people are getting to your site, from mobile or desktop, from a social media post or a paid ad, etc. 


Clicks & Views – These are probably some of the most critical data points you want to look into. Clicks can account for links, buttons, and other website elements. Pageviews are crucial for letting you know which web pages on your site are getting the most traction, and how long people are staying there. The same goes for any video content you have. Views, and how long users are watching, are a pretty good tell of how effective your video marketing is.  


Key Takeaways 


  • Tracking website data can give you excellent insights into how to generate more leads and sales for your business.
  • Google Tag Manager is a system for creating and managing tags to collect data from your website. 
  • Tags are snippets of HTML code that gather information about what’s happening on your site, and how users are engaging with it. 
  • GTM can enhance your marketing efforts by tracking and analyzing critical data points and events, but only follow the data that makes sense for your unique business.


Ready to Start Creating Tags with Google Tag Manager?


It’s crucial to get the information from this beginner’s guide under your belt before you start creating tags with Google Manager. If you’re interested in GTM, but not sure where to begin, a professional internet marketing company can give you the best advice for your business and steer you in the right direction.