Wouldn’t it be great if you could see exactly how your website visitors interact with your site?
You would learn the paths your customers take when navigating. Track marketing data such as conversions and retargeted ads. And see where they came from and what they do before leaving.
Having Google Tag Manager (GTM) set up on your website lets small businesses track exactly how their website is being used. And it’s free!
GTM gives you the ability to create and manage tags, small snippets of code that let you “follow” a user’s activity through your site to help you to gather marketing information. That’s why we’ve created this simple guide to help you take full advantage of the system.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn about what Google Tags are, how to add tags, why you should add tags, and how to use the information Google Tags can provide.
What Is a Tag?
A tag is a small piece of code that saves information related to visitor actions on your website.
Say you wanted to see if your content marketing strategy is bringing in a good return on your investment:
By adding a tag to your site’s landing pages you can view how visitors clicked from Google search. Then you can track them as they move through your sales funnel leads them to buy or contact you.
There are lots of uses, like discovering how far down a page a user scrolls, or if they answered a survey or joined your newsletter.
Do users tend to bounce from certain pages within a few seconds? Or do they abandon slow-loading pages?
Each tag lets you understand how your website works. Or doesn’t.
Triggers and Variables
Tag functions are activated through triggers or set actions, such as tapping a button.
Variables filter triggers so you can isolate those actions. For example, you could create a product image preview tag that’s triggered when someone lands on your product review page.
Containers group your tags and other code snippets from Google Analytics together.
What Is Google Tag Manager?
As part of its Marketing Platform, Google offers a range of marketing tools for all business websites.
And each tool is free!
Google Tag Manager acts as a tag management system. By tying in with the rest of the Google ecosystem, your website can include a range of powerful tags from one place.
GTM offers pre-set tags to choose from that work with other Google services like:
- Google Analytics – visitor statistics and analysis
- Google Ads – pay per click (PPC) advertisements
- Floodlight – track and report on conversions
- Google Optimize – A/B testing and landing page optimization
- Google Surveys – web-based customer surveys
There’s also a Community Template Gallery you can dip into.
Many companies use these pre-built tags to work with third-party software apps like Userpilot. You can track a full range of triggers and variables and edit things as you go.
Here’s a summary of Google Tag Manager’s best, most valuable features for small business owners:
No Code for New Tags
Once the code snippets are added to your website you don’t need to change them.
That means you can create, edit, and delete tags directly from the Tag Manager console. There’s no need to update the source code again.
Track Across Your Site
Old-style tags needed to be created for each and every trigger on your site, no matter how simple the action. That meant that every button in every form required a separate snippet of code.
Google Tag Manager lets you set one trigger for all the buttons on your site.
You set a rule and similar elements get targeted. It’s a powerful way to set advanced tracking throughout your pages, without having to modify anything.
You and your marketing staff can view and add tags from one central source. And as it works with Google Analytics, all the data is available using one login.
One person or group manages data flow. That means there’s less repetition and also less likelihood of errors.
Google Tag Manager Set Up
To start using GTM on your own website you will need to create an account, and then install some code.
1. Create Account
Visit the Tag Manager accounts screen. Click on the button that says Create Account.
On the next screen, enter your business name and select your location. Choose whether you want your data shared anonymously with Google and their partners, which helps to improve the service.
Each account has at least one container that ties with your website, app, or mobile page.
Enter a suitable container like your web address. Then choose a target platform like Web.
Once you click Create, Google displays its terms and conditions. Read them before you continue, then check the box at the bottom.
2. Install Code
Once Google’s created your new account, it displays the tag snippet codes. This is what you came for.
Copy and paste the first snippet into each page of your website, as high in the <head> HTML as you can. Then, paste the second code snippet just after the <body> tag.
If you’re unfamiliar with HTML then speak to your web developer for help.
For WordPress users who aren’t very HTML savvy, download the Insert Headers and Footers plugin. This lets you add code without wading through complex programming.
How to Use Google Tag Manager
Adding a new tag is a snap with GTM’s New Tag facility.
Once you add the code container to your site, you can create as many tags as you want.
Google offers 50 templates to choose from. Just click on the New Tag link to begin.
Give the tag a title then choose a configuration. GTM guides you as the screen swipes to each stage. You then choose a trigger to make the tag fire. Also, you can add exceptions to filter the tag actions.
Google Tag Manager Training
Although GTM is relatively easy to use compared to previous tag systems, it’s still not very straightforward.
Fortunately, Google has a great Google Tag Manager Fundamentals course to help you.
The four units cover the fundamentals. There are 14 videos, each progressing to the more advanced options. But you’ll need to set aside some time to watch and learn.
Digital Marketing Boost With Collide Digital
Google Tag Manager lets you create and manage tags to track your digital marketing ROI.
It’s a powerful system but for many business owners, but despite (or perhaps because of) it’s potential power, many find it complex to understand. And the need for coding skill doesn’t help.
The team of web design professionals and marketing experts at Collide Digital can help with your Google tags.
We develop Google-friendly websites and create marketing strategies that work. Our branding and content creation service is a pillar of our business, and we know how to track your ROI.
Contact us to discuss your requirements.
Become a Collide Digital partner and see your website get what it deserves – boost in targeted traffic!
Have Google Tags helped you? Let us know in the Comments below!