Google Tag Manager is nothing new. This free tool has been around since 2005 — but, for whatever reason, it doesn’t get the same widespread publicity as Google Analytics, AdWords, or Webmaster Tools. If you’re just discovering Google Tag Manager now, the offerings can be pretty exciting.
“It’s an excellent tool that, although it was slow to burn for some, is something just about every small business could use to propel their digital marketing efforts forward,” according to Search Engine Journal. At Mod Girl Marketing, we sometimes show marketers how to get started with Google Tag Manager to keep their website SEO up to par and get the elusive results they’ve been unable to get.
Here are some of the ways this “search giant” freebie can help you:
1. Run a more efficient operation.
Google defines a tag as “a piece of code that sends information to a third party, such as Google Analytics,” adding: “Tags are often provided by analytics, marketing, and support providers to help you integrate their products into your website or mobile app.”
Essentially, tags allow businesses to:
- Measure traffic
- Monitor online campaigns
- Understand user behavior, and
- Determine the direction of your digital marketing strategy.
2. Save time.
In the past, businesses needed to contact their web developer and wait to update their websites. Google Tag Manager lets you update conversion tracking, site analytics and remarketing efforts with just a few clicks, without any code editing. This time saving feature is especially important when you want to launch a new site quickly or change configuration values.
3. Improve user experience.
Organizing tags improves user experience by quickly:
- Fill in missing data
- Removing incorrect tags
- Debugging code errors
- Speeding up your site’s performance with cleaner code
4. Stop micromanaging each page.
When a website has a lot of pages or when you’re using marketing automation software like Hatchbuck, it’s easy to lose track of your tags in the shuffle. Instead of placing code on individual pages, you simply put the Tag Manager code on your pages and update your tag bucket.
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5. Never worry about forgetting your tags again.
It’s easy to forget adding important tags to new landing pages. This misstep wrecks the reliability of your analytics data, though. This is one of the most common blunders our consultants come across when conducting our free business website audits. With Tag Manager, you never have to worry about missing individual tags. As long as you use the bucket for every page, you’re good to go.
6. Enjoy greater control in updating your website.
The most successful businesses are the ones who remain flexible. Google Tag Manager lets you tag some pages, but not others, depending on specific conditions. Social Media Examiner gives this example: “Say you are promoting an event, like Social Media Marketing World, and you want to put a tag on the event page for people who have visited the page, but haven’t yet purchased a ticket. If you’ve haphazardly put tags everywhere, you could lose track of what page your tag needs to be on. With Tag Manager, you can specify it to fire the tag if the url has ‘smmw16’ in it.” Furthermore, it’s easy for campaign managers to add and subtract timely tags through the system, without having direct coding access to each individual page.
7. Update your WordPress theme without worries.
Here’s a caveat of updating your WordPress theme: you’ve suddenly lost all your Google Analytics tags. When you use the Google Tag Manager for WordPress plugin, WordPress automatically adds the bucket to every new page, so you can easily update your themes without losing valuable data.
8. Gain new analytics data for more timely marketing.
Tag Manager will tell you when someone hovers over portions of your site — like videos or “add to cart” buttons, but doesn’t actually click. Data can be sent to Google Analytics when visitors do perform a desired action, allowing you to remarket to these people.
9. Determine off-site cost-per-click.
Some marketers use Google Tag Manager to have better control over their Amazon products. By setting up outbound click trackers for links that go from your website to Amazon, you can track this goal to compare clicks and sales and determine the cost-per-click of your marketing efforts.
Ready To Get Started with Google Tag Manager?
- Create an account by signing in here. Enter your business name and set up a container for each website or mobile app you manage. (Or you may choose to enter your domain and sub-domains.) These containers will include tracking tags like AdWords and Google Analytics, among others.
2. Copy the code snippet onto every page of your site.
3. Once you add the Google Analytics button, you can fill in more information about your account to set up tracking parameters as you see fit.
4. Once you publish, you can simply sign into your Google Tag Manager dashboard to add tags or update your containers.