Google Tag Manager: For Beginners

In Measurement Marketing by RyanLeave a Comment

Collecting data using tools like Google Analytics is critical for expanding your business's online reach, converting leads into clients, and optimizing a digital marketing approach to create stronger relationships with your audience.

Google Analytics and other similar analytics programs aid the process, but they work more efficiently with the inclusion of tags.

Tags, in a general sense, are bits of code you embed in your site's javascript or HTML to extract certain information.

For entrepreneurs, necessary tag information typically includes how long users visit a page on your website, form submissions, how they arrived on your website, which links they clicked, or even what products they removed from their shopping cart.

Each tag tracks something different. As an example, you might create a tag just to see how many individuals fill out the form in your “Contact Us” page.

Unfortunately, manually coding tags can be a tedious and difficult process for entrepreneurs without much coding or development experience, and it's time-consuming to fill out tickets to the IT department.

Using Google Tag Manager, your entire tagging process becomes much easier. All you do is embed a code in your website pages once, and then every time you want to make a label, Google Tag Manager codes it and embeds it for you.

Google Tag Manager is a label management system that allows you to make and monitor tags on a user interface, without writing new code every time you want to construct a label. You just embed the Google Tag Manager code into every page of your website. This eliminates the manual process of creating tags, making your marketing process more precise and efficient.

Google Tag Manager does a few things: first, it allows your programmers and IT department to focus on bigger-picture tasks by eliminating the burden of programming each individual marketing tag.

Second, since Google Tag Manager codes the tags for you, it considerably reduces the possibility of human error.

And next, Google Tag Manager allows your marketing department to take full control over the tags that they create and monitor. Giving your marketers full reign over their tags increases efficacy. Additionally, using tags improves the accuracy of your analytics system, assuring higher-quality reports and a better sense of your true online audience.

With all that said, it is still a tool you may want to try for yourself before deciding if it is a perfect fit — maybe you already have a tagging system in place, or you do not feel you need that level of organization, since your website doesn't usually require new tags.

Google Tag Manager is completely free, so you can check it out virtually risk-free. Here, we will show you how to set up an account, the way to create a new tag, the way to use Google Tag Manager with your Google Analytics account, and how to embed the tool in WordPress.

After that, you can decide for yourself if it is the right system for your business.

Establishing a free account is a simple two-step procedure, but it's distinct from any of your other Google Analytics or Gmail accounts. To ensure a painless set-up for you, we have listed our procedure for setting up an account.

Here's what you do:

1. Go to https://www.google.com/analytics/tag-manager and click the green”Sign Up for Free” button. It will ask you to enter your account name (business), nation, and website URL, in addition to where you want to use Google Tag (web, iOS, android, AMP). When you're finished, click the blue “Create” button.

2. Next, you'll be given codes and instructions to include 1 code high in the of your page, along with the other after the opening tag. You can do this now or use the codes to your website later (they're accessible in your dashboard). Once you're done, click “Ok”.

As soon as you have a Google Tag Manager account, the first thing you're likely to want to learn is how to establish a tag.

This is beneficial for generating in-depth reports on your audience's behavior, but it can become ineffective if you do not organize your tags correctly.

Google recommends using the following naming convention: tag type – name of program – detail.

This way, you are able to correctly identify and collect data related to specific campaigns or pages.

For instance, the second label, “Google Analytics – CTA – About Us page,” tells you how well your About Us call-to-action button is performing. That information is valuable, and might be missing if you named your tags more generally, like, “CTA button”.

Now that we have cleared that up, let's check out how to set up a tag:

1. In your Google Tag Manager dashboard, click the “Add a New Tag” button, circled below in red.

2. Title your tag and then click anywhere in the top “Tag Configuration” box, to choose a tag type.

3. There are dozens of tag types (they are not all displayed here, and it is also possible to customize a tag type). I chose “Classic Google Analytics”.

4. If you would like your tag tracked in Google Analytics, the next step is to enter your Web Property ID, located in your Google Analytics account. Then, pick a “Track Type”.

5. Next, choose a trigger (a trigger means when you want the tag recorded, i.e. “whenever someone visits the page”). I chose “All Pages”, to get insights every time somebody views any of my webpages, but that varies depending on your intentions.

6. When you're delighted with the information in the “Tag Configuration” and “Triggering” boxes, click the blue “Save” button.

7. Next, click on the blue “Submit” button. Your label won't work until you do that.

8. When you click on “Submit”, you'll be taken to this “Submission Configuration” page. There are two choices: “Publish and Produce Version” or “Create Model”. Since I'm all set to push the label onto all my site pages, I selected “Publish and Create Version”, and then I pressed the blue “Publish” button in the top right.

9. Finally, you're going to be shown this “Container Version Description”. To maintain your tags organized, add a title and description to see what you're trying to record with this tag.

10. Ensure your tag appears on your “Version Summary” report.

Now, you've successfully created your first tag.

Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics

If you want to use Google Tag Manager in conjunction with Google Analytics, there are a few measures you want to take. However, it's a worthwhile endeavor — embedding tags in your website will increase the precision of your Analytics accounts.

First off, you will need to remove your GA code out of your site pages. You'll only need your Google Tag Manager tag code embedded — if you use both, it'll only report everything twice and mess up your information.

Second, you'll probably need to create a variable for your Google Analytics Tracking ID. A factor is a Google Tag Manager tool intended to increase your efficiency by saving additional (optional) data you supply.

Should you save your GA Tracking ID as a factor, you won't have to look it up each time you create a new label for Google Analytics (making the lazy-person in me very happy).

1. Click “Variables” in your Google Tag Manager homepage.

  1. Under “User-Defined Variables”, click “New”.

3. Name your variable — I named it “GA Tracking ID” so I would remember. Then, click the “Factor Setup” box.

4. Choose “Constant” as your factor type, since you don't want the ID to change for different tags.

5. Now, enter your Google Analytics Tracking ID number into the “Value” box, then choose “Save” in the top right.

1. Back in your homepage, select “Tags” from the side bar. Click on the tag you wish to edit (I clicked “TestTag1”).

2. Click the grey” +” icon beside the “Web Property ID” box.

3. Select that.

4. Click save, and your label is updated.

If your business uses WordPress to host its site, there is an easy two-step procedure to integrate Google Tag Manager into WordPress.

But if you would rather do it manually, it's relatively simple to do. It will only get tedious if you have a ton of different pages of your website and need to use tags on all of them — you will have to copy and paste a code below the tag on each page.

Here's what you do:

1. Duplicate the Google Tag Manager code you're given during the set-up procedure. If you've already set up your account, click the blue “Google Tag Manager” code beside “Workspace Changes” on your Google Tag Manager homepage (circled below in red). That blue code will even supply you with your special Google Tag Manager code. 2. Now, paste that code below the tag of each page in your

  1. Now, your WordPress site is prepped for any tags you want to create within Google Tag Manager. Google Tag Manager will automatically code meta tags and embed them in whichever page you've selected.

Now, your WordPress site is prepped for any tags you want to create within Google Tag Manager. Google Tag Manager will automatically code future tags and embed them in whichever page you’ve selected.

  • Do you have more questions now? If so, we'd love to help!