Google Tag Manager (GTM)
The Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free toolset provided by Google. GTM allows you to place custom tags on your website to help you monitor specific actions on your web pages. You can then track these events from your Google Analytics account.
Yes, Google Analytics already enables you to place a tracking tag on each page of your website but, it’s challenging to identify specific events. For instance, the activation of a subscription form.
With the assistance of Google’s Tag Manager, this becomes easier. You can track specific elements on your site, which allows you to see how often your visitors interact with them. This enables you to see what’s working on your website and brings you closer to those all-important conversions… Or, at least, which elements need some extra attention.
What’s a Tag?
An excellent example of a tag is the Google Analytics tracking code.
Why Should You Use Google Tag Manager AND Google Analytics?
To make full use of Google Analytics, you have to add tracking tags. This used to be a difficult task and required a great deal of development time because web programmers needed to add unique code to each part of the web page for you to monitor the actions, but fast forward to today and Google’s Tag Manager now helps you keep track of the hundreds of tags you might have active all at once. With just a glance at your Google Tag Manager account, you’ll get a brief overview of what’s going on.
Google Tag Manager also allows you to test your tags and make sure they’re firing correctly when the desired action occurs. Another great benefit is that you can edit tags from inside the Tag Manager—you don’t need to go back into the source code or hire a developer to do so.
You’ll also be pleased to hear that the Google Analytics tracking code isn’t the only tag compatible with Google’s Tag Manager. You can also track the following tags:
- The Google Ads conversion tag
- The Google Ads remarketing tag
- Facebook’s pixel code
- Inspectlet tracking code
- Crazyegg tracking code
So, as you can see, Google’s Tag Manager doesn’t replace Google Analytics, instead, it works as a sort of middleman in conjunction with the Analytics toolset. It makes adding Google Analytics tracking codes (tags) much more straightforward, helps you test these tags, and create the right triggers to monitor individual events.
The Tag Manager can exist without Google Analytics and vise versa. Still, it’s recommended that you use Google Tag Manager to install Google Analytics Tags because you have more control over where you place them, and if you frequently edit your website, you won’t have to modify the source code each time you publish a change.
This makes the Google Tag Manager especially useful for those without coding experience who are maintaining their own sites. If this describes you, we strongly suggest installing Google’s Tag Manager alongside Google Analytics and using the Tag Manager to install your tracking codes!