What Is Google Tag Manager and How Does It Work?

what is google tag manager and how does it work

As a site owner, you need to ensure that your platform is at its best state. One of the things that you need to do involves your site’s codes. It’s what makes your website. In simple terms, codes contain your data.

Manually managing codes can be complex. For this reason, you can look into Google Tag Manager. It’s a tool developed by Google to help site masters with the said tasks.

In this article, we’re going to dig deeper into what Google Tag Manager is. Moreover, we will talk about how the tool works and what you’ll get from using it.

What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager, or GTM, mainly works with tags. If you’re not familiar with a tag, it’s a piece of code used to gather data. With the said tool, you can manage and deploy tags on your website. Doing so will allow you to share information between data sources.

Most of the time, site masters use GTM with Google Analytics. The former shares the site’s data with the latter. Hence, the combination lets them monitor their site’s analytics. 

As per Google, GTM is an app that will allow users to manage their codes without developers’ help. They also note that you can use this for both websites and apps.

What Does Google Tag Manager Do?

Google Tag Manager is responsible for storing and sending tags from one source to another.

Here is an overview of what Google Tag Manager can do for you:

  • Let your platform communicate and connect with other tools
  • Set up automation for site
  • Store all tags in one place
  • Broaden your site/app’s current features
  • Update tags

Basically, GTM will help you in almost, if not all, aspects relating to your site’s codes and tags. Its purposes will further depend on where you connect your site to. For instance, with Google Analytics, GTM will allow you to view the stats of your app or site. It goes the same for other third-party tools.

How Does Google Tag Manager Work?

Google Tag Manager uses three main things for it to work. These are the tags, triggers, and variables. 

Below is an overview of what the said actions are:

  • Tags

We have already discussed what a tag is in the former sections. These are certain JavaScript snippets that will act as your site/app’s tracking code. Hence, it will serve as GTM’s command. In simple terms, tags will tell the tool what to do.

Some tag types available in GTM are Universal Analytics, AdWords Remarketing, and Google Optimize.

  • Triggers

Triggers, on the flip side, tell GTM when to do the task assigned by the tag. It specifically refers to a certain event. For instance, some choices in the tool include Page View and Click. You can even set custom events.

  • Variables

Variables refer to the details further asked by GTM to ensure the connection between your tag and trigger. These can include Click Classes, Events, and Form Elements. Most of the time, you’ll need to enter this manually.

Before you use GTM, you first need to master these three elements. Doing so will help you work your way around the tool easier and faster.

  • Benefits of Using Google Tag Manager

Here are the benefits that you can expect from using Google Tag Manager:

  • Provides limitless possibilities for your site or app.
  • Lessens the need for developers
  • Works even with products that aren’t from Google
  • It comes with an organized dashboard
  • Has a preview and debug mode to ensure your tags’ effectiveness

Note that these benefits will only come if you use the tool right. Moreover, you should expect that it will initially be complex to use. However, it will be easier for you as you master GTM and its features.

Is Google Tag Manager Easy to Use?

Google Tag Manager, by default, is not easy to use.

Previously, we talked about how Google markets GTM as an easy-to-use tool. It, however, is not always the case. To make the most out of the app, you need to have background knowledge and skills. 

To be specific, you need to know basic details in coding, what a tag is, and likes. At the same time, you need to know how to perform tasks involving them.

If you already have the said technical skills, then GTM will come off simple. On the other hand, if you don’t take time to study the field, then expect issues. For example, you may not get the tool’s benefits, or your site can encounter broken codes. Either way, it won’t be good for your site.

Is Google Tag Manager Free?

Google Tag Manager is totally free to use.

You don’t have to pay anything just to use Google Tag Manager. Meaning, if you’re on a budget, you won’t have to think about extra fees. If you have small to medium-sized sites, the tools will already fit your needs. You can simply look it up on Google or install it as an extension.

On the flip side, if you’re running sites with significant needs, you can use Tag Manager 360. It’s the premium version of Google Tag Manager. Here, you will get more features, a bigger workspace, and better customer support. Note that this version’s price will still depend on the quote that Google will give you.

Of course, availing of Tag Manager 360 is not necessary. The free version will already give you enough resources to get started.

Is Google Tag Manager Different From Google Analytics?

Google Tag Manager is different from Google Analytics. 

Some users confuse Google Tag Manager with Google Analytics. Although they’re both from Google, they have different uses. 

With the former, you’re working with codes. It stores, manages, and deploys tags to other sources. Its main use is to help extend your site’s features. It does this by connecting your site with another app through tags. Unfortunately, there is no way to use this tool alone to view your site’s current status.

For the latter, you will be able to monitor your site’s stats. It reports your site’s progress. In particular, it shows conversions, bounce rate, traffic, and likes. Unfortunately, you can’t use this to integrate your site with a third-party tool.

Should You Use Google Tag Manager?

If you want to improve your site or app further, then you should use Google Tag Manager.

Whether you’re a site or app owner, using GTM isn’t required. Even so, effective use of the tool will help you do more for your site. Considering the benefits that come with it, you’ll find GTM worthy of your time.

In addition, using Google Tag Manager doesn’t involve fees. Thus, it’s a budget-friendly way of making connections from your site to other helpful tools.

Overall, if you want to add more features to your site or app, you should use the tool. Though you may need to invest time and effort, it’ll bring more pros to your platform.

Summary: What Is Google Tag Manager and How Does It Work?

Google Tag Manager’s main purpose is to help site owners with code management. It is a useful tool that will mostly benefit marketers. What made GTM better is its cost-free features. Meaning, you don’t have to pay anything. You can use this alongside Google Analytics for the best results.

Take note of one thing, though. Even if Google says that GTM is an easy-to-use tool, you still need basic technical knowledge and skills. Doing so will help you avoid site issues like broken codes.

Also, Google Tag Manager is not a total substitute for all kinds of developer tasks.

John Kilmerstone

I'm an Aussie living in Japan who enjoys traveling, photography, and blogging. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of blogging. Discover how to turn your passions and pastimes into an online business.

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