Website analytics have come a long way. However, one of the most tedious parts of online tracking is having to rely on developers to implement tracking code. Not only does it disrupt their workflow, but it also means that marketers must wait until development teams have some free time before they implement tracking codes. And this is where the beauty of Google Tag Manager comes into the equation.
In this article, we’re going to look at what GTM is, how it works as well as the numerous benefits of Google Tag Manager.
Without further to do, let’s get to it.
What is Google Tag Manager?
Google Tag Manager, or GTM, is a tag management system that employs the same functionality as global site tags and enables users to instantly deploy tags on their website or mobile app from a user-friendly web-based interface.
A simple way to think of what GTM is, is to think of it as the middleman between your website and Google Analytics. Information from your website gets shared to Google Analytics through Google Tag Manager.
How does GTM work?
Within Google Tag Manager, there are three main components: Tags, triggers, and variables. Below we will look at each briefly.
In Google Tag Manager, a tag refers to any snippet of code that you add to a website. Generally, tags are used to send information from your site to Google Analytics; GTM manages these tags on your website. There exists a variety of built-in templates to perform common marketing tracking, but if there are no templates for your specific objective, you can add easily add new tags to GTM.
Triggers are used to fire tags. They work by observing the occurrence of specific events and then firing a tag depending on how it is defined. Events could be anything from form submissions to button clicks.
In Google Tag Manager, there are two types of variables: built-in and user-defined. These variables are key-value pairs where the value is determined during runtime.
The 5 Key Benefits of GTM
Now that we know how Google Tag Manager works, let’s look at the key advantages of Google Tag Manager.
Easy to use
A huge advantage of Google Tag Manager is the fact that it is easy to use. Without any programming knowledge, users can easily learn how to use Google Tag Manager to add new tags, test changes, and deploy them without complex coding.
Central tag location
With Google Tag Manager, everything is in one central location. No longer do developers have to locate various JS code snippets in a website’s source code to make additions, changes, or deletions.
Experimentation & flexibility
To use Google Tag Manager, you do not need to be a developer. As such, it provides marketers the opportunity to play around with and test new and different ideas. Advertisers can uncover new strategies through a variety of use cases of Google Tag Manager.
Faster page loading
An overlooked benefit of GTM is its ability to support faster page loading speeds. Since Google Tag Manager fires tags asynchronously as opposed to synchronously, each tag is deployed as soon as it loads, rather than waiting for every tag to load before firing. This removes the risk of one tag with a slower loading time affecting the rest from deploying.
Events tracking within GA4
Since Google Analytics 4 is built on the premise of events, it makes sense that GTM seamlessly sends data to GA4. Using Google Tag Manager, you can not only configure GA4 tracking but also use the two in tandem to get the data you need to make smart marketing decisions. Did we mention that you can track custom events in GA4 with GTM?