Why you need Google Tag Manager


Digital marketing thrives on data. Whether you're running a large e-commerce site, a personal website, or a site for a small business, it’s essential to be able to collect data to help you understand how people interact with your content.

This is where tags come into play. Tags are snippets of javascript code which are added to a site to collect information. Tags can be used for all sorts of purposes, including:

  • Scroll tracking
  • Monitoring form submissions
  • Conducting surveys
  • Keeping track how people arrive at your site
  • Seeing which links get clicked
  • Collecting information on which files are downloaded
  • Tracking items added and removed from shopping carts.

A modern website may use many different tags from a variety of third party services. The amount of code actually needed to create and manage them can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you are adding or editing tags by directly interacting with the site’s source code. Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free, user-friendly, web-based interface that simplifies the process of working with tags. With GTM, you can add, edit, and disable tags quite easily without having to access the source html code (or have a developer do it for you).

Google Tag Manager Logo

The simplicity of Google Tag Manager begins with the platform’s tag templates. Tag templates replace the javascript code snippets you would otherwise have to add to your site manually. And while GTM is a Google product, it doesn’t only work with other Google services like AdWords or Analytics. The program offers many templates to manage different third party tags including Twitter, Bing Ads, and Crazy Egg just to name a few. A custom coded tag can also be added if a template cannot be found in GTM.

One of the major issues with traditional tracking tags is that they can slow down site loading speeds if they are all working at the same time. When tags fire synchronously, one slowly loading tag will hamper the progress of all the other tags that are waiting on it. And the longer a site takes to load, the more likely people are to ditch your site prematurely. Tags created in GTM, however, load asynchronously by default, meaning each tag can fire independently of the main request for page data, vastly improving site load times. And if you want to control the order in which your tags are fired, there is even tag sequencing and priority firing functionality to let you do that.

Google Tag Manager is an excellent resource for anyone looking to keep track of how users are interacting with their site. It’s streamlined, easy to use, and it’s free!

If you are interested in Google Tag Manager or want to talk design/development we are always here to help! Contact Us

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Kyle Roden
Web Developer

Kyle has more than five years of management and teaching experience. In addition to being the resident grammarian, he styles and builds features for new projects in addition to completing client requests for style and content updates.