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What Is Google Tag Manager?

November 12, 2021
May 1, 2023

What Is Google Tag Manager?

Red Shark Digital

What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a tool produced by Google to allow quick and easy updates to codes and tags on a website. These tags and codes include those used for Adwords, Google Analytics, Facebook, Adwords, and a number of other things. You might still be wondering, why should I care? Well, Google Tag Manager utilizes a “container” tag. This container tag only requires you to implement one tag on your site in order for your marketing agency to then insert all of the other tags they may need to utilize. Google Tag Manager is a streamlined approach to adding the many different tags necessary to track and manage a digital campaign.

Google Tag manager workspace changes
View changes made to your Google Tag Manager Workspace right from the Overview tab within GTM.

View changes made to your Google Tag Manager Workspace right from the Overview tab within GTM.[/caption]

What is a Google Tag manager container?

Once you have added the container code to your site as Google or your agency instructs you to do, you will have the ability to use the container within Google Tag Manager. The container will then become a collection of your website’s tags and triggers. You will also have access to all past changes made to your container.

What is a Trigger?

A trigger is what is used to control how tags on your site fire or don’t fire, depending on how they are set up. Triggers can be a pageview, clicks, form submission, history change, Javascript error, timer, or custom events. Triggers are completely customizable, allowing you to track the event you want exactly how you want too. Each trigger is made up of [variable] [operator] [value]. The trigger is evaluated to be either true or false by comparing a variable with the value specified when a trigger is set up. An example of a trigger is:

  • Event: Page View
  • Trigger Type: Page View
  • Fire on: Some Pages
  • Fire when: URL equals

This specific trigger means that the tag will only fire when the URL the user is viewing is A trigger is not limited to one filter. You can add multiple filters made up of ([variable] [operator] [value]) and that trigger is only going to fire a tag if all filters are met!

What is a Tag?

Tags are snippets of code that send information to Google Analytics and other 3rd parties when events occur on your site. Tags typically fire when a page loads if the conditions laid out in the trigger are met. An example of a tag would be the Google AdWords Conversion Tracking tag. This specific tag shows you how a customer interacts with your website after they click on your ad. Did they make a purchase? Or perhaps they called your business or filled out a contact form.

Google Tag Manager Tag Configuration

These tags are normally inserted on your site individually if you are not using Google Tag Manager, which can be very time-consuming. As mentioned above, tags will only fire when the trigger conditions are met!
For a full list of supported tags, visit Google’s Supported Tags.  If you don’t see the type of tag you’d like to use, don’t worry! Google Tag Manager allows you to also create custom image tags of custom HTML tags to allow you to deploy any tags with GTM.

How Google Tag Manager Works

The Tag Manager is not exclusive to Google tags and therefore can be used with other third party tags. It allows you to simplify and speed up the addition of tags to your site, tell your site when tags should fire, and keep track of tag changes all in one place! Google Tag Manager also allows you to view your site in Preview mode once you have implemented tags to ensure they are working correctly.

Contact Red Shark Digital to find out how we can get a jump start on your digital advertising campaign using Google Tag Manager today!

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