Google Tag Manager to the Rescue

Being green in the digital marketing industry has led to many head-scratching moments for me and this is certainly one of those cases. After being asked to evaluate different pages of a client’s website to see if tags were being implemented, I found myself in another realm of paid search, asking myself, “What are tags? Why should I know how to do this? Why are tags important?” I dove into the Google Tag Manager Fundamentals Course to share what I’ve learned and how it’s applicable to marketers in paid search.

Many marketers have experienced horrendous page load times and HTTP 500 errors, simply because there are too many tags implemented on their site. The solution? Google Tag Manager. With Google Tag Manager, you don’t have to add tags manually. You can use this nifty tool to create Google Analytics, Google AdWords or third-party tags that will fire based on parameters that you set.

The Breakdown – Let’s Start with Some Definitions

  • A tag is simply a snippet of code that sends data about your site to a third party. It gives marketers some visibility into how users engage with their site and what actions they take. Here are some types of tags you can use in Google Tag Manager:
    • The Google Analytics Page View tag: Google recommends that you place this tag on every page of your site to monitor user activity and behavior.
    • The Google AdWords Conversion Tracking Tag: This guy tells you the actions that users take that lead to conversions on your site.
    • The AdWords Remarketing Tag: This tag will allow you to target advertising to users that previously visited the site.
  • A trigger is made up of variables, values and operators. It is the complete equation that you create so that you can collect valuable data about your website.
    • A variable is a parameter for a value that you define. You can also think of variable as a category of data. A possible variable would be {{url}} for different pages on your site, or {{click id}} for buttons a user could potentially click on.
    • A value would be any selection for a particular variable. It could be the ‘Thank You’ page on your site or “Add to Cart” when someone clicked on that button.
    • An operator defines the relationship between the variable and the value that must be true in order for the trigger to fire, such as ‘equals,’ ‘contains,’ etc.

For example, you could set {{url}} contains “thanks.html” or {{click id}} equals “addToCart”

In these cases, the triggers would fire and data would be collected from these events.

Select Your Strategy

Google recommends that you determine which metrics and dimensions you’d like to use that will be most effective for data measurement and analysis. To start, it’s imperative that you ask yourself the following:

  • What values should I evaluate from my website?
  • What actions do users on my site perform?
  • What tags will show me performance metrics that correlate with my company goals?

Answering these pivotal questions will help you determine which tags to implement so you can collect valuable performance metrics such as users, sessions, revenue, conversion rate, and more.

The Benefits

  1. Faster page load times and no site crashes
  2. You don’t have to edit site code, which speeds up launch times
  3. Easy for marketers to make tag changes themselves and see previews
  4. Developers don’t need to get involved, so they have more time to focus on larger projects
  5. Since all tags are organized in GTM, everything is organized and you can troubleshoot tag problems quickly
  6. Checking to see if a tag is on a page is easy – just click on the Google Tag Assistant smiley icon in your toolbar and it will tell you!


For more detailed information about how to set up Google Tag Manager, you can check out the GTM Fundamentals Course, available until July 24, 2015.

Brenna Teichen About the author
  • Greetings I stumbled upon your blog by miksate when i searched Google for this matter, I must say your page is truly valuable I also enjoy the style, its wonderful!

    July 14, 2015 at 4:08 am
  • Greetings I stumbled upon your blog by miksate when i searched Google for this matter, I must say your page is truly valuable I also enjoy the style, its wonderful!

    July 14, 2015 at 4:08 am

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