Google Tag Manager – An Irreplaceable Tool for Quality Promotion
What is Google Tag Manager?
When the necessity to add tags to your platform appears, the need to hire web developers emerges hand-in-hand. Back in 2005, Google took care to decrease the dependency on developers and launched Google Tag Manager.
Google Tag Manager is a function many people are still not aware of. This resource is free of charge, easy to use, and enables you to independently change the code and tags of a site. GTM for SEO is indeed an irreplaceable assistant. You will be able to measure the operation of the site, traffic volumes, and evaluate the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns and the level of users’ interaction with your resource.
How Google Tag Manager Works and How to Use GTM
To trace the interaction of users on sites, dozens of applications have been developed. They are many and the process of choosing the most convenient one is a long one. Among all of them, the most standard tool that is popular among millions of users is Google Analytics. To find out more information about the topic, read the article Guide to Google Analytics.
The tool is used to collect data about the location of visitors, the amount of time they have spent while studying your content, the number of pages users visit, and other information. There is one disadvantage, though. Google Analytics does not collect information about the buttons users press and the links on which they click. The tool also doesn’t show how much of the total time spent on the site was devoted to watching videos.
If you do not want to delegate the work on tracing this data to a third party, it is better to delegate it to Google Tag Manager.
GTM will save your time and resources. The platform enables its users to create and manage all of their site tags in one place. This will decrease your risk of facing errors while making manual settings. With the debugging function, you can immediately check and re-adjust tags or their fragments. The GTM tool sets the time of a tag’s introduction and pages that have to incorporate them.
Google Tag Manager Basics
To become a confident user of this tool, it is worth learning the basics of Google Tag Manager. It consists of the below components.
Account structures work. Usually, for business, more than one won’t be necessary. However, it is easy to create several accounts in Google Tag Manager if one is not enough to effectively run your business. One main account can be here divided into the necessary number.
A container is a storage where tags are recorded. Without it, GTM won’t function properly because it is the container from which the information about tags to be loaded onto a site is received. Create several containers for different triggers, variables, and tags if this is necessary.
This is a part of the code that is created by the tag manager for integration on the web platform. It is used for the collection of information about the activity of users on the site and sending it to, for example, Google Analytics, Crazy Egg, AdWords, etc. Tags gather statistics for you, which helps make decisions for the optimization of digital marketing strategies.
Tags won’t work without triggers. It is not enough to install GTM on a platform for it to work. To collect information, tags require events. Triggers track these events and transfer the collected data to tags.
There are many types of triggers. You can use them for the information about clicks on buttons, views of pages, etc.
Variables are necessary to increase efficiency by means of storing additional information. Data that will be stored in variables will be used for both tags and triggers.
GTM provides two types of variables:
1. Built-in variables.
They cannot be adjusted according to your wish.
2. User-defined variables.
The latter variables can be created on one’s own and changed. All containers you are going to create in GTM will initially have no user-defined variables. They can be added when you want to. For example, it is possible to save Google Analytics’ tracking ID as a variable. After this, you won’t need to look for it every time when creating a new tag for GA.
Workspaces enable working with one container by several users at the same time. Every container has its workspace by default that should be ready for publication at any moment. To avoid problems with a container, every time you develop new changes, it is better to create a new temporary workspace. As soon as you prepare and check all of your changes, join them together with the main workspace.
How to Set up Google Tag Manager
One can talk about GTM for a long time. However, to understand if Google Tag Manager is suitable for you, it is necessary to try it. Do not hurt imagine how to work with it. It is better to understand everything first hand and set up Google Tag Manager yourself. This platform is free, simple, and available to anyone who wants to use it.
1. Create an Account and Container
If you have not yet created an account on Google Tag Manager, open the platform and sign in.
- Think up a name for the account and enter the name of your agency.
- Enter your site domain name.
- Accept all of the terms and conditions.
After registration, it is necessary to fill in a container.
It is possible to set independent containers for several platforms if it is necessary for a mobile application or a webpage. Usually, Google Analytics tracking tags are added in it for domains and subdomains. Create as many containers as you need.
2. Add the Code Fragment to Your Site
After you finish setting a container, press the button Admin, then Install Google Tag Manager, and open a new page with the code fragment. Here, the tool will provide codes for the site. Copy and paste one of them in the head of every page you would like to analyze with the help of Google Tag Manager. The second code should be pasted right after the body tag. It is possible to embed codes either immediately or at any other time. They are always available in your toolbar.
3. Create a Workspace
After embedding codes in the web resource, it is necessary to create a workspace to comfortably work with tags. Go back to the container and press the button Default workspace. All the workspaces you are going to create will be stored here. At the initial stage, only one workspace will open, which has been prepared by GTM by default. To add another workspace, press the icon +. Fill in all of the necessary data and save settings.
4. Create a Variable for Google Analytics
In a container, you are allowed to use more than one GA tag– as many tags as you want to embed, as many track IDs as are necessary. For GA tags not to duplicate and not to collide with each other, create a variable for every tag.
Open a workspace in the left bar Variables.
At this stage, you need a variable in which you will be able to change settings on your own. To create it, go to the section User-defined variables. In the window that opens, find the button Configuration of Variable and choose Google Analytics Settings as the type of a variable. Name a variable and add a tracking ID for Google Analytics. Save your changes.
5. Create a Trigger to Launch the Google Analytics Tag of Page View
In the left panel, open Triggers and press the button New. Then, click on Trigger Configuration and check Page View as the type of a trigger. Name it and save your changes.
6. Create the Google Analytics Tag of Page View
Choose Tags and press New. Go to the Tag Configuration and add Google Analytics. Enter the name of the tag and check the GA variables. Define a trigger that will influence the launch of the tag. Save your changes.
7. Carry out Debugging in the Preview Mode
For your setting to save and collect data, make sure that you have correctly entered all of the information.
Open the preview mode and go to your website and update a page. After this, a debugger should appear. It may be necessary to clean cash. If the tag has appeared in the section of embedded tags, everything works properly and it is time to publish your changes.
8. Publish Changes
Before publication, make sure that you have deleted the GA code if you have manually added it to your platform before. Otherwise, GTM will receive distorted information, which will spoil all of your data statistics.
Having checked the correctness of the entered data, add the name of the version, description, and press Publish.
Now, you can use Google Tag Manager, change existing tags, or add new ones.
Why Use Google Tag Manager
Why do you need Google Tag Manager? Aside from the obvious advantage that you are independent of web developers, it is possible to use GTM for SEO. GTM enables you to experiment with tags under the conditions of permanent innovations in the marketing field.
In December 2017, Google recommended that you not experiment with Google Tag Manager for SEO.
However, over the past several years, everything has changed. Now, GTM is commonly used to improve SEO and make things work easier.
What does Google Tag Manager Do for Business Owners?
1. Tags Management is Centralized
Effectiveness of SEO depends on the preciseness of traffic analytics data, interaction with users, and productiveness. Several code fragments and tags are embedded in the majority of resources, which loads pages and influences productiveness. GTM helps set the site code free from tag oversaturation and provides a possibility to manage all of the tags necessary to your resource from one platform. In this way, the process of tag adding, editing, and deleting is easier while the appearance of errors and code duplication is reduced to a minimum.
2. It Eliminates Complications With the Hard Coding of Tags
You can make changes to the code fragments whenever you want. It is unnecessary to wait for developers to add the necessary code to site pages. Thanks to GTM, one and the same code of Google Tag Manager container will be embedded on pages of the site. One code can include different tags for analytics. Through the GTM platform, it is possible to edit or delete a tag. As soon as you make changes through GTM, they will immediately begin to work.
3. It Makes Tracking Easier
Instead of wasting days to add tracking code for every button on your web resource, use GTM. The tool will create one tag for all of the buttons on your site.
4. It Improves the Accuracy of Data About Site Visits
To carry out A/B tests, exact data about traffic is required. For this, it is necessary to block IP addresses of company employees for them not to distort statistics. This can be also done with Google Analytics, however, the tool won’t work if such addresses are over one hundred. In GTM, you can set the blocking of all the target IP addresses.
5. It Improves the Site Speed
The targeted speed of pages loading is up to three seconds. Every additional second decreases conversion by 7%. 53% of users surfing with their smartphones close the site if its loading takes more time.
The speed of a web platform is important not only to users. Google uses this value for ranking sites in the SERP. You can read more information in the article about What is the SERP.
Adding customized code on every page of a site slows the speed of its loading and productiveness. To avoid this problem, use GTM. The tool contains all the necessary functions for the effective embedding of codes and tracking users’ data. A huge benefit of GTM is that it uses only two codes, which does not influence the speed.
Google Tag Manager optimizes and makes the site code more clear. This will help reduce the response time leading to better interaction with clients.
6. It Enables You to Embed Self-referencing Rel=Canonicals Tags
This is a great advantage and provides you with a possibility to avoid the trouble of searching for duplicates of pages on the site. This function is especially useful for owners of multi-page sites. Use tags with unique links on all the unique pages to avoid the appearance of duplicates. For this, it is unnecessary to waste too much time and embed code on every separate page. With GTM, only one adjustment is required. You can read more information in the article Rel=Canonical Tag.
7. It Enables You to Use Testing Tools
A great benefit of GTM is the preview and debugging mode. Here, it is possible to correct code fragments and immediately check which tags on the page are working and which are not.
Debugging mode helps check if tags will work before they are published on the site, which considerably eases interaction with your site.
Possible Troubles While Working With Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager is an open system. The tool does not check if the settings you make are correct. That is why among users who use GTM, errors are widely experienced.
In debugging mode, tags work properly, but no information is transferred to Google Analytics. This may happen if a tracking ID of the GA tag is incorrect, which leads to the inability of data to be sent to the necessary platform.
It is easy to solve this problem– just indicate the correct tracking ID.
After making changes in the GTM container, they are not displayed in the debugging mode.
The reason for this can be the fact that you haven’t updated previews that should be done every time you alter the code. If you have more than one Workspace, probably, you have switched on the preview for a container in which you have not made any changes.
Check if you have switched on the correct workspace. If everything is ok, update the preview.
The number of sessions and users has dramatically increased when you have started to use GTM.
This happens when data is duplicated. You have added the GTM container but have not deleted the code of Google Analytics that has been previously installed on the site. For this reason, the information is received from both Google Tag Manager and this code.
Delete the code of Google Analytics from the site, which you have manually installed, and the data you will receive will be correct.
Google Tag Manager WordPress
If your site is designed on WordPress and you have paid for a business subscription, use the plugin GTM for WordPress.
You can install this plugin right on the admin panel of WordPress. Open Plugins and press Add New. The search field will appear in which it will be necessary to enter DuracellTomi Google Tag Manager for WordPress. Install and activate the plugin.
To start working with this plugin, enter your GTM ID that can be found in your account and save your settings.
To install GTM manually, use a simple double-stage method. This can take some time if there are many pages on the site and you want to embed tags on every one. The benefit is that you will have to spend time only once. When you make changes in the future, Google Tag Manager WordPress will automatically introduce modifications and embed new codes on the site pages. Before you begin working with GTM, create a profile in Google Analytics if you haven’t gotten one yet.
Here is what you will have to do:
1. Copy the Tag Code
As soon as you have registered in Google Tag Manager, the platform has provided the code that should be added to the web resource. Copy this code.
2. Add the Code to WordPress
For the tag to begin working, it is necessary to paste the code under the code on every page which you are going to analyze.
If on the site, you have already installed the code of Google Analytics, do not forget to delete it for the correct operation with Google Tag Manager.
Top Google Tag Manager Extensions
Google Tag Assistant
Google Tag Assistant is a free Google Tag Manager extension that helps find out if GTM tags are correctly working. The extension also provides information about any problems with GTM. Just open the necessary page, and GTA will show which tags are added on the page and if there are errors in them. It is convenient because the tool will immediately provide possible improvements that can be implemented for tags.
Why Use Google Tag Assistant:
- To detect errors in tags;
- To collect information about users’ steps on the site.
Data Layer Inspector + is an extension for the registration and viewing of the dataLayer data in the real-time mode. Via this tool, it is possible to install a GTM container on a site without having access to the site code.
With Data Layer Inspector +, you can:
- Carry out the preliminary setting of data tracking;
- Install codes on the site;
- Teach employees to work with GTM without the need to add changes in the working GTM; and
- Test GTM without making changes to the main Workspace of Google Tag Manager.
GTM Copy Paste is a free extension used to copy tags and variables from one account in Google Tag Manager to another within GTM.
Google Tag Manager does not provide a built-in function of copying data inside the platform– that is why GTM Copy Paste is a savior. With this extension, you will no longer need to copy the data field-by-field to transfer them from one container to another.
The tool makes it possible to copy to the clipboard all the tags, triggers, and variables with one click of your mouse. With GTM Copy Paste, it is possible to copy even a whole container without any effort. This will save you a lot of time.
GTM Debug is an extension that facilitates the task of GTM debugging.
Of course, you can install the debugging mode at any time without the installation of the extension. But GTM Debug is intended to provide the maximum amount of data in a convenient format.
GTM Spy is a very useful free extension to track what competitors do. The tool enables you to find out how the GTM container of any site is structured. With this extension, you can spy on the promotion strategy and analytics applied by competitors in their businesses. For this, it is only necessary to enter the URL of interest in the search bar and the extension will show the structure of the site container.
GTM Spy will help store data from the container of your site if you lose access to it or if it is intercepted by third parties. For this, you will have to export data from GTM Spy, create a new GTM container, and import in it the file you have received from the extension.
Google Analytics Debugger
Edit this Cookie
It is a great extension to check Google Analytics trackers. The tool makes it possible to view, change, and delete cookie files from GA.
You can make the same settings with the help of the built-in tools of the browser, but writing this cookie optimizes the process and makes it much easier.
Google Tag Manager is a multi-functional tool that helps track and collect data about almost all the actions of your site visitors. Using GTM, you will improve your SEO without resorting to the help of web developers.
Google Tag Manager Will Be Useful to:
- Owners of Small Businesses
Using GTM, you will be able to independently manage analytics without the engagement of developers.
- Marketing Agencies
GTM will help easily and quickly manage clients’ accounts.
- Web Analysts
With GTM, you will independently embed the services of external analytics to your resource, which will increase the effectiveness of work with the indices of the site KPI.
- SEO and Context Specialists
Google Tag Manager centralizes the process of work, which will facilitate setting targets, advertising campaigns, and evaluation of the effectiveness of the work that has been done.
GTM saves your time and resources. The tool enables users to manage, edit, and add new tags for a site from one platform.
To use GTM, it won’t be necessary to learn which files in the site code have to be changed and to search where they are located. With this tool, you will be able to switch on and off tags at any time, instead of adding and deleting them from the site code every time you need to.
When using GTM, you won’t have to work with the site code to edit, delete, or add a new tag. Thanks to the centralized management, you won’t confuse anything and won’t disrupt finely-tuned site operation.