What is Google Tag Manager Blog Post

What Is Google Tag Manager (GTM)?

In Analytics, The Digital Marketing Blog by Jon Hibbitt1 Comment


As an agency specialising in Google Analytics, we’ve found clients can get confused about Google Tag Manager, what it is, what it does and the benefits it offers over traditional ways of adding tracking ‘tags’ to site pages. This guide lists the commonly asked questions to help demystify the tool. It provides a collection of frequently asked questions (FAQ) to help build your understanding of GTM.

What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free Tag Management System which allows you to manage tags on your website, iOS, Android app, or AMP site, all from your web browser. Over 70+ tags can be added using GTM with just a few clicks, including Google Analytics, Google Optimize, AdWords Conversion Tracking / Remarketing and DoubleClick Floodlight.

Google Tag Manager Image

Image Source: https://teachtofishdigital.com/google-tag-manager-for-agencies/

What Is A Tag?

Tags are small pieces of code you add to your website or mobile app, typically to add tracking such as Google’s Universal Analytics, Google Optimize or AdWords Conversion Tracking / Remarketing. Google Universal Analytics allows you to measure a website or apps performance. AdWords Remarketing Tags allow you track the performance of Google’s paid search channel and target users with ads after they have visited the website.

Tracking in Google Tag Manager

Why Use Google Tag Manager?

Using Google Tag Manager saves time, resources and costs. It reduces developer reliance, shrinks analytics implementation timelines and allows you to deploy more advanced analytics tracking methods from your browser without touching any site code. Without Tag Manager, even a small change to a Tag requires a developer to modify the tracking code on your HTML pages. This is both expensive and time consuming.

Benefits of Google Tag Manager

Source: https://www.google.com/analytics/tag-manager/

Pentasia Case Study

What Are The Benefits Of Using Google Tag Manager?

  • It’s free*
  • GTM reduces development cycles and resources saving you time, money and worry
  • GTM is browser based, no software installation is required
  • GTM uses pre-built tag templates which allows account owners to easily add Google Analytics, Google Optimize, AdWords, DoubleClick Floodlight without any coding know how
  • GTM allows teams to quickly and easily add, remove or update tags on sites or apps with just a few clicks
  • GTM allows teams to add, preview, test and debug tags and code in minutes
  • Teams can use GTM’s built in version control to upgrade tags or roll back to earlier versions
  • GTM opens the way to tracking that Google Analytics does not do out of the box easily, often without requiring any developer support
  • GTM is recommended for adding Enhanced E-Commerce to optimise site shopping and checkout behaviour. Enhanced E-Commerce includes affiliate and coupon tracking and allows refund data to be added back to GA
  • GTM is well supported and documented, with an active, skilled and helpful community. See Google+ https://plus.google.com/communities/104865292981489764063
  • GTM can track granular user interactions like scroll, copying text, YouTube, Vimeo or HTML5 video interaction, track weather data, SERPs bounce, AJAX events, social media shares or add Schema markup
  • GTM supports the creation of custom JavaScript tags – enabling you to add, test and manage your own custom code
  • GTM includes robust security options including two factor authentication, user access control (at Account and Container level) and the ability to disable the publishing of Custom HTML tags

*The tool is free, but you’ll need resource to implement and manage it.

How Does Google Tag Manager Work?

GTM is a JavaScript injector. You add a small tracking code snippet to every page of your website or mobile app. The GTM tracking code snippet which is written in JavaScript, injects the tags contained in your GTM Account dynamically onto the page on your site, app or AMP pages. Web browsers or apps can read and execute the code contained in your tags and this information is sent back to your accounts, e.g. Google Analytics, Crazy Egg, HotJar, Google AdWords etc.

Here’s an example of the GTM tracking code snippet which injects the code contained in your tags into your site’s pages:

Install Google Tag Manager Code

How Do I Install GTM On My Site, App Or Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Pages?

Not to fear, we’ve got you covered! Find out how to install Google Tag Manager here.

  1. You need to have, or create a Google Account.
  2. You need to create a Google Tag Manager account and create a GTM Container.
  3. You’ll need to install the GTM tracking code snippet found in your Container on every page of your site or app.

What Is A Google Tag Manager Container?

The GTM container is where you add, modify and manage the tags injected into your site via the GTM JavaScript code snippet.

Google Tag Manager Container

What Can Google Tag Manager Track?

Google Tag Manager includes templates for popular tags including Google’s Universal Analytics or AdWords PPC Remarketing tags. Google Tag Manager’s growing number of tag templates (70+) allow you to easily add popular tags to your website in a couple of clicks.

Google Tag Manager Tag Templates

More information


What Is A Custom HTML Tag?

In addition to the pre-configured tag templates for well-known Google and third party products, Google Tag Manager allows you to create Custom HTML tags. Custom HTML tags allow you to insert your own custom JavaScript code on your site. This could be written by a JavaScript developer, or a recipe other developers have created E.g. scroll tracking, weather tracking, copy and paste text tracking or Facebook ‘Like’ tracking. See https://www.analyticsmania.com/google-tag-manager-recipes/.

Custom HTML

An Example of Custom HTML – The Konami Code

On the SiteVisibility Team page, typing in Konami Code triggers a bespoke Custom HTML Tag. Konami Code was used to hide ‘cheats’ or ‘Easter Eggs’ in 1980s video games. By performing a series of actions using the game controller, gamers could unlock bonuses, cut scenes and other features)

See https://www.sitevisibility.co.uk/about-us/team/

Type in the following sequence using the arrow keys and letters. Turn it up!

Konami Code

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konami_Code

Where Can I Learn More About Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager is a powerful tool and the following section includes some great resources we think you’ll find useful. Let us know in the comments if you have any more questions and we’ll update this post to include them.

Our other Google Tag Manager Resources

Google’s Resources

GTM Blogs

GTM On Social

Twitter: #googletagmanager

GTM Recipes

What Other Tag Management Systems Are There?

Here’s a list of other Tag Management Systems you might wish to consider depending on your requirements:

If you’d like to speak to one of our team about your Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager accounts please feel free to give us a call on 01273 733433 or complete the form below to speak with one of our specialists.

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