Often we are asked about Google Tag Manager, likely the most popular tag management system. It’s a powerful tool in the right hands. It’s also misunderstood. This article will help you understand the basics. Reach out to us if you have additional questions.

What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager is a tag management system (TMS) that allows you to quickly and easily update measurement codes and related code fragments collectively known as tags on your website or mobile app.

A TMS helps manage the life cycle of marketing tags that track the activity on digital properties. As tag management systems have grown in sophistication, they’ve become powerful tools to manage the rich data from interactions between a user, their browser and one or more digital property/s. This data can be fed to marketing and analytics tools. It can also make dynamic changes to the website or application.

What are the benefits of using Google Tag Manager?

The main advantage of a tag management system is that it allows non-developer types to action many different tasks on a website or application while improving performance by reducing written code. It replaces many tags – historically managed by a developer – with a single container tag across all property areas. The tag management system is then accessed separately (generally via a website) to prioritize and “fire” individual tags based on business rules, navigation events and known data.

  • Agility: Reduced reliance on technical resources and reduced dependency on IT cycles confers greater agility to business users.
  • Performance: Reduced page load times thanks to asynchronous tag loading, conditional tag loading and tag timeout functionality.
  • Cost savings: Ability to deduplicate tags used to attribute commission.
  • Data control: Ability to control data leakage to third parties and comply with data privacy legislation (cookie consent, do not track). Tag managers also provide another abstraction layer for managing large websites’ complexity.
  • Safe preview: Some tag managers, such as Google Tag Manager and Ensighten, include a preview mode which allows checking for formatting and security issues before deploying tags to production

Considerations before implementing Google Tag Manager

Account management

Have a plan in place for who will manage your account. Also, ensure a succession plan in case someone leaves your organization.

Multiple web domains

Generally speaking, there should be one container per domain. However, if the functionality is identical across domains, having one container across multiple domains can make sense.

Consider what tags you will need and where to fire them

Create an analytics strategy, implementation plan, and tag matrix to understand your tagging needs before installation.

Additional Resources