In digital marketing, it is necessary to be able to calculate the results of your actions via metrics such as traffic, events, or conversions.
To measure what is ensuing on your site on a technical level, you have to install a series of tags or code snippets. In the past, this method could be very complicated and required specialized technical help. But thanks to Google Tag Manager, managing tags on your website is now easier than ever.
What Is Google Tag Manager?
Google Tag Manager is a free device that authorizes you to add tracking, web analytics, and measurement codes to any website or application. It’s developed to be simple to use and does not need specialized programming skills, so marketers can smoothly link the measurement resolutions they require to their sites.
Advantages of Using Google Tag Manager
- Streamline tag management. Google Tag Manager authorizes you to add and change tags to calculate all aspects of your marketing strategy. Its setup is easy and intuitive, so you can create all the changes you require.
- Reduce the risk of tag management mistakes. Google Tag Manager has a very easy error-checking system, loads tags quickly, and authorizes you to test in a pre-production territory. All this makes it easy for you to confirm that your website works correctly at all times.
- Implement Google and third-party tags. Google Tag Manager helps with all types of tags and has a large number of pre-configured tag templates. If you can’t find a certain tag, you can add it as a custom tag.
- Collaborate with your team. Google Tag Manager contains work areas and fine access controls so your team members can collaborate more effectively.
Main Features of Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager is loaded with components to make tag management easier. Here are some extremely useful ones.
- Its tagging technology gives you full control over how tags are specified and triggered on your site. It supports Accelerated Mobile Pages and mobile apps and includes features such as asynchronous tag loading and tag pausing, exclusion, and sequencing.
- It includes numerous keys to improve usability for marketers, not just IT teams. It features a simple web interface, a preview mode, instant search and auto-complete, version history, work areas, and much more.
- It authorizes you to maintain the level of access for each user so that marketing and web development units can cooperate more securely and effectively. It supports multiple client accounts and users at the same time and grants permission at the user level.
- It includes different features to control when and how tags are activated to collect the needed data, such as triggers for automatic events, clicks, custom events, form submissions, page views, and record changes.
- It has built-in measurement and marketing tag templates, both from Google and third parties, that make it easy to select and execute the most generally used tags.
- It combines with other Google resolutions, such as Google Ads or Campaign Manager, to enable the management of advertising campaigns.
- It allows you to control tags in an automated way and create custom solutions through the Tag Manager API.
How to Set Up Google Tag Manager Step by Step
One of the most interesting components of Google Tag Manager is that it authorizes you to operate tags in a pre-production territory, so you can test before launching the pixels or tags. Let’s take a look at how to do the necessary configuration of Google Tag Manager and then we will delve into the pre-production environment.
Basic Setup of Google Tag Manager
- Go to https://tagmanager.google.com and make your account. Since it is a Google product, you will require to link it to a Google account.
- Create a container for the website or application you desire to monitor. The container is a piece of code that you will establish instantly on your site and that, as its name recommends, will “contain” all the tags that you will utilize for the measure. This authorizes you to manage tags in a more flexible manner than when you had to execute each of them instantly in all or part of the web header.
- You will then be displayed a code that you will have to copy and paste into all the pages of your site.
- After installing the container on your website, go back to your site and click on the Chrome Tag Assistant. You will get a yellow icon, showing that the container is empty for now.
- Go to the primary Tag Manager screen and click on the choice to add a new tag. You can select one of the preconfigured tags or add any other HTML or image tag.
- Click on Tag Settings, select Universal Analytics, and select the type of track you want, for example, “page view” or “event.”
- Select a Google Analytics setup variable or make a new one.
- Click on Activation to choose the tag trigger. You can choose one of those already available or click on the + icon to create a new one.
- Click on the submit button in the right corner of Tag Manager, make the first version of your container and publish it. Done!
Environments in Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager environments are utilized to preview the modifications you make to a container in a testing territory before publishing them to your site.
Many businesses have an installed release process with multiple environments, e.g. development, test, and production. Each new version of the website is tested in an atmosphere to check that everything is functioning properly before launching the final version online. You can also use the environments segment in Google Tag Manager to test that all the tags in your container are working correctly before deploying them. To do this, follow the steps below.
Configure the Test Environment in Google Tag Manager
To get begun, go to the administrator view and click Environments. You will see that there are already two default environments: Live (the one used by default) and Latest (the latest version of your container).
To make a new environment, click New, select a name and URL and click Create Environment. Then select Publish Now. The new environment should materialize in the Custom Environments list.
Next, go to the environment board and click on the Actions link. Copy the snippet, paste it into your test website, and save and publish the changes.
Test Your Tags
Once you have made your custom environment, you can make a different version of your container with the tags you desire to test. Then, go to the Versions panel and follow these actions.
- Click on the version you want to publish in the test environment
- Choose Publish to
- Select the test environment
- Click on ‘publish’
If you refresh the version panel, you will see that the chosen version has been used in both the Latest and trial environments. Next, go to your test site and check that the tags you included in the container are functioning correctly. Also, review that these tags have not been included in the display or “Live” site.
If something goes immoral, don’t worry! As everything is not yet published on your site, you will be capable to create the necessary modifications to your tags before they are eventually launched online.
Publish Your Tags
Once you have confirmed that the new tags function perfectly in the test environment, you are prepared to publish them.
To do this, go back into the Versions panel, click on the version you just tested, then click ‘publish’ and choose the environment. The new version should now be available in all environments. Check that it works perfectly and you’re done! Recognize that if something goes wrong, you can retreat to an earlier version at any time.