With the exponential number of existing and regularly used marketing platforms, it becomes difficult for many companies to have a complete and reliable vision of the actions taken by their visitors / users …

Google Tag Manager is no longer an optional tool for those working in Digital Marketing. Often underestimated or misunderstood, it is not always deployed correctly, and this often affects the quality of the data obtained.

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90% of the companies we support in their Digital Marketing recover biased data due to a poor configuration of their analysis tools.

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a very complete solution for providing reliable and precise data. It is a tag management system that simplifies the process of creating tags to send user interaction data to Google Analytics (GA). Using GTM will save you time, add scalability to your site implementation, be easy to use and also give you enough creative space to create complex and custom tags.

To further convince you, here is a quick list of 10 reasons why you should use Google Tag Manager.

1. Rapid deployment of tracking codes

Google Tag Manager is free software from Google that allows you to install different types of code (tags) on your website. Examples of tags are Google Analytics tracking code, Google Analytics event codes, Google Ads conversion script, and remarketing tags. There are many other types of codes that can be added to your website using GTM, including custom codes.

Some people confuse Google Tag Manager with Google Analytics, asking them which one to use. In fact, the answer is that they should use both.

Before GTM, GA’s tracking codes had to be hard-coded, usually by a web developer on each page. It is very difficult to organize hundreds of events to maintain / update them. But Google Tag Manager solves this problem because all your tags are stored in the same place, in your GTM account.

Imagine Google Tag Manager as a toolbox, in which you keep all your tools: a ruler (Google Analytics), a hammer (Google Ads), etc.

Google Tag Manager also allows you to test your tags to make sure they are triggered when you load the correct page or click on a particular button. Another significant advantage: you can modify your tags and their functioning without actually modifying the source code of your website.

A marketing manager (analyst or anyone else) decides to start using a new marketing platform to track user behavior. He / she obtains a tracking code and sends it to a developer. The developer says he’s busy and will do it next week. What if you need to track additional events? In this case, you will need to write a detailed task and send emails with the developer before you can install these codes. This can take several weeks.

What if you said you can do without the developer (in most cases) and implement these tracking codes by yourself? With Google Tag Manager, this dream becomes reality.

Each tracking code is called a tag and you can manage them through the GTM interface.

Google Tag Manager speeds up many processes. New tags can be added quickly and many of them do not require website code changes. This is a great tool for marketers because it can really speed up launch time by testing each change for themselves and deploying it when it’s ready.

Google Analytics is not the only tag compatible with Google Tag Manager. Other examples include:

  • Google Ads conversion tag;
  • Google Ads remarketing tag;
  • Facebook pixel code;
  • Crazyegg tracking code;
  • Any other custom HTML / Javascript code;
  • Etc.

2. All tags are managed in one place

Back then, when tag management was just an unknown term, all tracking codes were directly encoded in the site / app source code. Worst of all, these JavaScript code snippets were scattered across different files. So, if you needed to make a minor change, the developer had to: (1) find all of these codes, (2) update them.

Thanks to GTM, this process is simplified: all the beacons are controlled in the same place.

Google Tag Manager interface

3. Speed ​​of execution

The agility of the Google Tag Manager
the Google Tag Manager

GTM will help speed up many processes. Changes and new tags can be made quickly and most do not require website code changes. Anyone working in digital is able to configure it. This is good for marketers as it can really speed up launch time by testing each change for themselves and deploying it as soon as it is ready.

With proper planning and cooperation with your development or IT team, changes can happen faster and often without involving a developer.

Note: The entire Google Tag Manager implementation process will also help speed up your site! This is partly due to the fact that GTM loads asynchronously, which allows you to load the rest of the page separately.

4. Test tools

Troubleshooting and correcting tag errors is made easier with Google Tag Manager’s Preview and Debug mode, which shows which tags are enabled on a page and which are not. It also includes information about the triggers that fire the tags and the data contained in the tracking tags.

Preview and debug mode
Preview and debug mode

Why is it important? With GTM debugging solutions, you need to make sure your tags are working before posting them to the live site. Also, let’s not forget about other useful browser extensions such as Tag Assistant for Chrome.

4. Models of reusable containers (recipes)

Another good reason to use Google Tag Manager is the ability to export all tags, triggers and variables to a single file (which can be imported later). What does it mean? Well, you can create your own templates with commonly used tracking codes / parameters.

This is especially useful for digital agencies that have to continually implement standard Google Analytics events, for example. View tracking, clicks on outgoing links, etc.

In fact, this feature is so popular that my library of Free GTM Recipes (templates) is one of the most visited sections on my site.

5. It’s free

Not much to add here, actually. Like Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager is free. Although there is a premium version in Google Analytics 360 Suite, the free version is more than enough for many businesses (small and medium).

6. Simple tracking (sort of) of events

As I mentioned before, tracking events involves custom JavaScript codes that you need to add to a website to track events like clicks, form submissions, etc. To simplify things, Google Tag Manager has a feature called automatic event tracking.

Once you’ve activated certain triggers in Google Tag Manager, it automatically starts listening for specific interactions on a web page. There are still a few tweaks to do, but this is relatively easy to do. You can use these interactions to trigger tracking codes, for example.

Google Analytics event tag.

The basic events that you can follow (by default) in GTM are based on:

  • Clicks;
  • Link clicked;
  • Form submission;
  • Time spent on a page;
  • Etc.

Thanks to the growing community of GTM users and enthusiasts, the number of automatic event tracking functions is constantly increasing. You can also add custom features that record things like scroll depth, Facebook preferences, intention to leave a page, new comments, and more.

Why is it important? This gives you an overview of the actions that users take on your website. Do they engage with the content? Do they fill out your forms? You can then use these events to create goals specific to your business needs in Google Analytics.

7. Label templates

GTM comes with a number of built-in tags important for classic and universal analytics, Google Ads conversions, remarketing, etc. This allows a marketer with little or no coding knowledge to customize the tags, without implementing complicated code or asking for help from a developer.

Example GA event tag
Example GA event tag

Currently, more than 80 models are available and their number is expected to increase in the future.

8. Versions, workspaces and environments

Each time you post a change in a container (where your tracking codes are stored), GTM creates a new version. If at any point you need to restore a previous version (or any other existing version), you can do this very easily.

Changes accidentally published on an active site, although some tags are still incomplete? No problem. Just go to the Versions page and publish a previous version. It’s an easy way to solve all the Ooops moments …

List of GTM versions

As for the other two functionalities (workspaces and environments), they are perfectly suited to companies made up of numerous teams that can modify the website, to companies working with external suppliers or to projects that can last for weeks or months.

Environments allow you to control the installation of your tag manager on live / production websites / applications, as well as their development / staging counterparts. This tag manager functionality allows you to publish your tags to different environments, such as a test server, so that you do not affect or change your version live while publishing.

Workspaces allow multiple team members to work in the same Google Tag Manager container without overwriting their respective changes. Once their work is finished, the modifications of the two workspaces are merged into a single essence.

9. Security

Google automatically scans all tracking scripts added with custom HTML tags in GTM accounts and pauses them if they match a malware domain, IP address, or known URL. In addition, you can control who has access to your GTM accounts and revoke it at any time.

You can also configure white or black lists by adding commands to your data layer on your website. This is controlled by the website server. So even if GTM is compromised, you will have the final say on whether or not custom tracking scripts are allowed to run on your site.

10. User permissions

Google Tag Manager lets you give access to the account to multiple people, with different levels of viewing, editing, and publishing privileges. This feature is useful for agencies wishing to give access to multiple employees or needing to share access with clients while ensuring that only certain people have primary control.

You can choose from the following authorization levels.

  • No access ;
  • Reading ;
  • Modification;
  • Approve;
  • Publish.

So much for the 10 key points of Google Tag Manager. There are others. However, if you don’t opt ​​for Google Tag Manager, be aware that there are other solutions that can be implemented. Keep in mind that we are in an era where data is a force that no company can ignore. Analyzing the data that you collect at any level is essential to stay competitive.