What is Google Tag Manager?

We’ve already written elsewhere about the wonderful tool that is Google Analytics. Google Tag Manager (GTM), by contrast, is something most people haven’t even heard of. And even those who have heard of it often confuse it with Google Analytics.

But the two tools are very different beasts.

GTM is a free tool that lets you add marketing ‘tags’ to your website pages without having to meddle with the JavaScript code. The tags collect information about page views, visitor demographics, referral sites, and more. This valuable data then flows through to Google Analytics, where you can easily view it and use it to inform your marketing decisions.

Before the rise of GTM, you would have needed to hire a developer with an extensive knowledge of coding to enable your website pages to collect this data. GTM makes this process easier. But even GTM requires some technical knowledge to use safely and effectively.

Why should I use it?

The data gathered by GTM is often extremely useful. What business owner wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to learn more about their customers – and with a 100% free tool, at that?

By adding well-chosen tags to your website, you can customise what type of data gets sent to Google Analytics. For instance, you might want to see how many visitors download your latest newsletter. You can also set it up for more complex tasks, like tracking the number of special coupons that are being printed by potential customers.

A common misconception is that GTM is perfectly simple to use. It’s true that in theory, it allows you to make key changes without being a professional web developer. But it’s actually fairly confusing to anyone who doesn’t have at least a working knowledge of web development concepts. We often talk to clients who have tried to use it themselves, only to break their website’s code or spend hours trying to wrap their head around complex instructions aimed at developers.

GTM requires some technical knowledge.

There are two obvious solutions. One is to hire an expert to get you set up with GTM, and help you monitor it and update it as needed. Another is to find a developer who’s willing to help you master the technical concepts required to do it yourself.

The second option usually involves more time, money, and frustration. Even once you’re fully set up, you might need to do frequent troubleshooting. The last thing you want to deal with at 10pm on Friday is broken code, mysterious bugs, and the sudden unexplained drop in sales that could result.

Fabric can help!

We’d love to help you take full advantage of GTM and Google Analytics. To find out more about how these tools can help your business, click on the button below for a free consultation with one of our digital marketing experts.

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